Summary: A New Year’s Message
CLOTHED FOR THE NEW YEAR
INTRO: Many of us got some new clothes for Christmas. We will begin the New Year well dressed. But what about our spiritual dress? How well dressed are we in this vital area as we begin the new year? Paul said “Put on the full armor of God...” Clothe yourself with strength. Put on means envelope in, hide in. READ TEXT! The main idea is that we need every piece of armor. Do not leave off a single piece.
I. THE BELT OF TRUTH.
The first in the list of articles for the soldier is the girdle. He might be furnished with every other article, yet lacking this, the other articles would not be firmly attached. The belt was not for adornment—it secured everything.
Paul said that truth is the element in the Christian life that holds everything together.
The Hebrew word for truth is spelled with three letters: ה. They are the first, the middle, and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The truth of God is thus the beginning, the middle, and the end of life.
II. THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
It was worn over the heart to protect against disabling wounds—made of leather and covered with copper or tin.
Paul said a righteous life will protect from the fiery darts of Satan.
III. THE SANDALS OF READINESS.
The sandals were hob-nailed shoes to provide for solid footing in battle. The soldier was prepared for hand to hand combat.
Preparedness, a mental alertness which will enable us at any moment to serve the Lord is necessary for an effective Christian life.
As the deliverance of the Hebrew children from Egypt drew near, God gave them instructions to eat with their clothes on (Exodus 12:11).
They were to be ready to go. They were not to delay their obedience to God while they got things together for the trip.
IV. THE SHIELD OF FAITH.
The shield was used to block the arrows of the enemy. The arrows were set afire.
When Satan sends his most deadly weapons toward us, we can ward them off with faith.
There are two kinds of faith.
IF—if all goes well, if life is hopeful, prosperous and happy, then I will believe in, and trust God.
THOUGH—though the forces of evil triumph, though everything goes wrong and Gethsemane comes and the cross looms, nevertheless, I will believe in, and trust God.
V. THE HELMUT OF SALVATION.
The soldier complained about the weight of the armor, and sometimes left the Helmut off. This caused him to be vulnerable to attacks.
God’s continuing work of salvation in our lives is like a Helmut to protect us.
VI. THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT.
The only offensive weapon. Our sword is the Word of God. It is second to none. Warren Wiersbe gives a threefold suggestion on using it.
1. Appreciate it. 2. Appropriate it. 3. Apply it.
CONC: John Bisagno points out that “faith is the heart of life. You go to a doctor whose name you cannot pronounce. He gives you a prescription you cannot read. You take it to a pharmacist you have never seen. He gives you medicine you do not understand and you take it. All in trusting, sincere faith.” Why not use that same faith with God this coming year?