Wrestling With Another World – Part 4
August 25, 2013 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
I. Introduction (Ephesians 6:12; Matthew 11:12)
A. We Are in A Spiritual War
1. There are TWO realms, two kingdoms at war all around you! (Mt 11:12)
a. Whether we like it or not
b. Whether we are prepared for it or not!
c. Whether we believe in it or not!
2. The apostle Paul refers to it as WRESTLING – hand to hand combat:
a. Not Remote control fighting
b. Not shooting from a distance
c. Not virtual like in computer games
d. But hand-to-hand, hand on neck, blow by blow fighting!
3. It is a fight for souls of men and women
4. It is a fight for dominion – who is in control (the world, your flesh, the devil, or the Lord Jesus Christ?)
5. It is the most important event going on right now! Forget about all that the newspapers and news programmes are talking about!
B. Five Spiritual Facts
1. Every human being is more than just flesh and bones – we are a body, soul and SPIRIT (1st Thes 5:23)
2. God is not an alien living on another planet – God is a Spirit (John 4:24) and He is not far from any one of us!
3. Not every illness or problem is only physical – some, and even many are spiritual problems (Luke 13:11-16) – and no amount of drugs, or therapy will cure them!
4. This life is temporary – the next one is eternal (Matthew 25:46)!
5. Satan will win if we do not put up a good fight!
C. Rarely are Christians ready for the ‘spiritual’ fight that they are in!
1. We fight well in the flesh – oftentimes too good!
2. But we are wimps about spiritual fights
a. We have very little power with God
b. We get so few prayers answered
3. Deep down we know that we are supposed to be on the offensive – on the attack – not running for cover!
4. Yet we only fight, and bite and devour each other instead of our real enemy (Eph 6:12)!
D. Satan and his devils are VERY powerful
1. Satan was Lucifer at first (Isaiah 14:12)
2. He was kicked out of heaven when he became proud and rebellious
3. But he is in no way weak or powerless…
a. He still is the second most powerful being in the universe!
b. He is at war with God – hates everything good, and everything connected with God! Loves only to deceive and destroy!
c. He counterfeits everything that is good and clean and holy!
d. He damns most of the world
e. He devises countless ways to hinder the work of God
f. He stirs-up troubles, problems, tribulations
g. He devours Christians
4. Don’t ever underestimate your enemy the devil folks!
E. This Means War!
1. Most of our daily battles in our homes, and in our minds are really spiritual battles that we were either unaware of or ill-prepared to meet head on!
2. The unsaved are completely under his dominion
a. Without even trying, they do his bidding!
b. Like puppets (2Tim 2:24-26)
c. Their spiritual father is Satan (John 8:44)
3. But a born again child of God is different!
a. We have changed sides
b. We have a measure of protection (Luke 22:31,32)
c. We actually have ways to defeat our enemy when he attacks
d. Christians don’t HAVE to let this happen (Romans 6:14)!
e. We have some stronger weapons – SPIRITUAL weapons!
F. How can any selfish, self-condemned sinner ever expect to resist the devil, except by a superior power - a superior force?
G. With the Whole Armour of God!
1. This armour enables the Christian to STAND (6:10-13), and not fall when under attack from any enemy - spiritual, or physical! Most “Christians” fall like rain under pressure and attack. We need so desperately to learn to stand!
2. To fight Satan we must put on "the whole armour of God". Not just a few bits and pieces, but the whole package, every day! Why? Because Satan looks for the weak spots in our life to hit at.
a. Every soldier is issued weapons and defensive gear
1) They are tools to get the war won
2) Every fisherman has tools to catch fish, every carpenter has tools to build homes, and every Christian has tools to defeat the devil!
b. But all the training in the world wont do any good in battle if the soldier doesn’t PUT ON THE ARMOUR - doesn’t carry his weapons into the fight
1) God is calling every Christian here to faithfully prepare for each day, and each battle by choosing to “put on” every piece of God’s armour!
2) Don’t be like the idiot soldier that went to the loo, and was taken prisoner simply because he forgot to carry his weapon!
3) Satan traps more Christians simply because:
a) They never learn their weapon - how it works, how to use it
b) They let someone else destroy their faith in their weapons
c) They forget to use their weapons, and try fighting against tanks with sticks, rocks, and mud! You wont survive!
c. Preparation is found in personal discipline - reading and studying your Bible, being in church, praying, exercising your faith - growing stronger!
d. A Christian who is not ready, and prepared to live for God each day, is destined to wind up spiritually shot-up, and wounded and hurt! And probably even dead. There is NO glory in that!
