Sermons

Summary: We are to fight against the evils of our time with truth, righteousness, faith and we are to proclaim the Gospel boldly.

Title: Speak Out with Boldness

Central idea: We are to fight against the evils of our time with truth, righteousness, faith and we are to proclaim the Gospel boldly.

Specific purpose: to persuade the congregation not to set idly by but to fight for God by speaking boldly for Christ.

Delivery style: Speak boldly, forcefully

Paul was in chains in prison when He wrote this letter to the Ephesians.

Ephesians 6:10-20, "10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 1 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against [defensive] the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench 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 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak."

As Hitler’s appetite for power and territory grew, his army began to march across Europe. In some cases, in the Low Countries, the defenders were so weak that the fight was no a battle, just a skirmish. The German army had tanks with technologically advanced weapons. In some of the less militarily developed nations, their armies made a futile effort to resist Hitler’s aggression. For example, in 1939 when the Germans attack Poland, the Polish army had horse mounted cavalry to charge tanks and biplanes to go against powerful Messerschmitt 109's. It was no contest. Poland fell in a few weeks. Poland was not equipped for the battle.

We who oppose evil today are much like the Polish army of 1939. Many of evil's victims do not even know there is a war going on. They make easy prey. We Christians must realize that we are in the midst of a great spiritual struggle. Even more distressing is the fact that many who consider themselves “in the war” do not understand the nature of evil's schemes, of the weapons that evil employs, or of the weapons that God has provided for our defense.

I. Paul says, "10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm."

A. The church is engaged in a spiritual war, and its enemy is Satan and a host of unseen angelic and celestial enemies whose power vastly exceeds our own. Our enemies remain invisible to our eyes, but they nevertheless are real, and so is their opposition.

1. These enemies are both worldly and spiritual. In verse 12, Paul describes the many enemies as “rulers,” “powers,” “world forces of this darkness,” “spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places”.

2. We cannot fully grasp the variety and the number of those forces that oppose us. They range from evil people to fallen angelic beings.

3. To underestimate his power is to underestimate the immensity of the spiritual struggle, and the corresponding need that we have for divine enablement.

4. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that we dare not underestimate our enemy, “who prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Satan does not have false teeth. He not only desires to devour, he will devour those who do not take up the “whole armor of God.”

II. Paul’s focus in our text is not on every aspect of Satan’s opposition to God and man, but on the devil’s war with the saints. You are the saints, the members of the church of Jesus the Christ. Satan carries on his warfare on various fronts. Evil seeks to keep unbelievers from the truth, but, in Ephesians, Paul’s concern is with Satan’s war against the church and with the defenses that God has provided the Christian.

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