May 4, 2014
By John Ulrich, Senior Pastor
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Eph. 6:11) The armor of God in spiritual warfare is a lifestyle that God provides. The goal of this sermon is actually to realize the war that we are in as Christians.
I. This is a real war.
A. This is a cosmic, spiritual war. It is not about me. The enemy is the devil who has schemes and powers. There are three powers this struggle: us, God, and Satan.
B. This war is far bigger than us as humans; it is between good and evil, God and Satan. Somehow we humans matter in the individual battles.
C. Harm to us is a very real possibility.
Consider the suffering of Job in the Old Testament. Satan means harm as a means to an end, for us to curse God so that we will get out of the battle and not fight any more.
II. This war is different: spiritual and powerful.
Satan is the God of this world, the Prince of the air (John 12:31). Because Satan knows so much more than we do, it is way beyond our power to resist. Spiritual warfare (often felt as heaviness) is more obvious in other parts of the world, e.g., India, Zimbabwe, Ephesus. Spiritual warfare in the United States is most clearly seen in the poison of atheism or agnosticism or secularism, all of which put us to sleep.
III. The Strategy is surprising for spiritual warfare.
A. It is not for individual Christians to battle alone, but corporate. We help each other to put on the armor.
B. It is not incantations or magical exorcism, but instead the basics of the way Christians live: with Truth, Righteousness, the Gospel, Faith, Hope.
C. It is not marching; it’s standing (repeated 4 times in Eph. 6). This means that the battle, the vast majority of spiritual warfare, is all around us in the little battle grounds of our daily lives, e.g. battles of temptation, doubt, despair, fear, etc.)