OceanSide church of Christ
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The Christian Warfare
Text: Eph 6:10-18
Thesis: to enlist people in the Lord’s Army and prepare them for battle (Christian Warfare).
1. We are living in a time of war, fighting this war on terror.
A. A time of unrest, uneasiness, turmoil, etc.
B. However, it is the case that we are at war spiritually, as well.
C. Whether you are in the Lord’s Army fighting for truth, or whether you are undecided as to whose side you should fight.
D. Illustration of the Devil’s Fence
2. This Spiritual War that is raging on is more important than even the war on the Afghanistan front or the Iraqi front or any where else in the world.
A. This war has to do with our eternal welfare and destiny.
B. This war has everything to do with our well-being and also our service to God (that we have been talking about this week so far).
3. I am sure you realize this and that is the reason that you are here tonight, as well.
4. The cause of Christian warfare is that we have enemies…hear the apostle Paul…
– 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.
5. Friends, with such forces in opposition to us, and fighting so forcibly against us, our Master (Commander) is calling today for strong and brave soldiers…
6. Songs of war are ringing out even tonight reminding us of the fighting words that come from the enemy and the battle cry our Lord leading the charge in the fight.
A. A sad tale is the fact that we have cowards unfortunately in our midst, enlisted in the Lord’s army, claim to have on the armor of God, claim to know what God says about fighting, and yet they continue to turn their backs on the enemy, and yell “Don’t fight.”
I. Characteristics and Needs in the Christian Warfare.
A. A leader is needed!
1. We have Christ, our blessed Lord, is the leader in this warfare.
a. Act 3:22-23 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. (23) And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
b. Christ is a great leader. Even David acknowledges his leadership.
c. Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
2. With a such a great leader, we should not fear the enemy.
3. In this warfare, we have the greatest captain ever named to mankind; Christ Jesus is our Captain, our Commander.
a. Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
b. Isa 55:4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.
c. Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
d. Eph 1:22-23 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, (23) Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
B. Conditions of Enlistment
1. Enlistment is necessary; there must be volunteers.
a. Jesus says, Come
1) Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
2) Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
3) Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
2. The Gospel call for more soldiers has been sounded out, and one must: (1) hear the gospel – Rom. 10:17, (2) believe it – John 8:24, (3) repent of sins – Luke 13:3, (4) confess faith in Christ – Matt. 10:32, & (5) be buried in baptism – Rom. 6:3-4, Col. 2:12, Acts 2:38, which puts one into Christ – Gal. 3:27.
3. One must meet the requirements to have entry into the Lord’s Army.
4. The time of enlistment is now & the urgency is seen in that we are not promised tomorrow, we need to make this decision today.
C. He must be strong for God (commitment), enough to comply with the requirements previously stated. In order to be strong, he must be free from diseases.
II. Diseases that would keep one from enlisting:
A. Hydrophobia = deadly fear of water
1. This has and will continue to prevent many from enlisting into the Lord’s Army.
2. Some refuse to enlist simply b/c water is in the Handbook.
3. Following the requirements is a must, but some will not submit to the Lord’s requirements to be baptized.
a. In fact, there is always great controversy whenever it is brought up today.
b. When the Handbook for enlistment is so clear as to the requirements.
4. Some claim they cannot see importance in the water, but water is in the requirement and the very way we come in contact with the blood of Christ that was shed through our faith.
5. Remember, that God is in charge, He has come up with the plan, NOT MAN!
B. Photophobia = deadly fear of light
1. Many today are afraid of the light and refuse to enlist.
a. They are not able to qualify as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, b/c of their fear of the light.
b. Our Savior said,
1) Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
c. Christ in us is the great light that radiates through our lives and influences men to come over to the Lord’s side.
d. Those in the world who have the disease “photophobia” hate the army of the Lord, and the deadly fear of the light keeps them from enlisting in this great army, and becoming a strong soldier for Christ
e. Christ said to his disciples…
1) Joh 15:18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
f. We learn from the words of the Master that the world is our enemy, and they who are of the world hate the children of light.
1) 1 Pet 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (9) Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
g. There are those of our own ranks who are opposed to fighting.
1) They want to be friendly with the world.
2) Can you imagine Uncle Sam sending men out to fight, then saying now be friends when you are on the battle field?
3) Of course not! And neither does Christ!
4) 1Jn 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
5) 2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
C. Myopia = near sightedness
1. This disease has prevented thousands from enlisting in this great Christian warfare.
2. Those who cannot see past their mother and father, family, etc.
a. Mat 10:37-38 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (38) And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
3. Others suffering from this disease, refuse to turn from error b/c “they’ve been going that way for a long time.”
a. Not realizing that the longer they go in error, the further wrong they are.
b. However, it’s just a turn around to come back to God, and follow His way.
4. No matter what I’ve been in the past, no matter what my family has been or does in the past or now; I need to be adult enough to step up and have my own faith…built upon Jesus Christ and His teaching, following His apostles’ teaching.
5. Many people are in denominationalism, many in other religions, etc; but, all need the truth and Christ is calling for people to search out the truth and follow Him.
6. We are calling on people to be Christians (Acts 11:26) and Christians only. Not some denomination; not some other religion, but simply those who belong to Jesus Christ.
7. We can all see alike, speak the same thing, and be in union if we would lay aside our human thoughts, opinions, and simply accept the Bible as our guide and rule of faith and practice (1 Cor. 1:10; Matt. 15:9; Isa. 55:7-8)
D. Catalepsy = “loss of will” or “stay put” – those stay right where they are no matter what.
1. Muscles have become rigid and remain in the position that they have been placed.
2. Some will say well I don’t believe in jumping from one group to another. Well we don’t either, but you have to jump out of error and into the truth.
3. No amount of logic can usually explain these situations, but they remain a sad fact of some who will not enlist into Christ’s army.
III. Be A Strong Soldier
A. Must have the right kind of food
1. Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
2. Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
3. Deu 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
4. 1Pe 2:1-2 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, (2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
B. Must put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:11)
1. READ Eph. 6:10-18
2. 2 Cor 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
3. Girdle of Truth
a. Mentioned 1st b/c it denotes preparation for battle and it holds all the pieces of armor together.
b. Helps to strengthen up our lions – gives confidence in the fight as well
4. Breastplate of Righteousness
a. Secures and protects vital organs necessary for life; shelters the heart. Fortifies the heart against the attacks of Satan
b. Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
5. Feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace
a. Military shoes of brass to help protect the feet from traps (1 Pet. 5:8)
b. Made for steady advancing, determination to walk with God
6. Shield of Faith
a. Most necessary to have a shield
b. Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
c. To extinguish the fiery darts of temptation
1) Strength in a number of shields around you when a host of darts come hurling in the air.
2) Also they would often oil them to make them slippery
7. Helmet of Salvation
a. Closely fitted to the head
b. Remember our hope of salvation
c. Secures the head
8. Sword of the Spirit
a. The Bible, along with faith in His Word, will repel temptation.
b. The only offensive weapon
c. We see how it works often when it’s used. Many are offended in it.
9. In this great armor there is no protection for the back; for we must not turn our back on the enemy.
10. We must face the enemy and fight; there is no call to retreat.
11. Deserting is disgraceful and those who are guilty of going back into the world will be punished.
a. 2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
b. 2Pe 2:20-22 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. (21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
1. Jesus is the captain of our salvation and leads us into battle, prepares us for the war.
2. Book of Revelation tells us the outcome of this great war we are in: Christ is Victorious.
3. Obey the gospel and be on the Lord’s Side; continue to prepare for battle and fight with Confidence in Christ.