Our Spiritual Battle Part 2

by Peter Ditzel

In the first part of this article, we saw how our spiritual battle is not against flesh and blood, and that the opposite concepts of what our spiritual armor pictures show what we are fighting against in our spiritual battle (for example, the opposite of truth is lies, the opposite of faith is unbelief). In Part 2, we will see that our spiritual battle is a rational one founded upon the truth of the Word of God.

Logical Propositions

Joshua and the Israelites before the Walls of Jericho by Christoph Murer about 1600.
Joshua and the children of Israel brought down the walls of Jericho with trumpet blasts and a shout, and Hebrews 11:30 says, “By faith, the walls of Jericho fell down.” Joshua and the Israelites before the Walls of Jericho by Christoph Murer circa 1600.

I’ve heard preachers attack what they call “mere human reasoning.” Some might just mean erroneous arguments. But I know that others truly believe that Christians should avoid logic to
support their ideas. This is unfortunate. Jesus is the Logos of God. Logos is the word from which we get the English word “logic.” Logos is often translated as “word” (as it is in John 1:1) because words express logical propositions. We arrange words in grammatically correct syntax in sentences the way computer programmers arrange computer code.

Sentences and computer code can change meaning by changing the syntax. Both sentences and computer code can be either valid or invalid depending on the syntax. On a larger scale, sentences, or propositions, form paragraphs, and paragraphs are the structure of larger writings. And the meaning depends on the words used and the arrangement.

God uses valid logical propositions to express the truth in His revealed Word. In fact, since God is truth, these propositions express His mind. God’s mind is logical—always. Don’t fall for the claim that Christians should avoid logic. Christians should think logically. Since God made us in His image, our minds are also logical. Our minds function logically in the same way God’s does.

It is not only permissible for us to present biblical arguments in a rational, logical way, God expects us to be logical. This is not “mere human reasoning.” It is Godly reasoning. Further, having the mind of God in us through the Spirit enables Christians to comprehend the truth and to think as He does (see 1 Corinthians 2:9-16). One way we are lights in this dark world is by rationally presenting God’s Word.

Throwing Down Strongholds

Joshua and the children of Israel brought down the walls of Jericho with trumpet blasts and a shout. We can demolish fortresses with the truth. “For though we walk in the flesh, we don’t wage war according to the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds, throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Again, we see that we are not warring against the flesh, we are not making ad hominem (to the man) attacks against people. We are to attack “fortresses.” The “fortresses” are the false or invalid arguments. We are to lay siege to their arguments and cast down those arguments as if they were fortresses.

The word translated “imaginations” is logismos. But Paul is not writing of mere imaginations (freewheeling flights of fancy) but of “reckonings” or “logical reasonings.” There is nothing wrong with reckonings or logical reasonings, as such. But they lead to wrong conclusions when they are built upon false or untruthful premises and/or their arguments are invalid. The world’s arguments against God, His Son, the Gospel, and the Bible are always based on either wrong premises or invalid reasoning or both. When we battle the world, we aren’t fighting its people. We are tearing down its erroneous arguments with valid and true arguments.

How does this tie into warring against demonic powers? In 1 Timothy 4:1-2, Paul warns, “But the Spirit says expressly that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, through the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron.” False teachings, whether they are false religious doctrines or anti-Christian arguments, have demonic origins; they are the doctrines of demons. This fact should help us get our eyes off the physical and onto the spiritual.

Think of Jesus’ battle with Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4). When Satan tempted Christ, the Lord didn’t kick him, punch him, or wrestle with him. He didn’t bring out the devil’s past or spread lies or rumors about him on social media. He didn’t even call him names. Every time, Jesus used the logically correct passage of Scripture to counter what Satan said. He is our example. As Christ opposed Satan’s misuse of Scripture with the valid use of Scripture, so we too can argue against the doctrines of demons with the rational use of God’s Word.

There are battles ahead, but let’s keep in mind that our battle is not with flesh and blood. We are fighting wicked spirits in high places. Let’s “be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16) by using God’s Word and the rational minds He has given us. With the armor of God we cannot be defeated, and our victory is sure.

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