BGEA

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lesson 12: Ephesians 6:10-24 (“The Armor of God”)



It is official! Debbie can start cashing checks. Gastonia Evening Class will not close. Thank you, Ladies for rallying to the cause. 57 ladies registered. Ladies this is our last lesson this year. Next week is Sharing Night; we will eat 6:30.

Ephesians was so rich through these 12 lessons; I hope you enjoyed this study as much as I did.  Next year we will begin with 12 weeks in the study of Deuteronomy; followed by six weeks studies of Job, Philippians, and Colossians. By offering three-six week’s studies we hope that other women who find it hard commit to 30 weeks will join us during the year.

Writer Watchman Nee summarizes Ephesians with three verbs: SIT, WALK, STAND. Chapters 1-3 remind us of our position in Christ, no longer strangers and aliens. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit guaranteeing our inheritance.

  • SIT in this knowledge.
  • WALK in the way worthy of Christ.  Ch. 4-5
  • STAND dressed for battle. Ch. 6

This last lesson in Ephesians is probably the most important tactical study in the Bible.  God has gifted us with defensive armor to protect us in our personal battle with Satan and his demons.  Throughout the Gospel of Mark, we witnessed Jesus defeat demons using the authority of His name
Tonight we will learn to appropriate our gifts and put on each piece with care as we ready ourselves for war.STAND FIRM

Pray

Lesson 12: Ephesians 6:10-24 (“The Armor of God”)
1.     First we must recognize the enemy.
2.     Then we must use all the equipment God has given us to fight.
3.     Finally we must depend on the energy and power that God Provides.

1-Recognize the Enemy
Christians have two equally harmful beliefs concerning the devil. One is to deny his presence. The other is to be paralyzed by fear.

Throughout the Bible beginning in Genesis 1: 2 we are taught “the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the water.” Spirits are mentioned 587 times; Satan, devil, demon another 155 times. (Satan is named 14 times in the book of Job.) In Ephesians 2:2 he is called “the prince of the power of the air.” Ladies, if we believe the Bible is the Word of God, we cannot deny Satan exists?

The second belief gives Satan too much power! He is not equal to God. Satan cannot read your mind. He can tempt you, but he cannot control you. As children of the Almighty Powerful God, Satan must come through our Father to reach us. He can only be in one place at a time. So probably your fight will be with his demons not Satan.

As young school boys may challenge, “My dad can beat up your dad.” Sisters, our Father created the world. He created the angels and Satan. Yes, He is more powerful than anything Satan can throw at us.

Warren Wiersbe wrote “Be Rich”, a commentary on Ephesians, and a small book, What to Wear to the War,” focusing on the Armor of God. Much information and quotes are taken from these two books.

Ladies, let’s look at our wardrobe and get ready for battle!
STAND FIRM
Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, be strong in the LORD and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Watchman Nee says in His book Sit, Walk, Stand-“You pray, you fast, you struggle and resist for days, but nothing happens. Why? You are trying to fight into victory, and in doing so are relinquishing to the enemy the very ground that is yours.”

Jesus said “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Wiersbe says; “We don’t fight for victory- we fight from victory.”

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
 STAND FIRM
When we are enraged by terrible crimes and act of terrorism, Satan is the force of evil!
Verse 12 sounds like a fictional movie. But know this, Satan is alive and well on planet earth. Paul in  
Ephesians 2:2 calls him “the prince of the power of the air.” He is the accuser in the book of Job, the adversary, enemy of God. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us “he prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Matthew 4:3 says he is the tempter, and John 8:44 he is a murderer and liar.  Do you have any loved ones who have tried to make a deal with the devil? Thomas Brooks says

Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst;
he promises honor and pays with disgrace;
he promises pleasure and pays with pain;
he promises profit and pays with loss;
he promises life and pays with death.

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; but Christ came that we may have life, and have it to the full.”  Choose Christ, Choose Life.

2-Use all the equipment God has given us to fight.  Do not trust in yourselves and your own power to defeat the devil.
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 firm.

In the same way Joshua brought the Israelites through the Jordan River to possess the Promise Land, now we must appropriate what God says belongs to us. Put on every piece of armor. We cannot leave any area uncovered. That is where Satan will take his first shot.

When I go outside in warm weather I must use Bug Guard on every part of my body. Although ankles and arm are prone to bites, I’ve had bites on my face, neck, and head. Anyplace not covered is prone to attack.

14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, our first piece of armor.

Why did Paul start with the belt? That seems like a small unimportant item in our wardrobe. But without the belt of Truth encircling our waist, we would have no offensive weapon. The Roman belt often called the sword belt and had a scabbard which holds the short sword used in close combat.

