Sunday, November 6, 2016

Paul's Epistles - Ephesians - Part 13: Whole Armor of God

Paul's Epistles - Ephesians - Part 13:
Whole Armor of God
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


SERMON INTRODUCTION
In Paul’s 35 years of ministry, since his conversion in Damascus, we have recorded in the Holy Bible many of his epistles, or letters.

Paul’s first journey took place from 33AD (the year of his conversion), through 46AD, leaving Damascus in 38AD.

Paul’s 2nd journey began in 50AD, four years later; during this time he wrote 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, and Galatians, with his second journey ending in 54AD.

Paul’s 3rd journey began in 55AD and lasted until 58AD where he found himself imprisoned in Judea from 58-60AD. During his 3rd journey Paul wrote 1st and 2nd Corinthians, and Romans. We have no record of writings from Paul during his prison time between 58-60AD in Judea.

After his release from Judea, Paul traveled on his voyage to Rome from 60-61AD, writing Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon, and finding himself in a Roman prison in 63AD.

Released soon after his incarceration, Paul then writes the epistles Hebrews, 1st Timothy, Titus and his final letter before his death 2 Timothy, which was written from a Roman prison he was placed in during 66-68AD.

Though the bible does not tell us when or how Paul died, it is believed by scholars that he was beheaded in 68AD in May or June.










SCRIPTURE REFERENCE Ephesians 6:10-20
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Paul tells us about “The Whole Armor of God”

The message of this epistle to the church is “The Church, The Body of Christ”.


    I.      BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND HIS MIGHTY POWER
a. Put on the FULL armor of God
                                                                                                 i. SO you can take your stand against the devils schemes


b. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood
                                                                                                 i. But against the authorities
                                                                                              ii. Against the powers of this dark world
                                                                                           iii. Against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms


c. THEREFORE, put on the FULL armor of God
                                                                                                 i. So that WHEN the day of evil comes you MAY be able to stand
                                                                                              ii. And after you have done everything to stand...stand

II.      STAND FIRM THEN
a. With the BELT OF TRUTH buckled around your waist
                                                                                                 i. The FIRST piece of the Armor!

                                                                                              ii. Holds other pieces together

                                                                                           iii. You must have the Way, the TRUTH and the life to go any further in the Armor!

                                                                                            iv. In Paul’s time, the Roman soldiers Armor belt was a thick, strong piece of leather holding more strips that hung down the front of the soldier.

                                                                                               v. The belt also holds the sword, and the breastplate in place


b. The BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS in place
                                                                                                 i. The breastplate protects the vital organs, namely the heart

                                                                                              ii. Also protected the back from un-seen attackers


c. Feet fit with THE READINESS that comes from the Gospel of Peace         
                                                                                                 i. Feet in scripture represent going, moving with purpose

                                                                                              ii. Readiness here is used to imply vigilance

                                                                                           iii. A victorious soldier had to be prepared for battle

                                                                                            iv. He had to have studied his enemy’s strategy, be confident in his own strategy, and have his feet firmly planted so that he could hold his ground when the attacks came. A soldier’s battle shoes were studded with nails or spikes, like cleats, to help him keep his balance in combat. He knew that, if he lost his footing and went down, it wouldn’t matter how great the rest of his armor was; the enemy had him.

                                                                                               v. When we are ready with the gospel of peace, we live with the understanding that we are continually under attack from Satan. 

                                                                                            vi. 2 Timothy 4:2 says to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season.”


d. In addition to all of this…Take up the SHIELD OF FAITH
                                                                                                 i. With which you can extinguish the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11) and the flaming arrows (Ephesians 6:16)

                                                                                              ii.  The Wiles of the Devil are to destroy YOU!
1. Sin
2. Sickness
3. Poverty
4. Pain
5. Envy
6. Unforgiveness

                                                                                           iii. The Fiery Arrows are to destroy OTHERS through you!
1. You become the instrument of the devil
2. Backbiting
3. Strife
4. Bitterness
5. Hatred
6. Gossip

                                                                                            iv. The Roman shield (scutum) was like a large curved door
1. It could cover the warrior completely in the front

2. However, when grouped with other soldiers, the shields could make a “shield wall” or what was called a “tortoise”


e. Take the HELMET OF SALVATION
                                                                                                 i. The assurance of salvation is our impenetrable defense against anything the enemy throws at us. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). 

1. The knowledge of Christ’s Salvation protects our minds

2. Romans 12:1-2 we must renew our thinking
3. Hebrews 11:6 & 1 Peter 1:8-9 we must reject doubt and fear

4. Matthew 6:20 we must keep our eternal perspective

5. Romans 6:11 remember the victory is already accomplished

6. Psalm 73:25 find our hope in HIM


f. And the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT which is the Word of God
                                                                                                 i. The sword is a defensive and offensive weapon

                                                                                              ii. One must properly use the sword in the right manner for it to be successful

                                                                                           iii. In defense, Jesus used the Word when attacked by Satan in the desert

                                                                                            iv. In offense we can use the Word to destroy strongholds of error in scripture or falsehoods 2 Corinthians 10:4-5



III.      AND PRAY IN THE SPIRIT ON ALL OCCASSIONS
a. With ALL kinds of prayers and requests

                                                                                                 i. With this in mind…be ALERT and always keep on praying for ALL the Lord’s people

                                                                                              ii. What is praying in the Spirit?

1. Praying in the Spirit is mentioned three times in Scripture. 

a. I Corinthians 14:15 “So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.” 

b. Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” 

c. Jude 20 “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.”

                                                                                           iii. So, what exactly does it mean to pray in the Spirit?
1. Greek word pray can be translated “by means of”, or “with the help of”

2. It is praying for things the Spirit leads us to pray for. Romans 8:26 tells us, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”


b. Pray also for me
                                                                                                 i. That whatever I speak, words are given to me so I will be fearless when I make know the mystery of the Gospel
1. The mystery is Salvation through Christ Jesus

                                                                                              ii. Paul asks;
1. Whatever I speak, words are given to me
2. SO I will be fearless
3. When I make known the mystery of the Gospel

c. For I am an ambassador in chains
                                                                                                 i. A slave to Christ
                                                                                              ii. Jesus is NOT your Lord, unless you are His servant



CONCLUSION – Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should




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