Summary: This fun sermon series uses comic-book heroes as modern-day parables, uncovering hidden spiritual messages in the stories of superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Spider-man. Most of these sermons are expository, alliterated and have PowerPoint!
Holy Heroes: Iron-Man
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 11/3/2013
Good morning and welcome to Blooming Grove. If you are visiting with us today, I hope you feel right at home—like a part of the family. These past several weeks I’ve been preaching about superheroes—using the stories of these fictional comic-book characters as modern-day parables that illustrate spiritual lessons.
What I love about this stuff is that it shows our un-churched neighbors that you can praise and glorify God, and have fun doing it. You may or may not have noticed, but there is one particularly popular superhero missing from our line-up: Iron-Man. Unfortunately that’s because I don’t have an Iron-Man costume. Iron-Man has one of the coolest costumes in comic-books, but because it’s an actual suit of armor, instead of spandex or some other fabric, it’s incredibly difficult and painstaking to make. Some fans have actually sculpted a life-size Iron-Man suit out of clay, then molded it and cast it in resin. Others have used cardstock or quarter-inch foam to replicate the look of the armor. No matter what method you choose to use; it’s a long and arduous process that I just haven’t had the patience for. I do plan on building one of these someday, but that day may be a long way off.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story of Iron-Man, his alter ego is Tony Stark—a genius inventor and billionaire owner of the technology company, Stark Industries. Tony made much of his fortune by designing weapons for the military, until one day, when he was kidnapped by a terrorist organization that wanted him to build a weapon of mass destruction for them. Rather than build the weapon, however, Tony secretly built a suit of armor to help him escape. Inside his armor, Tony Stark became the Invincible Iron-Man. Not only did Tony escape captivity, but he continued using his armor—and built newer and better versions of it—to fight evil and injustice! Outside of his armor, Tony is vulnerable; but inside his hi-tech Iron-Man armor, he’s virtually invincible!
Unlike Iron-Man, you and I don’t battle terrorists or super-villains in a hi-tech suit of armor. But like Iron-Man, we do have a battle to fight and, as Christians, we’ve been given a suit of armor that makes us invincible against our enemy. Listen to what God’s Word has to say about that:
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” (Ephesians 6:10-13 NLT)
We have a very real enemy. The Bible calls him the devil and he is the face of evil. This means that you are in a spiritual battle, whether you want to be or not. It’s a battle between good and evil, and you are the prize! His target is your spirit. Satan’s whole mission is to keep you from trusting in Jesus as your Savior and cause you to turn your back on God. And the devil has an arsenal of weapons at his disposal.
Just think about Job. God pointed Job out to Satan saying, “Have you noticed my servant Job? No one else on earth is like him. He is an honest and innocent man, honoring God and staying away from evil” (Job 1:8 NCV). From that moment on, Job became Satan’s primary target. Satan whispered in the ears of some menacing marauders, convincing them to slaughter Job’s camels and herds. He arranged for lighting to strike his sheep and servants, burning them to ashes. He caused a great wind to crush the home of Job’s oldest son with all of his children inside. And, when nothing else worked, he assaulted Job’s body, inflicting him boils—all of this in order to achieve one goal: to make Job curse God to his face.
If you think Job is the only one on whom the devil has set his sights, you’re wrong! Satan—or one of his many underlings—will do everything he can to undermine your relationship with God. He’ll attack your reputation in order to corrupt your witness. He’ll target your marriage. He’ll steal your peace, your passion, and your sense of purpose. He will do whatever it takes to destroy your faith and your future.
Thankfully, in his infinite grace and wisdom, God has designed a suit of armor that will make its wearer more invincible than Iron-Man! The book of Ephesians goes on to describe six pieces of armor essential in overcoming our enemy.