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Armor of God

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Why do we need “The Armor of God”

Intro: This wa

We are at war!

When I was a kid, i remember hearing the Vietnam war was over. I had no clue there was a war going on!
Perhaps your not aware we’re also at war!
This was the toughest
We don’t necessarily do a good job of covering this with new believers
Children’s programs
Jesus loves me, this I know...
Jesus is like a lamb
Youth and adults
Jesus loves you
Join us and have fun singing songs, playing games, socializing, etc...
Does anyone remember being told when you become a Christian, you’re signing up for war? (new slide)
Some of us think we’re signing up for a cruise
What’s a cruise like?
Reality is, we’re really signing up for a battle ship. See comparison.
So, who are we at war with?
(new slide)

Who are we at war with?

Ephesians 6:10–11 ESV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
“Stand against” was a military term meaning to resist the enemy, hold the position, and offer no surrender.
Who are we to stand against? the Devil: (new slide)
How many Americans believe in the Devil? (see Gallop Poll)
God: 80/20
Devil: 60/40 - approaching half that aren’t sure or don’t believe. Note 20% of those believe in God.
Why is it so few believe in the devil?
Western history
Up until about 200 years ago in Western society pretty much everybody believed:
Up until about 200 years ago in Western society pretty much everybody believed, first of all, in devils, that is, personal supernatural beings, supernatural, personal, evil beings, and they also believed in original sin, which is innate, spiritual evil in our hearts
in devils, that is, personal supernatural beings, supernatural, personal, evil beings,
they also believed in original sin, which is innate, spiritual evil in our hearts (new slide)
Twentieth century (next slide/pic)
Almost a comical view of the devil(new slide)
However, there was also a more serious effort to remove the Devil from secular thinking
“evil” is really always the result of something natural. It’s either the result of:
the mainstream thought in the twentieth century was that “evil” is really always the result of something natural. It’s either the result of unjust social systems, or it’s the result of bad parenting, or it’s the result of bad brain chemistry. In other words, it has some biological root, it has some psychological root, it has some sociological root, or it may have some kind of combination of those roots, but those roots are controllable; those things are natural.
unjust social systems - sociological root
bad parenting - The mom didn’t love him enough. Dad was absent or abusive - biological root
bad brain chemistry - He’s got a screw loose - psychological root
There’s an issue with this thinking. While these can all be valid reasons for some evil acts, they don’t seem to always fit.
Google search for Sunday school lesson - Image of little girl in blue dress
There are so many atrocities in the mideast, but also elsewhere
History - Holocaust, Rwanda, countless wars, mass murders

But we ask: If the real problems of this world are merely material and visible, how is it that they have not been solved or eliminated long ago?

But we ask: If the real problems of this world are merely material and visible, how is it that they have not been solved or eliminated long ago?

But we ask: If the real problems of this world are merely material and visible, how is it that they have not been solved or eliminated long ago?
But we ask: If the real problems of this world are merely material and visible, how is it that they have not been solved or eliminated long ago?
Paul saw these same kind of things happening in his time(new slide)
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
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.
So, we’ve talked about the devil from a secular view point, but how about a Christian viewpoint?
If only 60% of Americans believe in the devil, that means a lot people that identify themselves as Christians are in that group
They must not believe things Jesus,
What does the bible have to say about Satan and demons?
They must not believe large sections of the NT
Jesus was tempted by Satan and cast out many demons
Apostles cast out demons that had possessed people
In these verses Paul has been very clear that he believes in the Devil and demons
Note he’s not trying to say flesh and blood is not part of the equation (he was stoned and beaten by men)
He’s trying to get at who’s really behind most of the attacks against the church and christians?
Let me just push this home to you. There is a Devil. There are demons.
The Ephesians had practiced magic and witchcraft (), so they were well aware of the power of the darkness
The Ephesians had practiced magic and witchcraft (), so they were well aware of the power of the darkness
Also note Satan is not omnipresent, omniscient, etc. He can not be everywhere, he is not all knowing.
He needs an army of demons to carry out his works
Have you been personally attacked by Satan?
“The Devil made me do it”
In fact, in all the Bible we know of only six individuals who were tempted by Satan himself:
Eve (but not Adam), Job, Jesus Christ, Judas, Peter, and Ananias (but not his wife Sapphira).
n fact, in all the Bible we know of only six individuals who were tempted by Satan himself: Eve (but not Adam), Job, Jesus Christ, Judas, Peter, and Ananias (but not his wife Sapphira). No doubt there have been many others, but these are the only ones the Bible tells us of specifically.
No doubt there have been many others, but these are the only ones the Bible tells us of specifically.
Let me just push this home to you. There is a Devil. There are demons. (new slide)
They are targeting us! (slide)
However, this is a defeated enemy.
Wife and roaches
So, is the devil like a roach? No. We need to think bigger.(new slide)
1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour
Who do lions always attack in documentaries)? Those either alone or the weak.
If I had to fight a lion, I would not want to do it with no protection.
Thankfully, God agrees and he’s the church, our family and provided armor for us.
We must participate in Christ’s victory over Satan. We know the outcome of the war, but individual battles can be lost if any believers have not done all in order to stand (see also ; ).
(Don’t Read) We must participate in Christ’s victory over Satan. We know the outcome of the war, but individual battles can be lost if any believers have not done all in order to stand (see also ; ).

