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Summary: Many Christians don’t realize they are living in a BATTLEGROUND; they think they live in a PLAYGROUND! We’re going to look at the 3 fold assault on the People of God and the 3 things Paul said to do to counteract it.

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PLAYGROUND OR BATTLEGROUND?

Eph. 6:10-13,18

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: WHO DO I SHOOT?

1. A new soldier was on sentry duty at the main gate. His orders were clear. No car was to enter unless it had a special sticker on the windshield.

2. A big Army car came up with a general seated in the back. The sentry said, "Halt, who goes there?" The chauffeur, a corporal, said, "General Wheeler."

3. "I'm sorry, I can't let you through. You've got to have a sticker on the windshield." The general said, "Drive on!”

4. The sentry said, "Hold it! You really can't come through. I have orders to shoot if you try driving in without a sticker." The general repeated, "I'm telling you, son, drive on!"

5. The sentry walked up to the rear window and said, "General, I'm new at this. Do I shoot you or the driver?"

6. Sometimes, the trick in times of war is knowing who to shoot. In our warfare, we don’t want any "friendly fire." Let’s make sure we’re battling the real enemy!

B. TEXT

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

C. THESIS

1. Our culture – esp. the boys – has embraced a fascination/ fixation with war games. Halo, Call of Duty, Battlefront, Medal of Honor, Gears of War, etc. Sales – 267 million units sold at over $17 Billion.

2. While I believe these games are unhealthy and overly associated with death/ killing, they do recognize that we’re in a battle. If we’re to maintain our freedom, we must engage in warfare.

3. The Bible transmits the same message: to be a victorious Christian you and I must embrace the mindset that we’re in an invisible, spiritual war.

4. Many Christians don’t realize they are living in a BATTLEGROUND; they think they live in a PLAYGROUND!

5. Do you remember the hymn, ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS?

6. “Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle see his banners go!

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise. Like a mighty army moves the church of God; brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided, all one body we, one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.”

7. We’re going to look at the 3 fold assault on the People of God and the 3 things Paul said to do to counteract it.

8. The title of this message is “Playground or Battleground?”

I. THE 3-FOLD ASSAULT

We’re SOLDIERS in the Army of Jesus Christ.

In Eph. 6:10-12, Paul mentions a 3-fold assault going on against us; the FLESH, the WORLD, and the DEVIL.

1. Our FLESH wants our old life back.

2. The WORLD trying to drag us back.

3. And we have the DEVIL making sure it all goes according to plan!

A. THE BATTLE WITH OUR FLESH

1. It’s incredible, but our FLESH, our old nature, FIGHTS against the Spirit of God, against the things of God in our life! Gal. 5.17, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

2. Our physical bodies get exhausted & sick; we battle fears & insecurities. We must fight the tendency to be normal! “Every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

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