Friday, April 05, 2013


Ephesians 6

EPHESIANS 6:10-18 The Dark Ruler

Question: Do you ever feel like the whole world is against you? Do you ever feel like too many things are going wrong in your life for it to be mere coincidence? Did you ever wake up and ask yourself, “How did I ever get into this mess...and how in the world do I get out? Do you ever feel like you’re in a battle but you’re not quite sure who the enemy is? Do you ever feel like you are under personal attack from every direction? Let me ask you one other thing, are you living in quiet desperation of bondage to FEAR, ANGER DEPRESSION, and HABITS you cannot break, THOUGHTS, or INNER VOICES you cannot seem to overcome or SINFUL BEHAVIOR you cannot seem to stop. Would you be surprised if I told you that the Christian life is not a life exclusively made up of peace, love and hippie beads? While there certainly is peace, love and joy in Christ, and in fact Christ is the only place you will find true peace, love, and joy. But there is also another very real aspect about the Christian life of which you need to be aware...and that is the WARFARE of the Christian life. Did you know that he moment you got saved, you entered into a war. You are engaged in a battle against a very, very powerful, cunning enemy, and the battle is very real.

The battle of which I speak is a Spiritual Battle, and the war of which I speak is Spiritual Warfare. We love the words of Jesus that say: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:27) “I have told you this that my joy might be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11) But what do you do with verses like Mt. 10:34? “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” The Christian life is not a playground but a battle ground, not a waltz but a war. Oh yes, we are in a war. A war against the forces of darkness and even Satan himself. The moment you became a Christian, you inherited a new enemy. He is the Prince of Darkness and he opposes everything and everyone that is godly or holy.

I have had new Christians come to me and say, “Pastor, something must be wrong. Since I’ve become a Christian I have had problems and difficulties like never before.” I tell them it’s because they have acquired a new enemy who will oppose them at all points in their’s Satan and his demons. Whenever a Christian decides to really get serious about serving Christ and living under His Lordship, often things will get worse for them before they get better. This is because the enemy is not very disturbed by mediocre, carnal, wishy-washy, backslidden Christians. But he despises men and women who are totally sold out to God. Satan and the kingdom of darkness is kind of like a nest of angry wasps. As long as you don’t disturb them, they don’t bother you. But whenever you get tired of that wasp nest being where it is and you begin to molest it, you stir up some real problems, and you are very likely to get stung a time or two. The Closer You Grow and the Deeper You Go with God, the greater the battle becomes. It’s like a football team approaching their opponents goal line. The closer they get to their opponents goal line, the more fierce, intense, up-close and personal the battle becomes. Up close to the goal line you battle over “inches” of progress rather than yards. Now, some of you don’t know what I’m talking about. But those who are in the trenches and on the front lines know exactly what I’m talking about. The battle is heating up more than most of us have ever experienced. But through all of the dust, smoke and fiery darts of the enemy, we can still see our Commander and Chief, Jesus Christ, leading the charge. And:

As long as He stands...we stand. As long as He fights...we fight. As long as He advances...we advance.But understand this, Christian Warrior...The Closer You Get and the Deeper You Get With God...the fiercer the battle will become. Open your Bibles to Eph. 6 and let me show you what God has to say about spiritual warfare:


Eph 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor 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 armor 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

The War Is On: We are in a battle, literally, and the stakes are very, very high. And to some degree, Satan appears to be getting the advantage from time to time. Why is this?

1) There are many Christians who are not even aware the war is on. They are oblivious to the spiritual dimensions of life and the battles that are being waged. Martin Lloyd-Jones said on one occasion, "I am certain that one of the main causes of the ill state of the Church today is the fact that the devil is being forgotten." He was no simpleton; in fact, he was cardiologist to Her Majesty the Queen before becoming the minister of Westminster Chapel in London. John R.W. Stott, the present Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen has said this, "The devil is at his wiliest when he succeeds in persuading people that he doesn't exist."

2) There are others who are suspicious there is a war on—but they can’t seem to decide whose side they’re on.

3) Then there are some who know a war is on, and they know whose side they’re on, but they don’t seem to be sure of the outcome. They are: Discouraged. Dejected. Defeated. Their spirit is depressed. Each battle they fail, they face with despondency and fear.

4) Then there are those who know the war is on. They know which side they are on, have declared their loyalty to Christ, and they are certain of the outcome. They know Christ has already defeated the enemy and our role is not to win the victory, but to merely impose the already won victory over Satan. (See Much More, Jack Taylor, p. 116) Robert Louis Stevenson once asked the question, "Do you know the old Caledonian Railway station in Edinburgh?" Then he went on to say, "One cold, east windy morning; I met Satan there." I think we understand what Stevenson meant.

Hey, this is where I want all of us to be today. I want us to be acutely aware of several facts and be aggressively involved in the battle line.

1) Spiritual Warfare is very REAL.

I think most of us, myself included, do not give enough attention to the unseen forces of darkness that are working against us. A recent Gallop poll revealed that as many as 70% of Aussies believe there is a real devil.

Now I know there are some today who give the devil too much credit. They see a demon behind every dilemma in life. They even name demons after these human maladies:

Demon of greed. Demon of fear. Demon of anger. Demon of lust.

Demon of depression. Demon of discouragement.

There is no biblical evidence that there are demons who are exclusively demons of anger, fear, lust, etc... Most of us don’t need a demon to drive us toward: Greed. Anger. Fear.

We produce these anti-Christ emotions and desires without any assistance from a demon. So I think there is a danger of some people giving the devil too much credit, BUT, this is not the case in the Christian circles I travel in. We are more likely to give the devil too little attention and not take him seriously enough. As a consequence of giving too little attention to Satan, often his work and devises flourish among us with little-to-no resistance.

Eph. 6:11 says we are to, “Put on the full armor of God, so we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes.” We need to intentionally, aggressively, directly and courageously stand against Satan! Listen friend: Satan is very real. Demons do exist. They are very powerful. They are very active. And it is a lethal mistake to ever under estimate their existence, activity, deception, or powerful attacks.

2) The real enemy in this warfare is SATAN and a well organized DEMONIC force.

Eph 6:12 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. Would you be surprised if I told you that many of us live in defeat because we’re fighting the wrong enemy? The true enemy ultimately is not a “flesh and blood” enemy. It is not a human enemy. The enemy is not: Your irritable spouse or your unreasonable neighbour or your Impossible boss or supervisor. The true enemy is not even the government or Politicians or Drug Dealers or Abortionists. All of these are merely tools or weapons in the enemies hands. You many destroy the weapon...but the weapon is not your problem. The problem is the enemy behind the weapon. You take a gun away from a murderer, he’ll just get another gun. If he runs out of guns, he’ll get a knife. Take his knife away he’ll kill with a club. The problem is not the weapon...the problem is the enemy, the murderer behind the weapon. We spend too much time battling with the weapon rather than the enemy himself. Hey, quit fighting: Your husband. Your wife. Your unreasonable boss, etc… And go after the real enemy, Satan and his demons. When Peter said to Jesus, “I’ll never let you go to the cross and die”, Jesus did not attack Peter. Peter was not the ultimate problem. He was only a tool in the enemy’s hand. Jesus understood this and went on direct attack against the enemy himself. Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” (Mark 8:33).

It wouldn’t have done much good to punch Peter in the nose...Peter wasn’t the problem. Satan was the problem.

With these introductory thoughts in mind, let’s take on this study under the following outline.








As I told you already, our real enemy is not a man or any man-made institution, it is Satan and a well-organized demonic force under his domain.

Eph 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

Eph 6:12 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.

Who is this being called “the devil” in V. 11, and who are these “rulers, authorities, powers of the dark world and spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms,” mentioned in V. 12?

1. The Believer’s adversary is SATAN. Satan is a fallen, arch-angel of God.

He is identified by many names in the Bible: Satan (The adversary) The devil (the accuser) Lucifer Beelzebub Belial Prince of the world Prince of the powers of the air Accuser of the brethren Adversary The great deceiver The dragon The old serpent Father of lies The tempter. God created Satan originally as a mighty, powerful, bright Angel of light named Lucifer. Ezekiel 28:12-15 “Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created. 14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.

He was a Created being. He became a Corrupted being Perfect when God created him, Lucifer lost his position of rank and glory and was cast out of heaven when he rebelled against God, attempting to seize God’s throne and authority. Isaiah 14 describes Lucifer’s intent in rebellion.

Isaiah 14:12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." 15 But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.

Five times he says “I will ..” I’m going up” he was filled with pride. Pride comes before destruction. And he was cast down. Jesus described this event when He said, “I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven.” (Luke 10:18). Revelation 12:7-9 describes the same event. Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Notice Rev. 12:4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.

He is also a condemned being. This was prophesied from the beginning. Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."

Matt 25:41 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

Satan still retains his original created powers and abilities. He is a very powerful being.

The Believer’s adversary includes a well-organized DEMONIC force.

We don’t know how many spirits fell with Satan. There were many.

These demonic spirits are very highly organized and structured under the dominion of Satan.

I believe this structure of evil is exactly what is described in Eph. 6:12 when Paul speaks of:

Rulers. Authorities. Powers of the dark world. Spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.

I believe it is reasonable to assume this describes an authority structure in descending order.

These forces are: Well established. Well organized. Well structured. All are operating under the evil auspices of Satan himself. These evil spirits are active and behind much of the evil and pain and horrors in human society today! They operate in the domain of this world system of: Politics. Governments. Arts. Media, as well as cultic, demonic religions. Satan is very, very, very real. Demons are very, very, very real. They are our true enemy. Not men or the institutions of men, but the demonic forces behind them. Don’t underestimate your adversary. 1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.


Let Me Suggest Several Areas Of Your Life Where You Might Anticipate Satanic Attacks.

Some recent areas of wartime history have interested me as the ABC have broadcast a few intereting historical programmes. I watched a few testimonies about the military genius Rommel. He was a brilliant strategist and general. General Montgomery defeated Field Marshall Rommell by studying his opponent and planning a strategy to match his enemy. We need to be are of the devil’s wiles so we can defeat him.

The devil has a three fold strategy to try and defeat you –

1. The devil attacks mentally. He wants your mind.

To get you to think as he wants you to think the devil writes tv scripts, Books, and sermons.

2 Cor. 11:3 says Satan can influence the minds of the believer and lead us astray from the sincere and pure devotion of Christ. 2 Cor 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Satan certainly deceived Eve’s thinking and seduced her to sin through reason and logic.

Satan moved David to number Israel (1 Chron. 21:1). It sounded like a good and reasonable idea to David...but God had forbidden it. He wanted David to put his faith in Him...not in the number of his army.

Satan places suggestions in your mind that are: Seductive Deceitful Sly.

