Sermons

Summary: In the closing words of this letter Paul talks about the battle we are in and how we can have victory. (Ephesians 10)

"THE WALK OF VICTORY;

WHY ARE WE LOSING THE BATTLE?"

TEXT: EPHESIANS 6:10-24

EVERY YEAR WE AMERICANS CELEBRATE MEMORIAL DAY. A TIME SET ASIDE TO HONOR THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE. MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE LAID DOWN THEIR VERY LIFE FOR THEIR COUNTRY....

WE WHO HAVE GATHERED HERE TODAY IN FREEDOM. A FREEDOM WHERE WE CAN WORSHIP OUR GOD WITHOUT FEAR THAT SOMEONE WILL BURST INTO OUR SERVICE AND KILL US OR TAKE US TO PRISON ARE THE BENEFICIARIES OF THAT SACRIFICE...

SOME HERE TODAY HAVE FOUGHT IN THOSE WARS... MY DAD AND MANY OTHERS... AND WE THNAK YOU.

AND MANY OF KNOW MEN WHO THOUGH THEY WANTED TO LIVE JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE, WERE WILLING TO GIVE THEIR LIVES FOR OUR FREEDOM...

AND SOME HERE TODAY WATCHED THEIR BUDDIES DIE BEFORE THEIR VERY EYES IN ORDER THAT WE CAN ENJOY THE FREEDOM WE SO EASILY TAKE FOR GRANTED...

TODAY WE DO NOT WANT TO DO THAT...

PRAYER.....

THIS MORNING WE ARE GOING TO READ THE WORDS OF ANOTHER SOLDIER -- A MAN WHO FELL ON THE BATTLEFIELD NEARLY 2,000 YEARS AGO -- A MAN WHO GAVE HIS VERY LIFE IN ORDER TO PROCLAIM FREEDOM THAT WE NOW ENJOY IN CHRIST... AND SPEAKS TO US TODAY AS FELLOW SOLDIERS.

PAUL HAD SEEN MANY ROMAN SOLDIERS IN HIS LIFE... PAUL LIVED IN A COUNTRY THAT WAS UNDER ROMAN RULE AND MILITARY OCCUPATION. AN NOT ONLY DID HE SEE ROMAN SOLDIERS, PAUL ONE OCCASION WAS GUARDED BY A FULL ROMAN DETACHMENT; 200 SOLDIERS, 70 HORSEMEN AND 200 HUNDRED SPEAR MEN WHILE BEING HE WAS ESCORTED TO CEASEREA FOR TRIAL. LATER, WHEN PAUL SET SAIL TO ROME TO STAND TRIAL BEFORE CAESAR HE WAS AGAIN ESCORTED BY A CENTURION AND A DETACHMENT OF ROMAN SOLDIERS.

AND AS PAUL WROTE THIS LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS HE WAS IN A ROMAN PRISON CHAINED TO A ROMAN SOLIDER.

SO YOU SEE, PAUL HAD MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO OBSERVE THE ROMAN SOLDIERS AND TO SEE THEIR ARMOR -- AND PAUL HAD MUCH TIME TO REFLECT UPON BOTH. PAUL THOUGHT ABOUT HOW ESSENTIAL A SOLDIERS ARMOR WAS, HOW WITHOUT IT HE IS ONLY A CIVILIAN, AND HOW WITH IT HE IS ABLE TO DEFEAT A DOZEN UNARMED MEN.

AND PAUL THOUGHT ABOUT HOW A SOLDIERS JOB IS TO ENGAGE THE ENEMY AND WIN THE WAR....TO ENDURE HARDSHIPS AND FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT.

THEN PAUL THOUGHT ABOUT HOW HE AND ALL CHRISTIANS WERE SOLDIERS FOR JESUS CHRIST... ABOUT HOW WE FACE A VERY POWERFUL AND AN EXTREMELY WICKED ENEMY.

AND PAUL THOUGHT ABOUT HOW CHRISTIANS, IF THEY ARE UNAWARE OF THE WAR, AND UNARMED AND UNPREPARED FOR BATTLE THAT THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STAND THEIR GROUND AGAINST THIS ENEMY...THEY WILL BE DEFEATED..

SO AS PAUL CONCLUDES THIS LETTER HE TALKS ABOUT THE BATTLE AND HOW WE CAN WALK IN VICTORY....

EPHESIANS 10-24

"FINALLY"; NOT IN SENSE OF DRAWING TO A CONCLUSION.... BETTER TRANSLATION WOULD BE "FOR THE REMAINING TIME" WHILE YOU WAIT FOR THE LORD’S SECOND COMING....

"BE STRONG"; PASSIVE VOICE (WE ARE ACTED UPON) "BE MADE STRONG" GOD IS OUR STRENGTH WE MUST BE DEPENDENT UPON HIM...

"WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG"

-- 2 COR 12:10

"PUT ON"; PAUL SHIFTS FROM THE PASSIVE VOICE... TO ACTIVE VOICE... (WE DO THE ACTING)

PAUL USES BOTH VOICES TO INDICATE THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN WHAT WE DO, AND WHAT GOD DOES THROUGH US.... GOD AND MAN WORKING TOGETHER

AS WE LOOK AT THIS PASSAGE TODAY -- AS WE TALK ABOUT THE WALK OF VICTORY -- WE WILL ANSWER THIS QUESTION, WHY ARE WE LOSING THE BATTLE? WHY ARE CHRISTIAN INDIVIDUALS AND CHRISTIAN CHURCHES LOSING THE BATTLE...?

AND I THINK THE RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.....BECAUSE AS WE LOOK AT THE CASUALTY LIST OF FALLEN CHRISTIANS AND DEFEATED CHURCHES IT IS READILY APPARENT THAT MANY CHRISTIANS AND CHURCHES RATHER EXPERIENCING THE THRILL OF VICTORY ARE HAVING TO ENDURE THE AGONY OF DEFEAT....

WHY IS THAT? IN OUR TEXT PAUL GIVES 4 ANSWERS TO THAT QUESTION...

1. WE HAVE FORGOTTEN WHO THE ENEMY IS?

ONE REASON IS BECAUSE WE HAVE FORGOTTEN WHO OUR ENEMY IS.

BROTHERS AND SISTERS EVEN THOUGH WE MAY RATHER NOT THINK ABOUT IT [EVEN THOUGH IT IS MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE TO TALK ABOUT GREEN PASTURES AND STILL WATERS) -- THE TRUTH IS WE ARE IN WAR....

AND WE HAVE AN ENEMY - A VERY REAL -- A VERY ABLE AND A VERY DANGEROUS ENEMY..... PAUL SAYS IN VERSE 12 OF OUR TEXT;

"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....." ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD>>>>

WHAT IS NOT OUR ENEMY FLESH AND BLOOD >> "PEOPLE"

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