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Ephesians 6:10-18

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Pearl Harbor

The attack came out of the sky on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The surprise attack, which caught the U.S. completely off guard, had been launched from 200 miles north of Pearl Harbor from the decks of six aircraft carriers belonging to the Japanese Imperial Navy under the command of Admiral Yamamoto. In less than two hours, Japanese airmen destroyed the U.S. battleships and badly damaged six others. Only 6 U.S. planes managed to get into the air to defend against their Japanese attackers. The assault took 2,330 American lives and left 1,145 wounded. It was the most humiliating defeat ever suffered by American forces. The attack had tremendous consequences. Responsibility for America’s unpreparedness has never been completely defined. Most military historians submit that America’s leaders were convinced that Japan would never dare attack, primarily because its navy and economy were too weak to wage a major war. (Paragon Publishing).
4 Things I learn from that:
Self Reliant
Misjudged our enemy
Ill Prepared
Caught off guard and unable to stand against it.
We are in a war, and if we underestimate the enemy, we too will be taken by surprise.
God’s strategy for the church in Spiritual warfare: ephesians 6:10-20
SOUTHEASTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
WAKE FOREST, NORTH CAROLINA
God’s strategy for the church in Spiritual warfare
SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE
DOCTOR OF MINISTRY: DMN 8305
BY
bENJAMIN HUTSON
January 6, 2020
God’s strategy for the church in Spiritual warfare: ephesians 6:10-20
From Scripture, it is obvious that there has been a war going on from the very beginning of the world.
In fact, there are only two chapters of peace in Scripture and those are at the very beginning.
In , God creates the earth and fills it with life, and everything he creates meets his holy approval.
Genesis 1:31 NASB95
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
In , “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”[1]
However, we all know how the story develops...
Man falls in after being tempted by God’s enemy.
From the get go, you should see that Satan’s plan from the beginning was to thwart and distort all God had done in Creation.
The fall of man was just the beginning of that battle.
In fact God told them that.
Genesis 3:14–15 NASB95
The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
Enmity- means strife, struggle opposition, hostility.
You and face that.
If we are Christians, we still fight this battle today. we as individuals and our church is at war.
But God gives us a strategy for defeating Satan and his attacks and its right here in
The Armor of God

The first step is that we must rely on God’s power.

Ephesians 6:10–11 NASB95
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
He emphasizes the importance of relying on God’s strength when it comes to the fight against Satan.
The first thing off the bat that you should know about this battle is that it is not a fair fight.
Paul in verses ten and eleven emphasizes the importance of relying on God’s strength when it comes to the fight against Satan. Rankin and Stetzer rightly note, “The victory will not come through our efforts and ability but only as we take our stand in Christ who is victorious and in the power of His vast strength.”[3] Satan is a defeated foe. He is powerful, but he is no match for Jesus Christ who according to “upholds all things by the word of His power.”[4]
Satan is a defeated foe. He is powerful, but he is no match for Jesus Christ who according to
“upholds all things by the word of His power.”
Satan is a created being, and like all created beings, he must answer to his Creator.
Clinton Arnold writes, “[God] created everything in heaven and on earth. All of the spiritual powers derive their life from him. He holds them in the palm of his hand and can do with them as he wills.”
So for us, wemust rely upon the power of God who provides the only adequate armor for firm standing in the middle of the battle.
I would just remind you that Christ and His power have proven the ability to defeat Satan and his attacks.
Look at the cross. Look at the resurrection. Read Revelation. Christ wins and we also win in Christ.
But we do not outside of him.
We must rely upon God’s power.

Next, in this passage, we see the church must properly identify its enemy.

Next, in this passage, we see the church must properly identify its enemy.

