Apr 25, 2021 | Lee Becknell

“The whole armor of God is needed in spiritual warfare.”

    Text: Ephesians 6:10-23

    I heard about a young boy who received a harmonica for Christmas from his uncle. After the first of the year, he saw his uncle for the first time since receiving the harmonica. With a large smile he said, “Thanks for the harmonica you gave me for Christmas," "It’s the best present I ever got." "That’s great," replied his uncle. "Do you know how to play it?" "Oh, I don’t play it," the little fellow replied. "My mom gives me a dollar a day not to play it during the day and my dad gives me five dollars a week not to play it at night!"

    * Many Christians let Satan pay them not to use God’s amour.

    Title: “Understanding the letter sent to the church of Ephesus.”  #9 “The whole armor of God is needed in spiritual warfare.”

    Theme: “God designed the church to work together. When we stand shoulder to shoulder against the enemy using God's armor, we form a godly company of heavenly soldiers. So many are falling today with depressions and addictions, because they are trying to fight this war alone.”

     As we discussed in the last couple of weeks, Satan has been very effective during this COVID time to isolate and frighten the believers. The only way we will win this war is to stand together to fight the onslaughts of the evil one.” This morning, I would like to share with you the following lessons. 

    1. We are in a spiritual battle.

    Ephesians 6:10-12, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

    * Why are we to be strong?  Because we are part of a spiritual war that has been raging for centuries. Revelation 12:7-9, “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”

    * The devil under the guise of politics has created the divisive premise of inequality of life in this present world. The devil under the guise of social justice has attacked the institution of marriage, family, sexuality, and race. Everything God has established as good is under attack from Satan. Verse 11.

    * Some of the people supporting the schemes of the devil are unaware but others know exactly what they are doing. Our passage tells us that we are in a fight against rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers.

    2 Corinthians 11:14, “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

    * I went last week for my COVID shot.  A worker came up to me with a tablet and ask all kind of questions.  She wanted to know my occupation.  I told her Pastor.  She read every occupation but you will not find that on their list.  Use to be that Clergy were respected and an honorable profession.  Not any longer.  Everybody else is listed but I am just: OTHER. 

    * What’s the solution to the problem of COVID? It’s not the vaccine, or masks, quarantines, health program or stimulus package, it’s the word of God.

    2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

    * The devil would like nothing better than to make us think we don’t have a life worth living.  His message is, we will never be happy without the governments help. Nowhere in the Bible, does it say the abundant life God promises is dependent on or associated with anyone else or any other entity.

    1. Take up the whole armor of God.

    Ephesians 6:13-17, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,”

    * Paul vividly describes each piece of armor and makes an application to the "Armor of God," and how each part of the equipment is designed to be used; and, the protection it affords the saints in battle.

    * First, there is the "belt of truth buckled around your waist."  Verse 14. Paul calls it the "belt of truth." If you want to "hold up" to the wiles of the devil and "reproduce" Christians, then you must live your life both in and by the truth.

    * Next is the “breastplate of righteousness” (verse 14b) that covered the torso of the body, which contains all of the major organs, including the heart. If you want to live a holy and righteous life, you must put on "righteousness." Paul also calls the "breastplate of righteousness" the "breastplate of faith and love" (1 Thess. 5:8).

    * Following the breastplate comes the "feet fitted with readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace." You are always to be prepared to go and share the Gospel with others.  No army in the world will win a war if they send their soldiers out barefoot.

    * Roman soldiers used several kinds of shields. Paul refers to a shield about two and half feet wide and four and a half feet high, designed to protect the entire body of the soldier.

    * This "shield of faith" can ward off all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Therefore, it is of significant importance that you always take it with you.

    * Faith is the key to overcoming the world. Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him"

    * We are called to "take the helmet of salvation." Paul also calls the helmet "the hope of salvation" (1 Thess. 5:8). The helmet was used to protect the head. When you put on this helmet, you are saying that your actions, the words you speak, and your thought life will be according to "things that accompany salvation" (Heb. 6:9).

    * A soldier would not be complete without a weapon to defend himself, so, take up the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17).  A soldier would spend many years learning to use his sword effectively. The well-trained soldiers of Rome were able to conquer most of the known world. If you are going to destroy the works of Satan, you must learn to use your unique sword. The Word of God. Study it diligently.

    Romans 13:12, “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

    1. Praying at all times in the Spirit.

    Ephesians 6:18-20, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

    * After describing the pieces of the armor of God, Paul adds another important part of spiritual warfare: prayer. This is not a piece of spiritual armor, yet is essential to winning spiritual battles. Why? Prayer connects us to the power of God, which is necessary to defeat spiritual enemies. Communication in battle is often the difference between victory and defeat.  This is especially true when referring to soldiers hearing the instructions of their Commander.
    * Next, we are to "keep alert." While we may not be literally praying every waking second, there is never a good time to set prayer aside.

    * Prayer is something to do "with all perseverance." We do not pray once each day and then stop. We are to talk with God constantly and about all matters. Nothing is too big or too small to discuss with the Lord.
    * Finally, Paul highlights the importance of praying for the needs of other believers.  You must "pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Eph. 6:18).

    * Prayer is what strengthens you to do battle because it is your lifeline.

    * Paul, ends this beautiful book by sending is fellow servant Tychicus to tell all that is going on with Paul. Verse 22, “I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.”

    One day a group of amateur climbers were scaling part of the Matterhorn mountain in Switzerland. As they came to a narrow, hazardous passage way, a gust of wind swept down on them. The experienced guide, knowing the danger this posed for the group, quickly shouted, “Get down on your knees! You are only safe on your knees!” The group immediately dropped to their knees. How true this is for the Christian as well. The whole armor of God is designed to be powered by prayer.  Put it on and charge it up!

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