H. There are six pieces of armour the Christian needs to be wearing every day so to stand:
1. The under-garment of God’s truth - wraps around us like a wide belt
2. The breastplate of God’s righteousness
3. The boots of the Gospel
4. The shield and buckler of faith
5. The helmet of personal salvation (forgiveness)
6. The Bible (sword) of the spirit - the word of God
I. We will look at the first three this morning, and the remaining three tonight!
II. Message – The Spiritual Weapons of a Christian…
A. The Weapon of Truth (Eph 6:14a).
1. The undergarment of Truth – doesn’t sound very “powerful” – oh but it is!
a. Your loins is your waist – your skin
b. And it needs to be girt about (surrounded) – clothed upon with TRUTH!
2. All our armour rests upon this.
a. A person does not put on armour on top of bare skin!
b. Every soldier has to wear an undergarment upon which all the other armour rests. If they didn’t have this garment on, the rest of the armour would pinch and cut into the flesh of the soldier when they moved and attempted to fight!
c. So, before you put on ANY of the following items, put on truth!
God requires truth of His people
4. It is THE source of our confidence in winning each battle (Eph 6:14; John 8:32,36; John 14:6; 16:13)
a. Not in well prepared speeches, or fancy words – just the truth!
b. But in knowing that we have not followed “cunningly devised fables” (2Peter 1:16) but the very truth of God contained in a Book
c. Without TRUTH, all our weapons will do is HURT US instead of our enemy! Once a lie gets into the life of the believer, everything begins to fall apart.
d. When Jesus was attacked by the devil in the wilderness in Matthew 4, He used the TRUTH of the word of God to hurt the devil!
5. God’s Truth works! It made ME free! Saved MY soul!
a. Liberates – makes free (John 8:32) the mind and soul from darkness of lies and deceit
b. Enables us to worship God (John 4:24,25). You cannot worship God by following a “lie” or a fable (2Pet 1:16). Our approach must be right - not haphazard, or guesswork - not when our soul depends on it!
c. Reveals the enemy - Like a RADAR on a night sky. Satan uses cunning lies, and deceit as his weapons of destruction (Eve). And the only way to identify a lie (a counterfeit) is to know the truth!
6. How To Use Truth as a Weapon:
a. Face it First! Let it work on you!!! Quite trying to deceive yourself into believing the lies of this age. Face the truth.
1) If you have NOT repented of your sinfulness, and have not called on Jesus Christ to once and for all save your soul from hell, then you are still lost and will die in your sins!
2) If you claim to be a Christian, and yet have no fruit - no inward changes - then something is wrong somewhere. Be honest. Is Jesus in you? Are you allowing Him to work ON you? Be honest now!
3) Satan’s followers are religious zombies that won't face truth - they go through life blind, with the hope they will come out alright in the end! The Christian is not like that! We know how things will come out - we know the end! We faced the truth! And it saved us!
4) You must KNOW God’s truth and believe it, for you to face spiritual battle!
b. Just Wear It! Put it on! Before any other piece of armour can be put on, truth must be put on, and worn all day! (Philp 4:8).
1) What do you know that is TRUE?
2) God is true! The whole Bible is True! Jesus is true! Heaven is true! So is hell! God loved You so much that he gave His only begotten Son to save YOU!
3) Do you truly know where you will be if you died this afternoon?
4) Do you know Jesus Christ? Does He know YOU?
5) Truth will overwhelm fear and doubts!
6) So you have to put in on!
7) Truth must be worn (lived) if you are going to call yourself a Christian! A person who calls upon the Lord Jesus to save them from their sins, and hell, becomes forgiven. But only a person who endeavours to live like Jesus Christ is called a Christian! Repent of lying, and Commit yourself to speaking the truth always!
c. Use it! When everyone is talking up lies and stupidity, give them the truth!
1) About the Bible – prophecies, history
2) About the law – being absolute
3) About where the world is headed
4) About Jesus Christ – over all religions and religious efforts
d. Handle it with love (Eph 4:15)!
1) Be careful how you handle it! Don’t misuse it for your own benefit!
2) I am often very sharp with truth – and so are many of you!
3) Use it lovingly, not angrily! Truth is NOT a stick to beat people down with, but a rope to pull people up with!
