To Walk in Victory means to STAND FIRM
Ephesians - We are the Church • Sermon • Submitted
0 ratings· 91 views
STORY: The Best Elementary Kids Game Ever - RED ROVER
Purpose: to try and build up your team bigger than the other team,
How: Form a line and hold hands
Then you called out someone on the other team to run and try to get through your linked arms -
Red Rover Red Rover send Levi Right over....
If you stood firm and held your ground and your arms didn’t fail to stay linked that player became part of your team. You win that battle - But if you broke the bond and the runner gets through He would win the battle and could pick one of the people whose link he broke to join him on his team as the prize. .
Paul in these last 3 chapters of Ephesians has been teaching us, as the church, what Our lives should look like if we are truly followers of Jesus.
In fact he opened his teaching on the duty of the church in Eph. 4:1 “I, urge you to WALK worthily of the calling with which you have been called.
AS the CHURCH- as Gods chosen people - we have been called to Walk in a manner that is worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives.
When Paul Speaks of the gospel He is speaking of the unconditional Grace that God shows us through Jesus Christ.
Eph. 2:8-10 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 2:9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast. 2:10 For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.”
The gospel is the good news that God loved you so much that He said there is nothing Im not willing to do to redeem you from the bondage of your sin.
Gods unconditional grace means that He freely gives it to us not based on who we are or what we have done, But complety on His perfect righteousness.
Jesus is God gift of unconditional grace . The Gospel of Salvation is this - It is the good news that everyone of us can find eternal life through Belief in Jesus - and When Paul tells us as the church to walk worthy of our calling He is saying
“WALK WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL BY WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN SAFVED!”
Walk in a way that brings God all the glory for your salvation.
and over the last few weeks we have been studying together at what it looks like for Christian to walk worthy of the gospel of Christ.
In order to walk worthy of our calling it means that we will
walk in unity with one another ( without grumbling and complaining)
walk in Maturity as believers ( growing in our knowledge and understanding of Gods word)
Walk in Holiness as God is holy - (striving to be more like Jesus daily)
Walk in Love - showing grace and forgiveness towards one another in the church
Walk in the Light as Jesus is in the light- proclaiming His gift of grace in our community
Walk in the Holy Spirit- letting him be in total control o our lives
(and) walk in harmony with one another as an example of Christ relationship with His church.
This seems great! we know how to please God - We know how to live as Christians. Walk in a manner that brings God all the glory.
and now in our text this morning as Paul is wrapping up this letter to the church of Ephesus- he begins by saying this
Finally, [Now that you know how to walk worthy of the calling by which you have been called.]
FInally, “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of HIS might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil”
I find this kind of funny that Paul for the last 3 chapters has been telling Christians that in order to be like Like Jesus You need to walk like Jesus and now as he wraps it up he says the reason we need to walk like Jesus is so that we can SZTAND FIRM when spiritual battles comes into our lives.
BIG IDEA: to WALK in VICTORY means to STAND FIRM in Christ
BIG IDEA: to WALK in VICTORY means to STAND FIRM in Christ
LETS read our text one more time before we break it down this morningListen to our text.
“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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. 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.
Paul Begins our text this Morning with the Charge to BE strong - and to Stand Courageously because you have been fully equipped for the battle you are about to go through.
I believe there are 3 truths we can pull form our text this morning that will help us stand firm in Christ when Spiritual battles come into our lives.
Who our battle is against?
Why our battle is happening?
How our Battle can be Won?
Who WE are in a battle against
Who WE are in a battle against
Vs 11b - 12
that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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. “
Paul describes our spiritual battle as a wrestling Match.
Example: Wrestling in High School.
Wrestling Example- Growing up I was on the wrestling team for my school. I won 39 and lost 3-
I loved wrestling because it was hard work and the more you put into it the more reward you recieved.
I wrestled in many tournaments and won most of them.
6 minutes doesn’t seem like that much time until you are on the mat giving everything you got to win the battle.
At one particular tournament I was going to go up against the state champ for the gold medal for the tournament.
My opponent and I were wrestling to see who would stand victoriously on the podium- I had already wrestled 4 matches earlier in the day and my opponent only had wrestled 2.
I was tired. and my opponent was strong. and He knew how to wrestling.
The match was hard at the end of the first period the score was tied 3 to 3 Each of us had 1 take down and one escape,
as the 2nd period began my opponent chose to go down. and as the whistle blew He shot out of there like a rocket and scored a point, I was now down by one.
