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Dr. Jay P. Cook, Pastor

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Protecting Our Innards
2 John 7-11
Ephesians 6:10-14

Intro:
            We have seen in the past weeks the subtle attacks of Satan on us now I want to talk to you about us being in defensive mode.  Paul tells us to buckle on the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness so that our innards are guarded. 
Take a look at the picture of the Roman soldier in your bulletin.  Can you picture Paul cuffed to a Roman soldier?  Well this is where Paul gets his illustration of the armor of God.  He is under house arrest in Rome and had become quite familiar with Roman soldiers.
When I hear the first two pieces of armor I think of a football player and the equipment they wear.  One of the first things that go on for this soldier and for a football player is the equipment that protects the mid-section or as the KJV tells us the loins.

  1. The belt of truth is the objective truth about Christ and who we are in Him as revealed in the Scripture.   
  1. You need a little background on the belt or the girdle that held the soldiers innards in and to hold tight his tunic so that he might be free in his movement.  It also held the sword.
  1. The attire of most men in those days was to wear a long gown type dress and the belt was used to pulled this gown up above the knee so that the soldier had freedom to move without fear of tripping over the gown. 
  1. It also provided protection in the mid-section.  It was essential for the soldier to have free and unencumbered action and that was what the belt provided.  It held everything in place.
  1. The truth does just that; it holds everything in place.  When there is no truth we become very vulnerable.  It is amazing that anytime we stray from the truth we have to keep making up something to cover for not having the truth. 
  1. Good example is that when we don’t have the truth we end up making stories to cover up the untruth
  1. That is very true of false doctrines and pseudo-Christian faiths.  We start with a theology that is not Christ centered and we end up with beliefs like Mormonism and Jehovah Witnesses, because they strayed from the truth.
  1. The belt of truth prevents errors in doctrine that could be fatal.  Without Christ we have no salvation.   Let me mention some basic doctrines that are the truth that must remain if we are to live:
  1. 2 Tim. 3:16  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, The Bible is God’s word and we must not play with it.  It is through the Scripture that we have the directions for salvation and how we are to live our daily lives.  It was given to us to direct us.
  1. We believe in Triune God, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
  1. Our salvation comes through Jesus Christ and we are called to share this wonderful grace with others as we are called to make disciples.
  1. Jesus said John 14:6 "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. He is the truth that provides us life.

John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

  1. As Christian we are completely covered by the righteousness of Christ in the heart, conscience, desires and will.  The Breastplate of righteousness provides protection for feelings and affections when wrestling against the devil and his demons.
  1. We need to realize that God has forgiven, acquitted us from all our guilt over sins and that God will continue to forgive us and cleanse us from our guilt.
  1. Because we never can attain the righteous standard of God we need someone to stand in our place and make us worthy of God’s righteousness and that is Christ.  He has made us worthy.
  1. We are forgiven and made whole by the blood of the Lamb.  We are made innocent by the through the cross of Christ.
  1. As forgiven and cleansed we need not hear Satan accusing us of failures and sins.  We are made righteous through Jesus Christ.
  1. This forgiveness and righteousness made to us through Christ is also a reminder that we are to be righteous as He is righteous.
  1. We no longer have the sting of death and we no longer have to feel guilty even though one of the tactics of Satan is to make us feel guilty.
  1. But there is an accountability factor here.  Because we are forgiven and made righteous we need to seek justice and righteousness for those around us.
  1. There is a practical side to righteousness and that is the side that we have to live a holy life. God’s desire for us is that we match God’s righteousness with others.

 

  1. Paul writes Philip. 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Amos 5:24 But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

  1. It is amazing how much unrighteousness and in justice there is in this world.  I read recently about sexual slave trading.  We sit by and watch as many young girls are sold into slavery. 
  1. We ring our hands and say we can’t stop it.  We stopped slavery in America – why can’t stop these rings of slavery in the world?  Because we would rather legalize prostitution and say that is better than having in illegal and having no controls.
  1. We called to make a difference providing justice and righteousness in the world.  We need to first protect our innards and then work on protection others so they might discover God’s grace that provides righteousness.
  1. It is amazing that we make heroes out of those who live by the truth and righteousness, when all of us should live that way.

 
"Dear Rob," begins the hand-scrawled letter, "I read Bob Greene's wonderful column about you. I love sports and true sportsmen. My faith in our future was renewed and lifted by that column. Never lose your principles. Always stand for what's decent and right. That's what you told us all when you refused the victory!" The signature: former President George Bush.
Soccer player Rob Mouw, a senior at Wheaton (Illinois) Christian High School, isn't used to publicity, much less letters from former presidents. But his unusual action in a hotly contested soccer match was reported by local newspapers, and then by nationally syndicated columnist Bob Greene.
In the closing seconds of a game against Waubonsie Valley, a team ranked high in the state, Mouw managed a breakaway and kicked the tying goal. With Wheaton fans cheering the upset and Waubonsie fans protesting the goal was late, Mouw walked to the referee and asked whether the official time was kept on the scoreboard or the referee's stopwatch.
The scoreboard time was official, he was told. Mouw then explained that just before his kick, he had seen zeros on the scoreboard clock. Since he hadn't heard a whistle, he kept playing. But his goal was late, and he didn't think it should count. The referee reversed his call, awarding the game to Waubonsie.
That night, Mouw went home to his homework. "I didn't think much about it," he says. "I hadn't done anything that great. For me, acting honestly was just a reflection of Christ in me."
Bob Greene opened his column with: "If you're sick of the direction sports in this country have been taking--from the preening and taunting of Deion Sanders and his many followers, to the tiresome bickering between millionaire professional athletes and the millionaire owners of their teams--then here's a sports story for you."
And he ended by quoting Mouw: "'Every time in your life you have an opportunity to do right, you should be thankful. For a person to know what right is, and then not to do it--that would be a sin. To have won the game--I mean, really, who cares? Doing the right thing is more important. It lets you have peace.'"

Please click here for slides to accompany the sermon.