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Obstacles to Evangelism: Not being ready for Battle

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Text:  Ephesians 6:10-18        

Thesis:  To prove that Christians are in the Lord’s army and must be ready for and engaging in battles.

Introduction:

1)      As previously pointed out, the Great Commission is oftentimes the Great Omission.

2)      Why is this the case?

a)      Many reasons such as failure to see its importance, being too busy, etc. certainly affect this problem.

b)      I would like to submit unto you that another factor, and maybe the most important, is that most Christians are not ready for the battle!

3)      Certainly, Christians are in the Lord’s army!

Discussion:

  I.  Paul gives an admonition to the Ephesian brethren:

     

A.    Their strength to stand against the evil world would be found in the Lord and in His

      might.

1.  Paul did not encourage them to stand alone.

2.  Paul did not encourage them to rely on their own strength.

3.   Paul encouraged all of the Ephesian brethren to stand in, and gather strength from, one source–the Lord.

B.  Paul encouraged the Ephesian brethren to properly prepare themselves for battle.

1.  He told them to dress themselves in the whole armor of God.

a.  This required their trusting and obedient faith; God would not dress them.

b.  This is God’s armor, that which He has provided to protect His soldiers.

2.  They were to put on the whole armor of God.

a.  They were not at liberty to pick and choose which parts they liked best.

b.  For them to battle the adversary effectively, they had to have it all.

C.  The same holds true for us today.

1.  If we are to withstand the battle, the onslaught of the world, then we must stand in the Lord.

a.  We must trust His might, not our own.

b.  We must adorn ourselves in the whole armor of God.

2.  We, too, must stand united.

a.  When we all decide to stand strong in the Lord, we will be united.

b.  Satan is searching for those breaches in the army of God where God’s people do not stand united.

 II  Paul describes the armor with which the Christian is to array himself.

A.  Paul begins with that which holds everything together–truth.

1.  Roman soldiers wore a belt which kept their clothing out of the way.

2.   This belt also held their protection near at hand.

3.   We must be equipped with the truth of God’s Word!

B.  The breastplate of righteousness protects the spiritual heart from being wounded.

C.  The feet are shod with the readiness to take the gospel into all the world, whereby there may then be peace.

1.  This is addressed to every Christian.

2.   Are we ever ready to “Go?”

D.  The Roman soldiers carried a shield which measured approximately 2.5 ft. x 4 ft.

1.  Our shield of faith is able to offer even more protection.

2.  Our faith will determine just how much we are protected from the darts of the wicked.

E.  The helmet protects the most important part of the soldier’s body–the head.

1.  If the Ephesians were to protect their spiritual heads, they had to keep ever before

     them their hope of salvation.

2.   We, too, must protect our heads with the realization that we have been saved from  

past sins, and that eternal salvation awaits.

F.  Finally, the soldier is equipped with a weapon.

1.  The Romans used their swords not only to defend, but also to attack.

2.  The Ephesians were to equip themselves with the Spirit’s sword–the word of God.

3.   The only weapon which could defend the Ephesians from the wicked world, and the

only weapon they had at their disposal to convict those around them of sin was the God’s word

4.   “For is 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” (Heb. 4.12).

G.    Just as it was the responsibility of the Ephesian brethren to take the whole armor of God, so, too, is it our responsibility.

1.  They could not leave off one bit of the armor and expect to be protected.

2.  Illustration: King Alexander of Yugoslavia , on an official visit to France, decided to adorn himself in in his full naval attire.  However, his elaborate tunic would not fit over his breastplate. He took off his breastplate to accommodate the tunic, and within ten minutes, he was shot.

3. We cannot go into battle and expect to survive unless we put on the whole armor of God.

III.  The aim of this whole conclusion is that the faithful may stand.

A.  Paul encouraged the Ephesians to take the whole armor of God for two reasons:

1.  They would then be able to withstand the day by day attacks of the wicked.

2.   In that final day, when the wicked will fall, those who have arrayed themselves in

     God’s armor and who have fought the battle will stand triumphant.

B.  Paul’s desire for the Ephesians to stand is the same desire God has for all His children.

C.  Our aim today should be to stand, no matter what may come.

1.  We can stand with God.

2.   This entails our being prepared for and engaging in battle, which includes taking the gospel to the lost.

Conclusion:

1)      Are we willing to be in the Lord’s army?

2)      One fact to remember is that the Lord’s army never has nor ever will loss a battle.

3)      God doesn’t look at personal accomplishments, per se, but rather at individual effort.

4)      This is a “can’t lose” battle if we only fight for the Lord!

5)      Will you be in His army?

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