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The Whole Armor of God - Lifestyle Living

Spiritual Warfare  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Living in the Whole Armor of God

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Introduction

For the past several weeks we have been talking about Spiritual warfare.
Why have we spent so much time on this topic? Our lives depend on it, plain and simple.
And
Now some might say that sounds far fetched…
I would ask you… are you 100% sure of your answer.
The Bible tells us we have an adversary, the devil. He seeks to kill, steal and destroy… that is His number one goal. And the target is the children of God. He does not worry about those who are in the world, who are not a child of God.. The devil has blinded them…
2 Corinthians 4:3–4 ESV
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Colossians 1:13–14 ESV
13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
And if the devil has already blinded them, if he already has them in darkness, then His target must be the children of God; believers.
So what are we to do?
How are we to prepare ourselves?
We are to put on the whole armor of God....
Take your Bibles and lets go to , verses 10-18
Ephesians 6:10–20 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. 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, 18 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.
Ephesians 6:10–18 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. 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, 18 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,
Eph 6:18
There is so much there and while we have looked at it before, I want to give you a few new thoughts as we seek to live successfully in front of God and each other.
So let me share three thoughts with you today as we walk through this passage...
So lets begin with this thought....
A Holy Lifestyle

1. A Holy Lifestyle

As you begin to look at the this passage, there is one truth we cannot forget today, this is not about wearing a specific piece of armor, it’s not about making sure you never go into battle ill equipped...
it’s about a lifestyle.
Now what do I mean, since Paul clearly speaks to these different items for successful warfare?
Friends, How we live in front of God is just as important as the armor we are called to put on.
Think about it like this.... You can take anyone and dress them in the weapons of war. Body armor, helmet, guns and other weapons, these are all good. But if your not trained, if you are not well equipped you will not know how to use them.
A well trained solider knows both how to to act or do and how to use the weapons given to him.
We well trained solider knows both how to to act, what to do and how to use the weapons given to him.
For us as a child of God, it begins with our actions, it begins with a holy lifestyle.
Look at verses 10-12
Ephesians 6:10–12 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.
Paul begins here by saying … our training, our ability to walk with the Lord is seen as we look not to ourselves for strength or empowerment, but instead we look to Him.
God has always said men will find success as they walk with Him, not the world. So chasing after God, His ways, His lifestyle is where we find hope, strength and blessings… right??
A holy lifestyle is only achieved by living for Him and in his strength.
I want you to look at three words in verse 10 with me...
Strong, Strength and Might....
Now each of these words fall back to one person, The Lord Jesus. They all relate to the Lord and who we are in him as well.
So the first, “Strong”… Paul calls for us to be strong in the Lord. The Greek tense here refers to “us”, his children becoming more than we were… stronger, capable the more enabled to do as he has called us to do.
So the first, “Strong”… Paul calls for us to be strong in the Lord. The Greek tense here refers to “us”, his children becoming more than we were… stronger, capable the more enabled to do as he has called us to do.
The second “Strength” refers to His controlling power in us..
The second “Strength” refers to His controlling power in us..
And the last is “Might” and it refers to the His strength, power and the power to accomplish .....
So what is Paul telling us here.. The call is for us in His power and ability, to become a strong person. A person who can walk and carry out his commandments.
This begins and ends with holy living… walking in a way that is pleasing to Him, not allowing the Word of God to depart from our heart and mind, storing all this up.... so that our ways are pleasing.... to Him.
And the last is “Might” and it refers to the His strength, power and the power to accomplish .....
Now here is a question....
If God is empowering us through the Holy Spirit, through his power and might… How then do we fail?
How then do we fail? The devil so often misleads us because
We lose our focus my friends, we lose our focus… we start paying attention to the world, to the things of the world and we forget what He has called us to be and do for his kingdom.
Have you lost your focus?
Have you forgot His vision and purpose for your life?
Now lets move on to my second thought....