Several things make demonic influence on your mind so seductive and difficult to battle.

a) Satan places ideas in your mind and makes you think they are your ideas. Satan doesn’t come up and say, “Hey, this is the devil speaking...I recommend you cheat on your income tax. After all, the government is over-taxing you, wasting your money, and you work hard for that money. I don’t think Judas realized it was Satan’s idea to betray Jesus (John 13:2). Satan does not say, “Hey, I’m Lucifer and if I were you, I’d divorce your wife because she’s not meeting your needs.” Oh no, Satan is much more clandestine than that. He knows if he introduced the idea as his idea you would reject it outright. He much prefers to introduce the idea and make you think it’s your idea.

b) Satan’s ideas often sound reasonable. It sounded very reasonable for David to take a census and count how many soldiers he had...after all, if you’re going to wage war, you need to know what’s in your arsenal. The only problem was—it violated God’s command for David to trust him and live by faith...and not have confidence in his armies, chariots, and horses. Every temptation Satan leveled against Christ sounded reasonable...even spiritual. “You’re hungry, you’re the Son of God—turn these stones to bread.”

“God has promised to send his angels to protect you...jump off this pinnacle and the whole world will believe you’re the Messiah when they see angels catching you.” “Bow down and worship me, and I’ll give you the kingdoms of the world. (Why go through the pain of the cross when there’s an easier way?)”

Satan often appeals to the intellect and human reason.

c) Satan’s ideas often appeal to your God-given desires and appetites. This was Satan’s final appeal to Eve that brought her in on his deceit. Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. The fruit appealed to Eve’s God-given appetite for: Food Beauty Knowledge and wisdom. Satan appeals to your God-given appetite and suggests you satisfy them in ways that are outside the perimeters of God’s laws. God was the one who made you a sexual person and gave you sexual drives. And sexuality is a wonderful part of life when fulfilled in God’s way. But Satan prompts you to fulfill your natural desires outside of God’s perimeters and the results are literally deadly! Satan told Jesus, “You’re hungry. You’ve been fasting for 40 days. You have the right to eat. Go ahead, turn those stones to bread!”

d) Satan’s ideas often are focused on “self.” Satan loves to prompt self-centered, selfish thoughts. “It’s your life, you do with it as you please.”

“You have the right to be happy—your happiness is what is always most important.”

Satan often uses your sense of self-preservation as entry into your mind. He tells you to:

“Fight back” “Defend yourself” “Don’t let anyone run over you.” Satan’s battle against our minds is extremely deceptive. That is why Eph. 6:17 says, “Take on the helmet of salvation” (to protect your mind). That is why 2 Cor 10:4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Be very, very alert. Because I have seen Satan put a thought in a good person’s mind and use that person as an instrument of his evil schemes. Satan often uses: Good people With good ideas With best intentions to do his most dastardly deeds.

Peter was a good man. And he thought he was being very noble and courageous when he said he would never allow Jesus to go to the cross and die. But Jesus said to him: Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

I have seen good people, with noble causes, become a divisive tool of Satan and be used of the devil.

2. the devil attacks morally he wants your heart. People think and then they act. The devil attacks you mentally first in the way you think and then morally. He wants to replace love for God with love for sin. The human heart is made to love Jesus. (Little children love Jesus). But he wants to replace that love for sin.

3. the devil attacks you motivationally, he wants your will. There are three issues of wills in your universe; God’s will, your will, or the devils will. Every day you face a decision; whose will will you follow. Thy will be done… But whose will? 2 Tim 2:26 that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

4.Spiritual battles will occur in your FAMILY.

Satan is on the attack against your home. There is nothing Satan would like to do more than to destroy your marriage and break up your family. Dr. Adrian Rogers suggests Satan has a 5-Step Plan to exercise dominion over the world.

1) Dethrone God. 2) Degrade man. 3) Deny Christian morality.

4)Destroy the home. 5) Dominate human society.

Satan knows the family unit is the basic building block of all human social structures. When the family crumbles—all other structures in society crumble and anarchy results. I promise you—if you do not become very intentional and take the offensive to protect your marriage and your home—Satan will come in and destroy it.

I watch these young couples who have been married 1 or 2 years. Their whole life is before them. Little do they know the devil has set his sights on their marriage. And if they neglect their relationship even the slightest, they are headed for disaster. Listen you young husbands and wives...if you want to stay in love with each other, then:

Stay in love with Jesus. Stay active in church. Stay focused on spiritual priorities.

Stay committed to the Word of God. Stay right with God.

5. .Spiritual battles will occur in your FINANCES.

The devil knows that one of the areas most of us are extremely vulnerable in is the area of our finances. I’m watching a lot of very gifted Christian leaders have their effectiveness in ministry destroyed because they cannot manage their money.

Satan knows: Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Satan has been very, very effective in limiting the Lord’s work by fooling God’s people into:

Excessive debt undisciplined spending Immediate gratification Impulse purchases.

It seems many christians cannot say “no” to yourselves!

I’m telling you—many very gifted people are forfeiting effective ministry because they have no discipline in the area of their finances!

6. Spiritual battles will occur in your CHURCH.

I think the church is one of Satan’s primary targets...and especially the church that is:

Bible-believing Soul-winning Fervently in love with Christ.

There are instances of Satan opposing the church in the Bible.

Acts 5:3—Peter declared Satan was the one behind the lies and deceit of Ananias and Sapphira.

Acts 13:9-11—Tells how Paul and Barnabas met great opposition to preaching the gospel from a sorcerer named Bar Jesus. Paul confronted him calling him “a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right...” And he was blinded.

1 Thess. 2:18—Paul tells the church at Thessolanica he often had tried to come visit but Satan stopped him. Rev. 2:10—The Lord Jesus tells the church at Smyrna, “Do not be afraid of what you’re about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you and you will suffer persecution for ten days.” I doubt if Satan has much concern for dead, liberal churches. In fact, he loves them—they do his bidding under the guise of Christianity. But Satan clearly attacks the church that is standing for truth and impacting men’s lives for Christ. Satan has many schemes and devices directed toward the Spirit-filled church... The constant threat of false doctrine (false teachers), Divisions, internal strife (1 Cor. 3),

Distractions (abandoning our primary mission and doing many other good things), The temptation to use worldly methods to try to do spiritual work, Persecution from an anti-Christ world system are all ways whereby the devil attacks the church.

6.. Spiritual battles occur in HUMAN GOVERNMENT.

Eph 6:12 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. There are several examples of Satan influencing and using government leaders for his purposes.

1 Chron. 21:1 says, “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.” Ezekiel 28 clearly reveals that Satan is the power behind the King of Tyre.

In Rev. 2:13 the city of Pergamum is called the place of Satan’s throne.

I think the “powers of the dark world” refer to the Satanic influence of world government leaders. When a government legitimizes and legalizes: Abortion Prostitution Survives on Gambling Pornography But we also need to remember that our real enemy is not the corrupt is the devil who controls that politician!


You have authority over the enemy! The enemy has no dominion over you!

Eph. 6:10 says, “Be strong in the Lord and His mighty power. (11) Put on the full armor of God so you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Eph. 6:16 says, “Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

The fact is “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!” (1 John 4:4)

Listen to just a few of God’s promises that speak to your authority over Satan and all his demon forces: Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. 1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. Eph 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. James 4:7 Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Satan may oppress you, but he cannot possess you. Satan may tempt you, but he cannot control you. Satan may attack you, but he cannot defeat you. Because you have authority over the enemy!

1. You have authority over Satan because of your POSITION in Christ.

Satan cannot control or defeat you because you are positioned in Christ Jesus.

Eph 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Satan cannot get to you because you are “in Christ.” Now listen...because of your position in Christ, you share in His authority. Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given unto me.” And when you are positioned in Christ Jesus, you share in all His authority. Satan cannot come at you unless the Lord Jesus allows him. Martin Luther, the great father of the Reformation, is exactly right when he writes the words of his great hymn: A Mighty Fortress is our God.

“On earth is not his equal.” In your own power you haven’t got a hope to over come the devil, but there is real good news. 2000 years ago the Lord Jesus came to earth robed in flesh and encountered the devil, “spoiling principalities and powers at the cross.” He is a defeated foe. In the power of His might.

A Lady said after a sermon “Oh Pastor when you preach on the devil I can see him so plainly.” A little boy said to his dad “Is the devil stronger than me?” “Yes son he’s stronger than you.” “Is the devil stronger than you daddy?” “Yes son he’s stronger than me.” “Is the devil stronger than Jesus?” “No son he’s not stronger than Jesus!” “Then I am not scared of the devil.”

Luther continued in his hymn “The prince of darkness grim; We tremble not for him. His rage we can endure, For lo, his doom is sure. One little word can fell him.” What word? The name Jesus! We are to be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might in our engagement with the devil. Claim His strength and might. Its available.

2. You have authority over Satan because of your POSSESSION of Christ.

Not only are you “in Christ,” but Christ is also in you. Since you are in Christ—Satan cannot control or defeat you. Since Christ is in you, Satan cannot possess you.

Satan cannot possess you because Christ possesses you. Satan cannot live inside your body and possess, control, or dominate you because Jesus Christ lives inside you! Now, Satan certainly can: Attack you Tempt you Deceive you Trick you Discourage you Oppress you but Satan cannot defeat you or possess you. 1 John 4:4 (KJV) …because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. Today you should be enlightened concerning the devil, and you should be encouraged concerning the devil, for you can be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might.”

Morning Service Ephesians 6:10-18

Do you know, some people don’t think there is a devil around. I am reminded of the story Billy Graham tells. It is a story of a boxer who was engaged in a boxing match and was being badly beaten. Battered and bruised, he leaned over the ropes and said to his trainer, "Please throw in the towel! This guy is killing me!" The trainer said, "Oh no, he's not. He's not even hitting you. He hasn't laid a glove on you!" And the boxer said, "Well then, I wish you'd watch that referee -- somebody is sure hitting me!" The questions we must ask when we are challenged with this idea that there is no devil are, "How do you explain what is going on in the world? How do you explain what is happening? How do you explain the entrenched evil in human affairs?"

M.Scott Peck an American Psychiatrist (graduated 1958 from Harvard), author of “The Road Less Traveled”, which sold more than 1.5 million copies, affirms he now believes in the devil. Mr. Peck was converted to becoming a Christian after witnessing a few clients who could not have been anything else but demon possessed. After 421 sessions with a lady named Charlene, he was fully convinced that she loved evil and was demon possessed. You don’t need interviews with demon possessed people to know there is a power behind much that we see and hear today.

World history itself reveals such a being. Behind the problems of the world, behind the evil which manifests itself in mankind, there is a hierarchy of evil spirits -- the devil and his angels. There is an organized kingdom of principalities and powers at various levels of authority who sit as world rulers of the present darkness, wicked spirits in high places.

It is as Paul puts it in Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--

And you and fight this battle daily on the personal level.

There’s something that pulls us up There’s something that pulls us down

And the consequence is that we wobble ‘Twixt muck and a golden crown.

