Ephesians 6:10-13 Attention! I have never served in the military, and I think I regret that. Even so, as I understand it, the command "Attention" is an often used command to bring the troops to their feet, the minds to focus, and their ears to listen for the next command. When I read this Bible passage, I think of the soldier being called to attention. Let us look at this passage for a few moments to see what God might have for us. I. Note to whom the Attention Command is given: Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. A. This isn’t a passage or a book written to the lost. It is written to the saved. B. If you thought trusting Jesus as your Savior was to get you an easier life, I have bad news for you. 1. In getting saved, you just jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. 2. You got on the winning side, but now the devil is after you and will not quit until you are with Jesus. II. \\#10\\ Notice the command: Be strong A. In the Lord - Person 1. I don’t know if you have ever been bullied or not, but if you have, I hope you learned the key to overcoming him. 2. Hang around with someone bigger than the bully. 3. Christian, your strength does not come from within you. It comes from hanging out the God who is bigger than all of your bullies. B. In the power of his might - Power 1. Our God has given to us every tool we need to defeat our spiritual enemies and to withstand our earthly ones. 2. I think of them as an arsenal. a. He will mention some of them in the following verses. b. However, the strongest weapons in the world are useless unless: (1) You are strong enough to pick it up an aim it. (2) You know how to operate it. 3. In this phrase, Paul is telling us we need to get strong enough to be able to pick up the weapons God has given to us. III. Notice the enemies: A. \\#11\\ The Devil Eph 6: 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 1. We are being told to be strong against the devil’s wiles. 2. The word "wiles" means tricks. a. This phrase suggest not only who we need to watch for, but how he will attack us. b. The devil is not much on attacking head on, at least not unless he feels he has a much, much superior force. c. He will use cunning, surprise tactics, and terror. d. He will attack from cover and from directions one would not expect. e. I think Job is a good example. God gave the devil permission to attack Job but instead of attacking Job, he destroyed his crops, his cattle, his children, then used his wife and friends to discourage Job to death. B. \\#12\\ The World Eph 6: 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 1. Some people think the world is merely a place, a detached, unbiased, harmless location. 2. That might would be true if it were not for those who have control over it. 3. Notice who rules over it: a. Principalities b. Powers c. Rules of the darkness d. Spiritual wickedness in the highest places 4. I have studied these authorities before, but I have never understood exactly what Paul meant by each one of them. a. This much I am certain of: (1) I will never find any of these authorities listed in the local phone book. (2) If I ever did find them listed in a phone book, none of them would ever allow me to see them. (3) If I ever did get to see them, none of them would listen to a word I had to say. b. That means these authorities are all well beyond me. c. They can do what they want, when the want, how they want; and I can’t do anything to stop them. d. Paul identifies them as my enemy. IV. Notice what we are to do: A. \\#14\\ Stand 1. I think this entire passage is God calling Christians to "Attetnion!" through Paul; but if I had to pick a single word in the text that does so, it would be this one. 2. I used to see that word and think it meant that even though I was bruised and battered, I was to stand. 3. Much like the American flag at Fort McHenry when it was attacked by the British on September 13, 1814. Although the British hit the fort with everything they had all night long, when the son came up the next morning, amidst all of the rubble and smoke, there stood the American flag, standing unbent and defiant. Seeing that battle and the standing flag from the harbor, Francis Scott Key, a 35 year old lawyer, took out a pencil and paper to write our national anthem. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-story-behind-the-star- spangled-banner-149220970/ Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. 4. Well, as stirring as that might be, that is not what I think Paul meant any longer. a. I now think God was calling the raw recruits to "Attention!" Those kids who did not know the barrow from the butt of gun, but who had visions of glory in their eyes. Those who had only shot at targets, but still they thought they would destroy the enemy and have a chest full of metals. b. I think God was calling them to "Attention!" c. He is telling the Christians, "Get off your backsides, and stay alert! The enemies are out there and they treacherous. Stay awake. Stay alert. Stay on your feet." B. Stand with the Proper Equipment. Because of the time, all I can do this evening is mention these weapons; however, these are some of the arsenal weapons that I was referring to earlier. 1. \\#17\\ Salvation Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation… a. If we are not saved, we are not in the right army at all. b. I am honest when I say that I don’t know why Paul mentioned salvation so late in the text. Let me hasten to say, I know his placement is correct and my confusion is ignorance, but I really do not know why it is not first. c. If you are going to be in a battle for the Lord, you must be born again to have anything for which to fight. 2. \\#14\\ Righteousness Eph 6:14 …and having on the breastplate of righteousness; a. As Christians, righteousness is not just what we do. It is also what we are. b. We do not simply try to do right. (1) Doing right is the starting point, and it is a consuming point of beginning. (2) We want to do right in all the areas of our life: family, church, work. (3) Before all of the people of our life: God, family, co-workers, friends, strangers, and even enemies. c. But while we are doing the right actions, we want to be righteous. (1) We want the right attitude, the right goals, the right outcomes. (2) We are not living life to win, but to glorify God. 3. \\#16\\ Faith Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. a. Faith has many meanings, but I will just refer to one aspect of our faith, believing. b. We want to be a people who believe. c. In what? There are many truths revealed through the Word that God wants us to believe. Some are: (1) We want to believe in the Word of God. (2) We want to believe in the God of the Word. (3) We want to believe in the plan of God. (4) We want to believe in the reward of God. 4. \\#15\\ Peace Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; a. Christians are not violent or trouble makers. (1) We are not of those who want to hurt. (2) We are not of those who want to fight. (3) We are not of those who want to argue. b. We are of those who want to tell, be in talking, teaching, or preaching. c. We only want to tell those who want to hear. (1) This is not my idea, but Jesus’. Matt 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. (2) Always remember, God only wants those that want Him. Love them. Talk to them often, but do not try to force anyone to Christ. (3) We are a people of peace. 5. \\#17\\ With the Word of God Eph 6:17 Take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: a. The only offensive weapon we possess is the Word of God. b. In love and meekness, let them have the Word of God— not our opinions of the Word of God—with both barrows. c. Notice, we might be the spokesperson for the Bible, but is belongs to the Holy Spirit of God. He and He alone will effectively use it. 6. \\#14\\ Truth Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth…. a. With all of the weapons we possess, how could we stand to use them if we were not going to be honest and truthful? b. I don’t mind a person being wrong about spiritual matters, as long as they are honest in their search. (1) If you are a little confused about eternal security, I can deal with you as long as you are handling the Scriptures honestly. (2) If you are a little confused about baptism, I can deal with you as long as you are handling the Scripture honestly. (3) But if you want to create a salvation to where everyone is saved, sin doesn’t matter, and there is no hell, I have nothing for you. (a) You are a liar and a child of the devil. (4) If you want to put women in the pulpit, make the Bible cultural, and say homosexuality is all right with God, I have nothing for you. (a) You are a liar and a child of the devil. c. Truth, honest, integrity—these are the weapons that are ours to use. 7. \\#18\\ Prayer Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…. a. And making the list come out at seven, prayer. b. What can we say about prayer except of all the things a Christian can do, prayer should be at the top. c. Even preaching, witnessing, and reading the Bible mean nothing until we have first prayed. Attention! God is calling us to our feet, our minds to focus, and our ears to await His next command. Are you a Christian ready to serve?
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