Sunday, October 22, 2023

Full Armor of God Part 2 – Strength of the Lord

Full Armor of God

Part 2 – Strength of the Lord

Rev. Bruce A. Shields


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Strength of the Lord




1.     Introduction

2.     Strength of the Lord




Today is Sunday. October 15th, 2023


           We began our series, Full Armor of God, last week.


           Spiritual warfare began millennia ago when Satan rebelled against God, and it continues in many forms today. Though it may appear as wars against nations, families, faith, or even in our very minds, the fact remains that spiritual warfare is behind all ungodly and sinful things.

           The goal of spiritual warfare is not to “overthrow God and allow Satan to take His throne” because it is impossible for a created thing to overtake the creator. The actual goal of spiritual warfare is to steal, kill, and deceive humakind.

           Satan knows his time is short. Revelation 12:12 “…rejoice, O heavens and you who [e]dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

           He wants to cause as much pain and suffering as possible to the children of God before Judgment Day. He wants to steal your joy, hope, life, and everything you love and cherish and cause as much suffering as imaginable on earth for as long as he can.

           We are at war, but we have the greatest defender of all, the Lord, and He has equipped us for service in His army.          


SCRIPTURE READING (Legacy Standard Bible)


The previous chapter encourages us in Ephesians 5:1 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”


Ephesians 5:1 to Ephesians 6:10 tells us how to be imitators of God. The scriptures then tell us about what the Lord has done to prepare us for spiritual battle by giving us the Full Spiritual Armor of God.



Ephesians 6:10-18

10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the might of His strength.

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth,

and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

16 In addition to all, having taken up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one,

17 also receive the helmet of salvation,

and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,


18 praying at all times with all prayer and petition in the Spirit,

and to this end, being on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints



Today’s Topic: the Full Armor of God – Strength in the Lord




a.     We are Christian Soldiers

                                        i.     Do you mean God approves of war?

1.     He did not start it, but He will finish it.


2.     We know from scripture, “…the wicked and the one who loves violence His (God) soul hates” (Psalm 11:5)


3.     You must remember this: it is not wicked, nor do you love violence if you defend yourself.


                                     ii.     Defending yourself is not seeking vengeance, God repays (Romans 12:19)


                                   iii.     But there are times when we do have to fight.

1.     Psalm 144:1,2 “Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, My fingers for battle; 2 My lovingkindness and my fortress, My stronghold and my deliverer, My shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues peoples under me.”


                                    iv.     We do not seek out war, but we will defend ourselves.


                                      v.     We are not looking to be wicked and violent, but wanting peace, but God has trained our hand for war.


Jesus tells the disciples in Luke 22:36 “He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”


Some try to say Jesus is telling them to buy a bible because Ephesians 6:17 says the sword of the spirit is the word of God. However, there are a few things wrong with that interpretation. Firstly, there are no bibles to “buy” at this time.

Secondly, the apostles have not written the texts yet because, at this point, Jesus has not died on the cross yet.

Thirdly, Jesus did not say to buy a “sword of the spirit, which is the word of God,” but a sword.


Just before Jesus says this, He tells the disciples, "Satan has demanded to sift you like wheat.” He then tells them He is praying their faith will not fail during this.


Jesus says, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Not a thing.” 36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword should sell his garment and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this which is written must be completed in Me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’; for that which refers to Me has its completion.” 38 And they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”


What is it Jesus is telling them?


If you have money, use it to escape. If you have supplies (a bag), use it to escape. If you have no sword, sell something and get one because you will need it for protection.


They say, look, here are two swords. (So they were already carrying them for protection.) Jesus says that’s enough because they were not building an army but trying to protect themselves.



b.    Our battle is not against flesh and blood

                                        i.     Ephesians makes that clear


                                     ii.     But the Bible also makes it clear Satan uses armies of people to attack and slaughter God’s people.


                                   iii.     Goliath was not “spiritual” but a real person. Israel is currently defending itself against flesh and blood. However, I assure you, the war is spiritual.


                                    iv.     Although he stood against Goliath, David was not truly fighting Goliath but defeating the spiritual forces behind him.


                                      v.     Sometimes, we must defend ourselves against flesh and blood, but the battle is still spiritual.


c.     Spiritual warfare can only be won spiritually.

                                        i.     When Simon Peter (the very first disciple of Jesus) cut off the High Priest's slave ear with a sword in John 18, why was Jesus angry?


                                     ii.     Because he acted out in violence, was the aggressor, and was trying to stop them from taking Jesus, which was supposed to take place so He could go to the cross.


