Faithlife Sermons

The Perilous Fight

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This Tuesday, our nation celebrates its 241st anniversary of declaring independence from Great Britain.
Committee of Five.
James Adam’s wrote to his wife that July 2 would become the most important day of the year in celebration of this most momentous occasion.
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Livingston (Louisiana Purchase)
Roger Sherman (the only person who signed the four great documents of the country: the Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution)
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
This act drew a line in the sand—the United States of America would fight to be free.
This perilous fight would usher in one of the most important sea changes the world has ever known—however, it is not the only perious fight—there is one which is of a more critical nature.

Ephesians 6:10-13

Ephesians 6:10–13 ESV
10 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. 13 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.
Eph 6:10-
Every person who has ever walked on this planet has been engaged in this battle.
This is a spiritual life or death struggle—with a ferocious enemy and an almighty God.
QUESTION: How does a person face such a perilous battle?
The Scripture uses metaphors for the spiritual resources given to them in Christ.
Ephesians 6:14 ESV
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Eph 6:

1. Preparation for Battle

"Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth.”
For the third time in this passage there is a call for Christians to take a firm position in the spiritual battle against Satan and his cohorts.
Whether confronting Satan’s efforts to
Distrust God
Forsaking obedience
producing doctinal confussion and falsehood
Living hypocritically
Being worldly
This armor is our defense
And we begin by “standing firm.”
For the third time in this passage there is a call for Christians to take a firm position in the spiritual battle against Satan and his cohorts.

2. Personal Integrity

This is no time for wavering or apathy. It is facing reality with careful thought, resolute discipline!

2. Personal Integrity

“The belt of truth...”
The soldier wore a tunic of loose-fitting cloth.
Since ancient combat was largely hand-to-hand, a loose tunic was a potential hindrance and danger.
A belt was necessary to cinch up the loosely hanging material.
“fastened on” or “girding up” was a matter of pulling in the loose ends as preparation for battle.
The belt that pulls all the spiritual loose ends in is “truth” or better, “truthfulness.”
The idea here is of sincere commitment to fight and win without hypocrisy.
Hebrews 12:1 ESV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
This is a self-discipline in devotion to victory—everything that hinders is tucked away.
Facing the enemy of our souls requires us to address our personal character—to root out those flaws that lead to compromise and sin.
Psalm 139:23 ESV
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
We cannot afford to ignore personal, spiritual failure!
Illustration: Victor Fandino, matador, died while he tripped on his cape and was gored by the bull.
What is loose in our lives?
This leads us into the another part of spiritual readiness:

3. Righteousness

"and having put on the breastplate of righteousness...”
There are two kinds of righteousness for the Christian:
Positional righteousness
Practical righteousness (this is probably the focus in this text of Scripture)
The breastplate in Paul’s day was usually a tough, sleeveless piece of leather or heavy material with animal horn or hoof pieces sewn on, covering the soldier’s full torso, protecting his heart and other vital organs.
Through Christ, the believer is called to “put on” righteousness—to embrace faithful obedience consistent with that demonstrated for Jesus himself.
In spiritual warfare, there is no time for mediacracy and compromise.
2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
How do we put on the breastplate of righteousness?
Know and practice the Word!
Psalm 119:9 ESV
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
Ps 119:
Become whole hearted in your devotion to God.
Psalm 119:10 ESV
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!
Biblical intake
Psalm 119:11 ESV
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Receive God’s instruction
Psalm 119:12 ESV
Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!
Confess and believe
Psalm 119:13 ESV
With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.

4. Practical Righteousness

This perilous fight cannot be ignored or minimized.
Sometimes it may feel like a losing battle—the enemy is crafty and powerful.
This fight is hard—painfully so! And it may feel, at times, like there is no hope.
So stand firm—do not give up—fasten the belt of truth—live with integrity—and put on the breastplate of righteousness—and embrace holiness.
Illustration: in the War of 1812, a man by the name of Francis Scott Key was held in custody on a British warship.
On the evening of September 13, 1814, Mr. Key looked helplessly on as the British attacked Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Battle seemed hopeless. But in the morning of September 14, to the amazement of Mr. Key, the fag of the United States of America still proudly waved.
Soon after, he wrote a poem commemorating this powerful moment in U.S. history.
Most of you know this poem—for it is the words of our national anthem. Please stand.
Altar Call
The flag of Christ’s victory still waves—will you trust Him to work through you to bring victory?
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