Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
"You should try hard to enter [God's kingdom] by means of the narrow door, for I tell you, many people will try to enter it but will not be able to.
1 Corinthians 9:25
And everyone who [strenuously] competes in athletic events exercises self-control during training. Now they do this to receive a laurel wreath that withers, but we [do it to receive] a lasting crown.
2 Timothy 2:5
And if a person competes as an athlete, he is not awarded the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a large crowd of spectators [Note: Christians are pictured here as being in a crowded arena, performing in the games], we should lay aside every [excessive] weight and sin that so easily entangle us, and with perseverance, we should run the race [of life] that lies before us.
Flesh and blood
Jesus replied, "Simon, son of Jonah, you are fortunate [indeed], for this [truth] was not revealed to you by human beings but [rather] by my Father who is in heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:50
Now this is what I am saying, brothers; flesh and blood [i.e., physical bodies] cannot possess the kingdom of God [i.e., the heavenly realm]; neither can [bodies that] decay possess [a place] which does not decay.
[And when I was called], God revealed His Son to me so that I could preach [about] Him to the Gentiles. [When this happened] I immediately avoided discussing the matter with anyone.
[There He is exalted] high above all rulers and authorities and powers and dominion and every name [i.e., title of honor] that can be given, not only in this present age but [also] in the one to come.
This was done so that now God's many-sided wisdom could be made known through the church, to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms [Note: "Heavenly realms" here refers to the world around us, where these angelic beings (good or bad) view the unfolding of God's wonderful plan],
For I am convinced that neither death, nor [the trials of] life, nor [evil] angels, nor [evil] rulers, nor present or future [circumstances], nor [evil] powers,
[In doing this] Christ disarmed the rulers and authorities [i.e., evil forces] and made a public display of them, triumphing over them through the cross. [Note: This could possibly be rendered "God triumphed over them through Christ"].
1 Peter 3:22
He has [now] gone to heaven, and is [seated] at the right side of God, where the angels and [other] authorities and powers have been subjected to Him.
You practiced such things when you lived according to the evil ways of this world, and according to the ruler of the [spiritual] powers of the air. [Note: This refers to Satan, whose influence permeates life around us]. He is the [evil] spirit who is now at work in people who are disobedient [to God].
When I was with you every day in the Temple you did not raise a hand against me. But this is your hour [i.e., the time for you to act against me] and the power of darkness [has now taken over]."
Judgment is now coming to this world; the prince of this world [i.e., Satan] will now be driven out.
I will not speak with you very much anymore because the ruler of the world [i.e., Satan] is coming, and he has no control over me.
[And it will be shown] judgment, because the ruler of this world [i.e., Satan. See 12:31] has been condemned [i.e., by Jesus' death and resurrection].
to open their eyes [to the truth] so they will turn from darkness to light and from the power [i.e., the influence] of Satan to God. [Then] they can receive the forgiveness of sins and the inheritance [of never ending life], along with [all] those who are set apart [for God] by trusting in Me.'
2 Corinthians 4:4
For the god of this world [i.e., Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they would not see the light of the Gospel of the splendor of Christ, who is the image of God.
He rescued us from the domain of [spiritual] darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son whom He loves,
May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be praised, for He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in [fellowship with] Christ. [Note: The term "heavenly realms" is used somewhat differently throughout this book. Here it refers to Christians as part of the church on earth].