                                   iii.     John 18:11 “So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”


Notice a few things here. Jesus did not tell Simon Peter to get rid of the sword. He had just told them earlier that night to get them.


Jesus did not want Simon Peter to get in the way of the cross.


So, as followers of Christ, as children of God, we have the right to protect ourselves, not the right to be wicked and love violence or seek out confrontation and war.


The truth is that a group of disciples walking with swords around their waist is less likely to run into resistance while fleeing than unarmed men. That was the point. Defense.


David did not look for a Palestinian to kill but found the children of God confronted by them as they prepared to be attacked.


Exodus 22:2-3 says if a theif breaks into our homes at night and we kill them protecting ourselves, family or property, we are not guilty of murder.


Luke 11:21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe”


But make no mistake…we are not called to be evil, violent, looking for trouble, but we have the right to defend ourselves.


Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”




a.     The battle for our minds



                                        i.     Satan wants to pervert the mind of man through;

1.     Schools

2.     Music

3.     Books

4.     TV



b.    The battle for our family

                                        i.     Satan wants to destroy the traditional family because;

1.     God created them Male and Female

2.     Marriage is symbolic of Christ and the Church

3.     Broken families make broken people

4.     Broken people are easier to control by Satan



c.     The battle for our church

                                        i.     Revelation warns of the deluge of false teaching that will flood the church.

                                     ii.     False prophets, teachers, doctrine

                                   iii.     Tares among the wheat in congregations

                                    iv.     A falling away from sound teaching for the tickling of ears



d.    The battle for our city, state, nation

                                        i.     Ungodly laws

                                     ii.     Legal abortion (shedding of innocent blood)


Psalm 106:35-38 “they mingled with the nations And learned their works, 36 And served their idols, Which became a snare to them. 37 They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, 38 And they shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood.”


Psalm 106:40-43So the anger of Yahweh was kindled against His people And He abhorred His inheritance. 41 Then He gave them into the hand of the nations, And those who hated them ruled over them. 42 Their enemies oppressed them, And they were subdued under their hand. 43 Many times He would deliver them; But they were rebellious in their counsel, And so they sank down in their iniquity.”


Proverbs 6:17-19 “There are six things which Yahweh hates, Even seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked thoughts, Feet that hasten to run to evil, 19 A false witness who breathes out lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.”


We must lean on the Lord and His strength to remain strong and turn the other cheek when that is an option.


When another person is the violent aggressor, provoking us, if there is the opportunity to walk away, we are supposed to turn the other cheek.


Robert A. Heinlein, a science fiction author (Starship Troopers) and aeronautical engineer, said, “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”



a.     If God is for us, who can be against us?

                                        i.     Romans 8:31


                                     ii.     Psalm 124:2 “Had it not been the Lord who was on our side When men rose up against us,”



b.    Strength is needed to withstand, resist

                                        i.     Sometimes, our battles consist of nothing more than withstanding and resisting.


                                     ii.     Withstanding and steadfast

1.     Ephesians 6 tells us multiple times to stand firm.


2.     1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”


3.     Philippians 1:27-28 “Only [p]live your lives in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear about your circumstances, that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one [q]mind contending together for the faith of the gospel, 28 in no way alarmed by your opponents—”


4.     1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”



                                   iii.     Resisting

1.     1 Peter 5:8-11 “Be of sober spirit, be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished among your brethren who are in the world. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, strengthen, confirm, and ground you. 11 To Him be might forever and ever. Amen.”


2.     James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”


3.     Jude 1:9 “But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”



c.     Spiritual Battles grow us spiritually.

                                        i.     Just as with any training, the more times you are successful, the more mature you become.


When you were young, and your grandfather showed you the trick of pulling of his thumb, you were probably amazed at his skill and use of magic.

Later, you learn through paying close attention to what was really happening that it was a trick and no longer held the same mysticism it once did.


Satan's only weapon is lies. He lies to gain followers. He lies to command them to do his evil. He lies to convince you that you are weak, and you can do nothing to resist, rebuke, or withstand him.


With each spiritual battle you win, the charade of Satan’s true power is revealed, and you realize the true strength of Yahweh.


If even the angel Michael knew to call on the Name of the Lord to rebuke Satan, then we see where the true power lay in the Name of the Lord.




James 1:2-4 “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various temptations, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith brings about perseverance. 4 And let perseverance have its perfect work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.”



We must rely on the strength of the Lord!



Next week:

The Full Armor of God Part 3: PUT ON THE ARMOR






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