Sermons

Summary: Exposition of Conspiracy

Text: Ephesians 6:10-11, Title: Conspiracy Theory, Date/Place: NRBC, 1.27.13, AM

A. Opening illustration: Talk about the roller coaster of Les Cox’s spiritual life over the past 14 years, but the

relative stability over the past 2 years because of his recommitment to Christ. Now he is at Southwestern

College working on his degree and areas of his spiritual life that have plagued him for years. He made the

statement last night that during a recent fast (his first one ever) God revealed to him something. He spoke

about how a particular temptation was a way that Satan used to get him off track that he hadn’t recognized

before. I realized that much of his spiritual victory was due to his ability to recognize satanic schemes.

B. Background to passage: The Ephesian letter was probably intended to be circular, and so didn’t deal with

a whole lot of specific situations for individual churches. It covered proper theology of salvation and the

church, then transitioned into the behavior of born again, spirit-filled believers. One of the culminating

pieces at the end of this letter is Paul’s instruction on spiritual warfare in Eph 6 (just by the way, the best

book I have ever read on this topic is derived from a study of this passage; it’s called The Invisible War, by

Chip Ingram). I just want to focus on a very small part of the instruction, not so much on the pieces of armor,

but of the purpose of this instruction: beware!

C. Main thought: Satan uses deceptive and devious schemes to stifle God’s work in His church if we let him.

Purpose (v. 11)

1. This warning is a culmination and direct command to avoid the pitfalls of false theology and sinful

practice previously mentioned in the book. Why? Because Satan is like a roaring lion seeking people

to devour. Paul knows, and reminds them that they are a target, and Satan will come to get them. The

flaming darts will come and the deceptive strategies (the real meaning of the word “wiles” or “schemes”)

will be launched. Jesus tells us that it is Satan that comes and steals the word from the hearts of those who

hear the word, but don’t understand their need. But with believers, this is not possible. Affirm eternal

security.

2. 1 Peter 5:8, Matt 13:19, 2 Cor 4:4,

3. Illustration: “Sharks are coming to get me!!!”

4. Let me give you at least four of the main purposes that deceptive schemes are launched. 1) To hinder

the gospel—2 Cor 4:4. Satan wants to stifle the advance of the gospel, especially into places that only

get glimpses. You will note that the most opposition we experience in when serving to advance the

gospel. This is also the case when the church is growing and advancing. Therefore when little advance is

happening, smoother seas will prevail. 2) To derail your walk with God. We will talk tactics in a minute,

but know that if Satan cannot get you lost, he can sure make you distance and ineffective as a believer. He

wants to get you to withdraw from Him, from church, from ministry for whatever reason. Hurt feelings,

church splits, and even moves can be used to get us away from the body. He wants you useless to the

kingdom. Know that when you withdraw, you are helping him achieve his purpose. 3) To incapacitate

and distract the kingdom work of the body. Satan wants the church to be ineffective, self-focused, and

powerless. He wants us to be a social organization, a country club, a wall flower, an isolated, inwardly

focused, navel-gazing group of people. This is why our situation is so critical now—great facilities,

great people, time of refreshment, great potential, fresh vision, new year—attacks will come. And to fall

to them destroys kingdom advance through us. And the way that Satan gets the church is through you

and me. 4) To defame Christ and His church. Satan wants to run the reputation of Jesus and New River

Baptist Church through the mud. He wants the whole community and world to think bad of our Savior,

because they think bad of us. And this also is the antithesis of the reason that we exist! But if he can

get people in the community talking about “the church that constantly runs preachers off” or that “hates

homosexuals” or that harbors them, if they know the church as one who is always fighting or always

begging, he is accomplishing his work. We must be on guard at how we are perceived, because perception

is often reality in the minds of people, regardless of its validity.

A.

B. Tactics (v. 11)

1. The language

used in this text indicates that the schemes are repeated and great in variety. The word

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