Summary: 8 of 11. Paul closes his direction to the Ephesian church by encouraging them to find their strength in the Lord. But where or how can God's people find the strength to stand victorious? God’s people acquire strength to stand victorious thru a distinct...
STRENGTH To STAND-VIII—Ephesians 6:10-20
A charter boat was returning to the dock with a huge marlin that was much bigger & heavier than the fisherman who caught it. Another fisherman had just netted a bucket of mullet & was on his way to the cleaning shed, when he walked by just in time to see the marlin being proudly weighed & displayed. The mullet fisherman stood among the many gawkers oogling & ogling over the marlin.
The mullet fisherman looked at the marlin, then turned to the one that had landed it & said, “Only caught one, huh?”
Likewise, God’s people must find their Strength to Stand firm in Christ.
Courage—to stand firm for & in Christ—against the lost world’s direction.
Confidence—knowing that we cannot compromise with the opponent.
Perseverance—knowing that the Lord’s armor holds & protects thru every battle.
Paul urged the Ephesian church to find their strength in the Lord by effectively arming themselves.
The church must acquire God’s strength to stand victorious.
Where & How can the church find strength to stand victorious?
12 distinctions of the Christian soldier’s strength for victory.
We have found that—
...God’s people acquire strength to stand victorious..or..acquire victory thru a distinct...
8—God’s people acquire strength to stand victorious thru a distinct...
:16—“above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”
One aspect of the Roman soldier’s defensive armor that enabled him to stand, was his large full-body “shield.” It was ~2 1/2 ft. wide X ~4 1/2 ft. tall. The “shield” was the main defensive weapon. It was a weapon employed to prevent arrows, rocks, etc. slung from a distance, from penetrating to the soldier’s body. Whatever the enemy brought to the soldier or whatever the enemy hurled at the soldier, the “shield” was his first line of defense.
This defensive weapon is to be enlisted “above all”! In other words, ‘If you lose all else, keep this one thing.’ Yet if your faith in the Lord Jesus is true & not mere sentimentality, then you will also hold to the remainder of the armor as well!
When properly held in tandem with that of fellow soldiers in a phalanx, the “shield” was used as a powerful means by which the united foot-soldiers would advance as one while under fire. “Faith” recognizes that it increases the strength of others, & is itself strengthened when in the presence of others of the same faith.
Thus in the Christian’s wrestlings with the ever-present ‘spirituals of wickedness’(:12), dependence upon their “faith” in God thru Christ is absolutely vital to battle survival, aiding in leaving the Christian standing thru it all(:13).
Any offensive on your part invites an opposing offense—“fiery darts”!
One’s personal trust in God dismantles such “fiery darts” of accusation. The devil hurls lies & accusations with the intent of maligning God’s credibility. The devil can accomplish this by hurling abuse at & thus injuring God’s servants...by using worldly, political & popularized teaching, & governance to dismantle Christian belief.
If Christian “faith” in God can be dismantled, punctured, or damaged, then God is discredited & His servants are fools.
In Roman days, the tips of arrows would be wrapped in pitch-soaked cloths & set afire just prior to shooting. On impact, burning bits would be spattered setting ablaze anything flammable.
The faithful soldier in the Lord’s army, who properly wields “the shield of faith”, will very effectively, “quench” the enemy’s most frightening “fiery” missiles. Satan’s missiles are set on fire in hopes of making the believer retreat to flesh for protection.
Job 2:3-10—“Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless & upright man, one who fears God & shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” So Satan answered the LORD & said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, & touch his bone & his flesh, & he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, & struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God & die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, & shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”