bits from bob....
"As to the rest, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty strength. Put on the panoply of God so you will be able to stand against the scheming methods of the devil. For our conflict is not against blood and flesh, but against rulers, authorities, cosmocrats (those who would rule this world of darkness), and evil spiritual forces in the heavenly realms. Therefore take the panoply of God in order to be able to resist in the day of evil and to stand when all things are said and done." (Eph. 6:10-13)
This text, even before it launches into a description of the Christian armor, suggests principles for spiritual warfare. While each part of the Christian armor, both defensive and offensive, is vital to successfully combatting Satan and his forces, preparation for battle involves more than putting on the armor. Note these principles.
I. We must be boldly unashamed.
We are part of an unashamed fellowship--unashamed of the gospel, unashamed of our Lord, unashamed of the church, unashamed of our brothers and sisters, unashamed! Shame is the enemy of boldness. In a day when more and more seem ashamed to proclaim the uniqueness of Christianity in the face of world religions, when the claims that Jesus is God, Jesus is divine, Jesus is Lord are softened in the name of political correctness, when boldness has given way to timidity, we need reminders that the battle must be waged boldly and unashamedly.
God has not given us a spirit of timidity and fear.
II. We must be aware of our enemy.
One of the first rules of engagement is "know your enemy." Our enemy is subtle, everywhere, powerful, disguised. Our enemy is us. Our enemy is culture, expectations, peer pressure. We must know our enemy.
We are fighting a spiritual battle, but we are often fighting that battle in the physical world. Ours is not a "flesh and blood" enemy, but the enemy exists in the physical world as surely as do we.
III. We must be united.
Divide and conquer is the rule of success in war. If Satan can divide us, he can conquer us. The plural forms throughout this section remind us that we are not in the battle alone.
IV. Finally, we must arm ourselves.
It would be the height of folly to enter the battle unarmed. How foolish to take on the enemy without truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and Scripture! The church must rediscover the essential nature of these elements of the armor if we are to win the battle.
"With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Eph. 6:18b)
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