Faithlife Sermons

ES012. Ephesians 6:10-24

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  29:53
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The armour of God refers to the resources that Christians possess for defending against evil spiritual forces and still standing at the end.

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Ephesians 6:10–24 NIV
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And 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 Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. 21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you. 23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
Finally, says Paul: It seems fitting that Paul ends the letter this way as he had concerns for the flock and what would become of them after he left. It is also my concern during the time I am with you. In Paul’s farewell address in Acts 20 to the elders of the Church at Ephesus, the same church this letter was sent to, he says;
Acts 20:25–31 NKJV
25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
Paul is clear in the passage in Ephesians 6 that there are spiritual powers at work against us and Satan does not want to spare the flock. Paul shares with us the secret of not allowing this to happen in the passage today. We are all ultimately and personally responsible to be ready, to stand, to defend and to fight for we do have an enemy and he is opposing us.
We are called to be strong in the Lord. In all the time I am here I will lay a stress upon the Word of God. Everything that we understand about God, about salvation, about how to live life is found in the pages of Scripture which points to the One who is the very Word of God in the flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ. It is He whom we need to know ever increasingly. Be strong in the Lord.
Often we are commanded to be strong throughout the Bible. Be bold! Be strong! How are we bold? How are we strong? Is it not taking God at His word, believing it, trusting it, stepping out in it?
And now, it remains for you all to take God at His word and not be fearful of the future for it is in the hands of the living God with whom nothing is impossible. You certainly cannot trust yourselves. There is only One whom you can rely upon and that is God. Trust Him! He loves and cares for you more than I or anyone else could. Be strong! We trust in the power of His might.
And trust in Him we must for the devil will take every opportunity to undermine our trust in Him. The wiles of the devil spoken of here means his scheming and craftiness. We are, whether we like it or not, at war. We have enemies which, sometimes on the face of it, are human but are, in fact, spiritual. Maybe we are after a peaceful life but this is just not reality for the person who wants to follow Jesus. We are in the midst of a battle. And now we need to protect ourselves as well as to be ready to fight. Against us are pitted all evil and spiritual powers but on our side we have God Almighty. But let us not be complacent. Everyday is a day of battle. We battle our own urges, we battle with temptations, we battle with opposition. Sometimes we lose battles especially personal ones but the war has already been won at the cross. Soon we shall see the reality with our own eyes. But in the meantime we are called to be strong and to stand.
And not just to stand up but also to keep our feet in the evil day - when is the evil day? Is it not today? Did we not read two weeks’ ago that the days are evil?
Ephesians 5:15–16 NKJV
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Yes, everyday is evil. Everyday we must make our stand and we have been given the tools to do it.

Believers should be rightly clothed for battle

Romans 13:12–14 NKJV
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
So let’s look at what we have been given:

Believers should put on the full armour of God

The Belt of Truth.

The Roman soldier always wore his belt. It was an essential piece of kit that not only held things in place but was also protective. We have the truth of the Gospel. We have the One who is the Truth. We are certain of the Scriptures for within it are the words of truth. The devil on the other hand is a liar:
John 8:44–45 NKJV
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
Truth is not tolerant. It goes up against lies, especially the lies that it doesn’t matter what you believe. The devil lies because he wants people to have the same fate as him. We are to tell the truth and that is; only Jesus saves: A good understanding of God’s truth counters Satan’s deceit.
We are to put on the Breastplate of Righteousness. This protected all the vital organs especially the heart. But we need to make sure we put on the right breastplate. If we put on the wrong one then we will fall. If we put on the breastplate of our righteousness then we must know that we will always fail. How do we know this?
Isaiah 64:6 NKJV
But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
The fact is that we cannot come up to God’s standard. If we came face-to-face with God now we would know immediately how sinful we really are. If we come dressed in our own righteousness then we will be destroyed. But come in the righteousness that has been attained for us by Jesus’ death and resurrection then we are proclaimed as pure and righteous in His sight. The accusations of the devil about how bad we really are can be successfully swotted away for the lamb of God has taken away the sins of the world. And we can claim that for ourselves for we have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Isaiah again says:
Isaiah 61:10 NKJV
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
What a privilege it is to be a child of God.

The next thing to put on is our marching shoes with the Gospel of Peace.

To always be ready to get moving or to stand and fight. We are to get some grit on our shoes to help us grip the ground so we are not pushed backwards. With practice we will keep moving forward and each step becomes easier. What better way to defeat the devil than to always be willing and ready to share the Gospel?
Romans 10:15 NKJV
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
I’m with Reinhard Bonnke whose catchphrase is: Plunder hell and populate heaven. What’s a greater kick in the teeth of the devil than to take away his disciples? All of us have to be ready to share the good news of Jesus:
1 Peter 3:15 NKJV
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
From some people their only chance of hearing the gospel is because they have met you. We are at war over souls and I want us taking souls for God. Be ready to give answers to those who asks but also be ready to share the Gospel.

Our next piece of armour to put on is the Shield of Faith.

The devil hates us and will attack us. This shield not only protects us from what is in front but also when the devil wants to stab us in the back. When the onslaught is particularly bad it is in joining together our shields that he is defeated. Faith is another word for trust. We saw this at the beginning. We are to trust in the promises of God no matter what. He has made many promises about always being with us and not forsaking us, always forgiving, always loving, and, above all, He will finish the work He has started in us.

We are to then put on the Helmet of Salvation.

We are saved not by our own good works but His work finished on the cross. But this is more than that it is about protecting our minds and what we put in it. We are to take every thought captive to Christ. We are not only to give our heart, soul and strength for God but our minds also. It is in using the mind that we give reasons for our faith just as Paul did:
Acts 24:25 NKJV
Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”
Faith is not a leap in the dark but into the light - our faith is a reasonable one.
And it is with our minds that God reasons:
Isaiah 1:18 NKJV
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
This helmet of salvation is about the expectation of future glory and this helps us overcome despair.

The Christian’s spiritual weapons

2 Corinthians 10:4 NKJV
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

The Sword of the Spirit.

Now we are turning from defence to offence. If you get a knife out you need to be prepared to use it. The sword is the Word of God. We have to know it, we have to use it, we have to do it. We find this is in use by Jesus when He was defending Himself against temptations but then saying: Get lost Satan! Away with you! The devil cannot stand when we use the Word of God rightly. Here is what Scripture says elsewhere:
Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
So, we have talked of one weapon, which is God’s word, and there is another which is prayer.

The armour of God is worn with prayer

Ephesians 6:18 NKJV
praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
We are to pray all the time. It is God who has the spiritual resources that we need for ourselves, in praying for others and in our battle with the enemy. We depend on Him alone. Remember: the enemy and God are not equals - God is greater by far and we hold onto Him in faith; the only way we can please Him. Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Let us be filled with the fullness of God so that at the end we are left standing strong in God.
Amen.

Benediction

Acts 20:32 NKJV
32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Bibliology

Brown, D. R., Custis, M., & Whitehead, M. M. (2013). Lexham Bible Guide: Ephesians. (D. Mangum, Ed.). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Brown, D. R., Twist, E. T., & Widder, W. (2013). Lexham Bible Guide: 2 Corinthians. (D. Mangum, Ed.). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Lexham Press. (2009). Logos Bible Software Infographics. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
McGee, J. V. (1991). Thru the Bible commentary: The Epistles (Ephesians) (electronic ed., Vol. 47). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
(2011). The Lexham Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament. Logos Bible Software.
Exported from Logos Bible Software, 16:38 31 March 2017.
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