Summary: The sentence structure in the Greek proves that often we place the emphasis on the wrong thing in this passage. The emphasis is not on the armor, but on standing. The armor is simply a tool that we are to use to carry out God’s command, "STAND."
Text: Ephesians 6:10-20
Title: Stand Firm
INTRODUCTION: Archibald Naismith tells us that at the Battle of Waterloo, when the fight became its worst, an officer galloped up to the Commander, the Duke of Wellington and said, "my Captain says we are being destroyed, we need reinforcements quickly." The Duke said simply, "tell him to stand." The officer galloped back to relay the message to his Captain.
Shortly the same messenger galloped back with the same message. Again, Wellington said simply, "tell him to stand."
Very soon another officer same with the same request. Wellington’s response was this, "I have no help to send you, tell him to stand." The officer saluted and replied, "you will find us there sir."
When the battle was fought and won the Duke found each of those men at his post. All dead, but they stood. They had laid down their lives for the victory.
As I study this passage the first word that comes to my mind is "STAND!" This word occurs three times in this passage, and one of those it is in the intensified form in the Greek, which means it is given the greatest emphasis possible. The sentence structure in the Greek proves that often we place the emphasis on the wrong thing in this passage. The emphasis is not on the armour, but on standing. The armour is simply a tool that we are to use to carry out God’s command, "STAND."
Read verses 11, 13, and 14
Let us examine the passage in its true context, which is with the emphasis on standing.
I. We Are Victorious As The Church Impacting The World When We Stand Enlightened. (10-12)
A. We are to be Strong in the Lord. (10)
1. When all else is said and done, the bottom line is that living as God’s Word has described in these last three chapters is a battle.
a) It is perhaps one of the hardest things to live life swimming against the current of the day.
b) To be man and women who are willing to stand up against the trends, the way everyone else is living requires strength.
c) Supernatural strength!
2. The strength mentioned here is from the Lord.
a) In our selves we are not going to be able to do it!
b) We can’t practice mutual submission with our spouse, our children, our parents, or our boss in our own strength.
c) This takes God’s power in our lives!
3. It requires us to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and be our strength for us.
a) We are to do everything we can and rely on the Holy Spirit to give us guidance as we strive to be strong Christ-followers in a world that is dark and hurting.
b) The Psalmist knew of this strength that is available to believers when he wrote:
Psalms 28:7 (NIV)
7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
4. And the strength is ours through Christ.
a) We simply need to acknowledge it and accept it.
b) Jesus even told us in Acts 1:8 that we would have power available to us.
Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
5. We have available to us all the power necessary to make a stand against the push and pull of this darkened and hurting world.
a) The question is, “are we ready to make the decision to stand?”
b) It is a choice we must make.
c) Be strong and take a stand or retreat and try to hide and blend in an get along while all the time sacrificing our opportunities to live obediently and victoriously.
Trans: The good news is that the Scriptures tell us here of how we must be strong. But how exactly are we to do that. Well, our next passages of Scripture tell us how this is done.
B. We stand against our enemy the Devil and his schemes. (11)
1. The language used here is intentional and has about it the understanding of warfare.
a) Put on your armor!
b) Get ready to do battle.
c) This is not a casual exercise that can be approached half heartedly.
2. The full, the complete set of armor.
a) Don’t forget any part of your battle attire.
b) Bring everything!
c) Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, bring all the armaments you can muster.
3. Why? Because we face a imposing foe!
John 12:31 (NIV)
31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.