The Lord Jesus spoke of this same battle this way;

Luke 11: 20 But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. 22 But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.

A person under Satan is not a happy being. He is forever restless and peevish and discontent. That is why the world continually reflects those qualities. Man sees the problems he creates, and he is always trying to remedy them. He keeps busy trying to solve these problems which break out, these difficulties which are reported in our newspapers, but all his efforts achieve is merely to shift the pattern till they take a different form. Then man pats himself on the back and proudly says, "We have solved this problem!" But he has only moved to a different symptom of the same disease. As C. S. Lewis so aptly put it, "No clever arrangement of bad eggs will make a good omelette."

Listen to these words by the late Bertrand Russell, the atheistic philosopher:

“The life of man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, toward a goal that few can hope to reach and where none can tarry long. One by one as they march our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent death. Brief and powerless is man's life. On him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls, pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way. For man, condemned today to lose his dearest, tomorrow himself to pass through the gates of darkness, it remains only to cherish, ere yet the blow falls, the lofty thoughts that ennoble his little day.”

Those eloquent words just high lights the sheer despair into which man falls when he is far from God. There is a growing sense of despair everywhere you turn today. It is the unconscious realization of man's helplessness under Satan.

1. Your Enemy

I want you to somehow wake up to the reality of what is happening all around you in regards to spiritual warfare: There is a very real devil—who orchestrates a very real kingdom of darkness, made up of very real demonic spirits. This devil is your enemy. He is the enemy of your Spiritual life, your Home life, your Marriage, your Church.

He would love nothing more than to find you as a parent, asleep at your post when you should be alert and on guard. He would love nothing more but to slip past you clandestinely and: Ravage you marriage. Ravage your children.

I fear that some of you many even be assisting him in his dastardly destruction without even knowing it especially as it relates to the lives of our children. We let them listen to rock music that promotes exclusively a culture of drugs, demons and death. We expose them to television programs and movies that are filled with illicit sex, violence, cursing and devilish philosophies. We allow them to run with peers who are obviously living in total rebellion. We send them to public schools where their minds are pumped full of godless philosophies, such as: Evolution, Atheism, Gay rights and other perversities. The sex education courses in many public schools would embarrass and horrify you. When I was doing teacher training I was involved with the Health teachers in their course, and it was shocking.

The Christian world often acts like an ostrich with their heads in the sand, while Satan literally ravages the minds and lives of our children! Listen, there is a war on...and you need to get equipped and trained for battle. I ought to title this section of Ephesians 6 Spiritual Boot Camp. Last Sunday night we commenced a short series within our studies on Ephesians.

We saw




We are going to cover more ground this morning in these areas, looking at

1. Your Enemy

2. Your Energy

3. Your Expectation

Tonight we shall study the topic


And Next Sunday morning we shall look at the most important topic of prayer.


Who is this enemy that seeks to destroy you and those whom you love? His name is: Lucifer. Beelzebub. Satan. He is very, very real. The Bible mentions the devil by name at least 110 times. Both Old and New Testament affirm his existence. Even if you did not believe the Bible, you would be very foolish and naive to ignore the reality of Satan’s existence or to fail to acknowledge the reality of the devil and demons. In all our daily newspapers we can read our daily astrological forecast or horoscope.

Almost daily we hear of bizarre slayings and animal sacrifices attributed to Satanic cults and/or witch covens. Well, if we are going to be effective in “standing” against this dark enemy, then we first of all must know something about him. Any good soldier knows that the most essential element of successful warfare is to know your enemy. General Montgomery defeated Field Marshall Rommel during the 2nd World War desert campaign, not because he was a better strategist, for Rommell was the best, not because he was a better general, for Rommell was the best, not because he was a better leader, but because he knew his enemy, he read all his books.

On Sunday night last we examined several facts about this enemy.

1) Satan is a CREATED being.

He is not eternal. He was created. Only God is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. God created Satan.

Ezekiel 28:15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.

Col 1:16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

Eze. 28 tells us that God created him originally as Lucifer (meaning Morning Star, or Shining Star). Satan was created originally as a beautiful ANGEL or a cherub. (Cherub means literally,engraving). Eze. 28:14 says “You were anointed as a guardian cherub...” Smart, Eze. 28:12b “...You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom...”

Satan was beautiful, Eze. 28:12b “...You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”

Satan was powerful. Eze. 28:14 “You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.” Some believe Lucifer was a powerful guardian angel whose created duty was to protect God’s Throne and Creation.

Satan fell from his created position because of PRIDE. Isaiah 14:12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." 15 But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. One-third of heaven’s hosts followed Satan in his rebellion (Rev. 12:4; Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4).

Satan retains supernatural ABILITIES.

The power of LOCOMOTION (he travels as any spirit being) Job 1:7 The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."

The power of TRANSFORMATION. 2 Cor. 11:14 says, …for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (KJV). He appeared as a beautiful serpent to Eve in the garden.

The power to perform MIRACLES (influence matter). Job 1:16 caused fire to fall from heaven. 2 Thess. 2:9 Satan works with “all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders...”

The power to OPPRESS human bodies. Job 2:7 he smote Job with sores.

The power to POSSESS human bodies. Matt. 8:28-34 The Gadarene demoniac was possessed by many demons named Legion.

The power to influence human THOUGHT. Satan entered Judas and persuaded him to betray Christ. Satan persuaded Peter to try to protect Christ from the cross.

Satan is more powerful than you or I, But Satan has LIMITATIONS.

Satan is intelligent, but not OMNISCIENT.

Satan is mobile, but not OMNIPRESENT. (Satan can only be at one place at a time).

Satan is powerful, but not OMNIPOTENT. (Satan is limited by the authority, blood and dominion of Jesus Christ.)

Satan has a hoard of one third of the angels of heaven who joined him in his rebellion against God.


The Bible speaks of “angels that sinned” (II Peter 2:4) and “the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation” (Jude 6).

Evil spirits - I Samuel 16:14-l 6, 23; 18:l0; 19:9; Acts 19:15-16

Unclean spirits - Matthew 12:43-45

Seducing spirits - I Timothy 4:l

Principalities and Powers - Colossians 2:5

Rulers of the darkness of this world - Eph. 6:12

Spiritual wickedness in high places - Eph. 6:12

Devils/Demons - James 2:19; Revelation 16:14


They NUMBER into the millions - Mark 5:9-15; Rev. 9:16; 12:4, 7

They FOLLOW the orders of Satan who controls them –Matt. 12:24; 25:4I

They CONTROL the unbeliever - II Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:1-3; I John 5:19

They WRESTLE with the believer - Eph. 6:10-13, 16


They can use the forces of nature under the permissive hand of God -Job l:10-12, 18-19

They can work miracles - II Thes. 2:9; Rev. 16:13-14

They can inflict physical and mental diseases upon people –

Dumbness - Matt. 9:32-33

Lunacy - Matt. 4:24; 17:14-18

Uncontrollable behavior - Mark 5:1-5, 1

Physical deformity - Luke 13:11-13, 16-17

Deafness - Mark 9:25

They can inflict death - Hebrew 2:14

They can take possession of a person and completely control them – Luke 8:26-40

They can cause bitter envying and strife among believers – Jam. 3:13-18


To deceive - II Cor. 11:13-l 5; Rev. 20:3, 8-10

To blind the minds of non-believers - II Cor. 4:4

To accuse and slander believers - Job 1:l 1; Rev. 12:10

To hinder the work of believers - I Thes. 2:18

To sow tares among the wheat - Matt. 13:38-39

To cause doubt and disobedience to God - Gen. 3;1-6

To tempt and entice us to sin - I Cor. 7:5; James 1:13-15

To devour and destroy the believer’s trust in the Lord –I Peter 5:7-l 0


The PREDICTION was made in the Garden of Eden –Gen. 3: 15 cf. Rom. 16:20

The POWER of the devil and his angels was broken by the death of Jesus Christ - Col.

2:14-15; Heb. 2:14-15; I John 3:8

The PUNISHMENT of these demonic forces will be carried out in the lake of fire Matt. 25:41; II Pet. 2:4; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:l0


The POSSIBILITY of demon possession in the Old Testament - I Sam. 16:16;

18:10-11; 19:9-18

The POWER of Satan and demons in the unbeliever

Blinds their minds - II Corinthians 4:3-4

Works in them, controlling their conduct –Eph. 2: l-3; I John 5:19

The PRESENCE of demon possession during the life and ministry of Jesus Christ (two common denominators)

Immediate recognition of His identity - Mark 1:24 & 34; Luke 4:3,40-41;


Uncontrollable behavior (mental disorders and physical diseases)

The PREDICTION of demon possession during the church age - Mark 16:17; Acts 5:3, 15-l6; 19:l l-20; I Timothy 4:l

The PREVALENCE of demon activity during the great tribulation – Rev. 9:1-3,

11, 20; 12:9, 12; 13:2; 16:13-14

The PROTECTION of believers from demon possession

The devil is not in us - I John 4:4

We can resist the devil - James 4:7; I Peter 5:8

We have overcome the wicked one - I John 2:13-14

The wicked one does not touch us - I John 5:18


Our ultimate victory is assured by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross –John 12:31-33; Rev. 12:ll

Our ultimate victory is assured by the eternal Consequences that the devil and

his, angels will face –Matt. 25:41; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:l0

Our present victory is based on five things:

The purpose of God in allowing satanic attack II Cor. 12:7-l0; I Pet. 5:8-l0

The prayer of Jesus Christ - John 17:15

The protection of God’ s armour – Eph. 6:10-18

The promise of God if we resist the devil – James 4:7

The presence and power of the Holy Spirit – I Jn. 4:4

Luke 11: 20 But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. 22 But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armour in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.

2. Your Energy

He breaks the power of cancelled sin, He sets the prisoner free;

His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me.

In the mystery of the cross of Jesus, and in the power of his resurrection, applied by faith, we men and women who have been born into a society which is under the control of the evil one discover release from his control. His power to grip us is loosed, and we are set free. There is no other power which can do it. That is why this gospel is such an exclusive thing. That is why Christians are perfectly justified when they say there is no other answer to the problems of man; there is no other power which can touch the basic problem of human life. There is only one "stronger one" who has come into the world and has come to grips with the power of this dark spirit and broken his power over human life.

How many there are throughout the Christian centuries, and also here this morning, who can testify to this. Not only the prostitutes and alcoholics and dope addicts, not only those who have been gripped by the power of evil habits, but also those who are held by the power of evil attitudes -- temper, lust, self-righteousness, bitterness, and pride. The strongest chains are not those around the body, but around the mind. The writers of Scripture make that clear. They say, "The god of this world has blinded the minds of them who believe not," {2 Cor 4:4}. Now the gospel is that Jesus Christ has come to set men free. John says Jesus came into the world "to destroy the works of the devil," {1 Jn 3:8}. There is no adequate explanation of His coming, apart from that. Paul says he came "to deliver us out from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of his love." Paul himself was chosen as apostle to the Gentiles and, in that dramatic conversion experience on the Damascus road, he said to the Lord whom he saw in the glory, "What will you have me to do?" {Acts 9:6}. Jesus replied, "Stand upon your feet, for I will send you far hence unto the Gentiles, to open their eyes and to turn men from darkness unto light and from the power of Satan unto God," {Acts 26:16-18}.