7. Summary – to wear this armour piece:
a. Spend much time in your Bible – reading it, learning it
b. Fill your mind with truths – saturate yourself with it! That’s why Bible believing Christians love LEARNING! We study everything! We love the truth!
c. Believe what you read in this Book! Test everything, but believe it!
d. Constantly develop your understanding of who the Lord really is! Not just what you have been told, but what you learn yourself!
e. Listen to the Spirit of Truth as you read! He will guide you, teach you, direct you!
f. Get into Discipleship mode – be a disciple, a firm follower!
8. If you will do that, all the other weapons will work! Without truth, you will find yourself actually working and fighting for the enemy!
B. Error! No text of specified style in document. ( 1 Timothy 1:5, 19)
1. The Christian has a chest-piece called a breastplate
a. A soldier needs a breastplate - a constant shield of protection over the chest area, protecting the most vital organs – organs you cannot live without!
b. This breastplate here is called “righteousness” (right-ness, being right - instead of being wrong, or guilty). Talking about “holiness”, “purity”, “perfection”, “just” (straight), “without flaw,” and "cleanness.".
2. There are two kinds of righteousness: God’s righteousness (1 Jn 1:5), and personal righteousness (right living)
a. Our own righteousnesses are worthless to God (Isa 64:6) - no value!
b. We need GOD’s righteousness given to us (Matt 5:20; Rom 10:3,4; Philp 3:9). God exchanges our sinfulness for His righteousness - that’s called salvation.
c. But after we are saved, we do need to live right (Titus 2:11,12). Don’t misunderstand me! God’s righteousness is no means of free-living. Once a person comes to Jesus Christ, and asks Him for salvation, that sinner gets God’s righteousness, and then is expected to live right!
3. We are Given Righteousness…
a. First, THROUGH FORGIVENESS
1) Be humble enough to Confess sins to God (1John 1:7-9)
2) Confess your faults to those you have hurt - make things right
b. And then by FORSAKING (Prov 28:13)
c. And THEN, by DOING RIGHT THINGS! You can’t have it in any other order!
1) Choose Righteousness, instead of the same old same old, wicked and sinful habits - Put it on every morning
a) Like, looking into a clothes wardrobe and choose an appropriate outfit for the day – a clean outfit!
1. Choose to live, talk, react right – as a mirror of Jesus Christ
2. Instead of choosing to live, talk, react as a mirror of the world around us!
b) Place it over the heart that you know is too touchy, or too prone to temptation, etc. It will actually help protect you!
2) Yield to righteousness - let it defend you. A Clean Conscience is POWERFUL DEFENSE against demonic attack! It will be sufficient to PROTECT you from all the damage the devil seeks to do!
3) Rest in it - let it transform your life into a life like Jesus Christ lived! Far too many people try and obtain salvation, and God’s righteousness, only to fold it up, and store it away (so-to-speak), until it is “fashionable” - ie, at church, or around other Christians! Live it every day!
4. This Spiritual Breastplate
a. Saves! When you put on God’s righteousness, you dump your own, and accept HIS to cover for your sin. His righteousness covers, and pays for all your sins!
1) Q: Does sin originate with the hands, head, or the heart?
2) A: With the heart (Mt 15:17-20)! Remember, not our own righteousness!
b. It protects the “vital organs”. A breastplate is like a “bullet-proof” vest that protects the heart, kidneys, and lungs. God’s righteousness protects:
1) The true heart - protects your love, emotions, joys, your feelings so that they don’t get “crushed” and devastated. Most people erect WALLS around their hearts so they don’t feel anything anymore (they end up living in those walls), but the Christian puts on this breastplate so that the attacks don’t stop him from pressing on! Amen!
The soul - from
corruption. Our righteousness is not our own, but was given to us at
3) So, This breastplate of righteousness enables the Christian to press into heavy battle, and to withstand intensive attack against the heart and soul!
c. It produces a clean life. God’s righteousness, in the believer, produces righteousness in the life of the believer (you cannot generate righteousness on your own)! Same with love (you first have to receive God’s love before you can begin to really love anyone), and grace (you will never have any grace with anyone, until you have received God’s grace at the cross)!
d. It honours God (Ps 11:7). Righteousness is an attribute of God, and when a person desires God’s righteousness, and wants to live like Jesus lived, they are paying the greatest honour to the Lord! Wanting to be like Jesus!