Summary: How to protect yourself when the devil tries to take away the enjoyment of your salvation.
A Good Soldier of Jesus Christ
Consider warrior in Eph. 6 in context of whole book – whistle stop tour of book
· Book basically split up as follows:
o Ch 1-3 Gods Purpose – That we should have the blessing of being in the body of Christ
o Ch 4-5 Our walk / manner of life as a result of being members of this body and that we might enjoy what God has given for ourselves
o Ch 6 Our defence when Satan tries to stop us enjoying what God has given
· Often called believers’ wealth, walk and warfare – watchman nee calls it sit, walk, stand.
· The book can also be considered in parallel with the people of Israel claiming the promised land:
o God to Abraham – look to east west, far as eye can see – all this will I give you
o Then the Lord says to Joshua “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given you” – They begin to claim / enjoy the blessings of God for themselves.
o And in the book of Judges the enemy tries to creep in and the People of Israel need to defend the land
§ He writes to Timothy and tells him to flee in the face of youthful lust – but here the devil is making inroads to our personal enjoyment of the blessings of the lord and Paul will say you must stand and fight - Be strong in Lord and power of his might, put on whole armour of God
We will consider this passage under the following headings:
· Warriors Enemy
- The need for Protection
§ Why do we need armour?
· Warriors Armour
- The need for Perception
§ What will be attacked? / Need protected?
- The need for Prevailing
§ How we can know victory by withstanding the Devil
· Warriors Duty
- The need for Prayerfulness
§ How we can know help when feeling the attack of the Enemy
- The need for Pastors
§ How we can offer help when others feel the attack of the enemy
Why do we need armour – let us consider something of the enemy
His Strategy (v11)
o In ch1 we see the importance which God places on you (individually)
§ The passage speaks about how God could best please himself
§ The bible says of God “He made the stars also” – here phrases such as “counsel of his own will” gives the idea of deliberation
§ He decided he could please himself best by choosing you (that we might be to the praise of his glory who first trusted in Christ)
o Now we have the importance the Devil places on you (individually) thought behind ‘wiles’ is the strategy of the devil as he tries to trap and snare believers – to take joy of salvation. An example of this is Job.
His Authority (v12)
o The Devil is not omnipresent as God is, but controls an army, again thought of strategy – his desire is to bring down the Christian
o As a general in the army would he makes his attack on the areas which are of most danger
§ Perhaps we are being left alone by the Devil because we are not interested in furthering our spiritual development
§ We want to be the best employee at work, the best parents, the best at sports but do we want to be the best Christian or are we satisfied with mediocrity
His Opportunity (v13)
o Not an evil day before Devil came, but a particular day
o Perhaps it’s a day when you are down
§ Peter at the crucifixion – “I know not the man”
§ Perhaps no-one helps you in a particular avenue of service, perhaps the saints complain when you are doing your best, business not doing well, illness in family
§ Lord knows – to 7 churches “I know thy works”
§ But its this sort of day that the Devil makes his attack – he sees’ an opportunity and whispers “I don’t know why you bother at all – no thanks for it
§ It’s not harmless thoughts, it’s a frontal charge, an attempt at the killer blow that will rob you of the enjoyment of your salvation
His Weaponry (v16)
o The Devil prompts sin, the world promotes sin and the flesh produces sin
o Sometimes the Devil attacks with suggestions like what we have looked at, sometimes he uses others – even Christians (Lord to Peter “get thee behind me Satan). We must therefore be careful how we speak to our brethren and sisters lest we cause them to stumble.
o Therefore the Devil doesn’t make you sin – for example Adam and Eve chose to sin - so no Christian can look at the attack of the Devil in this passage and say that the Devil attacked them and they were forced to sin