Summary: (PowerPoint Slides and Cell Study Notes freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com)
Spiritual Warfare (SW-09)
The Belt of Truth
This morning we come to one of the most exciting, empowering and liberating sections of our series on Spiritual Warfare - The Armor of God. This is, if you want, how to ‘dress for success.’ Did you know that the victory you want is directly linked to the armor you wear? As we unpack the different parts of this armor - we are going to discover that God has supernaturally infused into your armor and your weaponry supernatural power and authority. Your spiritual armor is given so that you can stand firm against the attack of Satan and the spiritual weaponry is given so that you will advance against the forces of darkness. Watch this - here’s the principle - when you wear your armor and wield your weaponry you walk in victory. I think that was a good place for somebody to say ‘Amen!’ You see my friend, it is as simple as that - when you wear your armor and wield your weaponry you walk in victory. Why? Because God infused them with supernatural power.
"For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." (2 Corinthians 10:4)
We need to understand that every challenge we face and every problem we experience is an opportunity to engage in spiritual warfare and walk in spiritual victory. Come on now - I’m preaching better than you are listening. That is why what the devil wants you to do when you face a challenge or run into a problem, whatever it is, is get all in the flesh not the Spirit, confront it in your strength not in the power of God, deal with it in natural not the supernatural! He does not want you to wear your armor or wield you weaponry because he knows that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds and when you wear that armor and wield that weaponry, you walk in victory. Satan does not want you to get what God has laid on my heart for you this morning. But guess what? We are going to get it anyway because my God does.
Are you ready church? Please open you Bibles with me to the book of Ephesians, Ephesians 6:13-18. While I will only be looking at the first part of verse 14, we will be reading this passage together every week so we can remind ourselves of the context.
Lets stand together - now read out loud with me if you will.
Ephesians 6:13-18 - Read - Pray.
Let’s start with a question? Where was Paul when he wrote the letter to the church in Ephesus, or ‘Ephesians’ as we like to call it? He was in a prison in Rome. Anybody know when it was? Around 60 - 62 a.d. Paul had been a Christian for about 30 years by the time he wrote this letter and during those 30 years he had, it seems, been imprisoned about 6 times for the gospel - never, interesting enough, for murdering or torturing Christians - just for being one.
While in prison in Rome for two years (under house arrest) he wrote Colossians, Philippians, Philemon and Ephesians (and possible 2 Timothy). During some of this time Paul was chained to two Roman guards - other times he was simply in chains.
Now when you are surrounded by guards, even chained to them, you have plenty of time up front and close - so we know Paul had extended exposure to Roman guards. The Roman army which was the largest army of its time - conquered all of what we now call England/Wales, Spain, France, most of Germany, the northern coast of Africa, the Middle East and Greece. It built the Roman Empire. Their training was rigorous and although their rewards were sometimes minimal, their punishments for failure were exceptionally high. You have heard the word ‘decimate’ - it comes from the Roman word ‘decimus’ - the practice of punishing a weak, defeated or cowardly battalion of 600 legionnaires - if they did not perform well n the battle field, they would draw lots and one in ten would be stoned or clubbed to death by the other nine.
There were three primary divisions in the Roman Republic’s Army.
The Hastati - or raw recruits - they would go into battle first - and were armed with javelins, short spears, helmets and oval shields. There were about 1200 of them in a legion, and here is what they were trained primarily to do. They would all launch there 1200 javelins at the same time into the midst of the enemy, and while the enemy was in disarray here is what they specialized in doing - with this oval shield they would push the enemies swords up into the air, and then thrust his sword into the enemies side. This they did again and again and again until they heard the trumpet sounding them out and the second line of assault into play.