We battled it out and the score stayed the same.
the final period began and I chose down. As the whistle blew I escaped and tied up the score., but as I got the points shot in grabbed my lag and got me down. Now with a 2 point lead.
He did what every smart wrestler did at this moment- he held on tight and pressed all of his weight on me and gave everything He had to hold me down until the time ran out.
I struggled and struggled to get out but to no avail.
1 minute was, now 30 more seconds gone. If i was going to win this match I had to leave it all on the match- I looked up at the clock and with 15 seconds left to Go I climbed to my knees and with every once of Energy I could bullster I reached Behind me Put my arm around His neck and Stood up and shifted my weight as hard as I could- I caught him by surprised and in an instance He was on His back with 7 seconds left on the Clock- 5-4-3 (The ref slapped the mat - I twas a pin- I had one the match.
I can honestly tell you the truth that I gave everything i had in me to win the battle.
Paul is telling us this morning from our text in Ephesians that We are in a battle but it is not against flesh and blood but it is in a battle that is so much greater.
understand that your greatest spiritual enemy in this life is not those who disagree with you on social media, but it is the devil.
We are in a spiritual battle against Satan and His followers. and He is ready to do everything in his own power to win the fight.
Example of studying the enemy before battle-
Football teams watch play film from the other team to learn how they run their plays,
If we are going to stand firm against the devil than we need to understand who he really is and how He plans to fight against us.
We need to study the past so that we can stand firm in the present.
1 Peter 5:8-9 ‘ your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
Billy Graham described the devil this way “don’t think of Satan as a harmless cartoon character with a red suit and a pitchfork. He is very clever and powerful, and his unchanging purpose is to defeat Gods plans at every turn-including his plans for your life.”
As a follower of Jesus Christ - Satan hates you with every passion in his heart. He wants to destroy you- He wants to destroy your faith, He wants to destroy your marriage, He want to destroy your family-He wants to destroy your testimony in our community. and he will stop at nothing to win this fight.
Story of Satan
The Bible tells us that God had many angels in fact thousands upon thousands of angels. in heaven whose purpose was to serve God.
In Ezekiel 28 we read about a special angel, an angel who was more beautiful than all the other angels, and more powerful. In fact the Bible Tells us that he was made with the seal of perfection full of wisdom and prefect in beauty .
His name was Lucifer.
He had great power and authority over all the other angels.
The Bile tells us in Ezekiel 28:17-18 That Lucifer became proud and decided that He no longer wanted to serve God but wanted to be God
an so God removed him from his place of honor and kicked him out of Heaven
In Fact Jesus mentioned this in Luke 10:18 “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven”
Not only did God kick Lucifer and his followers out of heaven but he condemned them to eternal punishment in Hell.
Understand that Hell is a place of Punishment designed for sin to dwell eternally. It was intended to punish Satan and his fallen angels with eternal fire. For their acts of Rebellion against their God.
The truth about Satan and Hell is this - Satan will spend his eternity in Hell apart from God because he chose to go against Gods perfect law.
But we also need to understand that our rebellion against the same God carries the same eternal punishment-
Jesus speaking of those who do not accept his free gift of salvation said in Matthew 25:41 “ ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels!”
God kicked him out of eternal perfection and into eternal punishment and He changed his name to Satan
the literal meaning of his name means adversary - one who opposes obstructs, or accuses
we need to understand that the Bible is crystal Clear- SATN HATES GOD and HE HATES HIS CHILDREN.
His entire purpose is to take as many people to hell with him as possible and He is very good at His job.
The Bible has many descriptions of the Characteristics of Satan
John 8 :44 “You people are from your father the devil, and you want to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Satan is a murderer and a liar. in fact he is the father of all lies.
Acts 5:3 and 2 Cor. 11:3 describe Satan is a great deciever
2 Cor. 11:14 “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”
Satan disguises himself as an Angel of Light- meaning that He makes himself look very close to the truth.
Acts 13:10 You who are full of all deceit and all wrongdoing, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness—will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?
-Satan is the enemy of righteousness,
John 13:2 Satan is a manipulator- The Bible says that He put the betrayal of Jesus into the heart of Judas Iscariot
Eph. 4:26-27 He looks for opportunities to destroy you.
Satan is a murder, A Liar, a fake Christian, Evil Doer, Enemy Of God, A manipulator, and a deceiver.
and its this enemy that we are in a battle against- and if you think he plays fair than the only person being deceived is you.
We need to understand that the enemy we are up against wants to destroy us and our faith.
and this brings us to our 2nd point-
Why Our Battle is Happening?
Why Our Battle is Happening?
