Assurance and Authority
Yesterday, Angela and I had the priviledge to have lunch with on of our missionary couples this church financially and prayerfully supports.
Todd and Kerri Sasnett serve in the Bible translator organization Wycliffe. They shared about family and friends. In the conversation, they shared about their nefew who was in the Army and died of injuries from a roadside bomb.
and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
Warfare is hard and filled with heartache.
Right now, I am reading a book about World War Two—and the devastating invasion of Germany in to Poland in 1939. The slaughter of people is so hard to take.
The Bible describes a spiritual war—where the enemy (Satan) is focused to destroying humanity. Through temptation, doubt, fear, hatred, shame, guilt, selfishness—the enemy is hard at work destroying the human soul.
So, in Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, God reveals how His followers can wade through the challenges of spiritual battle and experience overcoming victory.
In physical warfare, the helmet protected the head, always a major target in battle.
Paul is speaking to those who are already saved, and is therefore not speaking here about attaining salvation.
Rather, Satan seeks to destroy a believer’s assurance of salvation with his weapons of doubt and discouragement.
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
Essential for spiritual warfare is putting on the helmet, which is our hope of salvation. In other words, to engage in spiritual warfare we need:
A confident assurance that Christ has saved us from the penalty of sin—He has provided us relationships with God—and, through salvation, we have eternal life.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This word underlines the hope we have through Christ.
Transition to next point
This word—it’s not just any word—it is the inspired Word of God.
This Word is “the sword of the Spirit.”
The Greek word here refers to a small weapon.
It is used both defensively to fend off Satan’s attacks, and offensively to help destroy the enemy’s strategies.
Essential for the believer to stand against the enemy in spiritual warfare, the Word of God used correctly demonstrates:
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Jesus modeled the use of the Word of God in spiritual warfare.
His use of the Word of Scripture in his temptations () is sufficient illustration and inventive for Christians to fortify themselves with the knowledge and understanding of the Word.
It is the Word of God, with the same convictions of Christ, to defend against the onslaughts of the enemy.
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
The authority we have in God’s Word contributes the the defeat of the enemy—and the victory we can experience.
But, too many Christians are losing hope. Why?
One of Jesus’ disciples, John, made this powerful observation:
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Hope and God’s Word are essential for victory over the enemy’s schemes.
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Believers: A passion of God’s Word again!
Right now, I am reading a book about World War Two—and the devastating invasion of Germany in to Poland in 1939. The slaughter of people is so hard to take.eir nephew who was in the Army and died of injuries from a roadside bomb.