2. The Armor....

Just as we are trained in this life, just how to live, act, do and don’t do for our best outcome… So we are given Armor for life and living in a world touched by sin.
Now as we start talking about the whole armor of God that Paul teaches us about here in this passage, I want you to consider something for a moment.
Instead of thinking about the individual pieces of the armor, one this and one that… I want you to think of them as a collective whole. More especially a lifestyle of living.
We have already talked about the idea of living a holy lifestyle in the previous point. So build off of this idea and consider the armor we possess as we live for the Lord.
Lets go back to our text and lets examine verses 13-18
Ephesians 6:13–18 ESV
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. 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, 18 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,
When you look at this passage, you see the armor treated as a collective whole, not individual pieces where you have one and not the other..verse 13 speaks of it.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God… Not the pieces you need, but the whole.... Why?
As a child of God, We are called to live holy in front of Him. We know that there is a battle around us that is not contained to flesh and blood.
If we hope to stand, if we hope to be faithful, we had better dress our self in holiness, a marked lifestyle that is faithful to Jesus and Jesus alone.
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
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.
We are engaged in a spiritual battle. Therefore dress appropriately. the first is our actions, conduct etc...
The second is our offensive and defensive weapons to use in this fight… Just like a solider today, he has offensive and defensive weapons....
So lets walk through these weapons...
Verse 14 begins with the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness.
Ephesians 6:14 ESV
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
The belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness…
These words “truth and righteousness” have a beautiful meaning in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament they are almost parallel in meaning. And as such they speak to the qualities of the future Davidic king, King Jesus. They speak of righteousness and faithfulness...
says
Isaiah 11:5 ESV
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
They put forth the idea of God’s truth, it is both faithful and loyal. And when you combine it with the New Testament, it speaks of our Christian virtue.
The belt of truth while practically it held ones clothes up to permit rapid movement in advancing the fight, Spirituality, with truth as a belt around your waist, it speaks to our faithfulness to God.
The breast plate while protecting vital organs in battle, here it is regarded as integrity and or character of a person. If we assume then we are putting on clothing as a lifestyle, integrity and character would necessary be a portion of our Christian life and walk in front of God. If we possess the truth of God, and the heart of man is “right” then our actions will be right as well...
Let me share this thought with you as well...
In Paul defines the breastplate as faith and love....
1 Thessalonians 5:8 ESV
8 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.
If we have faith, and our actions defined by love… we will do well in this life. Amen.
Let all of our actions, our motives, and our words spoken be done in love...
Now moving on…lets examine verses 15-16
Ephesians 6:15–16 ESV
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;
Shoes… The readiness given by the gospel of Peace… We are steadfast in our walk, in our steps because of the gospel of peace is strapped to our feet. In our lifestyle living we are ready to announce the good news of peace. We want to share Jesus with all around us...
The Shield of Faith… The shield is what protects a person from the blows, the arrows, the attacks that are in front of them. As a child of God, the shield is our faith, our confidence in the living God that allows us to extinguish the burning arrows of the evil one...
It is by faith we believe and it is by faith that we overcome and enjoy a better day.
And then in verse 17, two more items are mentioned....
Ephesians 6:17 ESV
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
The Helmet of Salvation… Salvation is something we as a child of God already possess and we cannot forget that because of Jesus love for us, we have been saved, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit, as a guarantee of the good things to come...
The Salvation of Christ allows to to have divine protection, that He, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the one who has saved us and now we are His forever more.
The Sword of the Spirit.... This one is unique in that it is the only one that is offensive in nature. The word of God we say is divinely inspired, so the Word is God’s word brought to man by the presence and work of the Holy Spirit.
The word of God is the message we are given to proclaim, it will defeat the enemy.
So see my friends when we are called to put on the whole armor of God, we are not putting piece by piece onto our body, instead we are called to live a holy life in front of God. It is a lifestyle,
The Sword of the Spirit....
Ephesians 6:18 ESV
18 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,
That is the only way to stand in times of opposition, it is not making sure we have enough weapons, it is not making sure we have enough tools in our belt. Now the weapon of our warfare is how we have already been living.
Are you living for Jesus every day… Have you sought his kingdom and that alone above even your own life… that is the best way to stand when opposition comes from the evil one....
Now just on last thought..
A Prayerful Attitude

3. A Prayerful Attitude...

My friends if there is anything I am convinced of today, is that our lives must be deeply invested in prayer.
Unless we are praying, spending time with our heavenly Father, communicating and listening to him. Unless we do this, there is no way to fully reach our fullest potential in Christ.
As we live in this world touched so deeply by sin, as we live in the midst of Spiritual battles taking place in and around our lives, the only way to survive, remain strong and to grow is to be a praying people.
And we must be praying for others as well....
Listen to verses 18-20
Ephesians 6:18 ESV
18 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,
Only in His strength, only in HIs might can me
Ephesians 6:18–20 ESV
18 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.
4 times in these two verses Paul uses the words prayer and supplication.
Pray as the Spirit prompts you, and do not give up in that endevour, do not loose interest, pray without ceasing.... for all and especially for me Paul speaks, that he might be able to open his mouth for the glory of God each day.
Prayer my friends ties it all together, it keep us doing and keep all aspects of the armor working together
Pray that we might continue to have a presence in this lost world..
Pray that we might be bold and faithful for His glory each and every day.
A Prayerful Attitude
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