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Success Through Confidence in God - Ephesians 6:10-12

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:01:18
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Ephesians 6:10-12 For the christian to successfully live this life by faith they must continually have their confidence placed in God and not in themselves. INTRO We are nearing the end of our study through the book of Ephesians. The whole epistle in brief summary courses in this manner 1. Paul starts off with making known - All the spiritual blessings we have in Christ Jesus to the praise of His glorious grace. 2. Then he proceeds to prayer giving - Thankfulness to God for them, for the church….and along with that, asking for help from God to be given to the church to comprehend these blessings…to increasing measure…that God would give His people the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him….and the hope to which He has called us. 3. From these heights, Paul grounds his audience by - Recalling who we once were before God saved us by grace. That our place before God as holy and blameless…is not our own doing,….but rather it is a Christ purchased gift of His to us,…who are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 4. With this direction given,..Paul makes clear that we are “all one in Christ..that through him, (through Christ), we all have access in one Spirit to the Father as fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God being built together as a dwelling place for Him, for God by the Spirit.” 5. The workings of this, as Paul moves on, the workings of it is a mystery,…a mystery revealed through the gospel according to the eternal purpose that God has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord by which through the church the manifold wisdom of God, who created all things, might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Something we take great courage of heart in as partakers,…even when we suffer for it. 6. Mindful of this Paul then leads the recipients of this letter, which includes us,…Paul leads them in prayer to The Father asking of Him to be “strengthened with power through his Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith and being rooted and grounded in love we may have strength to comprehend with all the saints to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.” 7. Paul then asserts,..the importance, for unity…among those who are—one. Urging us (the church) urging us to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, that we, (the saints of the most High God; the family of God) that we’d be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace as being many members - differing members - who are all apart of one body growing up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, that we may build each other up in love. 8. From here, Paul describes the living out of this new life in Christ, Generally speaking…“…to look carefully on how we walk, not as unwise but as wise..” “to be filled with the Spirit of Christ that we may walk in the love of Christ… making the best use of our time,…” displaying His light during these dark evil days. But then he gets more specific in regards to relationships, beginning with our closest relationships, those within the home…Between husband and wife, parent and child…you know, our family… and then,… then those relationships outside the home in which the role of servant and master come in to play. Most commonly in our day expressed in our place of business, whether as a worker or business owner and also, I’d say, in the classroom setting between pupil and teacher. This brings us now to the conclusion - FINALLY. As the opening of (verse 10) states. FINALLY. What emphases is Paul bringing together of all he has unpacked over the bulk of his letter? Consider what preceded this. Focused attention is given on living out this new life in Christ,…putting off the old self and walking in love as Christ loved us which works itself out chiefly in our relationships within the church, within our home and with whom we interact with in the world. Would we agree together that we all want to be successful in everyone of these areas? Want to…not are. None of us have arrived. We want to be successful. I want my life to be an effective witness for Christ. To have success in modeling the life and love of Christ with you all in maintained unity among great diversity. I want a successful marriage that flourishes in all the portrayals of the relationship Christ has with His bride the church. My wife and I desire greatly to have success in our parenting endeavor,…in raising Grace and Matthew…that peace, love and kindness would harmonize together making a pleasant melody to the Lord, ourselves and all we interact with. Having success in magnifying the name of Christ in my work place is of upmost importance to me. DO I hear a Yes and Amen to that for yourselves also? We agree then. The christian aims to do well in all that God’s Word instructs on how we are to live. In light of the gospel of the grace of God revealed to us by which we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. We aim to do well,…not earn His favor but knowing….that in both hearing His Word and Doing His Word….putting it into practice…that it always results for our good and brings glory to His name,…The christian aims….. WANTS to be successful in doing so. Amen? Alright, WELL, for this to be the case, Paul closes out this epistle with sharp emphasis on how the christian is to successfully live this life by faith. And with the privilege to preach two consecutive Sunday’s…TODAY being the first of the two. We are going to take this primary truth from the passage in two parts. Somewhat like a season or series finale of a TV show you’ve watched where you are tracking right along, the plot is building and then you realize, “there is more to this episode and time is running out. This can’t wrap up in the two remaining minutes.” And sure enough, at the end of a dramatic moment the episode ends, the last scene frozen with the statement …? “To be continued…..” The …. in use way before it’s time in texting or email. Youth here likely have now idea what I’m talking about, but back in the day… (old school television), that would happen and you had to wait a whole other week to see the concluding second half. WELL, in similar fashion we are going to take this primary truth and break it into two parts. I’m letting you know in advance so as to not catch you off guard. (Verses 10 - 18b) broken in two parts. PART 1,…in our consideration today is seen in (verses 10,11 & 12) these 3 verses are what we will be covering this morning in how the christian is to successfully live this life by faith. —— For the christian to do so they must PART 1 today’s sermon…they must continually have their confidence placed in God and not in themselves. Stay tuned next week for PART 2. Today’s focus for the christian to successfully live this life by faith is on PART 1 in how we must continually have our confidence placed in God and not ourselves. Now how do we do this? GOD provides instruction through Paul of the how on three points. 