Rages on the Spiritual Battle

By J. Randal Matheny © 2016

There are places in our mind where we don’t want to go,
There is evil in the world we’d do better not to know;
From the devil’s deadly sin I would flee to Earth’s far end,
Let me never to temptation of the flesh give in or bend. Continue reading

#cross-of-christ, #holy-spirit, #poetry, #spiritual-warfare

Prepared for battle

For a long time there was something about the story of David and Goliath that bothered me. If David had great faith that God would allow him to defeat the giant, why did he need to pick up five stones, when just one would do?

The question always bothered me until it occurred to me, David had no idea he would take the giant down in one shot. All that David knew was at the end of the battle, God would be victorious. Continue reading

#david-and-goliath, #spiritual-preparation, #spiritual-warfare

Against the ropes

Are Christians really biased, afraid and intolerant, as is often suggested?

These words, like “biased” and “intolerant,” are nothing but a boxing match of words, designed to do two things: (1) keep the Christian silent, and (2) keep the world angry at them.

In this boxing match, the Christian is cornered by his worldly opponent. So the Christian, knowing that he should defend his faith, steps forward and lands a blow; and his opponent, who has been swinging freely at him, steps back and cries “foul!” The referee (who is actually an insider for the opponent), comes in and warns the Christian that he’d better not do that again, or he’ll be penalized.

The Christian is against the ropes in a war of words. His opponent can swing all day and land cheap shots, but when he attempts to rationally contend for his faith, he is disqualified as a narrow-minded, intolerant hatemonger. If he seeks to disprove a false religion, he is a xenophobe, and so on. Some Christians get trapped in the corner by the fear of being labeled.

The truth is, Christians are fair, well-informed and tolerant — usually much more so than their worldly counterparts. The truth is, disagreement is not equivalent to bias, fear or intolerance. Someone is not narrow-minded because they disagree. A person is not biased when they reach a conclusion that includes Bible study. Debate is not intolerance. Exposing sin is not hate speech. Christian, “contend earnestly for the faith” (cf. Jude 3).

—Rick Kelley, Prestonsburg KY church bulletin

#culture-wars, #intolerance, #narrow-mindedness, #spiritual-warfare

Avoid military language, they said

Anybody remember a few years back, not long ago, when a couple of Protestant guys (scholars? missional ministers?) said we ought to declare a moratorium on the use of military language in the church? I can’t find that story anywhere.

Am doing a module on the church as God’s army …

 

#church-militant, #spiritual-warfare

Take Up The Whole Armor of God!

Many times in his writings the Apostle Paul used military imagery in describing spiritual things. One reason for this was that in many parts of the Roman Empire, the presence of the military was out in full force. Paul used illustrations and terms that the people were accustomed to.

In Ephesians 6:10-17 he wrote about “taking up the whole armor of God.”. What did he mean?  Paul was using the imagery of the different parts of the Roman soldier’s armor to illustrate some very important ways that a Christian can be equipped for service to the Lord Jesus.

Most of the armor is of a defensive nature and some offensive.  The Roman government provided their armies with everything they would need to do battle.  They were equipped for service to Caesar.  How much more should the child of the King be equipped for service to the Lord.

Paul took the different parts of the soldier’s armor and made spiritual application.  In Ephesians 6:10 he says “be strong in the Lord…”. Paul reminds us that our battle is not against an enemy we can see on the battlefield, but on a spiritual one, that is, Satan, himself.  If we will let Him, the Lord will equip us door this battle. One important aspect we must understand up front is that we cannot win the battle in our own strength, but can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, win the battle. It is as the Word of God says, “greater is He. Who is in you than he who is the world.”

Verses 14-17 speak of defensive weapons by which we can protect ourselves in this battle. It is in the later part of verse 17 that we are introduced  to the offensive weapon, the “sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.”

The Word of God is powerful! Paul told us in 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 that the Word is inspired of  God.  It is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God  may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

If we are willing to not only read God’s Word but to study it, mediate upon it, and tell others about it, we will “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ,” – we will be able to help and encourage other believers as we serve in the Lord’s army.

The hymn writer, Sabine Baring-Gould penned these famous words, “Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before; Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe, forward into battle, see His banners go.”. Let’s go  forward lifting up the Name of the Lord Jesus before a lost and dying world, reaching the lost with the Gospel and strengthening the saved!

 

#christian-living, #spiritual-warfare, #word-of-god

Warning! A Roaring Lion is Loose!

Text: I Peter 5:8

Intro: The Devil is  real! He is the adversary of God and man.

The Character  of Satan

  1. Presumptuous.                          Job 1:6
  2. Proud.                                         I Tim. 3:6
  3. Powerful.                                    Eph. 2:2; Eph. 6:12
  4. Wicked.                                       I John 2:13
  5. The Source of Apostasy.           II Tim. 2:9

How He Works Today

  1. He perverts Scripture.              Matt. 4:6; Genesis 3
  2. He  opposes God’s Work.          Zech. 3;   1 Thes. 2:18
  3. He  hinders the  Gospel.            II Cor. 4:4
  4. He is an angel of light                II Cor. 11:14
  5. He is the  father of life.             John 8:44

How To Combat the Devil

  1. Resist him.                                   James 4:7
  2. Greater is He who is in you.      I John 4:4
  3. Take the Whole Armor of God Eph. 6:10-20

The Destiny of Satan & His Followers

  1. The Lake of Fire                        Matthew 25:41; Rev. 20:10

#i-peter, #satan, #sermon-outline, #spiritual-warfare, #whole-armor-of-god