Mankind is in the grips of a power which it is helpless to do anything about. The only one who can deliver us from it is Jesus Christ. He has already done all that is necessary to deliver us from the hands of the evil one through His cross and through the power and glory of His resurrection. When a man or woman believes that, and commits himself into the Saviour’s hands, he discovers that the whole thing becomes practical and actual in his experience. This is what we call conversion. That is the beginning of the battle.

That same power at work when the Lord Jesus was raised from the dead has already worked in you delivering you from the domain of darkness and transferring you to the kingdom of God’s Son. And now we are involved in a battle which the Lord Jesus Himself has already won.

3. Your Expectation

Our Lord reveals one other principle in this passage in Luke 11:23 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” The Lord is saying thee is an expectation laid upon you. Paul says the same thing.

There is something for you to do about all this. There is an expectation.

There is no neutral ground. Mere profession is insufficient. Jesus said, "He who is not with me is against me." There are always those who say, "I understand something of the gospel, and I must confess that I believe there is much of value in the Christian faith. I am a friend of Christianity. I believe that it has a great moral impact to bring into our world, but I do not care to go so far as personally 'receiving Christ.' I think I will remain neutral." Jesus says this is impossible. There is no neutrality. "He who is not with me is against me." He who has not received the deliverance wrought is still under the bondage and control of the dark powers of Satan. There are no exceptions. And when you have received Him there is the further expectation. That you must take up the weapons of warfare against the devil. He says 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore

You are called to Stand. This means that inspite of all the assaults of the evil one you are expected by the Lord to stand. No matter how wiley and deceitful and powerful may be the personal attacks against you, the Lord intends for you to stand. By the way, did you notice here that the devil doesn’t attack forcefully every day, but in the evil day. There are days when the fighting and conflict will be worse than others. There are times when you will wonder what on earth is going on around you. But even in the overwhelming conflict of the evil day, all the power of God and all the purposes of God are that you should stand for Him. Do you notice how many times Paul says it here. Stand, withstand, stand! It is the idea of being in the field of conflict and although all others may give way you continue to stand.

What does it mean, "to stand"?

Well, imagine a football team defending its goal line. The team lines up on the try line and simply stands, refusing to be moved backward or to le anyone through. This is exactly what this word pictures to us. We are to refuse to move from the ground of faith we have taken, refuse to yield ground, stand. Now why does the apostle put it this way? Why does he not say fight? Having done all, fight! Put on the whole armor of God and advance, charge. Why does he not use some military term that speaks of moving out? We must take these words seriously, for, after all, these are not play words used lightly as children would in playing games. These are serious commands given in a very serious fight. The apostle uses the word stand because it is the only proper word to use. It is the only word which described the final attitude we must have to insure absolute victory.

As we look at this word more carefully, we can see that it touches on three aspects of the struggle of life:

First, the use of this word stand reveals to us the intensity of the struggle in which we are involved. We are told to stand because there are times when that is all we can do. The most we can possibly hope to achieve at times is that we should simply stand, unmoved. There are times in battle when a soldier can do no more than try to protect himself, and stay where he is. The intensity of the conflict becomes so furious, so fierce, there is nothing else he can do but simply hold his ground. That is what this word implies to us.

The word stand indicates to us the character of the battle the Christian faces. We are to stand because this is a defensive action, primarily. The proper defense will win the day. I know this is oftentimes misunderstood, for we frequently hear the proverb, "The best defense if a good offense." But if a castle is under attack from an army, the battle is not won by those in the castle venturing forth to overwhelm the army outside. The battle is won by repelling all invasion. This is a picture of our Christian life. This is a defensive battle, not offensive. We are not out to take new ground; we are to defend that which is already ours. In the Christian battle the offensive work was done over 1900 years ago at the cross and the resurrection. The Lord Jesus is the only one who has the power and strength to take the offensive in this great battle with the prince of darkness. But he has already done that. All that we possess as believers is already given to us. We do not fight for it. We do not battle to be saved, or fight to be justified, or forgiven, or accepted into the family of God. All these things are given to us. They were won by another, who, in the words of Paul in Colossians, took principalities and powers and nailed them to his cross, triumphing over them in it, and led them captive who had held the world captive.

But we are to fight to use all this, to enjoy it, to experience it fully. The enemy is trying to keep us from realizing what we have and using it to the full. This is where the battle lines are. We do not need to take new ground as Christians. We cannot. All has been accomplished; all is given to us. As Jude says, in almost the last word of the New Testament, "earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints," {cf, Jude 1:3 RSV}. We are to hold on to that which God gives us and not let any of it be lost or taken from us, as to our use of it. This is what the phrase "contend earnestly for the faith" means. It means to hold on to what God has already given you and utilize it to the full. As Paul writes to the Corinthians, "Stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong," {1 Cor 16:13 KJV}. Do not surrender an inch of ground, even though others do.

This word stand tells us of the certainty of victory. If putting on the armor of God and prayer makes it possible to stand unmoved and immovable, then nothing more is required to win. After all, if a castle cannot be taken, the attacking army has nothing left to do but to withdraw. There is nothing else it can do. It is defeated, beaten. We have been talking a great deal in this series about the cleverness of Satan, his subtlety of attack, "the wiles of the devil," and the impossibility of defeating him by mere human wisdom. We have said that every saint in the record of Scripture, every believer throughout the history of time has been, at one time or another, defeated by the devil when he tried to match wits with him in his own strength. This is true. But it is also true that when any saint, any believer, even the newest and weakest, stands in the strength of Christ, puts on the whole armor of God, and, in dependence upon the presence of God in prayer, stands, the devil is always defeated. The devil ultimately must be defeated if anyone will simply stand on what God has said.

The cross is the great example of this. The cross looked like the supreme achievement of the devil, the supreme moment of victory when all the powers of darkness were howling with glee as they saw the Son of God beaten and wounded, rejected and despised, hanging upon a cross, naked, before all the world. It looked like the triumph of darkness.

Jesus said it was: "This is your hour," he said, "and the power of darkness," {Luke 22:53b}. But it was that very moment when the devil lost. In the cross all that the devil had risked was defeated, beaten down, and the devil and all his angels were disarmed and openly displayed as defeated by the power of Jesus Christ. This is what God does all through life. The devil sends sickness, defeat, death, darkness, pain, suffering and tragedy. It is all the work of Satan. But that is not the whole of the story. God takes those very things -- those very things! -- and uses them to strengthen us and bless us, to teach us and enlarge us and fulfill us, if we stand. This is the whole story.

Here is a quotation from a Christian man who has been an invalid all his life -- one of those lonely, obscure people who live in constant pain -- who does not know what it means to be able to use his physical body in any way except in pain and suffering. But he writes this:

Loneliness is not a thing of itself, not an evil sent to rob us of the joys of life. Loneliness, loss, pain, sorrow, these are disciplines, God's gifts to drive us to his very heart, to increase our sensitivities and understanding, to temper our spiritual lives so that they may become channels of his mercy to others and so bear fruit for his kingdom. But these disciplines must be seized upon and used, not thwarted. They must not be seen as excuses for living in the shadow of half-lives, but as messengers, however painful, to bring our souls into vital contact with the living God, that our lives may be filled to overflowing with himself in ways that may, perhaps, be impossible to those who know less of life's darkness.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey;
Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer;
Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle, the next the victor's song.
To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be;
They with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.

If you have not known the Lord as your strength and help you can know it now. Perhaps you have had to say, "If what you have said be true, then I am still an unbeliever. I am still under the power of Satan." Then the gospel comes to you now, and this is its message:

In one moment of time you can pass from death into life.

In one moment of commitment, trusting Christ and his work, no longer reckoning upon anything you are trying to do to make you good enough, you can say, "Lord, here am I. Save me."

You pass in that moment from death into life. That is what conversion is. In the quietness of this moment there may be many who will want to make that decision, who will say, "Lord, if this be true, if this is the reason why human life can never progress beyond what it has in these centuries of struggle and darkness, then I no longer want to be a part of that. I want to pass from death into life. Lord Jesus, save me."

In those words you will open the door which permits him to do his saving work.

4. Your Equipment

Ephesians 6:13-15 The Believer's Armor
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6:13-15)

We are engaged in a spiritual battle. Our enemy is aggressive . God’s word says,

1 Peter 5: 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Our enemy is highly intelligent. Eph 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

Ever seen a highly intricate plot on a movie, where you had to follow every second or you’d lose the whole story? Satan is much more c0mplicated than that. He schemes, he plots and plans. Like it or not, we must deal with the situation.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

We are engaged in a supernatural, spiritual battle. We must fight spiritual forces with spiritual weapons. We must put on the armor of God and use the weapons of the Spirit. This armor and weaponry is the subject of our text. By understanding how to use this armor and weaponry, we will be able to be protected from the attack of the enemy.

Paul, the writer of this letter, was intimately familiar with the Roman world of his day. Everyone knew of the might of the Roman army, and could describe the equipment worn by a Roman soldier. Paul was certainly no stranger to these things. In fact, he spent months chained to a Roman soldier. However he probably drew his image of this weaponry not from the soldiers around him, but the Old Testament Scriptures. Listen to Isa 59:14-18

14 Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter. 15 So truth fails, And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him That there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him. 17 For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was clad with zeal as a cloak. 18 According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, Fury to His adversaries, Recompense to His enemies; The coastlands He will fully repay.

He uses each element of a soldier's armor to illustrate the spiritual equipment necessary for our fight of faith. It is essential for us to see the importance of this armor. We are required to put on this armor and understand how to use it. The alternative is that we go down to defeat. Without this armor we are in danger. With this armor we emerge victorious. But we must understand the contemporary message behind this coat of mail.

The Belt of Truth

"Having girded your loins with truth" -- that is always the place to start whenever you are under attack. Whenever you feel discouraged, defeated, uncertain, confused, downcast, depressed, or indifferent, this is the place to start: "Gird up your loins with truth." The officers in the Roman army wore short skirts, very much like Scottish kilts. Over them they had a cloak or tunic which was secured at the waist with a girdle. When they were about to enter battle they would tuck the tunic up under the girdle so as to leave their legs free and unimpeded for the fight. Girding the loins was always a symbol of readiness to fight. That is why this is first. You cannot do battle until you first gird up the loins with truth.

When Satan attacks you with doubts and discouragement about God’s Actual being, Truth is the belt that repels this attack.

