Stand Firm | New Year Sermon

Ephesians 6:10-12 | Stand Firm | New Year Sermon

Praise the Lord. God has brought us by His grace to a new year. The theme that God has given me for the church is to Stand Firm.

Ephesians 6:10-13 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

The year 2020 saw a lot of unexpected challenges in the world due to the Covid-19.

A child of God faces challenges from the world outside, the circumstances around us, and also the spiritual war the enemy, the devil wages against us.

The only way a God’s child can go forward in life is by standing firm in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul gives three commands for us within verses 10-13: stand firm, be strong, and put on the whole armor of God.

Paul gives three commands for us within verses 10-13:

• Stand Firm
• Be Strong
• Put On The Whole Armor Of God

As Paul closes the letter to the Ephesians in Ephesians 6, he speaks of a great struggle that lies before every believer. The world is a battleground. There is a war between God and Satan. We see it in many places in Scripture, perhaps no more clearly than in the book of Job, where Satan and God are in conflict verbally. The whole thing, since the fall of man, since the curse entered into the earth is warfare.

Our opponent is not a fellow human but rather a host of demonic forces of evil belonging to the realm of the spirit. Schemes of the devil is death and destruction through temptation and accusation of sin.

Christian life is a struggle, a battle, a wrestling match, as Paul calls it in Ephesians 6:12, and so we literally exist as believers in a life-and-death struggle.

We get so wrapped up in our little things that we forget what a warfare is going on.

Paul had battles:

1 Corinthians 16:8-9 8But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.

In the midst of the warfare, how we do have the victory?

1. We Have Strength In The Lord

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Strength means physical power, toughness. We have God’s strength. His strength is the issue. God is our strength. No matter how strong our enemy is, God’s strength is superior.

The church at Philadelphia in Revelation 3 is a good church. In fact it’s only the church at Smyrna and the church at Philadelphia to which no condemnation was given. This was a righteous community of faith and our Lord says to them Revelation 3:8 See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.

This was a church that was reaching out, a church that was blessed by God and the angel says in

Revelation 3:8 I know that you have little strength.

You know what’s beautiful about that is the fact that even a little strength preserves the church. God is so much more powerful than Satan that a little of his strength is enough to overcome all of the enemies schemes against us in 2021.

1 John 4:4 Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. And so the smallest amount of divine power can overcome the greatest amount of the power of hell and the enemy and so the strength is ours in the Lord.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Again the resource is ours.

I believe at the cross Jesus Christ gave a death blow to Satan as recorded in

Hebrews 2:14-15 14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

He destroyed him who had the power of death and I believe all we need to do is enter into that victory. Listen, if Christ defeated Satan at the cross and if I am in Christ, then I have the power to defeat Satan. Satan is going to be forever defeated under our feet. Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

It is going to happen in the future. But now we can have the victory.

Romans 8:33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

The point is this. We are in a war but there is no reason to lose and there’s no reason to be afraid. Divine resource belongs to us.

Example: Timothy as a young man in the ministry had grown fearful. He had grown timid. He had been besought by the lusts that come to the young man. He had been besieged by people who were telling him false doctrine. He was being inundated by his own fearfulness so that he literally became ashamed of the testimony of Jesus Christ. He became ashamed of his companion in the gospel, the beloved apostle Paul who had disciplined him and in the midst of these terrible feelings of timidity, of fear, a lack of love, shame, lust, and all of these things the apostle Paul calls to him and says:

2 Timothy 2:1 You then my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

“Timothy there’s no reason for this. You claim the strength that is yours in Christ. And in 2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” The point is this. There is no Christian, no time in his life who needs to feel that he loses the battle to the enemy. God has given us in Christ the resource for victory. Stand firm!

Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him who was able to do exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or think according to the power that works in us.

Now the fact is we can win. We know we’re going to win the war in the end because Christ has gotten us the victory.

How to have the victory? First we have to have our strength in the Lord. Stand firm!

2. We Have Power In The Lord

Ephesians 1:19 …his incomparably great power for us who believe.

We have power in the Lord. Power means the ability or capacity to do something. We have the Lord’s power to overcome the enemy, to win.

What kind of power?

Jeremiah 10:12 God made the earth by his power.

Ephesians 1:19-20 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

Mighty power. How strong? Power that raised Christ from the dead and set him at his own right hand in the heavenlies far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named not only in this age but in that which is to come.

What Kind Of Power Do We Have?
• The Power That Conquered Death On The Cross.
• The Power That Conquered Death In The Grave.
• The Power That Exalted Christ To The Right Hand And Set Every Angel And Demon In The Universe Under His Feet.

That is the power we have.

Colossians 1:10-11 10so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,

We have all might according to his glorious power. Christ who has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of his dear son has given us this power. There is no believer who cannot deal with Satan in terms of resurrection, power available in Christ. Stand Firm!

