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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Armor Of God: The Helmet and the Shield

"In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation..." ~Eph. 6:16-17

I feel, these verses are communicating the same truth, for two different applications.

The word "faith" in verse 16 is communicating a saving faith, an assurance, as does "salvation" in verses 17. So, Paul is telling to arm yourself with assurance, for what purpose? To guard against flaming arrows. But not just, to "extinguish" them. They have lost all there power. I mean, let's look at the picture:

You are running into battle, when your enemies begin not just to shoot arrows, but flaming arrows. I'm sure each of the warriors needed a change of armor once the battle was over. But, how does assurance play a role?

The adversary loses it's advantage. Jesus said, "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand." (John 10:29) Think about it, the enemy can't beat you, neither can sin defeat you. Sin and the devil have lost their advantage over us.

This is not only useful in the general day to day struggle with sin, as a shield would be, but it is useful as a helmet, to keep our minds focused on the Lord instead of the world. By that I mean, assurance keeps us kingdom minded, focused on the Lords goodness, not on our own efforts and legalism, which is where the devil would want us too be: focused on ourselves and not God.

Rejoice in the Truth that the devil and sin will see it's defeat...

"And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." ~Rev. 20:10

...and we shall stand, sinless, blameless, to see the face of God, only due to Christ's Righteousness and His Gospel.

"Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.  Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.  But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars —they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
~Rev. 21:1-8

So, soldier, arm yourself in assurance. Next time we will look at our main offense in the battle against sin and Satan....

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Armor Of God: Fitted Feet

"and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." ~Ephesians 6:15

As I write this, I begin to prepare my heart to take the Gospel to the streets. A team will be down at a weekly local downtown festival in Owensboro to pass out tracts and engage in conversation. Our team would appreciate our prayers, that God would give us boldness and open the hearts of those we talk see and grant salvation to even just on tonight.

God calls us to "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation" (Mark 16:15)

What comes to my mind when I think of "fitted feet"? Well, one sermon I had just recently heard talked about the prophet Isaiah, and what he said I think fits with this well.

I think the best way to keep our "feet fitted with readiness" is to never turn our phone off. What do I mean by that? Well, always be ready to be faithful to God's mission and purpose, no matter when, where or how it comes about.

How then does this connect to Isaiah? While most preachers will preach out of Isaiah 6, most won't finish it.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? ”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
~Isaiah 6:8

But, look at what the Lord is sending Isaiah to preach:

He said, “Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused;make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
~Isaiah 6:9-10

He is saying, "Go preach to a people who will not listen to you and do it because you love me and wish to be faithful." Will we be ready to be faithful to God's mission even if it means going to a hostile, hardened people? God calls us to plant and water seeds, but its God who grows the seed of salvation. (1 Cor. 3:6)

God Bless!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Armor Of God: The Breastplate of Righteousness

"...with the breastplate of righteousness in place..." ~Ephesians 6:14

We come to the heart of our protection, the breastplate. This plate is meant to protect our heart, in the most spiritual sense. What is the cause of most heart break and disappointment in the Christian life? Forgetting our identity in Christian. We can easily forget that our righteousness and identity is not in what others think about us, or what our current situation looks like, but in who Christ was, is and will always be through the Cross.

Your relationships, or lack thereof, do not define you. You're broken family does not define your identity if you are a Child of God.

The Gospel defines you. The moment you were regenerated, repented of your sins and put your Trust in Christ, you became an adopted, chosen, loved, Child of the Creator God of the universe, our Father through Christ on the Cross.

So, let's put righteousness in it's place, the center of our thoughts, hearts and minds, so we may wages war against discouragement and the devils schemes.

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. " ~2 Cor. 5:21

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Armor Of God: The Belt Of Truth.

"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist..." ~ Ephesians 6:14

Paul, here, where the battle with the devil and against sin begins. Do we hold firm to the Truth? Well, first we know what the Truth is.

Christ is Truth. (John 14:6)

The Word is Truth (John 17:17)

The Gospel is Truth. (Titus 3:3-8)

The moment we begin to forget who we as born-again Christians, are to God through the Gospel, there is noway we can walk in the victory that is promised to us. Just like once we forget that the Word is Truth and defines the world around us, and our view of it, ultimately we become a foolish builder (Matthew 7:24-27).

Think about it, the belt holds everything up, without it, we will, as the infamous song puts it, be "lookin' like a fool with out pants on the ground".

Don't look like a fool. Remember, that in a Christ we have every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3) but we have chosen, loved,(Eph. 1:4) adopted (1:5), redeemed (1:6), and given God Himself through the Holy Spirit as a "deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (1:14). These are just some of the glorious gifts given to us through the gift of Grace.

Also lets not forget that apart from Him we are dead (2:1), disobedient (2:2), objects of wrath (2:3), darkened in our understanding and without hope (Eph. 4:17-19).

Don't be a fool. Love the Truth, preach it too yourself, continue in it, buckle it to your side and stand firm in it. There is a battle between us and sin, are you ready to fight?

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." ~John 8:32

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Armor Of God

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. 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. ~Ephesains 6:12-13

Paul comtinues in Ephesians to explain the "why" behind the armor of God.

He explains that "our struggle (refering to our temptations, seens in 'schemes of the devil' in verse 11) is not against flesh and blood" but against something far greater.

We battle against the authorities of the evils realm, the rules and against the powers. Now, think, who are you?