When you are threatened by discouragement, coldness, and similar moods, how do you fight back? Well, you remember that, when you became a Christian, you girded up your loins with truth. What does that mean precisely? It means to remind yourself that, in coming to Jesus Christ, you found the truth behind all things, you found him who is in himself the truth, the key to life, the secret of the universe, final reality! You find the truth used in that sense in this very letter. In Chapter 4, Verse 20, the apostle says to these Ephesians,

You did not so learn Christ! [i.e., in uncleanness and licentiousness, etc.] -- assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. {Eph 4:20-21}He is the truth, he is reality, he is the key to life. "In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," {cf, Col 2:3}. That’s why He said I am the way the Truth and the Life..The truth. Satan will tempt you with regard to

a. Is it all worth it. Is it worth being a Christian, when all the world can give itself to sin without guilt. Is it worth it, when we tithe and are ridiculed for being Christians. Is it worth it? Yes it is worth it, for God is real, there is an eternity to prepare for, and the Lord Jesus proved Himself to be the only Saviour by his resurrection from the dead. Thefore it is worth it. The Christian faith is OBJECTIVELY TRUE> Therfore, whether you feel it is worth it or not , even if all the demons of hell are arraigned against you, Christianity is still true God still is and Jesus is still your Saviour.

What has he been to you? What has he been to others? Look back at your own Christian life and its beginnings. Did he deliver you? Has he set you free? Has he broken any chains in your life? Has he been your friend? Has he brought you back into balance and harmony? It has been pointed out that through the centuries men have been calling on others for help. You may lack courage and call on a great contemporary hero to help you, but nothing happens. You may lack wisdom and call on one of the great philosophers of the day. Or, lacking eloquence, you may cry, "Shakespeare, help me!" But no help comes. Yet for twenty centuries men and women in desperate plight have been calling our, "Lord Jesus Christ, help me" -- and help is given! Deliverance comes! That is how we know he is the truth.

Remember that all conflicting systems and philosophies must be tested at all points, not just at one. Many philosophies can do something. Ah, yes, many systems which basically are wrong still can help in a limited area. They can help somewhere, they can accomplish some good. But, my Christian friends, we must learn that this is never the mark of truth. Because something does some good is no mark of truth. Truth is a complete entity. Truth is reality, the way things really are. Therefore it is the explanation of all things. You know you have found the truth when you find something which is wide enough and deep enough and high enough to encompass all things. That is what Jesus Christ does.

Further, ultimate reality never changes. Here is another mark. Truth never needs updating, never needs to be modernized. If something was true ten thousand years ago, it is still true today. If it is true today, it was true a hundred thousand years ago. Truth does not need updating.

I delight in the story of the man to came to his old friend, a music teacher, and said to him in that flippant way we moderns use, "What's the good news today?" The old man never said a word. He walked across the room, picked up a hammer and struck a tuning fork. As the note sounded out through the room, he said, "That is 'A.' It is 'A' today, it was 'A' five thousand years ago, and it will be 'A' ten thousand years from now. The soprano upstairs sings off-key, the tenor across the hall flats his high notes, and the piano downstairs is out of tune." He struck the note again, and said, "That is 'A,' my friend, and that's the good news for today!"

That is what Jesus Christ is -- unchanging. He is "the same yesterday, today, and forever," {cf, Heb 13:8}. That is how you know you have truth. Remember that when you feel defeated, when you are under attack, when doubts come flooding into your mind. Remember that you have girded up your loins with truth; you have found him who is the solid rock:

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When Satan attacks you with doubts, take up the belt of truth. You won’t get tripped up.

The Breastplate of Righteousness

For the Roman soldier, the breastplate protected the vital organs. The heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach, and other organs were covered by this vital piece of armor. The point which Paul is making is that the breastplate of righteousness is essential for the Christian to avoid a mortal wound. What is this righteousness? Well, one thing it isn't is our own righteousness. Our righteousness was not sufficient to save us, and our righteousness will never be sufficient to keep us. Isaiah likens our righteousness to “filthy rags.” Our righteousness is not in view, rather it is the righteousness of Christ which is in view.

In 2 Corinthians 5:21 we read, “He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.”

He died there for us, and in our place. He now gives us His righteousness in exchange for ours. Actually, He is our righteousness. In 1 Corinthians 1:30 we read, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” When you receive Christ, you receive His righteousness.

When Satan attacks you with doubts concerning your Acceptance with God, you can take up the breastplate of righteousness.

This is perhaps the most frequent ground of attack against Christian faith. Christians, by one means or another, through one circumstance or another, often feel they lack assurance. They feel unworthy of God. They feel they are a failure in the Christian life and that God, therefore, is certain to reject them, that he is no longer interested in them. They are so aware of their failures and shortcomings. Growth has been so slow. The first joy of faith has faded, and they feel God is angry with them or that he is distant, far off somewhere. There is a constant sense of guilt. Their conscience is always stabbing them, making them unhappy, miserable. They feel God blames them. This is simply a satanic attack, a means of opposing and destroying what God intends to do.

How do you answer an attack like this? You are to remember that you have put on the breastplate of righteousness. In other words, you do not stand on your own merits. You never did. You never had anything worthwhile in yourself to offer to God. You gave all that up when you came to Christ. You quit trying to be good enough to please God. You came on his merits. You came on the ground of his imputed righteousness -- that which he gives to you. You began your Christian life like that and there is no change now. You are still on that basis.

This is why Paul begins his great eighth chapter to the Romans with the words, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," {Rom 8:1 RSV}. No condemnation! You are believing a lie when you believe that God is angry with you and that he rejects you. Remember, you stand on Christ's merits, "accepted in the Beloved," This is Satan’s most useful weapon to take us away from the glorious truth of the Gospel. Satan will even whisper in your ear “It is presumptuous for anyone to think they are going to heaven. We’ll never know till you die.” But the fact is The Lord Jesus Christ has died for our sins. If Christ has made the offering of Himself, then nothing more is necessary. I find comfort in the book of Hebrews. Chapter 9 says,

Heb 9:24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another-- 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

He has done it. Now you have a decision. Will you accept what He has so clearly said in His word about having died once for all your sins to make you accepted in the beloved, or will you bring dishonour to the gospel by going along moping all your life, thinking “oh I wouldn’t presume to claim Christ’s sacrifice has given me eternal life” You bring dishonour on the gospel by listening to Satan’s lie and being a blooming moper!!! Going along “Oh Me oh my! Maybe I’ll never get to heaven in the end..” And as a result you have no goood news to share with anyone else!!!!!!

The Boots of Peace

The Roman soldier wore a certain kind of shoe. It was an open-toed spiked shoe which laced up past his ankles. If you have visited at our house and caught me unawares, you know how I hate to wear shoes. When we go to the beach, half the time I forget to put thongs on. If you haven’t walked barefoot on a hot road and felt the blisters grow and the flesh sizzle, you haven’t appreciated shoes.

Eph 6:15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Shoes are absolutely essential to fighting. Imagine a soldier clad in armor from head to foot but with no shoes on, a barefoot soldier. Imagine how quickly the rough ground would tear his feet and bruise them. Soon, despite the fact that he had all the equipment he needed otherwise, he would be out of combat. His feet would render him unfit to fight. But with a good pair of shoes he would be ready and equipped, able to fight. That is what this phrase means. It is the word "readiness" in Greek that is essential here: "Your feet shod with the readiness produced by the good news of peace." It is peace in the heart that makes you able to have something to share with the lost, those who do not know Christ. Do you notice here that evangelism is part of your spiritual weaponry. It is part of your personal weaponry.

You must be prepared, ready to bring the Gospel of peace to those who do not have peace with God.

I don’t think there is anything more scarey in the Christian life is there. The thought that you might not have the right answer at the right time scares us. But we are to know that God will give us the words to speak at the right time.

Luke 12:4 "And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 8 "Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven. 11 Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."

Is the Gospel worth it to you? Is heaven and forgiveness of sins worth it to you? Is it worth it knowing you have eternal life? Then why not speak up for it. What you won’t own publicly you wont own when the press of battle is on!

The Roman soldier's shoe was an important piece of equipment. It served much the same purpose as a football player's spiked shoe. It was made to help the soldier stand his ground and advance. He needed traction. Most of the combat was hand-to-hand. Armies would surge toward one another and be locked in mortal combat. A soldier could not afford to be pushed backwards. He could not afford to slip down. And neither can we.

We need to understand the good news of Christ and be prepared to give an answer to those who may ask us. If you are not regularly reading your bible, and regularly reading books that will tell you how to tell others about Christ, you are not prepared. You need to be in a bible study group. We have material “Share Jesus Without Fear” That will help you have to the preparation that comes from the Gospel of peace. A readiness to stand for the Saviour and tell others of His grace and love.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

It will enable you to stand firm. It will give you traction in life. It will enable you to advance against the enemy on any terrain. Whatever your circumstances, you will stand firm.

The Shield of Faith Eph 6:16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

The shield for a Roman soldier was a valuable piece of equipment. The kind of shield which is spoken of here was a large shield approximately two and one-half feet wide and four and one-half feet high. It was made of a solid piece of wood and covered with metal or leather. The soldiers used these shields to stand behind. Often they would stand side-by-side with their shields together, forming a long protective wall against the barrage of enemy arrows.

Many of these arrows were wrapped in pieces of cloth and soaked in pitch. The tips would be set ablaze and the arrow shot at the enemy. Such flaming missiles could inflict serious damage on unprotected troops. Well equipped troops, however, with leather-coated shields soaked in water, had a good defense. When the arrows would strike such shields, the wet leather would extinguish them. Our shield is a shield of faith.

You may be experiencing what Paul calls here "the flaming darts of the evil one." These are part of the wiles of the devil, the wiliness, the stratagems of Satan. They come to us in various forms. Sometimes they are evil thoughts and imaginations which intrude themselves suddenly upon our thinking, oftentimes at the most incongruous times. We may be reading the Bible, we may be bowed in prayer, we may be thinking about something else quite entirely when all of a sudden some filthy, lewd thought flashes into our mind. What is this? One of the fiery darts of the evil one! We ought to recognize it as such.

Sometimes these come as doubts, and even blasphemies, sudden feelings we experience that perhaps this Christianity is nothing after all but a big hoax, some dream which men had. Perhaps we feel that it can all be explained psychologically, or that Jesus Christ is really a humbug, a victim of self-delusion. Perhaps the world is not the way we have been taught it is, and things are not the way the Bible says. You have doubtless experienced these times. All Christians have had this sudden feeling that perhaps it is all a fantasy, imagination. Again, these fiery darts may come in the form of sudden fears, anxieties, a fleeting sensation that things are all wrong. We cannot seem to shake it. Though we try to reason ourselves out of it, we cannot.