1) Know who your God is, 2) Know who you are, 3) Know who your enemy is. BODY 1) FIRST POINT - (Ephesians 6:10). Know who your God is Our first point, drawn from (Verse 10) Our source of strength. Know who your God is - Let’s read the passage…. - read Strong, strength and might all derived from God as the source. It sounds good doesn’t it? We likely are all quick to say YES and AMEN to this…but how is this derived from God who is the source? Pause By knowing Him. By knowing Him. This is why PAUL prayed to God for the church, asking God that the church would be “given the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” To know, intimately and experientially know these spiritual realities in which we believe by faith. In like manner he prayed also for God’s strength to comprehend with all the saints…God’s love…..which he lavished upon us through His Son. This love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. Why is this so important? Knowledge of God and His love in and through Jesus Christ. Why did Paul,…repeatedly seek God’s favor to do so on behalf of the church? For their Assurance. You see, the more we are able to truly comprehend who God is, and His love for us and all that He has done for us and has given us through His Son Jesus Christ,…the more fearless a life of faith we will live with eyes fixed upon the object of our faith.…JESUS CHRIST our Lord. As the hymn goes,…go ahead and help me out because I need it - Turn your eyes upon Jesus Look full in His wonderful face And the things of earth will grow strangely dim In the light of His glory and grace That’s assurance, and if sung from the depths your heart, it’s sung by one who is confident in God and therefore fearless in this life of faith. Fearless because their eyes are fixed on their source of strength who is a warrior King who has already won the war. Risen-Exalted-King JESUS has conquered ALL (satan, sin and death)…defeated them by the cross, rose again from the grave and ascended to heaven where He sits enthroned at the right hand of God the Father who loves His children with an everlasting love…. “What then shall we say to these things? Paul rejoices in…in (Romans 8:31-39). If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor powers, (note that christian…nor angels, nor rulers, nor powers…we’ll come back to that later) nor things present nor things to come, …., 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.” (Psalm 46) “The Lord of hosts is with us…God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea….God is in the midst of His church; she shall not be moved…”. With GOD at your back, your front and right along side you, sometimes carrying you… you may march ahead with confidence in Him to successfully live this life by faith. (Psalm 54:4) “In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” WE grow weary, we are weak, we are faithless, we error, we fail others…God never grows weary, God is all powerful, God “..is faithful even when we are faithless…” (2 Timothy 2:13), God is righteous and holy who always acts with perfect wisdom and goodness with-out-fail. IN HIM, not ourselves, but in Him, …Every christian, regardless of age, Every christian, young and old, male and female,…can have LION heart confidence to successfully live this life by faith. NOW, before we move on from here, there is a qualifier to be made. FOR we may believe these truths but not experience them in our lives. How is this possible you ask? Walking in disobedience. A christian fun-da-men-tally cannot be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might and thereby successfully live this life by faith if they are living in sin. If they are not practicing repentance in their life. If godly sorrow over sin is not present. They cannot be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might to successfully live this life by faith. Where do I draw these conclusions? Let’s look to the scriptures and see if they agree. LET’S start with (Nehemiah 8:10) “The Joy of the Lord is your…..STRENGTH.” Plain as day there. ONE who has Joy in the Lord is one who delights in His Word and gladly obeys and is grieved,….when they don’t. “The Joy in the Lord is your strength.” Yours and mine. A christian in habitual sin has no Joy in the Lord and therefore draws no strength from Him. But lets not stop there. Take the passage found in the book of Joshua. Words spoken by God to Joshua as He is commissioning him to go in and take possession of the promise land. (Joshua 1:7-9) “Only be strong and very courageous, being (you catch that?… being as in regularly,,,,doing) being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, (in other words - keep it close and put it into practice) Do not turn from it….that you may have, here it is,..that you may have…good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have….good success. Have I not commanded you? Now listen here (verse 9) Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” With Joy in God take confidence in Him and not yourself. One more for added measure to close out this point. (Proverbs 3:1-6) “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. (Notice how material possessions, and power or prestige …did not make the list. Those are not markers of success.) …let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and…good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (i.e. Have confidence in God and not yourself) In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths.” Take Joy in Knowing your God who is your source of strength that you may have confidence in Him to successfully live this life by faith. With this firmly establish we now move on to another help in how we continually place our confidence in God and not ourselves. 