23. Our WeaponsTo understand the weapons we possess, we must have an accurate view of our warfare. Our warfare is not against, but towards. Israel did not defeat the enemies in the land in order to win a battle, but to possess the land.
Our battle is to possess all that is Christ, not for ourselves only, but also for our brethren. The fullness of Christ is the victorious Church; the weapons of our warfare are for the purpose of establishing the Church of Jesus Christ in full victory here on this earth.
Yes, Paul's list of our armor speaks to us of Christ Jesus as our only life. But our weapons are even beyond Paul's list. It is the Father in whom all things exist; we possess all the riches of Christ; and the Holy Spirit making us one body means that we have each other in this battle.
Lesson 23.1 The Land of Christ presents the foray of Israel into the promised land as our own experience in the Church, and specifically as Christian community. Yes, there are giants in the land of Church life, but there we also find the fruit of Christ in a way that cannot be known outside of Christian community. We cannot know Jesus as He is unless we see Him in the faces of one another.
Lesson 23.2 God is One positions the "ignorance" of God as our greatest weapon. The old creation perished on the cross of Christ. What we see as appearance is not what is real. God does not know sin and death; sin and death are found only in an empty grave. The only thing real is the person with whom we are relating. As we see God alone, His purposes and workings, we do good in response to every action of evil against us. We overcome evil with good, that is, with God.
Lesson 23.3 The Riches of Christ investigates what is included for us inside of "put on the Lord Jesus Christ." Paul's list of armor is part of the Lord Jesus; we do not "put on" except Jesus first. Yet our armor is defensive, including, actually, the sword. Our offensive weapon is the Spirit flowing forth from us as healing and life.
Lesson 23.4 Each Other then positions the Body of Christ as the expression of Jesus as the Victorious Warrior. We need one another in many ways, but especially in our mission to establish a fully successful Christian church here on this earth.