Summary: The 3rd message in a series on spiritual warfare focusing on our arsenal for battle.
The Battle is the Lord
Our Arsenal – Part 1
Intro: A reporter interviewed a man on his 100th birthday. “What are you most proud of?” The man said, “I don’t have an enemy in the world.” “What a beautiful thought! How inspirational! Tell me how you have achieved such a feat?” The man said, “To be honest, I outlived every last one of them.”
Trans: Be assured, if you have no other enemies, the devil and his demons are all the enemies you’ll ever need. You can’t outlive them or outwit them but in Christ, you can outlast them if you stand firm in your faith and resist them.
Trans: As we continue our study on the reality of spiritual war, I want to move from our awareness and adversary to our arsenal in this great battle.
Truth: Paul tells us that we are fighting in a hand-to-hand struggle to the death and the only way we can overcome is through Christ and his spiritual armor.
Read: Ephesians 6:10-18
Word: Wrestle – a contest b/w two opposing forces where each endeavors to throw the other to gain supremacy by holding down his opponent by the neck.
Insert: Having wrestled all the way through Jr. High and High School, I can truly appreciate this concept – there are few experiences in life more challenging than grappling hand-to-hand w/ someone who is wanting to defeat you.
Insert: Greek and Roman culture – a fight to the death. So too in the spiritual.
Trans: When it comes to wrestling, Satan is an Olympic champion who wants our external enemy (the world) and our internal enemy (the flesh) to defeat and destroy us. Thus, he is constantly looking for an unguarded area in our lives where he might establish a beachhead.
Trans: But God tells us that we don’t have to be defeated and destroyed, but that we can stand our ground and overcome by employing the armor of God and understanding the rules of engagement.
Trans: Recently I came across a list of combat rules from Glenn Weekley at FBC:
1 If the enemy is in range, so are you.
2 Don’t look conspicuous, it only draws fire.
3 The easy way is always mined.
4 Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.
5 Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy someone else to shoot at
6 If your attack is going well, you’ve walked into an ambush.
7 Don’t draw fire it only irritates the people around you.
8 The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
9 When the pin is pulled, “Mr. Grenade” is not our friend.
10 If it is dumb but works, then it isn’t dumb.
11 When in doubt, empty the magazine.
12 Anything you do can get you shot – including doing nothing.
13 Make it too tough for the enemy to get in and you can’t get out.
14 Mines are equal opportunity weapons.
15 A Purple Heart just proves that you were smart enough to think of a plan, dumb enough to try it, and lucky enough to survive.
16 Don’t ever be the first, don’t ever be the last, and don’t ever volunteer for anything.
17 The Quartermaster has only 2 sizes: Too large and too small.
18 Five second fuses only last three seconds.
19 It is inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.
20 The enemy invariably attacks in one of two ways:
a. When you are ready for them.
b. When you are not ready for them.
Trans: The Bible’s rules for combat are much more serious and helpful than these, yet before we delve into these six pieces of armor and weaponry, I think it would help us to understand exactly what they are.
Note: The armor of God is not something you put on everyday like a pair of jeans. They are not items you put on only before you prepare for battle, like a football player putting on his equipment before a game.
Truth: Each piece of the armor is a characteristic and quality that is reflected in one’s daily life. They’re lifestyle characteristics of a sincere and significant faith. They are not articles of Christian clothing to be leisurely put on and worn, but convictions and beliefs that are to be lived and maintained as a regular pattern of our lives.
I The Belt of Truth
Note: Roman soldiers wore wide, thick leather belts that held their swords and equipment. It was used to cinch up his tunic (outer garment) and allowed him freedom of movement – when he girded up his belt he was able to fight
Idea: In much the same way, truth (aletheia) is the essential centerpiece of the Christian life. It is on truth that all our beliefs and conviction rest.