Summary: God has equipped the believer with His armor to use in the spiritual battles we face every day.
The Onward Christian Soldier
Well folks, it’s great to be back with you tonight. It’s a real joy to be with those who love the Lord Jesus and love each other. I believe when we come to God’s house that this should be a place where we can enjoy each other’s company and learn and grow together in the grace of God. Because let’s face it, out there it’s hard enough, isn’t it? And you know as well as I do that it’s a real battlefield! It’s a battlefield because there’s a spiritual war going on in the lives of God’s children. It seems like there’s always something that thrown at us just when we’ve overcome some great difficulty that we’ve been through. It may be physical. It may be financial. It may be emotional. But you can count on this if you’re a believer, chances are – it’s spiritual!
But we can’t just give in when trouble comes knocking. We have responsibilities. We have families to raise, nurture and protect. We have people to minister to and to reach for Christ. We have to keep on going through the struggle. You may say, “well Bro. Marty that’s easy to say, but how do we do it?” Well, that’s what I want to share with you tonight. I’ve entitled tonight’s message, “The Onward Christian Soldier.” Turn to Ephesians chapter 6. We’re going to be looking at verses 10-20.
In Ephesians chapter 4 through the first part of chapter 6, the apostle Paul has been discussing the walk of the believer. Now all of a sudden he changes course and states that there’s another way to look at the believer’s life in Christ and he begins to talk about the war that Christians are engaged in
In their everyday lives. Folks, I’ve never had to go and fight for my country, although I would have if called upon to do so but there’s an enemy that constantly causes conflict in my life and tries his best to destroy me and any type of ministry I attempt to do. And it’s from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed at night. And if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ you know what I mean. As believers we’re soldiers in the army of the Lord. I love the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers.” We are called to be good soldiers. That involves a lot of things. It involves motivation. It involves training. It involves discipline. It involves having the right equipment and it involves endurance. So tonight we’re going to talk about the Christian solder. (Read Ephesians 6:10-20/Pray)
In these 11 verses of scripture tonight I want us to see 6 things that are important to the Christian soldier. The first thing we need to see is,
I.The Charge to the Christian Soldier – verses 10-11.
If you’ll notice in verse 10 Paul uses the word “brethren” or “brother.” It’s us as believers that are given the charge, not the world. Paul tells us to listen up because there’s no other way to conquer the enemy that so violently opposes what we stand for in Christ. And he also wants us to know that if we don’t find our strength in the Lord then chances are we’ll be more likely to not experience the abundance and joy of life. We won’t know the power and deliverance that God provides. If we don’t walk in the Lord’s strength each day we’re going to be shadowboxing with the devil in a game that he’s a lot more experienced in and familiar with than we are.
Too many times we think of the Christian life as a playground instead of a battleground. So we have to be strong in the Lord Paul says, and in the power of His might. Notice he’s stressing strength here. He uses the words strong, power and might. The reason Paul uses those particular words is because he knows what we are in our strength. We’re not talking about just physical strength here. There’s only so much human strength can accomplish and it’s not much. But Paul knows that God possesses unlimited power because He’s God. That’s what the word “omnipotent” means, “all-powerful.” It means that God can do whatever He wills to do. So he tells us to be strong in Him because there’s no way our own physical, mental or emotional strength can overcome the world with all of it’s trials and temptations.
Look what else Paul says in verse 11, “Put on the whole armor of God”. Notice this, once the believer is strong on the inside then the believer is ready to equip himself on the outside, so to speak for the fight. Now let me say this, no amount of armor is worth the material it’s made of if the soldier doesn’t have the heart or desire to fight and win. I see Christians all the time that may as well roll over and play dead because they’re so defeated in life. They don’t sense victory in their life, they don’t have joy in life, they’re not effective for Christ and they wonder why. Paul says, “Be strong in the strength that God gives and then use the equipment that God provides for you as you go into battle everyday.” And folks, it is every day. Don’t think you sneak out the back door to get away from the fight.