Summary: Being prepared for our battle against Satan.
BACKGROUND: The book of Ephesians was written by the Apostle Paul sometime around A.D. 63 while Paul was a prisoner in Rome. The theme of Ephesians is “the glorious church” and its purpose is to describe the redemptive grace of God toward his church.
The chapter themes of Ephesians are:
Chapter One: Spiritual blessings in heavenly places
Chapter Two: Unity in Christ
Chapter Three: Paul’s glorious ministry
Chapter Four: Unity of the body
Chapter Five: Christ in our home
Chapter Six: Full armor of God
The full armor of God in chapter six is where we are this morning.
HOOK: Who has seen the 2004 movie "The Alamo," starring Dennis Quaid as Sam Houston, Billy Bob Thornton as Davy Crockett, and Patrick Wilson as William Travis? There’s a brilliant scene in this movie which some officers are complaining because it looks to them like General Sam Houston is fleeing from the army of Santa Anna.
(Show "The Alamo" Clip: DVD Chapter 16 Start Time: 1:56:31 End Time: 1:58:21)
We see in this scene a man’s brilliant strategy to win against the enemy. He sees the fierceness of his opponent and his desire to destroy his army. With this in mind, Houston presents the image of retreating from the enemy while on unfavorable ground. In fact, he has moved his men to a solid place in order to achieve victory over the enemy.
One of the taglines for the movie is “Stand your ground.” This is a very important message for us as Christians.
In 1 Peter 5:8 the apostle warns, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
We can learn a lesson from the movie The Alamo. We dare not fight Satan from a position of vulnerability and weakness. Rather, we need to know our enemy and be prepared to stand our ground and fight him by the strength and power of God!
On God’s terms.
On God’s holy ground.
With the weapons with which God equips us.
In our text we find that…
BIBLICAL PROBLEM: Satan was fighting the Ephesians with various tactics and deceptions.
BIBLICAL SOLUTION: In order to defeat Satan they needed to “put on the full armor of God.”
They needed to utilize the power that God had given them by the Holy Spirit.
CONTEMPORARY PROBLEM: Satan fights us using various tactics and deceptions.
The Greek word that Paul uses in verse 11 that is translated as “schemes” in the New International Version and the New American Standard Bible, and translated as “wiles” in the King James Version is methodeias. This Greek word is where we get our English word “method.”
It comes from two Greek words which mean “after” (meta) and “to journey” (hodeuo). This compound word describes how we achieve something-- we journey after it.
This word might also be translated as “investigations.” This shows us that Satan journeys after our weaknesses -- he investigates and goes after our vulnerabilities.
He shrewdly seeks out the points in our lives that are susceptible and open to attack, and then he launches his fierce assault.
And we are up against a formidable enemy. Whatever name he goes by: Satan, the devil, Lucifer, Beelzebub; the Bible says that he is:
1. a murderer (John 8:44)
2. a liar (John 8:44)
3. a thief (John 10:10)
4. a destroyer (John 14:30)
5. an accuser (Revelation 12:9-10)
6. a devourer (1 Peter 5:8)
7. a deceiver (2 Corinthians 11:13-14) and…
8. a masquerader of goodness (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)
(E. E. Elliott, A Study of the New Testament, Volume 2 [Newburgh, IN: Trinity Press, 1996], 174).
As we work here at Calvary Christian Church to the glory of God, Satan will surely attack. He does not want us to be successful for the cause of Christ. He does not want us to reach out into this community for the glory of God.
He is prowling. He is investigating our weaknesses-- he is going to go after our vulnerabilities. And we dare not let him win this battle!
Be warned, brothers and sisters in Christ, the further we go to bring the light of Christ into Burke and the surrounding area-- the more Satan is going
to lie and steal and destroy and accuse and devour and deceive.
By the power of God Almighty we must not let him overcome us!
THESIS: In order to stand up against and defeat Satan we need to “put on the full armor of God.”
In 2 Timothy 1:7 Paul writes, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
The full armor of God is this power of God himself.
TRANSITIONAL STATEMENT: In verses 14 and 15 we find the first three pieces of God’s armor with which we need to be equipped in order to defeat the enemy.