Summary: This sermon is to heighten our awareness of the Spiritual Battle and of the weapons we have to defeat the evil one. Paul gives us instruction on winning this battle by "Be Strong in the Lord," "Put on the full armor," and "Stand firm."
November 26, 2006
New Covenant EPC
“BE STRONG IN THE LORD”
Body Life: The Book of Ephesians
I. From a cartoon by Lee Johnson, Following the Sunday morning service, the pastor stood at the back of the church, shaking hands with the worshipers as they left.
A. As one man shook hands, he looked intently at the pastor and said, "Powerful sermons, Pastor.
1. Thoughtful, well researched. I can always see myself in them?
2. and I want you to knock it off."
B. We do not often think of the a Spiritual battle going on around us.
1. Our minds, our vision are earth bound and physically minded.
2. We mentally understand there is a Devil, there are demons, there are angels, there are spirits.
a. But this supernatural realm is not in the forefront of our thoughts and actions.
b. When we see a personal problem, we think in terms of natural practical solutions.
3. Our minds calculate but do not factor in the spiritual warfare in our personal lives and in the life and ministry of God’s church.
a. We are too pragmatic, to practical, to realistic to contemplate a conflict we can not see, feel or touch.
b. We are unaware or deliberately naive of this spiritual strife therefore we are great risk and danger.
C. An army must first have good intelligence on it enemy and secondly it needs good training and equipment equal to the enemy and lastly it needs a superior battle plan.
1. The army which has the tactical surprise has a supreme advantage.
a. Satan is a wily person who can unleash a host of trouble when we least expect.
b. But though he may have the element of surprise, we have a superior intelligence and the very best weapons.
2. This sermon is to heighten our awareness of this Spiritual Battle and of the weapons we have to defeat the evil one.
a. With the Strength of the Lord, we will be victorious.
b. The spiritual warfare is both inside and from outside us.
c. Satan can never possess the Christian’s heart but he can certainly oppress and debilitate the believer from within.
II. Verse 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
A. I was talking with my wife about this passage some time ago, she saw how important the word “finally” is to this passage.
1. As she reflected, the last thing a parent says to their children before they go out the door is some like, “finally before I go remember this....”
2. After all that Paul has said about faith, about grace, about family about submission, finally he comes to the real battle.
B. “Be strong in the Lord.”
1. We are not called to be strong in and by ourselves.
a. Our strength is no match for Satan and his demons.
b. Our power is negligible when it comes to real lasting change in our weaknesses.
2. God is all powerful, all mighty all omnipotent.
a. There is no power in heaven and earth equal to Him.
b. Satan maybe the Prince of this world but Almighty God is King of Kings and Lord of Lords over all that is.
C. Many missionaries in South America are coming under the attack of Satan.
1. For example, Communist radio broadcasters from Cuba are spreading outright lies about Wycliffe and other Christian organizations.
2. They are bombarding the continent with claims that the Lord’s servants are engaging in illicit drug traffic, espionage, and subversive activities.
a. The missionaries recognize that they are not fighting back with countercharges or angry denials.
b. Instead, they are humbly looking to the Lord and His Word for strength and guidance.
c. They are living Spirit- filled lives of love and purity before those with whom they work.
d. And God is blessing!
D. Judson Cornwall writes: "Earlier this year, I sat in the front room of a fifth-floor walk-up apartment in Berlin.
1. My host was a former psychiatrist who had given himself to the work of the Lord after his conversion.
a. He pastors a congregation of 2,000 people who worship in a rented warehouse in West Berlin.
b. Having just told me about the staff of workers he heads, the Bible school he leads, and the daily radio broadcast he airs, he shared with me his plans to begin a weekly television program.
2. “‘Dear brother,’ I said, ‘please accept a word of caution from an older minister. You have only so much energy.’
a. ‘If you spread yourself too thin, you will not have sufficient strength to continue. In addition to your expanding ministry, you have a wife and five children who need you.’”
3. “‘I understand what you are saying,’ he responded.