This reminds me of the account in Acts 19, where several people tryed to take on these powers alone.

Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. ~Acts 19:13-16

I think sometimes when we try to overpower these forces on our own they begin to ask the same question, "Who are YOU?" Who are too beat these forces on our own? We need He who overcomes, Jesus Christ. We need to as, Ephesains 6:13 says, "put on the armor of God" and why? So we "may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

Not only so we can stand our ground in battle, but stand even we've doen everything we can do. This is essential in our battle against the kingdom of darkness, and in our struggle for holiness.

Next post we will begin to look at each piece of the "armor of God". God Bless!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Armor Of God.

As Paul is composing the end of his letter to the Ephesians, he begins to write about the unity in the body of the Christ (4:1-16), living a holy, Christ-imitating life (4:17-5:21) then goes on to apply the Truths of the Gospel to marriage (5:22-33), parenting, (6:1-4), and servitude (6:5-6:9) and finally he writes about those facing temptations from Satan. God has really used this passage in my life recently in regards to my fight with sin, so I thought we’d walk through what Paul has to say about the “Armor of God”. Let us begin today with verses 10 & 11.

”Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. “

When we see a word like “finally” in the Bible (much like therefore and many other phrases) we need to consider the context. We see the importance of the words to following because of how general the statement is. In the passages before he refers to wives (5:22), husbands (5:25), children (6:1), fathers, (6:4), slaves (6:5) and masters (5:9), but this “finally seems to have a unifying effect as he gives the command “be strong in the Lord and his mighty power.”

He is making statement about the power of those receiving his letter. It doesn’t say, “be mighty in your power!” or “You can do it guys! I believe in you!” This seems to carry a much different effect. He is saying, “Guys, you can’t do this on your own, don’t even try.” Much like Jesus statements through out the Gospel, but especially in John 15 where He says, “Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

Then Paul gives the command, “Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. “

Paul seems to carry with him two reasons why this command is given.

1) So they can be “strong in the Lord”

2) So they can “take there stand against the devil’s schemes.”

How much more is this important for the Christian of today? Don’t realize that Satan seeks to destroy you (John 10:10, 1 Peter 5:8)? We need to be on alert.

The only question left too ask is, “Are you ready for Battle?”

Most of the Church is too caught up in the world to worry about the war, which is just where the enemy wants them, in a comfortable Christianity that makes no advance in the kingdom of God and makes no assault on the kingdom of Darkness.

Over several posts, we will look at what Paul supscribes in the Armor of God to help us fight Satan, our temptations, and to kill personal sin in our lives.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"180-Changing The Heart Of A Nation"





From Pro-choice to Pro-life in seconds!

180 Movie is continuing to change hearts and minds about the issue of abortion!

Over 3 million views and thousands of copies distributed.

See what is causing to do an 180 on more then just abortion.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Message From D.L. Moody to the Lost:

“I have no doubt that those who would not pray when the ark was being built, prayed when the Flood came; but their prayer was not answered. I have no doubt that when Lot went out of Sodom, Sodom cried to God; but it was too late, and God’s judgment swept them from the earth. My friend, it is not too late now, but it may be at twelve o’clock tonight. I cannot find any place in the Bible where it says you may call tomorrow. I am not justified in saying that. ‘Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.’”

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Yet Another Reason Believers Need The Local Church...

...For Our Humility
(I will go into greater details on what I believe are four other Biblical Reasons we need to Church. To get an overview on this, go HERE)

I think we all commonly hear Romans 12 quoted in reference to Gospel centered sanctification. The first verse reads:

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. "

"God's mercy" here is referring back to the first 11 chapters of Romans.

What do we read in Romans 1-11? Well, a quick overview would go like this:

We are hopeless, blind, dirty, sinful creatures who have misplaced worship and affections. (Romans 1-3)

But, through the perfect life, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and our Trust in it we have forgiveness of sin, new life, hope, the gift of the Holy Spirit, God's promise that we can never be separated from Him, and victory in our life over sin. (Romans 3-8)

Also, that this was not of our own work, but all of Christs sovereignty and power, so that we can not boast. (Romans 9-11)

There mercies, which are the foundation of the Gospel, are the mouth to the river of our sanctification. Beyond that, if we look to the Gospel and apply the Gospel to ourselves, it produces in us a change of mindset.

Romans 12:2- "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"What Is Truth?"





Mark Spence, from Living Waters, teaches on the subject of "What is Truth?"

It's difficult to think of a more important topic than the nature of truth. Truth is that which agrees with reality.

Check it out!  Find out more at: LivingWaters.com

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Closing the Deal: An Unbiblical Component of Modern Evangelism

By Tony Miano

Last week I asked on Twitter for suggestions, for blog articles. Mike King, from Mount Vernon, WA, gave the following suggestion:

If you haven't already, a written follow-up to your Q&A at Jon Speed's church, about how to "close out" a Gospel conversation.

Sometimes people ask, "How many people have you led to Christ?" My answer: "All of them." When I share the gospel, I bring everyone with whom I speak to the foot of the cross, where I leave them in the hands of the sovereign Creator and Savior. Salvation is of the Lord. I am simply one of his ambassadors.

During the earlier years of my Christian life, from time to time I would share the gospel with people. I was more evangelistic than some, but nowhere near as evangelistic as I should have been. On rare occasions, a person would indicate a desire to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. So, I would do what I was taught to do: lead the person in a "sinner's prayer."

READ MORE.......................