3. Put On The Warfare Armor

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

One cannot win unless one puts on the armor. Never lay your armor down.

And so Paul, probably chained to a Roman soldier as he wrote this sees the whole of the Roman soldiers uniform and all the armor that went with it as a perfect illustration of how the believer is to be prepared to fight the enemy.

Ephesians 6:14-17 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

• Belt Of Truth Buckled Around Your Waist.
• Breastplate Of Righteousness.
• Feet Fitted With The Readiness That Comes From The Gospel Of Peace
• Shield Of Faith.
• Helmet Of Salvation.
• Sword Of The Spirit.

If you want to win in the Christian life get the armor on, get your life right because it’s going to be a battle till the day you die.

4. Stand Firm Against The Enemy

Take your stand against the enemy.

Ephesians 4:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

In other words we know we have the power of the Lord and his strength. We put on the whole armor. We’re ready, obedient with our armor, depending on divine power and are able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Always the believer is to stand because Satan will attack him. You don’t need to go find the devil.

You deal with the power of God and you deal with the armor that you have and God through that will take care of the enemy. You stand firm.

Now we’re never told in the Bible to attack the devil either. We’re just told to resist him.

James 4:7 Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Resist means to stand one’s ground, or stand firm. Hold our ground.

Who is the enemy?
The Bible tells us there’s a real devil.

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Jesus knew there was an enemy. He talked with him in Matthew 4 when he was tempted in the wilderness. The apostles talked about the enemy.
The devil tempted Eve in Genesis 3.
He tempted Christ in Matthew 4.
He perverted God’s word in Matthew 4
He opposed God’s work in Zachariah 3:1-2.
He hindered God’s servant in 1 Thessalonians 2:18
He hinders the gospel in 2 Corinthians 4.

The devil traps believers 1 Timothy 3:7.
He desires the nations in Revelations 16.
He’s an angel of light in 2 Corinthians 11.
He fights with Michael in Jude.
He brought sin into the world in Genesis 3.
He now has the whole world lying in his lap in 1 John 5.

He’s been all through history.

He has personal titles.
In John 16 the prince of this world.
In Ephesians 2 the prince of the power of the air.
In 2 Corinthians 4 he’s called the God of this age.
In Luke 11:15 the prince of demons.
52 times he’s called Satan which means adversary. That is his most common title.
35 times he’s called devil, diabolos which means slanderer.
He is called the old serpent, the great dragon, the roaring lion, the evil one, Abaddōn, Apolluōn, tempter, accuser, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.

Ephesians 6:11 The devil has schemes. KJV Wiles. Meaning cunning, devious, manipulative

Ephesians 4:14 The emphasis is that the wiles of the devil are lies, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching.

He is a liar and the father of it. He is a deceiver. His whole system deceives subtly, supernaturally, cleverly, powerfully. He has deceived mankind the world over with false religious systems.

Can you believe that in the old testaments Satan deceived Israel into worshipping idols and turning their back on the true God? Can you remember that in the New Testament Satan deceived Israel into murdering their own Messiah?

To Christians he comes and creates doubt in their minds as he did to Eve and did throughout the history of God’s people.

He is a formidable/powerful enemy.

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood and keep it in mind people. The real enemy is not flesh and blood. The real weapons of our warfare are not carnal but principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world. Spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies. Those are all terms to describe demons. It is a demon empire that is the real enemy and we wrestle.

And the word wrestle is not talking about a simple athletic game. In the Roman times when the wrestlers went into the ring to wrestle the idea was to get two hands around the neck of the man in a strangle hold and press not only his shoulders but his head to the ground and if his head was on the ground for a certain time he died. If only his shoulders touched and you didn’t get his head down he lived to fight again and Satan wrestles with us through his demons and we with him and it is a life and death matter.

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

What I love there is you may be able to stand, you can stand. There is victory if the armor is on and the confidence is in the Lord. Don’t get caught with your armor off.

You say “Well when is the evil day?” You want to know when the evil day is? Today, yesterday, tomorrow, any day. The evil day is the day when evil reins in the world and that’s as long as Satan is the prince of the power of the air. Resist the devil, he’ll flee from you.

So How Can We Win The Battle?

  1. We Have Strength In The Lord.
  2. We Have Power In The Lord.
  3. Put On The Warfare Armor.
  4. Stand Firm Against The Enemy.

Remember, now the Lord will fight for you.

As David said to the Philistines “the battle is the lord’s.” The battle is the Lord’s. Let him fight it.

God said to Jehoshaphat one time “The battle is not yours. It’s God’s.”

You must be strong in the Lord and put on His full armor, so that you may stand against the enemy. Stand firm!

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