Summary: This sermon challenges believers to examine their lives--do they need the full armor of God, or are they staying "in the rear with the gear?"
Sermon 07 January 2001
Who Needs Armor?
Bill once had a job as a truck driver. Twice a week, he hauled loads between Cincinnati and Atlanta. He always stopped for lunch at Joe’s Diner, a friendly little truck stop about halfway between the two cities.
One day Bill parked his truck, walked into Joe’s Diner, sat down on a stool at the counter and ordered lunch. Off in the distance, there was a roar and a cloud of dust. As the roar got closer, out of the cloud of dust came 12 bikers. They parked their hogs and stormed into the Diner. They crowded around Bill and started to snap their fingers in rhythm. Bill just acted like they weren’t there and kept eating. Then the leader of the pack silenced his men, pointed at two of them, pointed at Bill, and snapped his fingers. One of them poured iced tea over Bill’s head, and the other one pushed Bill’s face into his mashed potatoes. Then the two of them pushed Bill off of his stool and beat the tar out of him. Bill never said a word. He got up, brushed himself off, paid Joe for his lunch and left.
The leader of the gang swaggered over to Joe and said, “that guy’s not much of man is he? He didn’t even try to defend himself.”
“No,” Joe replied as he looked out the window, “and he’s not much of a driver either. He just ran over twelve motorcycles.”
Like, Bill we are surrounded. And, like Bill, we need to choose our reaction to our enemies wisely. However, unlike Bill, we are not alone and defenseless, and, as it says in verse 12, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.(New American Standard Bible).
I. Spiritual Warfare
We are at war. Who is the enemy? It is not the non-believer, although occasionally you will meet a person so full of evil and rebellion against God that he or she actually declares himself or herself the enemy of Christianity. The secular media and society work relentlessly to undermine God’s truth, but they are not the enemy either, although they are often tools in his hands. Our enemy is Satan and the spiritual forces of evil. Satan, the deceiver, the accuser, the destroyer, is the adversary of our souls and the souls of our friends and our loved ones. As Paul sounded this Call to Arms, he wanted us to know whom we’re fighting. Our enemy is powerful, but he is also a defeated foe. Beginning in verse ten Paul is concluding this letter. When he says finally, it’s like he’s saying, “okay y’all if your brains have been on sabbatical it’s time for them to come back. If y’all don’t get anything else, get this because it sums everything else up. The main message of the letter to the Ephesians is the need for unity in the Body of Christ, the Church. If Satan can keep us divided, we are not a threat.
In verses 10-11, Paul says, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might .Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Our strength comes from God. To be strong in the Lord is not a one-time deal. Just like physical strength, if we do not continue strive for excellence we will grow weak. If we want to accomplish anything for God, we have to spend time with the spiritual disciplines: Bible study, prayer, church involvement, prayer, fasting, and serving.
Being a Christian is not a learned skill or discipline; it is a vital relationship with our living Lord Jesus. Like any other relationship, if you want it to be deep and meaningful—beyond superficial formalities—it takes time and commitment. Do you set aside time for spiritual training? Are you actively pursuing a deeper relationship with God? Are you helping to build the kingdom? If you are, then you are a threat to Satan and the forces of evil, and he will do all in his power to stop you. That is why Paul says to put on the full armor of God. God is not only our strength—He is our protection.
Do you need armor? Some Christians don’t use the full armor of God. Why?
· They don’t sense danger or recognize the power of the enemy.
· They don’t have all the weapons due to poor teaching.
· They don’t have the necessary training to use the weapons God has provided.
· Too comfortable: too far from the frontlines or they are double agents.