Paul doesn’t waste any time in spelling out the nature of the armor you have for spiritual warfare. It’s the full armor of God” ( Ephesians 6:11 ). The armor is something God gives us, not something we put together on our own. But before Paul gets to the armor, he gives us an important exhortation: Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might” ( v. 10 ). Do you know what this says ? This says the battle is the Lord’s , not yours. That’s what this entire book is designed to communicate to you. Be strong in the Lord is a passive command. That means God supplies the strength, not you. It’s His battle. Your job is to put on the armor He supplies, to dress for success. Many big corporations like IBM used to have pretty strict dress codes because the company wanted its employees to have a certain look the company believed was critical for business success. Seminars teach business people how to dress for success, how to wear the kind of clothes that make the right impression and get the job done. Well, if you want to get the job done in spiritual warfare, you have to dress for spiritual success. You must put on the armor of God. ( Ephesians 6:11 ). The armor is all from God. Our job is to dress up in Jesus every day.That’s exactly what Paul says in ( Romans 13:11-14 ). He tells us to wake up from our spiritual sleep and put on the armor of light” ( v.11-12 ). What is the armor of light? Paul explains in verse 14 When he says, put on the Lord Jesus Christ. so if you want to dress for success in spiritual warfare, put on Jesus when you get up every morning. one reason children love Halloween is that they can get to dress up like somebody else, usually somebody famous or powerful or scary or someone they have dreamed of being. Kids enjoy the idea of looking like someone else because it gives them the chance to feel and act like the person they are portraying. Paul says that we are to dress up to look like Jesus every day of our lives. But this isn’t a children’s masquerade. This is reality; This is spiritual war. We need to dress up in Jesus because the devil isn’t one bit scared of you and me. The only person who have ever scared the devil is Jesus Christ. So put on your Jesus outfit , and the devil won’t be able to hang with you. tune in next week for some more of god’s powerful word.
I’m told that many years ago, when the staff of a mental hospital wanted to evaluate patients for possible released, one of the tests they gave was to take a patient to a janitor’s closet. There the patient found the water running and overflowing the sink because the sink had been plugged up. The person was given a mop and told to clean up the mess. The staff wanted to see whether the patient would simply try to mop up the overflowing water, or deal with the root problem by turning off the spigot. The patient’s response told the staff whether this person was in touch with reality or not, and therefore was or was not ready to be released. Anyone who is in touch with reality knows that you can’t mop up a mess when the source of the mess has not been dealt with. What I have been trying to do is put you in touch with the reality of spiritual warfare. My purpose is that you won’t waste your time trying to mop up your circumstances, When God has given you all the spiritual authority you need to address the root cause of the circumstances. If you want to change the fruit, you must first address the root. In the language of our illustration, I want to help you quit simply mopping up the overflow. I want to show you how to turn off the spigot and start getting things cleaned up. Or to change the imagery, I want to help equip you with the weapons of your authority, The full armor of God. To do that, we are going to unfold ( Ephesians 6: 10-17, one of the foundational passages on spiritual warfare that we referred to and alluded to many times already. In exploring these great verses, I want to talk about the nature of your armor, and the names of the pieces of your armor. Tune in next sunday, and the following Sunday’s to learn about the pieces of this great armor.
If you have ever seen a circus arrive in town, you have seen the elephants standing out in a parking lot or somewhere, tethered around one leg with a chain attached to a peg in the ground. These elephants are huge, powerful beasts. Any of them could rip that peg out of the ground anytime they feel like it. They certainly have the power. But the elephants don’t budge. Do you know why? Because since they were little baby elephants, they have been taught that when the trainer puts that chain around their leg, they have no power to do anything. Why are the elephants chained up? Because they are in town to perform, not to dem0nstrate their power. Do you see where I am going? As Christians, we are in town to demonstrate the power and authority of God. We are not here to perform for the devil like his circus animals or his spiritual puppets. But Satan has fooled a lot of us. He has put his puny little chain around our leg, and we are convinced we can’t do anything. We go around dragging that chain on our leg, even while we are saying, Oh yes I know He is able. We are all chained up, even while we’re singing about a God who is so high we can’t get over Him, and so wide we can’t get around Him. And all the while, that chain rattling, and Satan and his demons are eating cotton candy and enjoying the show. But the Church is not in town to perform. Christ has delegated His incomparable authority to us. He has exalted the church with himself, and put us on display as Exhibit A of His grace and power. It’s time for you and me to pull that peg out of the ground and begin Walking,Talking, and acting like who we are in Christ. He has set us free ( John 8:32 ) Tune in next week for more of god’s powerful word.
