Summary: As Christians, we are to equip ourselves to stand.
Stand and Fight: Putting it All Together
Beartown Road Alliance Church
Sunday, August 26th, 2007
A few years ago I had the opportunity to go to the Great Lakes Naval Training Institute just outside of Chicago. Two of the young men from my youth ministry were graduating from basic training. These were two kids that I had spent a lot of time with and really invested in. They were the youth group clowns. I can’t tell you how many of my lessons and talks were interrupted by a smart comment from one of these guys. With teens, once you get them laughing, they’re gone! You may as well dismiss. It’s awfully hard to get the focus back. I could never seem to get these two to hold still and to listen for an entire half hour.
Those were the kids I knew, so I hardly recognized the two men that I saw that morning during the two hour ceremony. They were dressed in an immaculate uniform and standing at attention. They marched at the right times, they saluted at the right times, they answered the questions of the officers at the right times and when they were supposed to be quiet, they were! They didn’t crack any jokes during the ceremony. They didn’t ask to go to the bathroom or raise their hand and ask the speaker if he was almost done. They stood in their line and they stared straight ahead. These men were different. Now, I still talk with both of them and they are still a lot of fun to be around and have a great sense of humor, but there is a difference. Those two entered that training time as kids and they graduated as soldiers. They now stand ready to serve, ready to defend, and ready to do whatever they are asked to and whatever it takes to help America stand.
The last few weeks we’ve been in a spiritual boot camp. I have been looking with you at the different spiritual disciplines that need to be present in our lives as we engage the enemy and do all that we are called to do to help the Church stand and to advance the Kingdom of God. The Christian faith is one of growth and change and the things that we have looked at in these weeks are designed to move us from being spiritual kids to being prepared for the battles that we know will come in life. Today is graduation day. The summer is always a tough time to do a series. I know that many of you have been in and out over the last few weeks and so what I want to do this morning is to put it all together.
I want to look at this passage one more time and I will try not to simply re-preach what we’ve looked at in the last few weeks, but I do want to point out the highlights and the main ideas, those things that I want to make sure that you understand, and then wrap everything up together for us as we bring this important topic to a close.
Paul starts off this passage with the Big Idea, this is the one thing that he wants to make sure that we understand it and comes in the way of a command.
I. The Command
As Paul launches in to this analogy of the armor and of the warfare that the Christian is called to engage in, he paints a picture of God’s people learning to stand up under all sorts of attacks and temptations. No matter what comes, no matter what is thrown at us, no matter what tactics are used, we are to stand. If you watch action movies, there is that scene in every action movie where the camera pans in on the hero standing there. He has been beaten and battered, he’s been burned, shot at, stabbed, and dropped 10 stories out of a helicopter after already surviving 15 car wrecks, but there he is, standing.