2) SECOND POINT (Ephesians 6:11) - Know Who you are The second point is to Know who you are - And before we venture into (verse 11) which opens the conversation on this point…, I am going to refresh us on a few truths about this lest we forget. FIRST OFF - We are nothing apart from CHRIST. Worse yet, we are condemned sinners fully deserving God’s just wrath for our sin and rebellion against Him. Paul unpacks this earlier in this very letter. Here is a snippet. (Ephesians 2:1-3) “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind..” If that isn’t weighty enough try this on for size. (Job 25:4-6) “How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure? Behold, even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in his eyes; how much less—-man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm!” Feeling good about yourself?…here is another. (Isaiah 40:17) “All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.” United States of America would be a Nation we as citizens make a tittle portion of. Our Nation itself, with all the others,..over all time “is as nothing before Him. Less than nothing and emptiness.” THAT about sums up life apart from Christ. Remember now, we are in Christ and fellow heirs with him—-by faith. Sooo, though we do not forget who we once were before God saved us by grace,…mindful of that we make it our aim to press on to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 3:14) “We press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” We press on to be more of who God already declares us to be in Christ motivated by His love shed abroad in our hearts that we are unworthy to receive. Paul spent time speaking of this new self we are to put on (enduo),… Do you remember that? ‘Enduo’… “Put on” (Ephesians 4:24) this new life that has a Christ centered mindset which commands our outlook on how we live each day…and….who we live it for. NOW, in the closing of this epistle GOD brings further insight through Paul in who we are to help us continually place our confidence in God and not ourselves. LET’S read (verse 11) - read “Put on” (enduo) ….the same word used by Paul in putting on the new self he uses here in reference to the whole armor of God. (Endo) “Put on” the whole armor of God. Who puts on armor? None other than a soldier. If soldiers, who enlisted us? GOD enlisted us to fight in His army. We hear similar language of this from Paul in (Philippians 2:5) “I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need,…” Also in (Philemon 1:1-2) Paul writes…“Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:..” Fellow brother, worker, messenger, minister and….soldier. Distinct attributes of a christian but all interchangeable in speaking of a child of God. WE…Every child of God… - are - soldiers in the Lord’s army. We get a powerful picture of this from our commander in chief Christ Jesus in the book of Joshua….let’s go there again (Joshua 5:13-14) “When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” And the commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.” Our commander in Chief, King Jesus who conquered satan sin and death gives us charge to do the same in this life lived by faith. In His strength with the weapons of warfare He supplies we are to do battle against satan, sin and the flesh with confidence in God who already won the victory for us. Like much of christianity, it’s a paradox. Fight something that is already won. YES…YES.. That’s exactly what we are to do against satan, against sin and against the flesh…DO in the power of His might, for our good and His the glory. We are fighting battles against satan, sin and the flesh every day. A strong warrior in God’s army wears all the armor of God who is their strength. Armor not made with human hands, armor that fits any soldier of God. Unlike young David who attempted to put on Saul’s armor before going out to meet Goliath in battle, (do you remember that account?). It didn’t fit at all. Probably looked much like Micah would if,…he were wearing his dads military garb. “I’m ready for battle pops!” … “Nnnnope, I’m sorry Micah, it’s super cool you are gung ho with your dad’s soldier attire on but you are not gonna be able to do battle in that…it doesn’t fit at all…you won’t be able to move and properly fight.” On the other….ON the Other Hand…the amor of God fits every-one of his children regardless of age, size, gender or race. It’s all the same armor and we may all be equally equipped with it to fight our daily battles against satan, sin and the flesh. The armor of God signifies…it signifies our confidence being in GOD and not in ourselves. It must be “put on” (enduo)…it must be “put on” if we stand any chance of standing against our enemy. It is God who has enlisted us and equips us for the battles we fight in the strength He supplies. And a good soldier knows well whom they are fighting against. Which leads us to our final point. 3) THIRD POINT (Ephesians 6:12) - Know who your enemy is Know who your enemy is - Detailed description is provided for us in (verse 12). It’s true isn’t it?….In preparations for battle, a successful warrior captain is one who thoroughly studies who their enemy is. Learns their tactics, their motive, how they think and operate and….and learns their kryptonite…namely - knows what will bring them to their knees defeated. Let’s give attention to (verse 12) to learn about whom we are fighting against. - read TO BEGIN….Know this of our enemy. He is Very real. Satan and his demonic forces exist. When satan, an archangel, was cast out of heaven he took 1/3 of the angels with him who joined him in his rebellion against the most High God. (Revelations 12:4) Satan and his demonic forces are real and they don’t walk around wearing all red…holding a pitch fork in their hands and sporting tiny horns on their heads. The devil is “the prince of the power of the air.” (Ephesians 2:2) “He is “the spirit at work in the son’s of disobedience.” He is the “god of this world.”