FEB 14 8am
We have been provided with all we need to be properly “Dressed for Battle” to engage the hostile world that we live in. That was the title of the message from Ephesians 6 that Pastor Jim delivered this morning (8-24-2014) in his ongoing series, “Winning from the Inside,” at Erie Christian Fellowship Church. Most of us are nice people, and don’t like to fight, but we have no choice, since all of us are engaged in an ongoing spiritual battle with the forces of darkness.
But – “We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world” Eph. 6:12 CEV). Our real enemy is the devil and his cohorts. Peter tells us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). James says: “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Well, after submitting to God, what do we do to resist the devil? Paul tells us. He says in Eph. 6:10, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” In whose power? “In the power of HIS might.” To do that, we need to know some things. Verse 10 starts with “Finally.” That means something went before. Earlier and throughout the letter to the Ephesians, we learn about who we are in Christ, and the power and authority that has been delegated to us.*
Knowing these things, we can “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11). “Wiles” means tricks or schemes, which is really all the devil has going for him now, after being defeated at the Cross. They are based on his lies, deceits and accusations. They can be quite effective unless we stand against them.
And to stand, we “Dress for Battle,” and “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Vs. 13). That “evil day” is not only the lying attacks to our own minds, but the evil in our culture that we constantly face. We cannot only look at the outward appearances. We must see beyond to the unseen spiritual world.
We encounter three world views, Pastor Jim pointed out. There is 1) the Biblical world view, a spiritual world view that we are empowered and indwelt by our supernatural God, to resist supernatural evil; 2) the Non-Biblical spiritual world view of the occult that demon entities would have people follow, and 3) The non-spiritual, secular world view, that, like the Sadducees of Jesus’ day, were oblivious to spiritual realities
Our mindset is so important. We’re not fighting for the victory, but from the place of victory that Jesus won for us. We are not vulnerable and helpless as many defeated people believe. As we read through Ephesians, we can see that we are to be victors because of His victory. And, we aren’t alone, for He lives, as Jesus spoke to John in the book of Revelation, “I am He who lives,” “I died, but now I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys to death and the world of the dead” (Rev. 1:18 CEV).
Therefore we can put on the “full armor of God” listed in vs. 14-18, all the spiritual armor and weaponry that we need to overcome the “wiles” of the evil one and walk in victory in life.
Eph. 6:14-18 – “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
* Eph. 6:10 begins “Finally.” What comes before the “Finally” in the book of Ephesians that we should know about first?
1. I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:13).
2. God’s power abounds towards me (Eph. 1:19).
3. Everything is under the feet of Jesus (Eph. 1:22).
4. I am seated together with Christ in Heavenly places (Eph. 2:6).
5. God desires to show His kindness towards me (Eph. 2:7, 3:8).
6. Good works are pre-prepared for me to walk out (Eph. 2:10).
7. The blood of Jesus gives me access to God (Eph. 2:13, 18).
8. I am a new creation in Christ (Eph. 2:15).
9. As we fellowship around the Word, God’s power and presence are manifest in our midst (Eph. 2:21-22).
10. God’s will is for me to be spiritually strong, rooted in love and filled with Him (Eph. 3:16-19).
11. God desires for me to work to maintain unity in the church (Eph. 4:3).
12. God’s will is for me to grow into spiritual maturity and not be tossed about by strange and deceptive teachings (Eph. 4:14-15).
13. God’s desire is for me to give no opportunity to the devil (Eph. 4:27).
14. God’s desire is for me to imitate Him (Eph. 5:1).
15. God desires for me to be spiritually alert (Eph. 5:17).
16. God desires for me to honor His order in the family and workplace (Eph. 5:21-6:7).
17. God desires for me to understand the principle of sowing and reaping (Eph. 6:9).
[This message is based on my notes, which may include paraphrase of what Pastor Jim said, or possibly some of my own reflection on it – Ray]
Our Spiritual Armor