Summary: God prepares us for spiritual battle, lets see how.
A Soldier of the Cross
Introduction: I personally have never been in the military, oh I spent some time in ROTC during high school but I have never served this country as many have. However I stand before you today as a soldier, a soldier of the cross. If you are a child of God today, that is to say born again by the blood of Jesus Christ you too are a soldier of the cross. Do you know the scripture we just read gives you and I marching orders, a battle plan and an issue of uniform and weapon. Our enemies are identified and the dangers of not being prepared are given. We are in the most important war the world has ever been part of and it’s a world war that spans eternity. Today we are going to look at “A soldier of the cross” and how we are prepared through…
I. A godly proclamation V.v.10-11
The word “finally” means from now on, until the Lord’s return, not to be mistaken with a conclusion. This is spoken to Christians as determined by the word “brethren.”
A. Strength of the Lord
The availability of spiritual and moral strength
B. Power of His might
The presence and significance of God’s might
C. Confidence to fight
God has provided us with armor [put on] for use, He has prepared us for action [able], He has empowered us [stand] to oppose the enemies trickery, wiles, methods or craft [wiles].
II. A heavenly battle plan V.v.12-13
Many things must take place before God allows His saints to tangle with an enemy like the devil. We must understand His battle plan, yes God has designed a battle plan for His saints to use against Satan and his demons. We must understand how to…
A. Identify the enemy
Our battle [wrestle] will always be in the direction of [against] demons [principalities] and their influence over people [power] along with Satan himself [rulers].
This enemy will always attack the spiritual ignorance and error [spiritual darkness] of our age [world] placing us in a battle against evil spirits [spiritual wickedness] in the day and age we live in [high places].
B. Account for your armor
Paul tells us when we confront the person or thing [wherefore] we are to be in spiritual shape equipped with the tools needed [armor of God] to withstand [able] the devils attack during this period of time [evil day] and to be established [to stand] as one of God’s soldiers with battle plan in hand when called upon.
III. A soldiers preparation V.v.14-17
The word “stand” again means to establish ourselves and be prepared to do battle as a brave, confident soldier of the cross. We have been equipped with…
A. The girdle (belt) of truth (absolute)
The belt worn by a Roman soldier was the center piece of his armor. Just about everything else he used attached to his belt. The absolute truth of Gods word and our testimony is the centerpiece of our witness and the ability to be used by Him for service.
B. The breastplate of righteousness (Gods standard)
The breastplate of a Roman soldier’s armor was made of many strips of steel or bronze about 4 inches wide, they overlapped and was connected on the backside by leather straps. Nothing was able to penetrate this armor and it was attached to the belt to keep it from being lifted to expose vital areas of the soldier’s body. Paul likeness the breastplate to righteousness because God’s standard is written upon our hearts from the moment we are saved. Gods standard will protect us if we cling to it and keep it fastened to the truth of His word.
C. Feet shod with the gospel (the great commission)
Roman soldiers wore a special shoe called a caligae it was similar to our sandals only it had a sole made of pure leather about ¾” thick and the bottom was studded with spikes. This shoe allowed the soldiers to advance upon the enemy with confidence and eagerness. In Matthew 28:19-20 the Lord gives us the great commission, the charge to deliver the gospel to the world. He has equipped us with a firm footing to deliver the gospel to a lost and dying world.
D. The shield of faith (absolute faith in Christ)
The Roman soldier shield was a very interesting work of art, it was made of wood similar to our plywood formed into a semi circular shape, covered with leather and its edges were banded with either steel or bronze. This would absorbe the blow from any sword, dagger or spear and even extinguishes a flaming arrow. No wander the word of God likens it to faith. Of course the faith Paul is talking about is the absolute faith in Christ. There can be no wavering with this faith. We must be secure in it, everything in our life must rest upon His life and what He accomplished on the cross.