Summary: We need to put on the whole armor of God
How many of you have someone in your life you would consider a thorn? Stop looking at the person next to you. Most, if not all of us, have someone we could identify as a person who it seems has been sent to cause chaos in our life, who seems to surface when we are going through the still water of life and stir up the waves of frustration and opposition. Why?
The Bible talks about people like this, people who are influenced as we talked about last week, by principalities and powers, by the force of darkness. The Apostle Paul understood this, himself once used by those same principalities and powers to bring havoc on Christians in his day, persecuting them, seeking to bring them to punishment and death as we read in Acts concerning the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Having been transformed by Christ, Saul the persecutor became Paul the protector of the faith, instructing the early church how they should live out their faith, warning them of the dangers of standing for righteousness, showing how believers can be protected through the armor of God.
Over the next two weeks we are going to do an in-depth look at the armor of God and how you and I can be protected from those who would seek to bring harm into our lives, the thorns that try and penetrate through our Christian walk.
Turn to Ephesians 6, verses 13-15 as we began a look at our body armor.
The New Living Translation states, “13 Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared.”
We are going to look at 4 things today, the equipment, the belt, the body armor and the shoes so we can be found as workman unafraid of the work God has commissioned us.
I. The Equipment.
The New International Version writes verse 13 the following, “13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
The New Living Translation says to use every piece, the NIV says to put on the full armor, the NKJV says to put on the whole armor. What we can draw from this is the armor of God is not something which automatically adheres to believers, it is something which needs to be put on which also implies it can be taken off or set aside. God does not zap you into a suit of armor, he does not make sure you are always wearing it, he allows you to make a freewill choice, to decide to wear it or not. How many of you came in today with the full armor of God on? How many of you will go about your day tomorrow, conscious of putting on the armor before you begin your day?
Put on the full armor of God so you will be able to stand your ground. You are not a doormat to be walked on, you don’t have to lay down to the demands of everyone around you so they can trample over you because you are a Christian, you need to stand your ground as a believer, to stand up for what you believe and not allow the world to push you around.
William Jennings Bryant said, “Never be afraid to stand with the minority which is right, for the minority that is right will one day be the majority; always be afraid to stand with the majority which is wrong, for the majority which is wrong will one day be the minority.”
This is why it is important to stand with God for he is always the majority. If someone were to examine your life, what would they say you stand for, what would be the predominate theme of how you live your life?
Paul says to stand, stand in the midst of evil days, for evil days will come. Stand firm against the onslaught of those who today seem to be in the majority for as Bryant said, a wrong majority will one day be a minority. There comes a day of final accounting, when God says goats or sheep, right or wrong, heaven or hell, and on that day, where we stand in our life will be of primary importance.
Romans 8:31 reminds us, “If God is for us, who can be against us Since God did not spare even his own son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else? 33Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself. 34Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us.