- Sermon Notes
Armored for it All
Illus. Get ready!
Read: Ephesians 6:10-17
These verses start out with the encouragement, “be strong in the Lord.” Since there is a battle going on, a war being waged, we need not only know where our strength comes from, but where to find it. Paul does not simply say, “be strong,” He points us to the place to find our strength in the face of what we face. He tells us to “be strong in the Lord.”
- Remember Where the Struggle is Situated
Ephesians 6:11-13, Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 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.
- While we will cover the full armor of God in the next section, we are immediately drawn to the importance of “putting it on,” that we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
- Paul first acknowledges that in this life we live, there is a struggle. We recognize a struggle as well. Here it is a Greek word that depicts a wrestling match, a struggle for power, one which the victor is made victorious by pinning the other down.
- Paul identifies with us in that we too are aware of the struggle, but the source of that struggle is where many might be troubled in understanding.
- Paul says that the real struggle is not against flesh and blood. Paul tells us that the real struggle is situated in “heavenly places.”
- Of the “heavenly places,” the spiritual realm, Paul had already told some things that are important to recognize:
Ephesians 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ
Ephesians 1:21, Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church.
- Paul wants us to know that everything visible and physical is preceded by something spiritual. Without identifying the roots, we will be thrown off by the visible fruits…
- He first makes us aware of this truth, because if we are not aware, then we won’t take up and put on the gear he tells us is imperative here.
- If you are striving and fighting against flesh, you are fighting the wrong battle. If what you are wrestling against is a person, or people, you are in the wrong battle.
- Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against “but (verse 12) against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
- There is an enemy against us, who has schemes and plans in place to take us out.
John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
- The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy your life. But Jesus came to bring life and bring that life to the full!
- Heavenly places is where the battle is. And it is our ability or inability to address the unseen realm, that will determine our success in the seen realm.
- Paul tells us that God has given us armor that we are to put on and use that is from the heavenly realm, so that in this realm, we can operate with authority.
- Put on What God Provides
Ephesians 6:13, Take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day.
- What is clear here is that God provides us the armor, it is available to those in Him, but God does not put it on for us. It is available, but we must take it up and put it on.
- For me and for you, there is armor available so that we can withstand the evil day, or days, but we must take up and put on the armor.
- Since there is a battle, we must take up the necessary armor, and we do not simply want theoretical equipment, we want that in reality and that is what is available to you and to me.
- Paul wrote this while in the custody of Romans Soldiers, likely looking at what protected that guard physically. He then details out for you and for me, the way in which we are to guard our lives spiritually.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4, For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
- Stand Firm in the Gear God has affirmed
Ephesians 6:14, Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…
- The phrase ‘stand firm,’ sheds light on the reality that there is much we must stand firm in and there is much that will come our way in an attempt to throw you off course.
- The list of equipment begins with the belt of truth, which is put around the waist.
- The soldier in that day wore a tunic of loose-fitting cloth. Since ancient combat was hand to hand, and loose tunic was a potential hindrance and danger. A belt was then used to cinch up the loose material.
- For us then, the belt of truth pulls in all the spiritual loose ends. That which hinders is tucked away so that it will not be a hindrance.
- Truth is defined by an absolute standard by which reality is measured. Truth is God’s view on any subject.
John 14:6, I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
John 17:17, Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.
- Truth is what should hold our lives together. Truth starts with God and it is the truth that is to be wrapped around our waist, that which holds our life together.
- NASB reads, “gird your loins with truth.” Loins are regarded as the seat of physical strength and power.
- Therefore, if we are going to have any power in the battle, we must ensure the play of strength and power, is truth.
Illus. Day Quill.
John 8:32, You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Illus. Until the information is received.
- The enemy wants you to believe lies about yourself and lies about God.
Genesis 3:1, Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Ephesians 6:14, Stand firm… with the breastplate or righteousness in place.
- The next piece of armor Paul tells us to put on is the breastplate of righteousness.
- This was a tough, sleeveless piece of leather, bronze, or other heavy material that protected a person from their neck to their thighs.
- It would protect the soldier’s vital organs, their heart, and their lungs.
- Regarding our armor spiritually, Paul says that righteousness is to be our breastplate.