If the Church is Exhibit A of God’s grace and power and authority, guess what? We should be good exhibitors of His, showing off His power and authority over the world, the flesh, and the devil. We should be exercising Christ’s authority, because we are seated with Him above the principalities and powers that are causing our problems in the first place. We learned from Psalms 8 and Hebrews 2 that man was created a little lower than the angels. We are the lesser; angels are the greater. But hold on. When Jesus Christ rose from the the dead and seated us with him in heavenly places, We took a giant step upward. The angels are now watching the church in order to understand the manifold Wisdom of God. But I think the angels are doing more than just watching us. Now that we have been raised with Christ far above all principalities and powers, the angels are under our authority. That is a principle we have run into before. When you respond to God, and your response is consistent with His Kingdom agenda, angels my act on your behalf. Put very simply, many of us don’t get angelic help because we don’t understand that the angels are waiting on us to respond to God We are in the drivers seat, so to speak, When it comes to exercising God’s authority in spiritual warfare. We have been raised with Christ. Therefore, the church should be demanding its territory back from Satan. He’s like a squatter who is illegally occupying ground he shouldn’t be occupying. But Jesus Christ has issued Satan an eviction notice. It’s time for the devil to get off of the property. Jesus has sent the church to deliver the notice and evict the squatter. Jesus provided all of the legal authority we need to overcome Satan. Our job is to exercise that authority to invade Satan’s territory, declare to him what the eviction notice says, and put his furniture out on the street. The law has a provision called a restraining order, an order forbidding a person to get too close to you. The cross of Jesus Christ is your restraining order to keep Satan off your back so you can live in light of who Christ is and who you are in Him. But that means you are going to have to declare, God, I am going to demonstrate, not just talk about , what it means to follow you. I am going to act on what you said, by calling on your authority to set me free from whatever binds me and exhibiting your power in the world. Tune in next week for more of God’s powerful word.
Paul says in ( Ephians 3:9 ) That the church is the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God. For all the ages of history, God had a secret He wasn’t telling anyone. A mistery in the bible isn’t something that’s hard to figure out. A biblical mystery is something previously hidden that has now been revealed. Paul says the church was God’s mystery, kept hidden until His time to reveal it. And why was the mystery of the church revealed? Paul answers that in verse 10: in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in heavenly places. God demonstrated His multicolored wisdom through the church. That’s what the word manifold means. God’s wisdom is multicolored. What a tremendous statement! God has unveiled His great mystery which is that by His grace, He would save unworthy sinners of every race and language and bring them together into a brand new community called the church. Grace was the curveball God threw at satan. The devil didn’t count on grace. All Satan knew was that all of us had sinned and rebelled against God the way he had sinned and rebelled. And Satan knew that a Holy God could not tolerate sin, but had to judge it the way He judge Satan.But God had a surprise for Satan: His grace. God demonstrated something marvelous to the entire angelic realm. He sent His Son to redeem lost people and bring them into a new relationship with Him through a new entity called the church. Only the manifold wisdom of God could pull off a program like that. But God did it, and in so doing He exhibited the church to all of creation as evidence of His wisdom. The devil and his demons and the Holy angels too were left staring in amazement. Peter says the angels are looking at the church, trying to figure out how God’s grace works ( 1 Peter 1:12 ). They had never seen grace before, and now they are looking at us in wonder. Tune in next week for more of God’s powerful word.
This the last point I want to make, Concerning god’s authority for the church. As the agency of God’s authority in this age or
dispensation, the church is being called to put his authority and power on display to the world, to the angels, and the devil.
The church is the body of Christ, I don’t mean the building. I mean the body that Christ left behind, which is the body of
baptized believers in Jesus Christ. We have to many church folks, I call them church folks because they believe in the
building as the church, And not in the body of Christ which is the real church. This is why you don’t see the power of God
and his authority exercised in these building that they call the church. When the congregation of people believe and
recognize that they are the church, and are baptized in his death, burial and resurrection, then the church can be in
the building. When that happens, all of the gifts that was left for the body of Christ can operate in the building.