Who is it that we are fighting against?
If we don’t get that right, it could mean two things.
We get distracted and fight the wrong things.
We don’t fight at all.
We have to identify the enemy and thankfully, Paul does that for us here.
Ephesians 6:12 NASB95
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
It is not against flesh and blood.
We fight against and entire realm of satanic and demonic forces.
What Paul is doing here is encouraging the church of Ephesus not to sleep on this enemy.
Peter does the same thing.
1 Peter 5:8–9 NASB95
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
The church of Ephesus could not afford to misidentify the enemy, and neither can our church today.
We are in a real fight, with a scheming, strategic con artist who is good at what he does.
But we are not left defenseless.
Look at verse 13.
In addition to relying upon the power of God and properly identifying the enemy in spiritual warfare, the church must also “take up the full armor of God.” The majority of Paul’s exhortation regarding spiritual warfare is identifying the armor of God that the believer must put on in order to be able to stand against Satan and his deceits. Paul mentions six specific pieces of armor in verses 14-17 of Ephesians. The first piece of armor in this passage is the belt of truth. One of Satan’s greatest tools is deception and lies. The truth as a centerpiece of the armor keeps the believer from falling prey to Satan’s lies.
Ephesians 6:13 NASB95
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
In addition to relying upon the power of God and properly identifying the enemy in spiritual warfare,

The church must also “take up the full armor of God.”

And he makes it clear here, that doing this or not doing this will determine our ability to stand.
Paul going to mention six specific pieces of armor in verses 14-17.
We are going to walk through all of them.

The first piece of armor in this passage is the belt of truth.

One of Satan’s greatest tools is deception and lies and we see that in Scripture. He did this in the Garden of Eden. He is the Father of Lies.
So to combat the Father of Lies, the believer wears the belt of truth.
But what does that mean?
It means that the believer must know and believe the truth and hold fast to the truth.
We have been saved by believing Jesus who is the truth and gives us the truth of his Word.
Thus, churches must be committed to the truth in all pursuits. Whether it be songs, sermons, other opportunities of teaching, the church must be committed to truth of God’s Word to hold to remain faithful in the middle of the battle. The church must be faithful in proclaiming the truth, and also in exposing of false teaching and lies
We have to know the truth in order to expose the lies.
If we don’t know what is true, we will never be able to identify what is false.
This is whyStudying the Bible is so important. We have to know it.
But it does us no good to know it if we don’t use or hold fast to it.
A belt does no good if its not on your waist.
We have to know and practice the truth.

The second piece of armor is the breastplate of righteousness.

Ephesians 6:14 NASB95
Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Satan is an enemy of righteousness.
He aims his attacks at the heart of the believer,, and his goal is to steer our wicked heart to endulge in what they already want.
Thats why we need the breastplate of righteousness.
To protect our heart.
Proverbs 4:23 NASB95
Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.
But what does it mean to wear the breastplate of righteousness?
Some think the breastplate of righteous is in reference to the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ that comes through salvation.
Others argue that the breastplate of righteous is righteous actions performed by the believer.
In reality its both.
The believer cannot be practically righteous without the imputed righteousness of Christ, and both are essential in our fight against Satan.
We need to have become the righteousness of God in Christ as Paul says in . Thats what it means to be a saint.
But we must also be practically righteous
Strategically then, the church must preach the Gospel, the good news of Christ’s righteousness being imputed to the believer by faith. Also, the church must hold members accountable to the righteousness required by being united in faith to God. Indeed, Peter emphasizes this important truth in when he writes, “but alike the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
Peter emphasizes this as well.
Indeed, Peter emphasizes this important truth in when he writes, “but alike the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
1 Peter 1:14–16 NASB95
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
I think the breastplate of righteousness is both relying upon and resting in the righteousness that is ours in Christ, and living out our holiness practically.
Too often, we use the excuse of I’m human.
And we give the enemy a foothold.
God warned Cain about this very thing.
Genesis 4:7 NASB95
“If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
Don’t give the enemy an open door. Embrace accountability.
Be holy.

The third piece of armor in the text is the shoes of Gospel peace.

