Good Soldiers

Ephesians 6:10-20

 

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--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.

 Memorial Day in our country began after the Civil War to remember those who gave the supreme price for our country.

Since then it has come to be a memorial for those who have died in all America's wars.

It is a fitting and proper thing that we do this. For freedom has always come with a price. The cost not in millions of dollars but in lives of mother & father, of sisters & brothers, and so today we remember the hundreds of thousands who gave their lives so that we might live in freedom as our creator intended.

But there is another war gong on. It is a spiritual battle not waged with guns or swords. It is not waged on the battlefields of Gettysburg or Vicksburg but in the hearts and minds of men and women, boys and girls.

And although it is not as visible and is not measured by rows of crosses on the fields of France, yet this spiritual warfare is just as real as any war America ever fought.

The casualties of the spiritual war are not bodies left lying on the battlefield but of lives ruined. The casualties are those of broken homes and lives given over to sinful lust that damn the soul and destroy countless victims.

The destruction of spiritual war is not seen in the bombed out buildings and the leveled factories but in the children who can never have both mom & dad together for a Sunday picnic. It is battered wives and battered children. It is wasted lives consumed on pleasure and vice. It appears in homes & families destroyed each person suffering from wounds that last a lifetime.

But the strange part of the casualties of this spiritual warfare is that many of the wounds are self inflicted. Husbands & wives betraying their marriage vows and thinking that they will escape unscathed. It is like playing Russian Roulette with a gun that has a full clip. You can't play and got get hurt.

There are three points I want to make in the message this morning about this spiritual war that each of us are engaged in.

  1. Everyone is in the conflict.
    1. There are no contentious objectors.
    2. None have retired from the battle.
    3. None have yet to be sent to the front.
  2. The enemy is all around us.
    1. In our message last week from 1 John 5:17 John said that the whole world was under the sway of the wicked one.
    2. The media.
    3. The attack could come from friends and neighbors.
      1. We need to remember that a real friend will be concerned about us.
      2. In the law Israel was warned about following a neighbor in wickedness or allowing a friend to lead them into sin.
    4. Some are even involved in counter espionage.
      1. Everyday we read where some Christian leader has fallen into sin.
      2. Often not with a single event but after years of deception.
  3. Our Spiritual Weapons.
    1. Helmet of salvation.
      1. The head is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body.
      2. It is important because it controls all movements and plans of the body.
      3. The battle is won and lost in the minds and the heart long before the enemy is physically engaged.
    2. Shoes of the gospel of peace
      1. Shoes are an important part.
      2. We use them each day in the battle.
      3. The Gospel or good nes of peac is to be our shoes.
      4. The message of Good News.
        1. Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
        2. He came to die for sinner.s
      5. The message of peace.
        1. God sent His son into the world to save.
        2. To reconcile
        3. To make an atonement.
    3. Breastplate of righteousness.
      1. In an attack the second mot vulnerable place is the heart.
      2. The heat governs all aspects of our lives.
      3. Unless the heart is righteous (Right with God) the defeat is only a matter of time.
      4. Out of the heart proceeds the issues of life, either sin or righteousness.
    4. The belt of truth
      1. The belt did not hod up your pants back in those days,
      2. It was used to fasten on your sword and you armor.
      3. It was used to bind up you garment so you could fight unhindered.
      4. Surrounded by truth as that which holds every thing else together.
    5. Shield of faith.
      1. This was not the small round shield but the full body shield.
      2. Without a shield the soldier was left with little defense.
      3. The shield was of particular value when the arrows of the enemy were aimed in your direction.
    6. The sword of the Spirit the Word of God.
      1. There are but two offensive weapons mentioned.
      2. The Word of God is not a defensive weapon but is meant to be used in offense against the enemy.
      3. The Word of God does not need to be defended it needs to be used.
    7. Prayer
      1. This is our reinforcements
      2. This is like calling in air support.
      3. It is like a boost of power.
      4. Prayer is the breath of the Christian warrior.  

This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com