…as Paul references him in,…(2 Corinthians 4:4) He is “the accuser of the brethren.” (Revelations 12:9-11) He and his servants will disguise themselves as an angel of light to draw people away from the Truth…” to deceive. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) “He is a liar…He is the father of lies.” (John 8:44) HE is powerful and knows scripture good enough to tweak it to serve his own demonic purposes. (Genesis 3:1-5) Satan and demons are evil spirits that can posses a person so that they are not themselves but rather under their demonic influence, they can oppress a person with various afflictions of torment….mental, physical, or circumstantial. (Luke 13:10-17, 32). Evil spirits, demonic forces, rulers and authorities, the cosmic powers over this present darkness, ….spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places are very real and are the christian’s enemy. They are fighting against our success in being an effective witness for Christ, of having a godly flourishing marriage, of raising God fearing children, of children honoring their parents, of the soldier of God modeling christlikeness in our lives each and every day where ever we are….we aim, with God’s help, for success in all these areas,…the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places aim to wreck it all. HELL bent on that. “The cosmic powers over this present darkness” wage war in direct opposition to what we are striving after. An enemy that, in the christian’s own strength are helpless to stand against. Did you hear me?…Helpless. An enemy that studies you and knows your weaknesses, knows what tempts you, spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places who watch and never relent in their efforts to shipwreck your faith or prevent one from even coming to faith in Christ in the first place. Our enemy whom we know…..I recall you to a verse referenced earlier in (Romans 8).…we know and can be sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor powers,…… our enemy…nor things present nor things to come, …., 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. Fellow worker and soldier we know this (Ephesians 1:18-23). “….having the eyes of our hearts enlightened by God our Father…. that we may know what is the hope to which he has called us, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above (don’t miss this christian)…far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” We know that our enemy….these spiritual forces of evil…they are far below Him (Him Jesus) who rendered them powerless by His sacrificial death on the cross and rose again from the grave as conquering King and who is seated on high at the right hand of the throne of God. They may have access to God as we read about in Job (Job 2:1) and also the example in (Luke 22:31) where Jesus tells Peter, also known as Simon…Jesus tells him…“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat.”. Doesn’t that just give you the chills? This is a reality though. We must understand it to be so. And though JESUS is far above them all, “all the spiritual forces of evil” who tremble at His name knowing their end is certain. Destined to be cast into the lake of fire to be tormented forever and ever. Though this is a reality and we see them beg from Jesus while He walked this earth to not torment them before the appointed time. (Matthew 8:29) We also know that God gives satan a leash as it were. He allows satan to operate to the degree God Sovereignly determines to do so. WHY? Why is this so? I can’t,…nor will I attempt to provide you with an all encompassing answer to that question. But I will offer a couple reasons for your contemplation. First off,…the end has yet to come. The eternal purposes of God “that He has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord…as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.” This mystery is yet complete in it’s unfolding. We are in the last days….but the last DAY…the day of the Lord has yet to come and therefore the god of this world - satan….is allowed to exist and operate “according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.” (Ephesians 1:9,11,3:11). Chew on that along with me and always know that God is infinitely wise, He is always good and completely trustworthy with-out fail. Secondly, and the only other consideration I have to offer in regards to this question. God allows satan a measure of power to be used against us for… for the purpose to grow our strength in Him, in God. To show us that we cannot place confidence in ourselves. It is foolish and futile to do so. (Psalm 49:12-13a) “Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the path of those who have foolish confidence;” Therefore, GOD wisely allows this, allows affliction/suffering by the influence of spiritual forces of evil fighting against us, GOD wisely allows this to a measure which varies for His kids and also varies over the course of our lives for the good purpose to grow our confidence to be entirely placed in Him so that He alone would be our strength to successfully live this life by faith. “Who Himself, (and this is such a beautiful thing), who God Himself…after we have suffered a little while….God himself will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10). He is faithful to do so through each and every battle fought.” WE can be confident in that according to the promise of His Word. CONCLUSION Only by God may we be able to stand against our enemy,…having put on the whole armor of God,….signifying our confidence being in God and not in ourselves. If we stand with confidence in whom has enlisted us and equips us for the battles we fight in the strength He supplies. If we stand with confidence in God and not ourselves we will successfully live this life by faith claiming victories in the battles we fight against satan, sin and the flesh that we already have the victory won by our risen King Jesus. AMEN? We must “put on” (Enduo) “put on” the whole armor of God signifying our confidence in God and not ourselves….how then, do we put it to use? To Be Continued . . . . Would you pray with me… :-) - PRAY * Know God * Know ourselves as soldiers in His army who do battle against. * Know our enemy who aim to bring wreckage to that which we aim to have success in. COMMUNION Benediction (1 Peter 5:6-11)
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