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Dr. Jay P. Cook, Pastor

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Getting Dressed for Battle
Putting Everything On
Eph. 6:10-18

Intro
Last week we took a look at Christ’s opponent, our enemy.  He has many different names and comes at us from many different angles – his names tell us a lot:

Satan comes to us in a multitude of ways:

Let us never underestimate the work of Satan – he wants to destroy our relationship with Christ.  Anything he can do to help us slip up in our Christian walk he will do and he will use any tactic possible. Listen to what Paul writes in Ephesians about this:
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Have you ever recorded a program on your TV – let say you wanted to watch maybe the last Pitt – WV basketball game.  You are looking forward to watching that game on TV Thursday night but something came up so you decided to record the game.  I know I can do that but don’t ask me how – I would have had Miriam set it up. So later Thursday night you have your pop corn and Pepsi and are settled in ready to watch the game and ESPN puts the score on the bottom of the TV.  You really didn’t want to know the score but with all the modern technology that we have the score is posted on your phone, ipad, kindle, the news or computer.  So you know WV hammered Pitt and that may be the last time the 2 schools will play. Think about that you know who won before you even watch the game. Bummer especially if you were a Pitt fan – you might have even turned the TV off in the 2nd half.  But there is a spiritual analogy here.

We already who won the spiritual war – Christ defeated Satan on Easter.  His blood provided the sin sacrifice and His resurrection defeated death and the grave.
We are commanded to put on the full armor of God knowing who ultimately has won the war. We are called to be ready for the battle by putting on the full armor of God knowing that the war has been won by Christ. We don’t fight for victory we fight from victory.  Satan has already lost.  He just tries to keep us away from having a wonderful life with Christ.

There is a huge difference between fighting for victory and fighting from the victorious state.  The battle is still raging but we already know the final outcome.  Christ has already won and we are victors through Christ.  That means that when we fight we’re not trying to win – we are rather enforcing the victory that Jesus has already secured.  In His power we are invincible.      

  1. As we look at the 21st century church – not just the United Methodist Church we are more liaise fare; we don’t want anyone to be upset so we make compromises on everything and do not take a stand. 
  1. Jesus was in trouble a great deal of the time because He showed love but spoke penetrating truths – He called for righteousness. The Scripture is clear on certain issues – let me name a few:

Matthew 7:21 (NIV)
21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

  1. Are you willing to take a stand?  Even if our stand takes us in opposite direction of the world.  Just because everyone is doing it a certain way doesn’t make it right.  When I was a kid there was a bridge that crossed the Monongahela River near where I lived called the High Level Bridge.  When we tried arguing with our mother telling her that everyone was doing it she use to say “If everyone was jumping off the High Level Bridge would you?
  1. Let us stand firm – but to do so requires powerful  assistance that is why Paul tells to put on the full armor of God.   

TWENTY-SIX MEN STANDING

A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in MI.

"While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every 2 weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to the nearest large city for supplies. This was a journey of 2 days and required camping overnight at the halfway point in the jungle.

"On one of these trips, just as I arrived in the city I saw two men fighting, one of whom had been injured. As a missionary doctor I intervened and treated his injuries. And at the same time I talked to him about the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Afterwards I went about my planned tasks--collecting money from a bank, purchasing medicine and supplies--then began my 2-day journey back to the field hospital. Halfway back, I camped overnight as usual, then arrived home without incident.

"Two weeks later I repeated my trip. Upon arriving in the city, I was met by the young man I had treated. He told me that it was known that I regularly carried money and medicines. He said, 'Two weeks ago several of us followed you back into the jungle, knowing that you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take everything. But just as we were about to come into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards. So we left.'

"At this I laughed to myself & said that I was certainly all alone out in that jungle campsite. The young man wouldn't accept my word, though. He said, 'No sir. I was not the only one to see the guards. There were 6 of us who saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those 26 guards that we were afraid and left you alone.'

As the missionary was telling this story in his home church in Michigan, one of the men of the congregation jumped to his feet & asked if the missionary could tell him the exact date this had happened. The missionary told him, and the man then told him this story:

"On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. But for some reason I felt a very strong urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging was so strong that I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day please stand up?"

The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. As the missionary looked around the room at those who were standing, he wasn't so concerned with who they were -- he was too busy counting how many they were. There were 26 men standing!

(Sermon Central, 11/24/2010)

Please click here for slides to accompany the sermon.