Making Disciples Engages You in Spiritual Warfare

Do not be surprised by spiritual opposition when you get involved in helping others apply God’s Word to their life, since the work of making obedient disciples of Christ is a frontal attack against the kingdom of the devil. Therefore, the unrelenting strategy of Satan to oppose the ministry of personal discipleship also accentuates our need for spiritual authority to build an army of soldiers for Jesus Christ.

The Bible refers to all unbelievers as children of the devil (1 John 3:10), born into his family because of the guilty, rebellious nature inherited from Adam (Rom. 5:12). Salvation is nothing short of a divine rescue mission whereby sinners are plucked out of the devil’s grasping claws and graciously placed into the family of God and the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we are accepted (1 John 3:2; Col. 1:13; Rom. 15:7). David Doran summarizes it well in For the Sake of His Name:

God’s Word declares that Jesus the Lord has defeated Satan and his wicked host (Col 2:15) and that the Lord will soon crush Satan under the feet of the church (Rom 16:20). However, while the church waits for the final defeat of Satan it must remember that the task of making disciples calls it to raid his kingdom of darkness to deliver the god of this world’s Counseling One Another 29 The Content of the Great Command captives (cf. 2 Cor 4:4; 2 Tim 2:26). It would be foolish to think that the church can do this on the basis of its own authority. The church must engage in this conflict on the solid ground of the authority of the Lord of lords and King of kings.[1]

We now possess this same authority. When Jesus boldly declared, “I will build My church,” He also promised that “the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matt. 16:18). Therefore, we can carry out the work of discipleship with the same confidence. The God of salvation has not given us a mission that is dependent on human resources. Rather, the Great Command is accompanied by the authority to carry it out. To obey our risen Lord in this assignment, we must keep the obedience of the gospel before the minds of those we are discipling, knowing that we wage war against the forces of evil. Thanks be to God that the resurrected Jesus has rendered the devil powerless, and that His delegated authority will grant us the victory (Heb. 2:14; 1 Cor. 15:57).

[1] David M. Doran with Pearson Johnson and Benjamin Eckman, For the Sake of His Name (Allen Park, MI: Student Global Impact, 2002), p. 72

Print this entry