How do you define who or what a disciple is?
Matthew 4:19 (NIV84) “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
o In the invitation is the definition
• A Disciple is someone who is:
o Committed to Following Jesus
o Committed to being Changed by Jesus
o Committed to the Mission of Jesus
• What does it look like to be on mission with HIM?
o Jesus modeled the SCMD process (Share, Connect, Minister, and Disciple).
The 5 Spheres (based on overview of book of Ephesians):
• Central to our discipleship is our abiding relationship with Jesus. (Eph 1:1-2:9; John 15:5)
• We learn a new way of life from His word and doing life with His people in the Church Sphere. (Eph 2:10-5:20)
• What we learn from our relationship with Jesus and from doing life with His people, we live out in the Home Sphere. (Eph 5:21-6:4)
o And we live out in the World Sphere. (Eph 6:5-9)
• Today, we’re talking about the 5th sphere: The Spiritual Realm.
o Seek to understand we’re in a spiritual battle with a spiritual enemy.
o We need to be in the right fight—truth versus lies.
o Our only hope is fight Jesus’ way: Abiding, Prayer, God’s people—these are our spiritual weapons.
EPHESIANS 6:10-20 THE SPIRITUAL SPHERE
1. It all comes back to our ABIDING relationship with Jesus. (See also Ephesians 1:19-20)
Ephesians 6:10 (NIV) A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
• Our strength to spiritually fight comes from our abiding relationship with Jesus.
• We need to learn to rely on His strength, not our own.
2. We have a crafty spiritual enemy.
Ephesians 6:11-12 (NLT) 11Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
• We’re spiritually born in a time of war, not of peace—it’s a battleground, not a playground.
• The enemy distracts, discourages, deceives, and seeks to defeat through the appearance of people or circumstance—don’t fight his fight for him by blaming or attacking people.
• The enemy works from the outside in (through the spheres). Conversely, Jesus works from the inside out.
If think you’re beyond attack or temptation, take heed:
1 Corinthians 10:12 (NLT) If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.
1 Corinthians 10:12 (MESSAGE) Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.
3. We don’t fight spiritual battles with earthly weapons. (See also 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
Ephesians 6:13-18 (NLT) 13Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
• We armor up differently with His Truth, His Righteousness, His peace, His salvation, and His Word.
o Our part is to have faith—to trust and rely on Him.
o Our part is to “put on” who He is, and we do it together.
4. Just like we fight differently, victory also looks different in the Spiritual Realm.
Ephesians 6:19-20 (NLT) 19And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
• Paul is in prison. Hardship and conflict within and without is NORMAL.
• When Jesus was on the cross, all seemed lost, yet God was (and is) working, and HE wins!
John 16:33 (NLT) I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
• We, as a church:
o Continue to be a part of His mission of reaching the world by making disciples
o Continue to be in the right fight – spiritual battles, not earthly
o Continue to prioritize our collective abiding and relying on Jesus
• You, as an individual:
o Continue to commit to be a disciple that is on mission with Jesus
o Continue to seek to understand His ways – fighting the right fight (truth vs lies)
o Continue to prioritize your abiding relationship with Jesus
QUESTIONS TO REFLECT AND DISCUSS:
Passages to consider: Ephesians 6:10-20; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Icebreaker: Choose which one you prefer of the different pairs:
Batman or Ironman; sports or video games; treadmill or trail; saving or spending; eating in or eating out; sweet or salty; fruits or vegetables; playing the game or being a spectator.
• What, from the sermon, would you like to discuss or have a question about?
1. Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 and Ephesians 6:10-20. What do each of these passages say about the spiritual realm?
2. What helps you remember or recognize the unseen over the seen things? A) In what ways is abiding with Jesus impacting your awareness of a spiritual realm and battle?
3. What piece of the armor are you relying on these days? A) Which one do you need?
4. What can isolate you from others? A) How does isolation work as a weapon against you, especially spiritually?
5. How can you, your family, your group, and your friends help each other to be strong in the Lord?
6. As we conclude the Journey series, what has been the insight you hold on to about the discipleship journey of following Jesus and the five spheres of every area of life?