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INTRODUCTION:

 

Isaiah 59/15-17 is a "snapshot" of God as warrior dressed for battle - this is, almost certainly, the background for the imagery found in Ephesians chapter 6.Gone are the wedding gowns (of chapter 5). They have been replaced in this last chapter by the garments worn by a warrior.  Here's a great picture of the Church as God intends - but do we come close to it in reality? Despite all the battle songs of yesteryear and today - are we on active service?

 

[1]   THE POWER

 

a. "...be strong in the Lord & in His mighty power..." Recall Eph.1/19-23 and our divine enabling

 

b. Four times we are called to "stand" or "stand firm" This is the image of a military formation ready for battle

 

c. The position described here is both defensive (protect what is yours) & offensive (invade & liberate)

 

[2]   THE ENEMY

 

a. Our stand is against Satan - the devil's schemes, strategies of deception and well-thought-out plans

 

b. Our enemy is NOT flesh & blood, human opposition - but malevolent spiritual beings - demons and the like

 

c. It is vital that we understand this; otherwise we will miss the real target, fight shadows & even each other

 

d. It is a great advantage to our enemy if he can deceive us into fighting each other - our own brothers & sisters.

 

e. Too many today are wounded and even destroyed by what military people call friendly fire

 

[3]  THE WEAPONS

 

Because our warfare is spiritual in nature, so are our weapons - Read 2 Cor.10/4 - demolish devilish strongholds 

 

3.1  The belt of TRUTH (14) - this is powerful weapon against the "father of lies" - it exposes & destroys falsehood. Not just doctrinal truth but especially personal truthfulness & integrity of life   Read 2 Cor.6/4-7.

 

Question: When we walk & talk truth in love, we rob Satan of a key strategy. But that principle works in reverse, too!!" What does that statement mean? How would you phrase it differently?

 

3.2   The breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS (14) - right standing in Christ and right living in life. That right standing is to lead to righteous or moral character, conduct and righteous living.   Righteous living gives us safety, security whereas unrighteous living opens us to devilish incursions

 

3.3   The shoes of PEACE (15) - when was last time you saw a barefoot soldier? Unthinkable! The good news of peace - our peace with God - gives great stability (foothold) on the battlefield.

 

3.4  The shield of FAITH (16) - these words describe a very large shield providing protection for the soldier carrying it and one on his left. Such a formation became known as the Roman Wall. Faith in God's faithfulness to save, cleanse, guard - protection from the arrows of fear, doubt, guilt, impurity

 

3.5   The helmet of SALVATION (17)   The helmet  protects the head of the wearer. The 'head' might refer to the mind - the way we think. This is his primary target in warfare - the battle for mind - defeat there means defeat everywhere

 

3.6  The sword of the Spirit which is the WORD OF GOD (17) - the same Word Jesus used Heb.4/12 - the 14" double-edged sword for close combat - frightening penetration.  Luke 4/1-13 - Jesus knew the Scriptures & He could repel the assault - ignorance of God's Word is like a soldier without a weapon. His vulnerability is frightening to contemplate.

 

APPLICATION:

 

1. Remember our C-in-C, Jesus! We are not alone in the battle. As an old hymn puts it "The arm of flesh will fail you, you dare not trust your own"

 

2. Remember our enemy - if we get confused about that, we will fight each other while he laughs

 

3. Remember the armoury - spiritual weapons for a spiritual battle

 

4. Remember the picture - it is to the whole Church that these directions/orders are given.

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