Also the Roman soldiers had flowing robes that had to be gathered up and tucked into the belt so they could move freely and run unencumbered. In the KJV a girdle pulls everything together. The girdle of truth holds our life and minds together ready to serve Christ our LORD. Unless we walk in the TRUTH we cannot use the WORD of Truth in battle.  All Satan needs is a chink in our armor, an opening where he can accuse us.

A church sign reads: Fight Truth Decay; Read the Bible! We best do some memory work; in this area knowledge is power. STAND FIRM in the TRUTH which is Christ.

Second piece of armor v.14- put on the breastplate of righteousness,

The breastplate often made of metal plates or chains covered the front and the back of the body from the neck to the waist. It is Christ’s righteousness that protects us from the accusation of Satan. Satan will not accept that he has been defeated at Calvary. He keeps trying to tempt us, weaken us, and discredit the children of God. We need to display a practical righteousness in our daily lives so Satan has no reason to accuse us. STAND FIRM with the breastplate covering your heart.

The third thing we need 15 shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 

Ladies, we know about shoes. You will need sturdy, but comfortable shoes to fight in the war. Roman soldiers’ had hobnails in the soles of their sandals to ensure firm footing and good balance. If a soldier cannot stand, he cannot fight well.

v. 15 says put on readiness. 1 Peter 3:15 says always be ready to witness for Christ. The soldiers sandals in were designed for mobility to move forward to spread the gospel.
The problem in many churches today is too many believers are standing still (more often sitting still.)

We are to be marching out with the gospel of peace. When it comes to our message we need to be unmovable and inflexible. STAND FIRM on the unchanging Gospel of Christ.

Romans 5:1, 2 Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ. Through Him we have this grace in which we stand.

verse 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
 
Our fourth piece of armor is about 4 ft. x 2 ft. large enough to hide behind. When we stand together with fellow Christians, we can build a wall of defense. If our voices unite what a difference we could make in Washington.

Be sure you know who to put your faith in: not in yourself or your equipment. Your faith has to be in the LORD.

When we are emotionally crippled by divorce, financial worries, or sickness; our defenses are down. Satan doesn’t play fair. He hits us with his emotional darts of anger, fear, doubt, depression, or self-pity. Depend fully on your Heavenly Father. Call out to Him for help. He will never leave you or forsake you. Hebrew 13:5

STAND FIRM  under the shelter of His wings (Psalm 61:4)

Skateboarders and cyclist wear helmets to protect their heads in case of an accident. This lightweight accessory can make the difference in life and death.

V.17 and take the helmet of salvation,It protects our head, but also our mind.
Our salvation is from the LORD. Ladies all your sins are covered by the blood of Jesus. Satan wants to bring up your past and make you feel unworthy, but God has removed your sins as far as the east is from the west, Psalms 103:12, washed them whiter than snow, Isaiah 1:18, cast all our sins into the depths of the sea, Micah 7:19
Satan has no authority to judge you. Put on that helmet and block out all his chatter.

3-We must depend on the energy and power that God Provides.

The last piece of equipment is the only offensive weapon, v.18 the sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD of God. 

Jesus defeated every effort of Satan to tempt him during the 40 days in the wilderness by using the Word of God. To use the Word of God you have to know the word of God.
Being in the WORLD can keep you out of the BIBLE; But being in the BIBLE will keep the WORLD out of you. CBS is one of the best ways to stay grounded in the WORD of God..

 STAND FIRM  Anchored in Bible Study and Prayer.

In addition we are to18 pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those in danger or in prison for their faith.

Verses 19 and 20 twice Paul asks for prayer to enable him to speak boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel. Paul did not ask for prayers for his comfort or safety, but for his effectiveness in his ministry and witness

When we pray: Pray to the Father, through the Son, and in the Spirit
 
Pray always; pray with all types of prayers; adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, watch and pray; keep on praying with perseverance.

Robert Law "Prayer is not getting man's will done in heaven; it is getting God's Will done on earth.” Most of us quit praying just before God is about to give the victory. Keep on praying until the Spirit stops you or the Father answers you. 

 STAND FIRM

Paul sent Tychicus his friend and faithful minister in the LORD, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.
23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the LORD Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our LORD Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

Your commentary states Ephesians is called Paul’s epistle to the community of faith. The Roman Empire like a bad apple was rotten to the Core.

Ladies can you see our nation as the recipient of this letter? Paul seeks to stir up good Christian people for the sake of their nation. It's not too late for us to take back our nation, a nation established under God.

 Satan, soundly defeated at the cross, is still kicking and screaming. He is fighting guerrilla warfare and we are still in the battle.  STAND FIRM

Our battle is spiritual—it’s a battle of faith, and faith comes from hearing (studying) the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
Are you building up the faith you need for the inevitable battle?
Will you choose to build your faith so that you can stand firm in the day of battle?

Pray
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.