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8-28-22 Great Themes of the Bible: The Unseen Realm

Great Themes of the Bible: The Unseen Realm

David Peterson / General

Great Themes of the Bible

Sermon Type: Textual-Topical

Proposition: Reality is more than the material. We are, in part, spiritual beings impacted by the spiritual world, and because of this we must be ready to resist evil spiritual influences.


1. Angels and Demons

2. The Unseen Realm—a whole realm of spiritual influences

The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible by Dr. Michael S. Heiser and Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches About the Unseen World – and Why It Matters

I. Reality is More than Meets the Eye. It includes the Spiritual (Ephesians 6:12)

1. Reality includes the spiritual, that which is pure spirit

2. Mortimer Adler, philosopher Angels and Us

3. Not so much Supernatural but naturally spiritual

II. We Can And Are Affected by the Spiritual (Ephesians 6:13)

1. We are amphibious creatures, material and spiritual

2. Angels are described as ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:14)

a. Jesus in the Wilderness (Mark 1:13)

13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him (ESV).

b. Jesus in the Garden (Luke 22:43)

43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him (ESV).

3. The primary way the devil and the forces of spiritual darkness work is by temptation/leading us astray from God’s purpose. (Again, think of Jesus’ temptation and the Garden of Gethsemane.)

III. The Battle is Spiritual (Ephesians 6:11)

1. The Armor is the Character of God, the ultimate Spirit

Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV1984

1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 4:1-3 NIV1984

1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

2. Our way of battling is embodying the peace of Christ (Ephesians 6:15)

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 12: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) Commentary

Paradoxically, the church battles by announcing peace to all it encounters, all the while giving credibility to its peacemaking message by preserving “the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (4:3).

3. The Heart of the Battle loving as Christ loved, which means forgiving

Forgiving the Unforgivable Is Hard

Forgiving the unforgivable is hard. So was the cross: hard words, hard wood, hard nails.

—William S. Stoddard

Each of you keep watch over your heart and confess your sins to yourself unceasingly. Be not afraid of your sins, even when perceiving them, if only there be penitence, but make no conditions with God. Again I say, Be not proud. Be proud neither to the little nor to the great. Hate not those who reject you, who insult you, who abuse and slander you. Hate not the atheists, the teachers of evil, the materialists—and I mean not only the good ones—for there are many good ones among them, especially in our day—hate not even the wicked ones. Remember them in your prayers thus: Save, O Lord, all those who have none to pray for them, save too all those who will not pray. And add: it is not in pride that I make this prayer, O Lord, for I am lower than all men….

Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The Brothers Karamazov (Kindle Location 3136). Kindle Edition.


1. The Way to Quench the Devil’s Darts—Faith (Ephesians 6:16)

Robbery Foiled by Octogenarian Bodybuilder

When 82-year-old Willie Murphy heard the sound of an intruder breaking into her home, she felt bad. Bad for the intruder, that is. Murphy said to reporters, “He picked the wrong house to break into.”

That’s because Murphy was already a critically acclaimed bodybuilder, having won the World Natural Powerlifting Upstate New York Championship in 2018. After calling police, Murphy used the darkness to lie in wait for the assailant. Then when the moment was right, she struck with all the strength and agility she could muster. Murphy said, “I picked up the table and I went to work on him.” After breaking the table, Murphy briefly poured a bottle of shampoo on his face before continuing to whale on him with a broom handle.

The police who responded were so impressed, said Murphy, that they “wanted to go on my front porch and take selfies with me … I really did a number on that man.”

Source: Michael Sheridan, “I’m old, but guess what, I’m tough’: 82-year-old female weightlifter attacks burglar with table,” NY Daily News (11-25-19)

From <>

Faith receives and acts on what one is/has. Ephesians 1-3 lays out what we have been given and who we are—chosen, adopted children of God, redeemed, God’s inheritance, empowered, made alive spiritually, raised up in heavenly places, included—no longer strangers, God’s habitation, in short, loved. We are to be rooted and grounded by that love.


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