Ephesians 6:15 NASB95
and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Satan’s lies, tricks, and deceptions brings chaos, tumult, and pain.
God in the Gospel brings peace to the life of the believer.
I think he has in mind stability. Its shoes in which we walk into the battle.
Borgman explains the importance of having this footwear in the fight against Satan. He writes:
The gospel should hold us firm.
“Just as the gospel is a powerful means for advancing God’s truth and delivering many from Satan’s clutches, it is also a powerful means for stabilizing us as believers, helping us to stand against his attacks. The gospel of peace, like the shoes of the Roman soldier, gives us firm footing in life and the ability to stand in this spiritual war.”[10]
Content in Christ and firmly established regardless of our circumstance.

The fourth piece of armor is shield of faith.

Ephesians 6:16 NASB95
in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
The fourth piece of armor is shield of faith. Satan works tirelessly to attack the believer’s trust in God. He does this through different means whether it be doubt in God or confidence in self, but the goal is always to reduce the believer’s trust in God and redirect his trust elsewhere. The shield of faith is the protective armor for that attack. Lawless identifies the shield of faith when he writes, “The shield of faith refers both to trusting in Christ as Savior and Lord and living a life of trust and reliance on the Lord. Satan will attempt to get believers to doubt God’s goodness and not trust in him.”[11]
I think one of the ways Satan works tirelessly at is attacking the believer’s trust in God.
He does this using two primary things:
Doubt in God
Whether it be through hard times, financial struggle, career challenges, our tendency is to doubt that God as our Father is giving us whats best for us.
Confidence in ourselves
Satan would love nothing more than tempt us to rely on ourselves rather than God. He knows in our own strength, we are beatable. In God’s strength, we are not.
The goal is always to reduce the believer’s trust in God and redirect his trust elsewhere.
the goal is always to reduce the believer’s trust in God and redirect his trust elsewhere. The shield of faith is the protective armor for that attack. Lawless identifies the shield of faith when he writes, “The shield of faith refers both to trusting in Christ as Savior and Lord and living a life of trust and reliance on the Lord. Satan will attempt to get believers to doubt God’s goodness and not trust in him.”[11]
Faith believes God has whats best for us. Even when it may not be how we would have planned it.
Evan Grace crying yesterday because I took her away from something because I was afraid it would hurt her. In that moment, she cried and threw a fit, because she doubts my intentions and ultimately was trusting in herself. Thats how we are.
The Church must be a body of encouragement through service together and support during difficult times. It is in the moments of tragedies and difficulty that the faith of believers is tested and where a community of faith can help spur one another on toward godliness. The author of Hebrews stresses of the importance of believers meeting together for encouragement in the faith. He writes,
The shield of faith believes that God has whats best for us in mind, because we know that he is good.
Romans 8:28 NASB95
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
One primary reason for meeting together as the church is to encourage one another in the faith, especially during spiritual battles.

The next piece of armor is the helmet of salvation.

Ephesians 6:17 NASB95
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The next piece of armor is the helmet of salvation. This piece of armor, like the others, testifies to the grace of God. Indeed, God, by His grace, is the provider of all the battle equipment, and the helmet of salvation protects the believer from the most fatal of blows and attacks from Satan. Satan’s attempts are many, but if an individual has salvation, his most vulnerable target is secure.
We would agree that our head is important, and especially important to protect when in battle.
If we are in Christ, we have the helmet of salvation.
In fact, we have all of this armor through grace in Christ.
But we must use it.
Using the helmet of salvation means that we know who we are in Christ.
Ephesians 2:4–6 NASB95
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
That’s who we are and what has happened to us in salvation.
We can be secure in that.
Clinton Arnold writes to believers regarding their identity in Christ: “Be secure in your identity in Christ—as one who has been saved, united with Christ, made alive, co-resurrected, and co-exalted.”[12] Truly, the believer’s position in Christ is the most important part about their identity. But even Satan’s greatest attempts are unsuccessful against those who take up the helmet of salvation. Paul says regarding believers in , “we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” The believer holds up against Satan’s fiercest darts, because he possesses a new identity and security in the person and work of Christ.
God in His grace and salvation has given us a helmet that can withstand the fiercest darts. The helmet of salvation is firmly fixed to our heads. In Christ, we are saved.
Be confident in that as you fight against the attacks and temptations of Satan.
He does not win. You have the helmet of salvation to prove it.