- The day you asked Jesus into your heart you were made right with God. And righteousness gives us the evidence that we have been made right with God.
2 Corinthians 5:21, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Romans 3:22, This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
- The righteousness has been given; we have become the righteousness of God in Christ. But that righteousness plays an essential role in protecting our lives, particularly our heart.
- The enemy will do all he can to cause you to question the reality that you have been made right with God.
- That is why we must start with the truth, be set free, and then surround our lives with the reality of righteousness “being made right” presently.
- Many Christians have sad, hurt, and broken hearts because they have the righteousness of Christ, but they have failed to apply it to their lives.
- As you arm yourself with the righteousness of Christ, you understand that your standing before God has been settled, you are forgiven, and free.
Ephesians 6:14(a), 15, Stand firm… with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
- The Roman soldier had shoes that protected his feet without slowing him down. They also had spikes that ensured solid footing.
- If you do not have shoes for the rough terrain and rocky places, you will not get very far. We must fit our feet with the gospel of peace, that is the foundation of our steps, and that which we stand on and upon as we proceed forward.
Romans 5:1, Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- We have been given peace, we have peace with God and when we are anxious for nothing, but make the subject of prayer, everything, we are given the peace of God.
John 14:27, Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
John 16:33, These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.
- We are to fit our feet with the Gospel, which is the good news, the good news that brings peace.
- We can stand firm with peace, even in the battle, because we know we are on the right side and our biggest battle has already been won.
- Strap the gospel of peace with you, take it wherever you go.
Romans 10:13-15, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Ephesians 6:16, In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
- Catch this, the flaming arrows and fiery darts come when you begin to share the Gospel, the good news.
- Romans soldiers in the first century would use a shield made of wood and covered with leather held together with metal bands for strength.
- The shield was about 4 ½ feet by 2 ½ feet in size and would protect them from flaming arrows, or fiery darts coming from the enemy. Romans soldiers were known to soak their shields in water to help extinguish the flaming arrows.
- Here Paul connects the shield to our faith, it is the armor that protects when the enemy sends flaming arrows your way.
- The faith here is referring to the trust in God during tribulation. It is our complete reliance on God. Our total dependence on and willingness to do God’s will.
- It means believing in the promises God has given, even when they have yet to materialize.
Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
- Those fiery darts come in many forms: thoughts, feelings, imaginations, fears, and lies can all be hurled at us from the enemy, but faith turns them back.
- If you are walking by faith, you will extinguish the fiery lies sent your way.
1 John 5:4, For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
- But as soon as you walk by faith, the fiery darts will start in. Take up the shield of faith. Because there is authority when we take God at His word.
Ephesians 6:17, Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
- The helmet covers the head which is a major target in battle. And it is Satan who seeks to destroy a believer’s assurance of Salvation with weapons of doubt and discouragement.
- In 1 Thessalonians 5:8, Paul defines the helmet we put on as the “hope of salvation.”
- Satan wants believers to doubt the reality and promise of salvation. The enemy will attack your mind, but your mind has to be in line with the reality of salvation.
Illus. Who are they?
Lamentations 3:21-24, this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”
- The Lord is my portion, my inheritance, what has done is enough for me, for now and throughout all eternity. Therefore, I have hope.
- The helmet of salvation is the assurance we have that He alone purchased our salvation and gave it to us as a gift. He is not going to turn His back on you, don’t turn your back on Him.
John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”
Psalm 27:1, The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
- Lastly, take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
- Interestingly, it is the sword of the Spirit which is the only piece of armor that is to be used as an offensive weapon. Meaning if everything else is in place, it is all you need to fight back.
- The sword of the Spirit, because it is the only weapon the Spirit uses.
- So when we ask for the Spirit to fight with other weapons, we are asking Him to fight with weapons he simply does not use.
- The Word here is being used in battle.
2 Corinthians 10:4, The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
- There is a big problem if we are not using the only offensive weapon we are given properly. There is a problem if we are not skilled in how, when, where, and upon who we are to use a sword. This leaves us open for attack.
- When Jesus encountered the enemy in Matthew 4, His response to spiritual attack was the Word of God.
Matthew 4:4,7, 10, He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”… “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test”… “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 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. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will 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; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.