This is why I had to make a distinction between the church and the building, where most people think is the church.
God has not changed his mind, or his word. He is the same God now and forever more. Tune in next week for more
of God’s powerful word.
If the Church has been exalted with Christ above all authorities and powers, where does that leave Satan and His Demons? It leaves them defeated, disarmed, and totally powerless, that’s where.( Hebrews 2:14 ) says that although Satan once had the power of death, he has been rendered powerless” by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is why Satan must function largely by deception. Of course, Satan can still us hurt while we are on this earth, but ultimately his real weapons have been taken away from him. All the lion has left is his roar. With the resurrection of Christ, Satan’s spiritual graveyard was robbed ( Ephesians 2: 4-6 ). The tragedy is that Satan’s lies and deceptions work so often, even with believer. Satan can get us to believing that we have no authority, that we are the helpless prisoner of our past or our present. Of course, if you were the victim of a abusive parent, a broken home, or some other tragedy, I’m not minimizing that. Those kinds of things are horrible, and they certainly leave their scars. But to allow something from your past, or even your present, to own you as a Christian means that you’re believing a lie. If you are in Jesus Christ, you have already been raised and exalted with Him. You occupy a position of tremendous authority. and you can draw on that authority to allow Christ to take charge of your life in the power of the Holy Spirit. Tune in next week for more of God’s powerful word.
And just for your encouragement, you need to know that by virtue of His death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ has gained possession of another important set of keys. These are called the keys of death and hades ( Revelations 1:18 ). They are possessed by the one who was dead, and is now alive forevermore.Who had the keys of death and Hades before Jesus died and rose again? satan had them. We saw that death is Satan’s domain. Hades was his prison house for the spirits of the dead. So how did Jesus take the keys of death and hades from satan? While Jesus body was in the tomb, He went in Spirit into Hades itself, and freed Satan’s captives. Jesus conquered death, and then he conquered him who had the power of death the devil. ( Hebrews 2:14 ). No wonder Paul asks, O death, where is thy stain? O grave, where is thy victory? ( 1 Corinthians 15:55 ). It’s all gone, because Jesus Christ went into Satans house and took that bad boy’s key’s away from him. Jesus has all the keys, and all the authority. And He is sharing that authority with believers like you and me through the Church, which is seated with him in the position of authority. Satan can’t lock you up anymore, because Jesus took his keys. So if you feel like you are locked up right now, you need to know that Jesus can let you out. He can set you free. Tune in next week for some more of Gods powerful word.
You may be saying, That’s great that Jesus is exalted in Heaven. It’s great to know He is in charge. But I’m still stuck here on earth. If you think that, somebody has been Laying to you According to ( Ephesians 2:6 ), believers have been raised up and exalted with Christ. God did not just give you new life when He saved you. God brought the church along when He raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in the place of authority in the heavenly places. So if Jesus Christ is in charge, and we are exalted with Him, then we ought to be exercising His power and authority . If we aren’t, something is wrong. Something is out of whack, because ( Ephesians 2:6 ), says that where Jesus is, you and I are. The church has been raised with Christ. Tone in next week for more of God’s powerful word.
gaThe reason Jesus can raise the church to such an exalted position of authority is that He Himself was raised triumphantly from the dead and enthroned in Heaven over all principalit fies and powers. In other words, Jesus is firmly in charge. Paul wanted the church at Ephesus to understand this, so he prayed for the church. Paul was praying that the church at Ephesus would understand what they had and who they were associated with. He was praying that the church would understand what took place when Jesus Christ was raised from dead. What happened is that the risen and ascended Christ now possesses all authority in Heaven and on earth ( Matthew 28:18 ). He is in charge of the universe. Paul goes on to say that Christ is exalted far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. and He put all things in subjection under His feet ( Ephesians 1:21-22 ). Like a conquering general, Jesus has His foocctttt on the neck of His enemies. Everything and everyone on earth and under the earth is subject to Him. God the farther raised jesus and seated His Son at his right hand, the place of ultimate authority. He runs the show. Many say that the united state is the only superpower left in the world today. That makes the president the most powerful man in the world. But the reality is that there is only one superpower in this universe, and it’s the Kingdom of God. And since Jesus Christ is sitting in the position of authority in this Kingdom, Let me say it again. He is in charge