The next piece of battle equipment for our fight against Satan is the sword of the Spirit.

Ephesians 6:17 NASB95
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
This piece of equipment is used both for offense and defense in the midst of the battle.
The Word of God is one of two weapons effective in the battle against Satan.
This is why it is so necessary to study and know the Word.
When the Word is neglected in the church and in the individual’s life, the believer is left defenseless and weaponless.
Jesus used Scripture
Prayer and Conclusion
How can a young man

The final weapon in spiritual warfare is prayer.

Ephesians 6:18 NASB95
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
Eph6:18
Too often, believers neglect this powerful and essential weapon in our war against Satan.
Too often, believers neglect this powerful and essential weapon in warfare. Tom Elliff writes, “ Today I am more convinced than ever that prayer is both the believer’s most powerful and most unused weapon.”[14] To neglect prayer is both prideful and dangerous for individuals and churches. Clinton Arnold rightly notes,
We aren’t able on our own. Prayer is a recognition of that.
Do we see the need to pray?
Why is that?
Why is it that prayer meeting has such low attendance?
I realize for some, its because you have work, and there is absolutely no way to get here.
Is it because we think we got this on our own? Because we don’t.
But
I think
Apart from prayer we fail.
Because either we don’t see the need- which comes back to pride
Our marriages fail. Our walk with Christ fails. Our church fails. My sermons fail. Our missions efforts fail. Apart from prayer, we fail.
This is why Wednesday Night Prayer meeting is so vital to our church health. We must be a praying church or we will be a dying church.
Satan’s attacks are real.
He attacks our marriages. The divorce rate in churches is just as high as the world. I wonder how many of those Christian marriages made prayer a priority?
He attacks our children.
Parents of younger children: Do you prioritize prayer? If you don’t they won’t.
Parents of older children: Have you given up praying?
The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
He attacks our church. If he can take our minds off of prayer, he removes our greatest weapon and leaves us vulnerable because a lack of prayer reveals self reliance.
He isolates us from the power and then attacks (Africa Lion)
He’s a roaring lion.
We need to take this seriously.
Apart from relying on God, identifying the enemy, wearing the armor of God, and prayer the believer will fall and fall hard. Through the power of God, the believer can stand.
relying on God, identifying the enemy, wearing the armor of God, and prayer the believer will fall and fall hard. Through the power of God, the believer can stand.
Only by relying on God, identifying the enemy, wearing the armor of God, and prayer the believer will fall and fall hard. Through the power of God, the believer can stand.
Arya, Rina. Francis Bacon: Critical and Theoretical Perspectives. Bern: Peter Lang, 2012.
Dawson, Barbara. “Bringing Home the Bacon.” World Hibernia 4, no. 4 (1999): 20.
———. “Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty.” Irish Arts Review, 2009.
McAvera, Brian. “Ways of Seeing Francis Bacon.” Fortnight, 2011.
Pliny the Elder. Natural History. Translated by H. Rackham. Harvard University Press, 1938. http://www.loebclassics.com/view/pliny_elder-natural_history/1938/work.xml.
Taylor, James. A New Porcine History of Philosophy and Religion. Nashville: Abingdon, 1992.[03]
[1]All Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.
[2] Borgman, Brian. Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective. Reformation Heritage Books. Kindle Edition, Location 139.
[3] Spiritual warfare and missions 72
[5]Clinton Arnold 3 crucial questions kindle location 258
[6] Peter Thomas O’Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999), 461.
[7] Borgman kindle 648
[8] Borgman
[9] Peter Thomas O’Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999), 475.
[10]
[11]Chuck Lawless, Spiritual Warfare in the Storyline of Scripture (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman Academic, 2019), 149.
[12]Clinton Arnold, Three Crucial Questions. Location 672
[13]Chuck Lawless, Discipled Warriors (Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2002), 56.
[14]Tom Elliff, A Passion for Prayer (Fort Washington, PA: CLC Publications, 2012), 21.
[15] Arnold location 697
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