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Summary: We are shown the power of the Word in Paul’s description of the armor of God.

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The Power of the Word: Stand Firm

08/03/08 PM

Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Text: Ephesians 6:10-17

Introduction

For the past few weeks we have been exploring the Word of God through the Word of God. We have learned that all scripture is inspired from God and we have learned the use of scripture for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). We have seen how God has chosen to reveal Himself to us and to the world by way of His creation and His Word (Psalm 19:1-14) and we have seen the proper place for His Word is in our mouth, in our heart, and in our lives (Joshua 1:8). With the word so implanted, let us explore the Power of the Word:

1 Corinthians 1:18 (NASB) “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

I.Is the power to stand firm (Ephesians 6:10-17)

A.Take up the full armor of God

1.Therefore, the believers’ response to the reality of spiritual warfare should be to take up the whole armor of God.

a.The armor is ready for us; we merely need to take it.

b.This changes the clothing metaphor slightly from Ephesians 4:24, where Paul had instructed the believers to “put on” the new self.

1)“Take up” is a technical military term describing preparation for battle.

2)The armor is available, but the believer - soldier must “take it up” in order to be ready.

3)There is a need to train ourselves in the use and application of armor God has given us.

c.If you want to complete a marathon, you have to run hundreds of training miles. If you want to learn a foreign language, you have to spend some hours memorizing verb forms and conjugations. If you want to play the piano, you have to learn the scales and how to read music.

d.And if you want to accomplish anything for God, you have to spend time with the spiritual disciplines: Bible study, prayer, worship, and serving His church.

1)Being a Christian is not a learned skill or discipline; it’s a living relationship with our living Lord Jesus.

2)But like any other relationship, if you want it to be deep and meaningful it takes time and commitment.

3)As Paul said to Timothy (2 Timothy 2:3) we are to be good soldiers for Christ Jesus.

e.We would be negligent to be anything less, for the battle is real, and we are Satan’s targets.

1)Only with the armor of God will we be able to withstand, a word describing standing against great opposition

2)We cannot stand on our strength alone.

f.Christian soldiers must be able to hold their ground against the schemes of the devil. James 4:7 “Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.”

2.“…having done all, to stand” implies our victory after the battle.

a.In ancient times, those still standing after the battle were the victors. The whole context implies that we have the victory.

b.We must participate in Christ’s victory over Satan. We know the outcome of the war, but individual battles can be lost if any believers have not done all in order to stand

B.…having girded your waist with truth (v14 NKJ)

1.This truth refers to the truth of God’s word.

2.Jesus prayed for his followers: John 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

a.As the belt formed the foundation of the soldier’s armor, the truth is the foundation of the Christian life.

b.When the enemy attacks with his lies, half-truths, and distortions, we can stand on the truth of God’s word.

C.…having put on the breastplate of righteousness

1.In Isaiah 59:17, God “put on righteousness as his breastplate.” Protecting the vital organs, the breastplate was a vital piece in the soldier’s armor.

2.We can stand because of the righteousness we have been promised through our faith in Jesus Christ. “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22 NIV).

D.…and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. (v15 NKJ)

1.A soldier wore special sandals or military shoes that protected his feet without slowing him down.

a.Roman soldiers had special shoes made of soft leather with studded soles.

b.This allowed them to march farther and faster as well as providing secure footing during battle.

2.The Word of God is the gospel, or Good News, that brings peace.

3.We are ready for battle because “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard [their] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NKJ).

a.We can stand firm, with peace, because we know that we are doing right and that we are on the winning side.

b.Christians are in the battle both with the inner peace Christ has already given and the desire to produce that peace in the hearts of others.

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