Scripture Reference: Eph. 6:11-18
I. Christians Are Soldiers In The Lords Army
- The soldiers of Christ must arise.
- Christians individually and the church which they compose are to be militant. The devil is our enemy and seeks to destroy our soul. (I Peter 5:8, 9). He will be successful if we do not fight (I Tim 6:12).
- We are under the banner of Christ (Heb. 2:10).
- The soldier of Christ must put his armor on.
- The Christian’s armor is provided by God (Eph. 6:10-17). “Stand then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waists.” This belt supports and braces the soldier ready for action.
- “Truth” will support the Christian in any battle. It is imperative that one learn truth and apply truth if the enemy is to be resisted (I Peter 5:8, 9).
- “Having the breastplate of righteousness.” The Christian must “follow after” or pursue righteousness (II Tim 2:22). Righteousness must be sought (Mt. 6:33; Psalm 34:5).
- Only when one works the works of God by obeying His command and accepting the gospel wherein righteousness is revealed can one be saved (Psalm 119:72); Rom 1:16, 17).
- “Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” This is not peace at any price. Peace must never be put above purity in doctrine and practice (Jam 3:17).
- “Above all, taking the shield of faith.” Without it we will never resist the devil, and victory will be lost (I Pet 5:9). The faithful soldier of Christ can sing, “Faith is the victory.”
- “And take the helmet of salvation.” Those addressed are Christians. They already enjoyed salvation from sins. “Some think the apostle is looking ahead to the eternal salvation (I Thess. 5:8).
- “And the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.” This is the Christian’s powerful offensive weapon (Heb. 4:12). The devil cannot stand against it.
II. Our Strength Is In The Lord And We Are To Trust Him.
- Our strength is only in the Lord (Phil. 4:13).
- Many feel self-sufficient and trust in themselves. The Christian is Christ-sufficient and trusts in Him. He is in Him and draws his strength from Him (Prov. 3:5-7). “Trust” means “cling to” or “confide in”.
- We are to trust in the Lord and not ourselves (Jer. 10:23). Trusting in the Lord is the essence of faith (Psalm 62:8, 22:4, 5). The Christian draws strength from Christ (II Tim 1:12).
- He can direct our lives only if we know and follow His directions. We run into problems when we trust in ourselves (Rom 12:16). The Lord’s trustworthiness has passed the test of experience.
- Only through faith and trust in the Lord can we be more than conquerors (Rom 8:37).
- Let us live like we believe it, responding to the Lord’s love with our faith and trust.
- Banish fear of failure and don’t contemplate defeat (I John 5:4).
III. We Must Stand In His Great Might.
- God has the power to save and give victory (Eph. 1:19)
- If the Christian is to be strong at all, it will be due to God’s power to give victory. When one is saved it is through faith in God’s great power (Rom 1:16). God’s power is available (Eph. 3:20).
- This power works in the Christian through the word of God (Col. 1:10, 11).
- The Christian is to stand in God’s great might, endued with His great strength.
- The Christian Must Always Be On Guard.
- We must continually be on guard.
- Let us be watching for the enemy who seeks to devour us (I Pet. 5:8). Any weakness in us must be shored up (I Cor. 16:13). A good soldier will stand his ground.
- He will never waver between one doctrine and another, but contend for the faith (Jude 3).
- The soldier of Christ will take every virtue, every grace (II Pet. 1:5-7).
- These characteristics are to become an integral part of the Christian’s character.
- Without these he ignores his salvation, his faith wanes , and he leaves his first love (II Pet 1:9; Rev 2:4,
IV. We Overcome Through Christ
- We are striving to overcome evil (Rom 12:2).
- Thus our battle is with evil (I John 2:13). The only way to be victorious is through faith in Christ alone (I John 5: 4-5)
- Our faith is in Jesus, the Son of God. This faith must be maintained by active obedience.
- We cannot do it alone.
- We do not overcome the evil one and stand entire at last through our strength and ingenuity, or through some church creed or organization, or through some man; but through faith in Christ alone.
- This is why we preach Christ (Acts 8: 5, 35). This is why Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection is the heart of the gospel (I Cor. 1:23; 2:2). It is in Him that we stand entire at last (Col 2:10; II Tim 4:7, 8).
Conclusion: The crown awaits all who wait with expectation for the coming of Christ. Have you put off starting on the way (Acts 22:16).