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Summary: STAND FIRM IN FREEDOM WITH THE ARMOR OF GOD. Jesus has done everything necessary for us to make “The Great Escape;” you are personally responsible for your spiritual condition! It is up to you to live in the freedom Christ has provided for you. To s

THE GREAT ESCAPE – Stand Firm in Freedom

Ephesians 6:10-18

Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)

[10] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. [11] Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. [12] For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. [13] Therefore 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. [14] Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, [15] and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. [16] In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. [17] Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. [18] And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

INTRODUCTION:

In the autumn of 1944 and Germany had been beaten back behind its borders. The Nazi war machine was in nearly destroyed. The repeated bombing raids of the Allies all but assured that Hitler’s forces would never rise again. Around the perimeter of Germany’s borders, the Allies spread a thin line of forces. One person observed that Allied forces were so scattered that a man could slip between its lines without being observed.

All across Europe, there was celebration rejoicing in Germany’s defeat. The war was effectively over. The only problem was . . . somebody forgot to tell Germany.

Even as his forces were being shattered and driven back Hitler was devising a plan for one last onslaught. Underground factories churned out more weapons, armament and ammunition. More of Germany’s young and old men were conscripted and trained for war. And as Europe rejoiced, Hitler planned.

Hitler’s goal was not to drive back the Allies into the sea, as much as it was to divide the British to the North and Americans to the South, so demoralizing them that they would seek peace on his terms and not theirs.

On Dec. 16, 1944 Hitler’s army began The Ardennes Offensive, also known as The Battle of the Bulge. Over 1,000,000 men fought along an 85 mile front; when the fighting ended Jan. 25, 1945 hundreds and thousands of men died because somebody forgot that the enemy still lived and that the war was NOT over.

Similarly Satan has been utterly defeated. What appeared to be Satan’s greatest victory was actually his ultimate defeat. Christ disarmed Satan and his demonic forces; the enemy was totally humiliated as Jesus triumphed over them at the cross (See Colossians 2:15).

While Christ has won the victory, the war is not over. Void of power Satan continues to lead a covert battle of deception. The devil seeks to convince us that he still has power over our lives, that he deserves to take back territory Christ has won. The battle rages on! Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security; Satan wants to destroy you. But don’t be afraid; GREATER IS HE WHO IS IN YOU THAN HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD. Jesus has made The Great Escape possible; we can “Stand Firm in Freedom!”

“In its entirety, the “Battle of the Bulge,” was the worst battles in terms of losses to the American Forces in WWII;” the winter battle of 1944-45 led to 81,000 American casualties, including 23,554 captured and 19,000 killed (http://www.mm.com/user/jpk/battle.htm). No one will ever know how many of these could have been spared if the Allies had reinforced their positions instead of celebrating an early end to the war across Europe.

This morning we are going to look at what it means to STAND FIRM IN FREEDOM. Jesus has done everything necessary for us to make “The Great Escape;” you are personally responsible for your spiritual condition! It is up to you to live in the freedom Christ has provided for you.

To stand firm in freedom, we are going to look at [1] the main line of power, [2] being dressed for battle, and [3] the protective power of prayer.

1. The Main Line of Power

Ephesians 6:10 (NIV)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Who are you going to depend upon?

Will you fall back into the old patterns of thinking you developed before you came to Christ? You grew up independent of God; you did things your way. You followed the blueprint of the natural mind; I CAN DO IT MYSELF—I DON’T NEED ANYONE OR ANYTHING TO HELP ME! Don’t make that mistake!

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