Sons Called to Overcome Ephesians 6:10-13
Eph 6:10-13 KJV (10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (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. (13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
THE DEVIL...this is a passage on spiritual warfare. For other nations, this conflict is not considered extraordinary. For them it explains a lot and helps them make sense of their world. Not so for us living in the west; for us this is a foreign concept.
Looking at this passage to understand, we struggle; let us notice: who, what, and how WE FIGHT who...not flesh & bloodwhat...the devils schemeshow... do everything!
Ephesians 6:16 KJV (16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
There are two errors that we must fight. And two sets of strategies we must fight. On the one hand he doesn't want us to overestimate but on the other hand he doesn't want us to underestimate, the power of the wicked one.
PRECIOUS REMEDIES AGAINST SATAN'S DEVICES by Thomas Brooks (1608 - 1680) "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us - for we are not ignorant of his devices" - 2 Corinthians 2:11
There's two basic ways that the devil communicates to us. It is through temptation and accusation. Temptation essentially get you to have too high a view of yourself so you don't do things that you should not. Accusationis the devil's attempt to get you to think too low of yourself so that inspires a hatred of self so that you go and do things that you shouldn't. They both work… They both obscure the reality of God.
How does Satan tempt us? • Here is a list of seven things: • he shows you the bait and hides the hook • -that is he shows you the short term benefit of what your sin will do and hides from you the long-term impact • by getting you to rationalize sin as a virtue • -I'm not really greedy I'm just thrifty; I'm not really nosy I'm just concerned, I'm not alcoholic unjust social • by showing you the sins of Christian leaders • -so you say to yourself he did it to, nobody's that pure
by over stressing the mercy of God • -you say yourself "do it, he'll forgive you, that's his job" • by making them believe they deserve because of suffering • -I've suffered, I deserve this! Did you ever wonder why prominent powerful men are always having affairs; they say to themselves nobody knows how hard I work and how many sacrifices I make. • by showing Christians how many bad people seem to be having great lives • -so the self-talk goes like this, “I might as well do it because playing by the rules doesn't pay off.” • by getting you to compare one part of your life to another • -look them very good over here, I do all this and I do all that… So I do a little stuff that isn't so good… like the Mafia hit man who says “I'm really good to my mother.”
What about accusation? • Here's four from the devil's arsenal: • by causing us to look more at our sin then at our Savior • BTW the child-psychology books tell us if we give one complement for every criticism, a child will grow up hating themselves. Instead we’re encouraged to give 4 complements for every one criticism. It is then they grow up loving themselves. But if we hear equal amounts of complements and criticism we hate ourselves and the biblical reason for this is that we know that there is something wrong with us! • In a similar fashion, for every sin we see in ourselves, Thomas Brooks writes, we need to look at our Savior five times.
By causing Christians to obsess about sin that has occurred in the past it cannot be undone. • By making people think that the troubles that they are going through must be punishments. "This would've happened unless God is mad at me.“ • By making people think that the inner struggles and thoughts that they think, Christians could not possibly have. Therefore if I were a real Christian I would be having these thoughts.
How do we fight? • Know what devices Satan • uses on you. • The gospel is the armor. • STAND…expect success!