The Armor of God

What is it?

If you want an example of it, I can think of no better example than Luke 8. It’s the story of Jesus Christ and his disciples in a boat on the sea in a storm. You know the story. It’s told in a number of different Gospels. Jesus is asleep, and the disciples are in the boat. Suddenly, a storm comes up. It’s very, very sudden and very, very violent. They are so scared, and they’re panicking. They run over to him. Maybe they shake him, and I like the old King James. They say, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?”

Ephesians 6:14 ESV
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

Belt of Truth

Roman soldiers wore a long tunic that was cinched in at the waist by a belt so they could move quickly and decisively without tripping over the garment. The belt was wide; it extended down from the waist to cover the abdomen and, in some designs, the groin area. The belt had a place to attach a sword.

Roman soldiers wore a long tunic that was cinched in at the waist by a belt so they could move quickly without tripping over the garment.
The belt was wide; it extended down from the waist to cover the abdomen and, in some designs, the groin or even upper thigh area.
Roman soldiers wore a long tunic that was cinched in at the waist by a belt so they could move quickly and decisively without tripping over the garment. The belt was wide; it extended down from the waist to cover the abdomen and, in some designs, the groin area. The belt had a place to attach a sword.
If you want an example of it, I can think of no better example than . It’s the story of Jesus Christ and his disciples in a boat on the sea in a storm. You know the story. It’s told in a number of different Gospels. Jesus is asleep, and the disciples are in the boat. Suddenly, a storm comes up. It’s very, very sudden and very, very violent. They are so scared, and they’re panicking. They run over to him. Maybe they shake him, and I like the old King James. They say, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?”
It’s the story of Jesus Christ and his disciples in a boat on the sea in a storm.
The belt had a place to attach a sword.
Jesus is asleep, and the disciples are in the boat. Suddenly, a storm comes up. It’s very, very sudden and very, very violent. They are so scared, and they’re panicking.

The abdomen was considered the most vulnerable area in a sword fight because it was soft and fleshy tissue.

The abdomen was considered the most vulnerable area in a sword fight because it was soft and fleshy tissue. (Civil war - shot in stomach.)
They run over to him. I like the old King James. They say, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” Don’t you care, Master? You don’t even care. You don’t love us. We’re going to die. How can you be there sleeping?
Don’t you care, Master? You don’t even care. You don’t love us. We’re going to die. How can you be there sleeping?
The abdomen was considered the most vulnerable area in a sword fight because it was soft and fleshy tissue.
Imagine how things would have turned out in the garden of Eden with this simple defense of the truth.
What does Jesus do?
Rebukes the storm
Rebukes them “Where is your faith?”

Breastplate of righteousness

Protected all of your vital organs
Satan is an accuser: (don’t read) Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him
Philippians 3:9 ESV
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—
Believers have been made righteous through the blood of Christ
Believers have been made righteous through the blood of Christ
Satan likes to remind us of past sins, however when we sincerely ask for forgiveness for a sin…
Psalm 103:12 ESV
as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
(new slide)
Ephesians 6:15 ESV
and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
Zechariah 3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him
Philippians 3:9 ESV
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him
Believers have been made righteous through the blood of Christ
Believers have been made righteous through the blood of Christ
Satan likes to remind us of past sins, however when we sincerely ask for forgiveness for a sin...
Psalm 103:12 ESV
as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Shoes

Feet are something that we definitely take for granted. I know!
Trip to Glorieta with old sneakers (new slide)
Roman
Roman soldiers had special shoes made of soft leather with studded soles.
Roman soldiers had special shoes made of soft leather with studded soles. This allowed them to march farther and faster as well as giving them facility of motion in battle—they could dig in and hold their ground when in hand-to-hand combat.
This allowed them to march farther and faster
Solid footing in battle—they could dig in and hold their ground when in hand-to-hand combat. (new slide)
(ESV)
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;

