Summary: PENTECOST 15(B) - Put on the full armor of God realizing enemies will attack but believers will stand.
PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD
Ephesians 6:10-20 - August 28, 2005 - Pentecost 15
Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
Are you ready for battle? Are you ready to rumble? That is what Paul reminds us of today. In our Christian living and in this world our life is a battle. This life, the Christian life, is a battle against au-thorities and principalities and powers that we cannot even see. These powers are almost beyond our imagination. But we are not alone, are we? Instead we are well equipped. A couple of times in our text you may have heard Paul say: "Put on the full armor of God." It does not say a piece here and there, but the full armor. The Lord says then you will be ready to face every enemy. With God’s full armor the be-liever will be able to stand the test that comes. Paul wrote another letter to the Romans which we heard part of today. He says: "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:12). Again, our God gives us more equipment to battle those who live in the darkness, who live in the shadows of this dark world. The world of ours is becoming darker every day, with every generation. Believers in Christ are left in this world as beacons of light. Today’s text reminds us that we need to put on that armor of light in order to defeat the darkness. Put on the full armor of God is going to be our theme this morning.
PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD realizing
I. Enemies will attack
II. Believers will stand
II. ENEMIES WILL ATTACK
Chapter 6 is the last chapter of the book of Ephesians. Previously Paul listed many things people were to do and follow because of their Christian faith, and because God gave them strength. Now Paul writes: "Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in his mighty power." God’s people were not going to be left on their own. They were going to have the power of God on their side, his strength. Paul writes this en-couragement even though the enemies of the gospel had attacked him.
At the end of our text you may have heard him say: "For which I am an ambassador in chains." Paul was in prison in Rome. The enemies of the gospel had attacked, and Paul was no longer free to go to all of the cities he had visited before to spread God’s word. But Paul was not powerless. He still had the opportunity to preach the gospel. He still had the full armor of God at his disposal. Paul did not give up in despair. Instead he said to pray for him. As Paul continues, mentioning how he is in prison, he de-clares that he is not out of commission. Paul states that these believers are also going to face the enemies. Paul proclaims: "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes." The devil is going to scheme and plan for the downfall of mankind. After all, the devil came into God’s perfect world at the very beginning of all things. In God’s perfect creation Satan deceived Adam and Eve and they sinned. The history of mankind was changed forever. Imagine that! Satan in a perfect world attacks God’s perfect creation — and – is victorious.
Paul writes: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood." He wanted to remind the believers of that fact. These believers felt that the government put Paul in prison and their greatest concern was op-posing the government that opposed Christianity. Paul said there were greater enemies than that. He said: "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." He wanted to remind these believers that Satan was alive and well. Satan would continually tempt them. Sa-tan would try to destroy the church of God and always will to the very end of time. Paul’s advice was: Put on the full armor of God that you may stand.
Satan is alive and well today. Our struggles are the same struggles that these early Christians faced, the very same struggle that Adam and Eve faced. Today our struggle might even be harder, isn’t it? Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world with no sorrow, no sadness, no pain, no suffering, and no heart-ache. It was perfect. Yet, in that perfection Satan was so deceptive that he caused them to disobey. To-day, thousands of years later, you and I can well imagine as we live in an imperfect world how the devil deceives us. Peter says: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roar-ing lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). If we saw a lion outside, we would stay inside. We would say there is danger there: danger, danger, danger because of this roaring lion. Satan wants to devour our souls. But Satan does not always attack us like a roaring lion, does he?