What are these feelings? Well, whatever form they may take, they are always from the same source. They are the fiery darts of the wicked one. We are the biggest fools on earth if we do not see them in that light, and deal with them as such. And, in whatever form they may come to us, they always have two characteristics.

First, they seem to arise out of our own thoughts. They seem to come right from our inner selves. We feel, "This is something I am thinking," and oftentimes it is a shocking thing. But the devil is really whispering to us. He is communicating to us. He is influencing us. Ah yes, but it does not seem like that to us. In our ignorance and innocence we blame ourselves, "How can I think a thing like this if I am a Christian? Can a Christian have such a lewd and filthy thought as this? Can I really be a Christian if I think like this. I must not be one after all." This, of course, is exactly why the devil sent his thought to you, because this is what he wants you to think. If it is a doubt (and we are always exposed to doubts, these sudden attacks upon faith, these sudden feelings that Christianity is not as sure and certain as it once seemed to us), we say to ourselves, "I must have already lost my faith or I would not think like this. What is the matter with me? How can I be a Christian and even have a thought like this?"

What are we to do? How are we to combat these things successfully? Well, the apostle says, "Take the shield of faith with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one."

Do you do that? Have you learned how to take the shield of faith when doubts come? Do you say? ...

"Christ is the truth. He is the basic revelation of things which really are. He has demonstrated it. Therefore, I cannot accept this thought that Christianity is a hoax. I cannot believe both. I cannot believe that Christ is the truth and that this thing is true, too. I have committed myself to Christ because I have been persuaded that he has demonstrated truth fully. I stand on that ground. Therefore I must reject this insinuation."

Do you reason? ...

"Christ is the truth. Therefore I cannot believe this subtle philosophy which exalts man and makes God unnecessary in human affairs. I must reject it. Since I have found Christ true, I cannot believe this sudden feeling I have of unreality. I must regard it as what Christ says it is. It is from the devil. Jesus Christ says he is a liar from the beginning. Therefore this is a lie and I reject it."

Do you say these things?

Our problem is that we have become so accustomed to believing our feelings as though they were facts. We never examine them. We never take them and look at them and ask, "It this true?" We simply say, "I feel this way. Therefore it must be true." This is why so many are constantly defeated -- because they accept their feelings as facts.

We are to say:

"Christ is my righteousness. I am linked with him. I am one with him. His life is my life and my life is his life. We are married. Therefore, I cannot believe this lie that these evil thoughts are my thoughts. They are not my thoughts at all. They are thoughts which come into my mind, are insinuated there by another force. It is not my thinking at all. No, it is the devil again. I do not want these thoughts. I do not like them. I reject them. I do not want them in my thinking; therefore they are not mine. They are the devil's children, and I'll spank them and send them back where they belong!"

Using the shield of faith means refusal to feel condemned or to feel guilty:

"God loves me. He says so. He says nothing will change that. Nothing will separate us. Nothing I do or fail to do will separate us! All right, then I will believe that, and therefore I cannot believe this thought that God does not love me and want me."

You see, you cannot have both. No man can serve two masters.

"Christ is the ground of my peace. Therefore it is his responsibility to take me through everything. He is the adequate One. He has come to carry me through every situation. So I cannot, I will not, believe this fear, this sudden anxiety which grips my heart. I will not believe that it is from me. It is simply sent to shake my confidence in Christ. It is an attempt to destroy my peace. But Christ is adequate for even this and therefore I refuse to change."

This is what James calls "resisting the devil," {Jas 4:7b}. This is the shield of faith. This is refusing the believe the lie that if you have doubts you cannot have faith. Because that is a lie. Doubt is always an attack on faith. The fact that you have doubts proves that you have faith. They are not opposites at all. Doubt is the proof of the reality of faith. Therefore re-examine the ground of your faith and reassert it, and remember that feelings are not necessarily at all.

And James says that, if you keep on resisting the devil, "he will flee from you," {Jas 4:7c}. Think of that! He will flee from you. You do it again and again every time the thought comes back. You resist it on that basis. You refuse to give up your position. And, sooner or later, inevitably, the doubts will clear. Your feelings will change, the attacks cease, and you will be back again in the sunshine of faith and the experience of the love and joy of God

Eph 6: 17 And take the helmet of salvation,

Have you noticed that for 20 centuries and more men have come up with grandiose schemes to bring in a new world order. They set up their Fabian socities, their various societies in the hope of bringing in a fair and just society> And those castles built in the clouds just blow right away. But the Christian has a helmet of salvation. He has a hope for the future. He has an understanding that God is working out his purposes and therefore he is not disturbed when human programs go wrong and everything fails -- when the New Deal, and the Fair Deal, and the Great Society, and all the other fancy names for human progress end up in the same old place -- time after time after time. The Christian has learned to expect wars and rumors of wars unto the very end. He expects false teachings and false philosophies and cults and heresies to abound. He is told all this will happen. It is part of the program, part of the total overall plan and purpose and moving of God in history. The Christian knows that wars are unavoidable, even though every effort should be made to avoid them, and that there is no contradiction in this. The Christian knows that war is madness, that nothing is really solved by war. But he knows also that we are living in a mad world, a world which is deluded by silken, subtle, satanic lies which are deliberately designed to end up in the mangling and mutilating of the bodies and souls of men. The helmet of hope not only tells us that these things are happening and will happen, but that a certain, sure salvation is coming, and that it is even now at work. This is what we need to know. Not merely that it will finally end right, but that the ending is being worked out now! History is not a meaningless jumble but a controlled pattern, and the Lord Jesus Christ is himself the one who is directing these events. He is the Lord of history. God is at work in the selfsame events that we look at with such horror and confusion.

We are to remind ourselves frequently of the coming of the Lord. How many times did he say, "Watch! Watch therefore. That you may be ready for that hour," {Matt 24:42, 25:13}. We must live daily in its hope and anticipation. The battle is not ours. This is not merely a private fight we are engaged in. We have been talking about this great struggle against the devil and his angels, against the principalities and powers, against the wiles of the devil, as though it were primarily a private fight. It does come down to that at last. It meets us right where we live -- in our homes, our offices, our relationship with our fellow human beings everywhere we turn -- but it is not only that, and it is always good to remember the fact. The battle is not ours, but the Lord's. We are individual units fighting in a great army. The ultimate cause is sure and the end is certain. We do not need to be troubled by all the things happening on the face of the earth, for our Conqueror has already won.

The end is absolutely certain, the outcome is sure, the battle is the Lord's. It is not, finally, and ultimately, a struggle between us and the devil, but a struggle between Christ and Satan, and the outcome is completely sure!

The Weapon of All Prayer

Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. {Eph 6:18-20 RSV}

Pray Regularly “praying always”

Pray Accurately “with all prayer”

Pray Alertly “being watchful to this end”

Pray Persistently “with all perseverance”

Pray Pervasively “and supplication for all the saints—“

What is the one thing that most often keeps Christians from experiencing God's making a dramatic difference in their lives? Is it carelessness? Lack of good Christian fellowship? Temptation? May I suggest prayerlessness?

How often do you and I receive answers to prayer? Many Christians have no idea what it means to be a child of God who can talk with the Lord about a real need, let alone to receive a specific, valid, and recognizable answer to their prayers.

I could tell you Bible promises on prayer, plus some of my own experiences and those of friends, but I can't do your praying for you. You can read all the manuals on prayer and listen to other people pray, but until you begin to pray yourself you will never understand prayer. It's like riding a bicycle or swimming: You learn by doing.

Martin Luther said, "Just as the business of the tailor is to make clothing, and that of the shoemaker to mend shoes, so the business of the Christian is to pray." The secret of Luther's revolutionary life was his commitment to spend time alone with God every day.

"Consider the lives of the most outstanding and shining servants of God," J.C. Ryle challenges us, "whether they be in the Bible or out of the Bible. In all of them you will find that they were men of prayer. Depend on prayer; prayer is powerful." I encourage you to take time every day to talk with God. Don't just give Him thirty seconds while you're rushing around in the morning: "O Lord, bless this day, especially since it is Monday. . . ." What kind of prayer is that? Satan does not want you to pray because by prayer the power of God is unleashed in our lives. By prayer we become strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might to resist the evil one. Have you noticed that Satan desires to keep you from praying. There are always distraction. You sit down to pray and the phone rings. You start to pray and the cat goes swimming in the fish tank. You get invaded with unwelcome stray thoughts.

Wicked thoughts

Wayward thoughts

Worthless thoughts.

Satan does not want you to pray. Therefore if you would put on the whole armour of God, you must learn to pray.

Take on the Gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer…” says the hymn. How should you pray to defeat the enemy? To defeat the enemy you must

1. Pray Regularly “praying always”

V. 18 “Pray in the Spirit on ALL occasions ...”

V. 18b “ ...Be alert and ALWAYS keep on praying ...”

Sometimes we wait to pray until we are in a crisis. I wonder how many crisis could be avoided in the first place if we were “praying always”!

We need to constantly be in communication with the Father—ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS: Thinking of Him. Talking to Him. Listening to Him. Interceding before Him. Petitioning Him. Keep talking to God all day long, every day.

Prayerless times are perilous times in your spiritual warfare. Satan will seek to tempt you and take you right off track in those times when you have least prayed.

It is essential to set aside a specific time each day for personal prayer. Strive for order and faithfulness, but avoid legalism. On certain occasions you may need to select a different time during the day to pray. Nothing is wrong with that. But strive for consistency.

I have found the early hours of the day are the best to pray. So have such men of God as Martin Luther in Germany, John Wesley in England, Hudson Taylor in China, and many others. Evangelist D.L. Moody echoed their sentiments when he said, "We ought to see the face of God every morning before we see the face of man. If you have so much business to attend to that you have no time to pray, depend upon it that you have more business on hand than God ever intended." Make room in your schedule to begin each day alone with God in prayer.

On the other hand, prayer is something that should take place during the entire day. The Bible says, "Pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). At any moment, whatever the occasion, we are free to speak with our Father. Albert J. Wollen says every Christian can enjoy "constant, conscious communion with God." We enjoy this communion with the living God, who lives within us, through prayer.

"If Jesus prayed, what about you? What about you?" asks the hymn writer. It's always surprising to see how much time Jesus dedicated to prayer. He never considered Himself too busy to pray. As the obligations increased and as He faced big decisions, He went away alone to pray. How about you?

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).

"The Lord will keep you from all harm--he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore" (Psalm 121:7-8).

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe" (Proverbs 18:10).

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you" (John 15:7).

To defeat the enemy you must

2. Pray Accurately “with all prayer”

Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

Moody had this to say about prayer: "Some men's prayers need to be cut short at both ends and set on fire in the middle."

Are your prayers on fire? Are they prayers that reach the ear of God? Are they prayers that move the hearts of people?

Let me briefly describe the kind of prayer God delights to answer. If you take these principles to heart, watch for God to anoint your prayers with fire!