Shield of faith

Approximately four feet high by two feet wide,
made of wood and leather, often with an iron frame.
Sometimes the leather would be soaked in water to help extinguish flaming arrows.
If you want an example of it, see .
It’s the story of Jesus Christ and his disciples in a boat on the sea in a storm.
Jesus is asleep, and the disciples are in the boat. Suddenly, a storm comes up. It’s very, very sudden and very, very violent. They are so scared, and they’re panicking.
They run over to him. I like the old King James. They say, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” Don’t you care, Master? You don’t even care. You don’t love us. We’re going to die. How can you be there sleeping?
What does Jesus do?
Rebukes the storm
Rebukes them “Where is your faith?”. Guys, don’t you remember all I’ve said and miracles I’ve performed.
One thing the Romans were really known for was the tortoise formation. (new slide) This is how your brothers and sisters in christ should be, helping pray for and encourage each other (next slide)
Psalm 7:10 ESV
My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.
(ESV)
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

Helmet of salvation

Helmets were made of leather and brass, or sometimes bronze and iron—no sword could pierce a good helmet
Satan tries to get us to focus on our concerns and fears, even though they don’t make since. Think of how someone acts when they have a concussion. Disoriented, confused.
(Maybe skip) Luke Kuekley, LB for the Panthers, in a game last year received a concussion where he simply sat on the field and cried like a baby.
We Christian soldiers can stand up to Satan and his demons. Jesus promised, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” ( nkjv).
tries to get us to focus on our concerns and fears, we Christian soldiers can stand up to him. Jesus promised, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” ( nkjv).

Sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God)

Only offensive weapon
Jesus used this expertly when he was tempted by Satan in the desert
Also a very close / hand to combat weapon. A soldier will tell you hand to hand combat is the toughest you can experience.
You might think, well, they just didn’t have better weapons back then.
The Romans we actually also known for their artillery weapons.
Slings
Bow and arrows
Large Scorpion shot large arrows
Ballista’s - Stone’s or Bolt throwing machine
Catapults - Larger stone throwing machines
Why did Paul not include these in his analogy? I think it’s because of the next verse. (next slide)

Prayer

Ephesians 6:18 ESV
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,
God is our artillery, or in today’s warfare, we’d probably say air cover
I called on this in preparing for this lesson:
I had been reading material for almost a week.
I could really feel a strong, personal spiritual attack
It peaked over lunch on Wednesday as I read material over lunch
I texted my wife and brother Dye and told them I was being attacked and the enemy did not want you to hear this message. I asked for their prayers. I immediately began to feel relief from the attacks.(new slide)

How do I get it and learn to wield it?

Would a soldier start putting on his armor and learning how to use it in the middle of battle?
Most modern armies have boot camp.
Most modern armies have boot camp. Your student ministry time is boot camp.
Your student ministry time is boot camp.
I feel like I’ve been a bit of a drill sergeant in this class.
Bottom line:
TRAINING
If you want to complete a marathon, you have to run hundreds of training miles.
If you want to complete a marathon, you have to run hundreds of training miles. If you want to learn a foreign language, you have to spend some hours memorizing declensions and conjugations. If you want to play the piano, you have to learn the scales and how to read music. And if you want to accomplish anything for God, you have to spend time with the spiritual disciplines: Bible study, prayer, church involvement, fasting, serving. Being a Christian is not a learned skill or discipline; it’s a living relationship with our living Lord Jesus. But like any other relationship, if you want it to be deep and meaningful—beyond the superficial and empty formalities—it takes time and commitment. Do you set aside time for spiritual training?
If you want to learn a foreign language, you have to spend some hours working on it.
If you want to play the piano, you have to learn the scales and how to read music.
If you want to accomplish anything for God, you have to spend time with the spiritual disciplines:
Bible study,
prayer,
church involvement,
fasting,
serving.
Being a Christian is not a learned skill or discipline; it’s a living relationship with our living Lord Jesus. But like any other relationship, if you want it to be deep and meaningful—beyond the superficial and empty formalities—it takes time and commitment. Do you set aside time for spiritual training?
Final verses and wrap up.

Summary Spiritual Warfare and Armor of God

Why do we need armor and who are we at war with?
What is the armor?
How do I learn to use it?
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