Sermon - SPIRIT-FILLED WARFARE
Introduction - Sermon Notebook
Intro: In our modern, relatively peaceful world it is easy to forget that we are a people at war. In verse 12, we are reminded that we have a very powerful and insistent enemy. Our enemy, Satan, is doing everything in his power to defeat, dismantle, and destroy the kingdom of God. We must fight him in God’s power, wearing God’s armor. Unfortunately, many believers do not see the need for the armor of God.
We rejoice when we experience small victories here and there. When we make it through the month with enough money, we count that a spiritual victory. When there is no conflict in our lives, we think that is a victory as well. While those things are important in our day to day lives, they are really victories without battles. They are conflicts without enemies. They are moments enjoyed by people who are really not fighting a war. People who think such moments in life represent spiritual victory are not interested in armor, because they don’t recognize this truth: if they are saved, they are at war! There’s far more to spiritual warfare than being able to pay your bills on time.
The truth is, every child of God is at war. In God’s army, there are no deferments, and no one is exempted from service. The saints are at war with Satan and his army, and we will be until the Lord calls us home to glory. Thus, we need to heed what the Spirit of God is saying to us in these verses.
When Paul says “take unto you the whole armor of God,” it literally means “to take up the whole armor of God.” It is the image of a soldier being presented with everything he needs to wage the battle. The armor is arrayed about him, lying at his feet, All he need do is pick it up and put it on. Everything he needs has been provided, but it must be appropriated, if that soldier expects to fight well and if he expects to survive the conflict. Victory won’t come from within, only from without.
If we expect to “withstand” the attacks of the enemy, that word speaks of “resisting,” then we must tap into a reserve of power greater than ourselves. The phrase “evil day” refers to the days of our lives. That is, all the days we live in this world are “evil days,” because they are days when we come under attack by the enemy and his forces. There will be no rest in this war. There will be no cease fire. There will be no armistice. One day of battle will flow into the next, and it will continue until we die, or until the Lord comes to take us home. These are “evil days” because they are days of battle, conflict, warfare, and casualties.
But, it is possible to stand against the devil. It is possible for the people of God to “withstand” his attacks. We will not “stand” until we “have done all to stand.” We will not “stand” until we have taken advantage of all the Lord has provided for us in Jesus. The way we ensure that we “have done all to stand” is to obey His command to “take up” and “put on the whole armor of God.” When we do that, God, by His power will cause us to be “able to withstand.”
We want to begin a study of the armor of God today. In verse 10-12, the Lord told us about the Spiritual Power He has given us. In these verses, He will reveal the Spiritual Provisions we have been given, that have literally been placed at our feet. May the Lord help us to “take up” what He has provided for us so that we can “resist” the “wiles of the devil.”
t should be the heart’s desire of every believer to “stand” faithfully for the Lord until He calls us home. When Martin Luther stood before the Diet of Worms on April 2, 1521, he was accused of heresy for his views on salvation. After being condemned for preaching that men are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, he declared, “My conscience is captive to the Word of God.... Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise.”
Most of us know someone who failed to “stand.” For whatever reason, they succumbed to the “wiles of the devil” and fell into sin, and out of fellowship with the Lord. It happens far too frequently. Many have taught Sunday School, attended church, served the Lord, and even preached the Word of God faithfully for years, only to give up, turn their backs on the Lord and walk away in to the world.
That was Paul’s fear, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway,” 1 Cor. 9:27. It was John’s fear, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward,” 2 John 8. It should be our fear too.
We do not have to fall away. We do not have to be disqualified. The people in the church do not have to speak of us in the past tense. We can be faithful until the end. We can be like Paul,. Who at the end of the way, was able to say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith,” 2 Tim. 4:7.
I want to be able to say that, don’t you? It is possible, but only if we fight the war God’s way, in the armor He has provided for us to wear. By the way, the command is for us to “put on the WHOLE armor.” A piece or two won’t suffice. A piece or two will leave parts of our lives vulnerable to attack. A piece or two of the armor will result in certain defeat. When we don the “whole armor of God,” we are guaranteed victory in the war with the devil.
Let’s consider the pieces of the spiritual amour of the Spirit of God. The pieces of the armor we will study here will help us to “resist” the attacks of the enemy. They will help us to finish well for the glory of God. Let’s continue our study of Spirit-Filled Warfare.