Listen, don’t try to fight Satan with human weapons on human battlefields. Satan’s advances will never be stopped by: Politics, Protests or Persuasive Arguments.

Satan is defeated only by PRAYER!

A. The Holy Spirit assists us in accurately praying the will of God. (Eph. 6:18; 1 Cor. 14:6-19) V. 18 “Pray in the Spirit ...”The reason some of our praying is so ineffective is because it is inaccurate praying. We miss the target of God’s perfect will. James 4:3 “You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss...” (KJV).

To pray in the Spirit is to pray in accordance with the character and will of the Holy Spirit.

Rom 8:26-27 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

B. The Word of God assists us in accurately praying the will of God.

Bible expositor W. Graham Scroggie wrote, "In the Bible God speaks to us, and in prayer we speak to God." The Bible and prayer are intertwined strands forming the intimate cord of communion between God and ourselves. Read the great prayers of Moses, Nehemiah, Ezra, and Daniel. In their petitions they spoke God's words back to Him. This is the prayer language God delights to answer. As you pray, let Him bring Scriptures to mind. Pray them back to God as they apply to you.

Before you spend time reading and studying the Bible each day, pray that God will make your heart sensitive to His Word. Martin Luther said, "Having prayed well is having studied well." We cannot have one without the other. We can pray according to the will of God by praying the word of God. Let God’s Word guide your praying.

George Müller fellowshiped with God as few men in history have ever done. Through him, God cared for thousands of orphans. Despite his tremendous financial responsibilities, Müller never asked other people to help meet his needs. Extreme financial pressures only motivated him to spend more time in intimate conversation with God.

Listen to what Müller said about his times alone with God: "I begin to meditate on the New Testament early in the mornings. . . . Invariably, I have found that . . . after so many minutes of meditation, my soul is guided to confession, or to give thanks, or to intercede, or to make a request. So, even when you couldn't say that I had given myself to prayer, but rather to meditation, nevertheless, it turned out that almost immediately the meditation turned into prayer." As God's Word spoke to Müller's heart, he naturally responded back to God in prayer. He enjoyed intimate fellowship with his Lord.

Communication is the key to any relationship. Our relationship with God can grow only as we communicate our adoration, confession, petition, intercession, and thanksgiving to Him through prayer, and as we listen to His voice through the daily study of His Word.

How well do you know God? How intimate is your relationship with Him? Müller could come to God, ask Him for five pounds, and know his heavenly Father would somehow supply his need. Could you ask God for that, or are you only an acquaintance?

1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

How effective would an army be if they never aimed their artillery, but they just randomly fired their weapons in all directions? How effective would a bomber be if he took off and had no target, he just randomly dropped his bombs wherever he felt like it? And yet that is exactly how some of us pray. We pray with no direction. In modern warfare, our bombers use laser guided bombs and missiles. A radar locks onto the target and then uses a laser beam to direct the bomb precisely to the target. Hey, let the Holy Spirit be your radar to guide your praying. Pray in the direction the Holy Spirit points you.

C. The Scriptures indicate several types of prayers to pray We need to pray ALL WAYS. V. 18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests ...” Petition. Intercession. Confession. Praise. Thanksgiving.

It ought to be as constant and natural to us as breathing.

All kinds of prayer are effective in limiting Satan and weakening his attacks.

We ought to always pray in all kinds of ways:

Pray silently—Pray out loud. Pray privately—Pray publicly.

Pray in the closet—Pray in the church. Pray on your knees—Pray working at your desk. Pray alone—Pray in groups. Pray with laughter—Pray with tears. Pray short prayers—Pray long prayers. Just pray, pray, pray. Constantly pray all kinds of prayer!

To defeat the enemy you must

3. Pray Alertly.

V. 18b “With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

Have you ever prayed half asleep? Have you ever prayed with your mind wandering? There are plenty of times when I pray and my mind is in a fog. My mind wanders, my thoughts go astray. We need to learn to not be lazy in our praying, but to be disciplined and alert. Here are some things that help me stay alert when praying ... Pray with your Bible open. Pray with your eyes open. Pray out loud. Pray kneeling, standing, or walking.

Do whatever it takes to stay alert when you are on duty, standing guard in prayer!

Back in the days of sailing ships a young sailor went to sea for the first time. The ship encountered a heavy storm in the North Atlantic. The sailor was commanded to go aloft and trim the sails. As the young sailor started to climb, he made a mistake and looked down. The roll of the ship combined with the tossing of the waves made for a frightening experience. The young man started to lose his balance. At that moment, an older sailor underneath him shouted, "Look up, son! Look up!" The young sailor looked up and regained his balance. We Christians need to stop napping around down cast and hopeless and look up toward heaven, the source of our salvation. There is victory in Jesus and we need to start acting like it. To defeat the enemy you must

4. Pray Persistently “with all perseverance”

Paul is admitting that prayer is hard work and we ought to stick at it. The Lord Jesus said so too.

Luke 18:1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, 'Get justice for me from my adversary.' 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, 'Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.' " 6 Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"

The Lord was teaching by contrasts and saying that if a man of this unreliable kind could be persuaded by the persistence of a woman who was pleading, how much more could you be sure that God, who is not an unjust judge, but a loving Father answer your prayer.

God does not need to be persuaded. The Almighty does not need to be coaxed! We as believers are sons and daughters of the God. Therefore there is no need for us to think we have to wear God ragged before He will answer our prayers.

But what about the mystery of unanswered prayer? God always answers the prayers of those who are truly His children. He answers Yes, or No, or Wait, or Watch.

Sometimes God has to make us wait until we become the sort of people whom He can trust with His answers to prayer. Sometimes He desires us to discover how we ought to pray about something so that we pray according to His Word and Spirit.

Three Ways to Determine When to Stop Praying

1.Pray until God answers your prayer.

2.Pray until you have assurance that you have prayed correctly about the matter. (Dan. 10:12)

3.Pray until God tells you no.

To defeat the enemy you must

5. Pray Pervasively “ and supplication for all the saints—“

We need to pray for ALL PEOPLE.

V. 18b “Be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

Don’t just pray selfishly for yourself and your own wish-list. Pray for others and their needs.

1 Tim 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. {Eph 6:18-20 RSV}

He prays for himself that he might have clarity and courage in the proclamation of the gospel. You need to pray for me this way You need to pray for you this way.

You are an ambassador.

2 Cor 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.

You represent the King of kings.

You need to pray for clarity.

I remember a few times thinking to myself as I have preached or shared the gospel in personal witness that I had made it as clear as mud.

You need to pray for courage.

Hugh Latimer was a young man who came to know the Lord as he was preparing to pastor a church. Later on he had the opportunity to preach regularly toi the king of England Henry VIII. Henry didn’t like one sermon, it touched a little too close to the bone, and with Henry there was always the chance that heads would roll literally. Latimer was asked to re preach the sermon to the king’s satisfaction! He began the next Sunday “ oh Hugh Latimer, Dost thou know before whom thou art about to preach. Why thou art about to preach before the King of England, mind what thou sayest.! For he has the power of life and death over thee. Bu oh Hugh Latimer, dost thou realise for whom thou dost preach? Thou dost preach for the King of Kings and Lord of lords. Mindest thou what thou sayest for He has the power to take away thy soul.” And Latimer went on and preached the exact same sermon again for Henry. That takes courage. You may not have the opportunity to stand before Emperors or kings and declare the Gospel. But you just never know who the Lord will put you with. .I was talking to a believer a few years ago who got bumped up from cattle class to first class on an airplane and found himself sitting next to a fellow with who he shared the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. He wrote to me a few years ago from his home in the USA. He asked me if I knew a fairly wealthy man name Alan Bond. It appears he was influential in bringing him to the Lord. (failed business entrepreneur Alan Bond lost more than 540 million dollars in Australia a few years ago.) Now I always like to think that whoever you are about to speak to has to put his trousers on in the morning the self same way I do, therefore I try not to take note of a person’s position or occupation when I share the gospel with them. It helps me to have courage when I share with them this message of life in Christ.

I was reading yesterday in Acts 4and 5 how the disciples stood before the Sanhedrin, those murderers of the Lord Jesus Christ, to declare Him as the Messiah.

Acts 5:17 Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19 But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life." 21 And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught.

Acts 5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, "Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!" 29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him." 33 When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them.

40-42 and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

That took courage. You and I need courage and clarity to speak up for the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for it.

Ephesians 6:17 The Bible: Our Sword

Along with the lance, twibill, spontoon, bow and arrow and catapult, the sword is an extinct weapon in modern warfare and is used today only on ceremonial occasions. But the "sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (Eph. 6:17) will never be replaced by a better weapon. In fact, the Word of God and prayer are the only offensive weapons the believer has for carrying on spiritual warfare. The sword the Roman soldier carried was a short sword for close combat, not a long sword for duelling. The forces in Satan's demonic army get as close to us as they can, and we must always be prepared for battle. Jesus encountered Satan's soldiers in the synagogue (Luke 4:33-37) and in a graveyard (Luke 8:26-36), and Paul met them while witnessing (Acts 13:6-13) and while walking to a prayer meeting (Acts 16:16-18). You never know when Satan will attack, so "be sober, be vigilant" (1 Peter 5:8 )

It is recorded that during the coronation of Edward VI, after various ceremonial swords had been brought to him, the king said to his nobles: "There is one sword yet lacking, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Without that sword we are nothing and we can do nothing!" To what the king said we can say "amen".

This sword is vital to our existence as Christians. We can do nothing without it and without it we are nothing. This evening I want to challenge each of us to know, to trust, and to use the sword of the Spirit, God's Word.

I. Know Your Bible.

A. You are to Be A Student Of The Word of God

We come to know the Bible by reading it.

Charles Spurgeon was asked how a Christian could obtain a thorough knowledge of the Bible. He replied, "There are three rules to follow in order to have a deep under- standing of the Word of God: First, read the Bible; Second, read the Bible; and Third, read the Bible. The Bible does not need to be re-written, but it does need to be re-read!

Noted Bible teacher Dr. James M. Gray declared, "There is only one law of Bible study, and that is to read the Book, and when you have read it, to read it again, and then sit down and read it again, and then sit down and read it once more, and by and by you will come to know the Book."

B. We come to know the Bible by memorizing portions of God's Word.

We teach our children to learn memory verses in S/S, but what about us? Ps. 119:11, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." God instructed Joshua concerning His Word, "...thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein..." If we are to know the Bible we need to read it and memorize it.

The Scriptures which Paul and Timothy knew were the 39 books of the Old Testament. They hadn’t been bound into a single volume but were grouped as the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. These scrolls were read regularly in the synagogues and the children taught to memorize important passages. You can never tell how the thorough learning of Scripture will be used in later life. Richard Wurmbrand was a pastor in Romania and was imprisoned and tortured for his faith by the communist authorities. He testified that it was the passages of Scripture that he had memorized as a youth that sustained him in his years of captivity.
C. We come to know it by studying it.