TExt Eph. 6
The simple answer is we are fighting for the glory of God.
We are fighting for lost people to come to jesus
. We are fighting so that our lives will reflect Jesus to the world -so that they will see our good works and Come to Jesus,
Satan didn’t waste any time putting His plant
1 John 3:8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
It only took 2 chapters in the bible before Satan became a main character in the story of mankind
Genesis 3:1 now the serpent, which was Satan, was more crafty than any other creation”
Adam and Eve- the first 2 humans where the object of Satans attacks- He went to them with His craftiness- and tempted them in a way that he knew they would fall.
Through the scriptures we read story after story of how Satan deceives mankind and leads Him away from God.
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Our fight is a good fight Because it is a demonstration of our Faith in God.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 3 For though we live as human beings, we do not wage war according to human standards, 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds.
The purpose of the battle is to tear down the strongholds of sin in our lives and in the world around us.
The Battle that we are in is a spiritual battle for control of our hearts. Satan wants to destroy you and your faith in God.
Why- Because when you live your life for yourself You rob God of the glory He deserves.
Even though Satan knows that there is absolutely nothing He could ever do to hurt God himself, His hatred for God is so great that since He cannot attack God personally He attacks Gods children in His place.
Satan will stop at nothing to get you to stumble and fail in your walk with the Lord. .
HE WANTS YOU TO LIVE A LIFE WITHOUT FAITH!
He wants you to be unproductive as a gospel preacher
He wants you to fail at making and equipping followers of Jesus Christ in our community,
Because he believes that when we fail at making disciples-God is robbed of His glory.
This is why Jesus said in Mathew 5 : Let your light shine before men so that they will see your good works and Bring God Glory in heaven.
The point is this Satan wants yo to fail And he will do whatever it takes to accomplish this goal.
There is nothing Satan wouldn’t do to hurt your walk with Jesus.
This is why Paul throughout his epistles tells the church to stop fighting with one another which is a characteristic of the devil.
When we fight and argue in the church Satan is winning the battle in your life!
Paul has so clearly contrasted the works of the devil with what a true Believer in Jesus should look like.
Galatians 5 “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, 5:21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!
5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 5:23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
When we resist the devil we will Forgive one another, we will Respect one another, we will Speak the truth in love with one another, we will build up one another, we will Edify one another, and we will be unified with one another in the church. anything less than this the devil will win the battle!.
Transition: We must understand this morning that we are in a battle with a being that Hates us and hates our God, and He will not cease to attack us and our faith.
and this brings us to our final point for this morning
HOW Our Battle is Won
HOW Our Battle is Won
Ephesians 6 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil..... vs 13... and having done all, to stand firm.
How do we fight a battle that seems overwhelming? WE STAND FIRM in the strength of the Lord!
I Love how Paul states our battle plan “ and Having DONE ALL !
What does Paul mean by having Done all? He means when we walk worthy of the calling by which we have been called we can stand firm in our faith. We understand who we are in Christ.
When we understand that all of our strength comes through Jesus and that all of our courage comes through jesus, We can stand confident knowing that he will give us everything we need to stand firm in the battle.
Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
1 Cor 16:13 “Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong.”
Psalm 31:24 “Be strong and confident, all you who wait on the Lord!”
Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you! Don’t be frightened, for I am your God! I strengthen you— yes, I help you— yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand!”
Our strength and courage comes from the Lord- it is he who gives us the ability to fight our battles and this should bring us great comfort and peace, Knowing that the creator of the world , the sovereign ruler over all things including our adversary the devil is the commander and chief of our army. and it is he who gives us His armor to fight the battles we are in.
BRING IT HOME
BRING IT HOME
Next week we will be looking at what Gods armor looks like. We will see that He has given us everything we need to be battle ready.
The great deceiver wants to bring doubt to our faith.
He wants to quiet our gospel testimony in our community
He wants to keep us from loving the church
He wants to keep us from loving our savior.
and He will lie to you and He will tempt you with the pleasures of this world to make you believe that you dont need Jesus in your life to be happy.
and I am telling you this HE IS A LYER!!!!
STAND FIRM ON WHAT YOU KNOW IS TRUTH,
Stand firm on Gods word
Stand firm on the gospel of Jesus
stand firm in your love for the church.
stand firm in your call to make and equip followers of Jesus in our community.
Don’t let Satan put any doubt in your mind of what God has made crystal clear in his word.
I pray that at the end of my life here on earth I can speak the words of Timothy as a move on to glory-
2 Tim 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
If we want to fight the good fight and finish strong We must STAND FIRM!