Summary: God strengthens us to participate in his plan in the face of resistance.


• SLIDE #1

• Isn't it so easy to live for Jesus? Are you not glad that we live in a world that embraces Biblical truth, that encourages righteousness?

• Are you not glad that we the media, Hollywood, as well as politicians doing all they can to promote Biblical values? ?

• Wait, never mind!

• Living out your faith is not easy; we are hit in so many directions with so many messages that are in direct opposition to Jesus.

• We are saturated with messages, media, and other things that make living our faith more difficult.

• Lest you think I am whining about this, I realize that in places like China, you can end up in prison for practicing your faith.

• The Muslim world is so fearful of Christianity that they persecute and kill Christians.

• The early church suffered persecution for practicing their faith, so in contrast to that, we have it easy.

• Nonetheless, it is safe to say that society is becoming less tolerant of a Christian worldview.

• Today we will conclude our series, Masterpiece in Progress.

• How do we thrive in a hostile world?

• We have to realize we are in a battle, a battle for the heart and soul.

• Paul concludes his letter by reminding his readers of the cosmic narrative in which they hold an essential role.

• He describes the battle at work in the spiritual realm as well as the tools God has equipped us with to ensure our victory.

• Let’s begin by turning to Ephesians 6:10-11

• SLIDE #2

Ephesians 6:10–11 (CSB) — 10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil.

• SLIDE #3


I. The battle. (10-11)

• In this verse, Paul uses the word FINALLY.

• This represents the culmination of the encouragements concerning our conduct in this world.

• In the second half of this letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul goes from theological to practical.

• Since we are called to be different, we need to know how to be victorious over the enemy instead of becoming victims of the enemy.

• Verse 10 emphasizes the fact that we need to be prepared for the battle that we face every moment of every day!

• Since we are in a battle of epic proportions, we need to realize our strength comes from the Lord.

• For those that used to watch Popeye, and for our younger folks, it was not a cartoon about chicken. Google it. ?

• Whenever Popeye was confronted by Bluto, who was always hitting on Popeye’s woman Olive Oly. Popeye would get beat up by Bluto until Popeye busted out his chocolate chip cookie, I mean his nasty can of spinach.

• Once he ate the spinach, Bluto got a beatdown of epic proportions.

• For the Christian, Jesus is our spinach. He is where we are to get out strength so that win the battle that we will fight each day.

• Jesus is the only one who is undefeated!

• The battle we face is a spiritual battle, we have to understand that fact.

• If we are not aware of the battle we are in, we will succumb to the enemy and be defeated.

• We are encouraged to put on the full armor of God so we can be victorious!

• The imperative to put on the full armor of God is one all of us are called to do. We all must be aware of the power we have through Jesus!

• The phrase FULL ARMOR was a military technical term that spoke of the equipment worn by the heavily armed Romans infantrymen who were always in a state of readiness.

• By the way, Paul was chained to a Roman soldier as he wrote this letter.

• We must put on the full armor of God, lest we fall victim to the schemes of the enemy.

• In the face of this battle, we are told to stand firm.

• Once again, STAND FIRM is a military term that carries the idea of holding one’s position against the enemy rather than allowing oneself to be overrun.

• It also denotes standing as the victor, unvanquished!

• What we are facing are schemes to defeat us.

• Schemes are insidious plans or systems of attack, evil tricks.

• How many of you have received a call from the Social Security Administration or from someone claiming to be from the IRS?

• Those are schemes to get your money.

• Now that we know we are at war let's look at verse 11-12.

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