We should study its history, its prophecy, and its theology Paul's instruction to Timothy, was to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

II. Trust Your Bible.

A. We must trust our sword as being divine.

It is the sword of the Spirit. Like the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Living Word of God, the written Word of God has two natures. It is the fusion of both the human and divine elements."...Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:21 We must be careful how we handle the Scriptures. During the British Coronation ceremony a Bible is presented to the monarch with the words:"We present you with the Bible, the most valuable thing which this world affords. Here is wisdom. This is the Royal law. These are the lively oracles of God."
2 Tim 3:15-17 from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

It claims to be the Word of God Holy Scriptures (theopneustos)

Arthur T. Pierson, a noted Bible expositor, explained the Bible's uniqueness this way: "From all human oracles, however self-confident, we turn at last to the inspired Word, where instead of ambiguous and untrustworthy utterances, we find teachings distinct and definite, authoritative and infallible." We can trust God's Word!

If God couldn't write a book that is perfect, then why should you or I trust such a God with our salvation? I am not saying that belief in inspiration is necessary for salvation, but I am saying that to experience authority and power and fellowship with God in our Christian walk, we must accept the Bible as God's Word. "All Scripture is God-breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16). John R.W. Stott explains the importance of this declaration for us this way: "The meaning then is not that God breathed into the writings to give them their special character, but that what was written by men was breathed by God. He spoke through them. These were his spokesmen."

It Speaks with the wisdom of God which are able to make you wise for salvation

It Shows the Way to God through faith which is in Christ Jesus

It Teaches the Will of God 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

Charles Haddon Spurgeon said “I would as soon expect to grow prize roses in my coal cellar as to see a man become holy who neglects his Bible.”

It Fits us for the Work of God 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

B. We must trust our sword as being dependable.

The very words of Scripture are inspired by God. Someone has said, "You can as easily have music without notes, or mathematics without figures, as thoughts without words." Inspiration applies to every part of the Bible and to the Bible as a whole--not just to the "thoughts" it conveys to a reader. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished" (Matthew 5:18). He guarantees even the most minute parts of it!

The early church fathers also asserted the authority of the Bible. Augustine declared, "Let us therefore yield ourselves and bow to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, which can neither err nor deceive."

D.L. Moody confidently stated, "God never made a promise that was too good to be true." Solomon, in his dedication of the temple, said this, "...according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise..." 1 Kings 8:56 "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Is. 55:11

Do not question the dependability of God's is as dependable as God Himself!

Someone may ask, "What do you do if an unsaved man does not accept the authority of the Bible?" If you were in a battle and the other person looked at your sword and said he didn't believe it could cut hot butter would you lower it and put it away? Absolutely not! You would show him that it would cut and thrust him through with it. We must do the same with the sword of the Spirit, God's Word. Someone says, "I am an athiest." Quote Ps. 14:1, "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God." Someone says, "I believe the way I want to and you can believe the way you want to."

Quote Proverbs 12:15, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth to counsel is wise." Quote Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

If they say they just don't want to hear it then quote 2 Timothy 4:4, "And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

C. We must trust our sword as being durable.

The Word of God has survived all sorts of attacks and it endures through the ravings of its critics. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Mt. 24:35

The Anvil--God's Word

Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith's door,

And heard the anvil ring in vesper chime;

Then, looking in, I saw upon the floor

Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.

"How many anvils have you had," said I,

"To wear and batter all these hammers so?"

"Just one," said he, and then with twinkling eye,

"The anvil wears the hammers out, you know."

And so, thought I, the anvil of God's Word,

For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;

Yes, though the noise of falling blows was heard,

The anvil is unharmed---the hammers gone.

God Word, the sword of the Spirit, will is not the book-of-the-month it is the Book of Ages!

III. Use Your Bible.

A. When we are tempted.

Now in the phrase, "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," it is important to see that it is not the complete Bible which is referred to by the phrase used here, "the word of God." There are two words used in Scripture for "the word of God." There is the familiar word, logos, which is used in the opening verse of John's Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God," {John 1:1}. Then there is another word, used less frequently, rhema, which is somewhat different in meaning. Logos refers to the total utterance of God, the complete revelation of what God has said. Rhema means a specific saying of God, a passage or a verse which has special application to an immediate situation. It is the Word of God used for a particular need, applied to experience, to our existence.

Rhema is the word used here. The "sword of the Spirit" is the saying of God applied to a specific situation. This is the great weapon placed in the hands of a believer. Perhaps all of us have had some experience with this. We have all read passages of Scripture when the words suddenly seemed to come alive, take on flesh and bones, and leap out of the page at us, or develop a voice that echoes in our hearts until we just can’t get away from it. We have had this experience perhaps in some moment of temptation or doubt, when we were assailed by what Paul calls here "the flaming darts of the evil one." But it has been answered immediately by a passage of Scripture which flashed to mind, just plain out of the blue.

In the New Testament we have the account of the temptation of Christ by the enemy. At every point Jesus quoted the Word of God.

Look at how the Lord handled it.

Matt 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' " 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and,

'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' "

7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.' " 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " 11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.


The Lord knew the right passage for the right temptation. You are in a spiritual battle. The only way you will have the right passage at the right time is by reading the scriptures consistently, studying them so that you won’t get tripped up by the devil’s schemes.

This means we must know our sword! Obviously, the greater exposure there is to Scripture, the more the Spirit can use this mighty sword in our lives. If you never read or study your Bible, you are terribly exposed to defeat and despair. You have no defense, you have nothing to put up against these forces that are at work. Therefore, read your Bible regularly. Read all of Scripture, for each section has a special purpose. The Christian who neglects the reading of the Scriptures is in direct disobedience to the will of the Lord. The Lord Jesus said, "It is they [the Scriptures] that bear witness to me," (John 5:39). This is the way you come to know Christ. There is no way apart from the Scriptures. And there is no way to come into full maturity as a Christian apart from the Scriptures. The sword of the Spirit does us no good unless we take it by faith and use it in the strength of the Lord. "It is written" carries more spiritual power to defeat the devil than does a library full of books or a head filled with theological outlines.

If we use the Bible effectively it will not only inform, but has the power to reform and transform lives.

B. When You Are Testifying.

Testifying? Yes you are expected by god to testify to what you have experienced of His love and grace. Sharing the gospel is like one beggar telling another beggar where to get bread. If you have found the Saviour to be a wonderful Saviour, if you have discovered Him to be kind and gracious and faithful and merciful, you just won’t be able to shut up about Him. You’ll testify to the things you have seen and heard of Him. But perhaps your testimony of Him is a little dull? Unlike the metal sword of the Roman soldier, the sword of the Spirit never gets dull. The Word of God is always "sharper than any two-edged sword" (Heb. 4:12). Sometimes we who carry the sword get "dull of hearing" (Heb. 5:11) and don't wield the Word of God effectively; but that isn't the fault of the weapon. We must spend time daily with the Word of God, studying it, memorizing it and learning how to apply it in spiritual combat. If we're filled with the Spirit, then we'll have no difficulty wielding the Spirit's sword; for He wrote the Word and He can help us use it to the glory of God.

The Roman soldier's sword was powerless of itself, but the Word of God is "living and powerful" (Heb. 4:12) and isn't limited by the personal weakness of the believer.

Men need to hear God's Word to be saved. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Ro. 10:17 1 Peter 1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

Human reasoning will not convert souls to Christ...only the Word of God will bring life everlasting.

The Roman soldier's sword brought death, but the sword of the Spirit is "living and powerful" (Heb 4:12) and imparts life to those who submit to it. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter used his physical sword and got himself into trouble. But on the Day of Pentecost, he used the sword of the Spirit and three thousand dead sinners were "cut to the heart" (Acts 2:37 NKJV) and found life in Jesus Christ. What a remarkable sword!

Christian soldiers who think they have better weapons than the Word of God and prayer are destined to experience shame and failure, no matter how successful they may appear to the world. "In whatever man does without God," wrote George MacDonald, "he must fail miserably or succeed more miserably."

The Holy Spirit hasn't promised to bless human philosophies or even our hallowed systems of theology. God doesn't put the anointing on human talent or cleverness, no matter how much applause they might generate from congregations that are looking more for entertainment than for edification. "It is not great talents God blesses," wrote Robert Murray McCheyne, "but great likeness to Jesus."

Satan isn't impressed by our buildings and budgets, our religious arguments, our fine-tuned sermon outlines or our denominational programs; but he trembles before the Word of God when it's wielded by dedicated soldiers who know how to pray.

The Lord Jesus prayed to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17). His Word cleanses us (John 15:3).

C. It must be a part of our life.

2 Samuel 23:10 tells of the victory Eleazar experienced, "...and his hand clave unto the sword and the Lord wrought a great victory that day..." May we use the Word of God so often that it becomes a part of us. As the sword became just an extension of Eleazar's arm; may the Word of God become a part of our life. The sword of the Spirit, God's Word. We must know it, trust it, and use it. It is our only weapon as we stand in the face of the enemy struggling to win others to Christ and live victoriously for Him.

Are you currently spending time every day reading at least one chapter of the Bible? If not, how often are you reading God's Word?

If you spent time daily in Scripture, what impact could it make on your life? On the lives of others around you?

James tells us, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (James 1:22).

Obey the Word by prayerfully meditating on it with the goal of better understanding and applying it.

THE SECRET (by Ralph Cushman)

I met God in the morning, When my day was at its best,

And His presence came like sunrise, Like a glory in my breast.

All day long the presence lingered; All day long He stayed with me;

And we sailed in perfect calmness, O'er a very troubled sea.

Other ships were blown and battered, Other ships were sore distressed,

But the winds that seemed to drive them, Brought to us a peace and rest.

Then I thought of other mornings, With a keen remorse of mind,

When I too had loosed the moorings, With the Presence left behind.

So I think I know the secret, Learned from many a troubled way;

You must seek Him in the morning, If you want Him through the day.

The sword of the Spirit is yours for the taking. Don't leave home without it.

Eph 6:10-20
Eph 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-- 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Morning The Sword of The Spirit

I. Know Your Bible.

A. You are to Be A Student Of The Word of God

B. We come to know the Bible by memorizing portions of God's Word.

C. We come to know it by studying it.

II. Trust Your Bible.

A. We must trust our sword as being divine.

B. We must trust our sword as being dependable.

C. We must trust our sword as being durable.

III. Use Your Bible.

A. When we are tempted.

B. When You Are Testifying.

Evening The Weapon of All Prayer

If You Would Defeat The Enemy You Must:

1. Pray Regularly “praying always”

2. Pray Accurately “with all prayer”

3. Pray Alertly “being watchful to this end”

4. Pray Persistently “with all perseverance”

5. Pray Pervasively “and supplication for all the saints”

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