Sermons

Summary: In the mighty strength of the Lord we are equipped as wrestler-soldiers to stand in the spiritual battle. We will stand firm against all the schemes of the devil and the combined evil forces of the spiritual realm.

You can listen to the full message here:-

https://nec.org.au/jesus-is-still-sovereign/

Jesus Is Still Sovereign

Ephesians 6:10-13

When There Is A Spiritual Battle

In the garden of Eden there was perfection.

God created and it was very good. Adam and Eve are walking with God in the cool of the evening.

But someone is watching and scheming. The serpent who was more crafty than any of the wild animals asked a question … that created doubted … that caused disobedience … that lead to the fall.

That is when the spiritual battle came right out into the open. And the spiritual battle has been going on ever since. In the face of this ongoing spiritual battle we read these words in

Ephesians 6:10-13.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour 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 armour 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.

The mighty power of the Lord is an important theme in Ephesians. In

Ephesians 1:19-21 Paul talks about

(God’s) incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

It is the resurrection power of Jesus that enables us to live by grace through faith.

It is the resurrection power of Jesus that brings about unity and maturity of believers.

Resurrection power enables us to put on the new self, deal with anger, not grieve the Spirit, avoid course language, and have God-centred relationships.

This same resurrection power … where we can be strong in the Lord and His mighty power … is available to us whenever and wherever there is a spiritual battle.

And let us not be in doubt.

At the moment we are all going through a spiritual battle.

The battle which comes because there is less community.

The battle of being self-disciplined in our devotional and prayer life.

The battle with worry and anxiety over finances, job security, and getting by each day.

The battle of strained relationships and the bigger battle of loneliness.

The battle of grief or anger over all the aspects of life which have been taken, sacrificed and lost.

That is the battle.

It is not like a modern battle where, most of the time, the enemy is distant. Weapons fired from planes, or ships or tanks. Unmanned drones controlled from 1,000’s of kilometres away using what seem to be Play-station controllers.

It is not distant. It is close. It is more like hand-to-hand combat. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood.” The word for struggle was commonly used to describe the sport of wrestling. The spiritual wrestling match … with spiritual weapons.

Paul here is mixing metaphors.

Paul does this because he wants us to understand that this battle very unique.

He takes images from the world of wrestling. The word “struggle” is one. But the concept of taking your stand …. standing your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand – well that is also from the world of wrestling. The winner in a wrestling match is the one who is able to keep hold their footing and keep standing. But no weapons are used in wrestling. In fact in the days of Paul all competitors in wrestling matches were naked.

The imagery of the armour comes from the world of military battle. Romans soldiers. Greek warriors. They were all well-armed with swords, helmets, breastplates, shields and good foot-wear. When they were in a battle they didn’t just stand, they advanced, they met the enemy and they went into battle.

In the battle - you are not just a spiritual wrestler … standing, struggling, against an enemy that able to come with force and take get you to use every aspect of spiritual effort you have.

In the battle you are not just a spiritual soldier … … equipped, advancing, taking ground, running securely, fending off flaming arrows taking a victory and causing the enemy to run away in defeat.

In the battle you are both … wrestler and soldier.

We need to be like this because this battle unlike any other battle.

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