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You're Armed for Battle [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
April 28, 2023 6:00 am

You're Armed for Battle [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.

It is a life in which every single day we are invited to take up the armor of God, put it on, and wear it, because this is the privilege, this is the benefit, this is the gift of God. These are the benefits and privileges of what Jesus bought for you on the cross. This is what God did for you.

That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series called Ephesians as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program today, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. So as you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer.

Contact us at PastorAlan.org, that's PastorAlan.org, or call 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.

Here is Alan Wright. David says that he wants to fight Goliath. And eventually King Saul lets him, he says, okay, you can go fight on our behalf. But Saul says, here, take my armor.

And it must have been a comical scene because David was nowhere near as tall as Saul. And he puts on this armor, David never worn armor before. And just imagine him clunking around in this armor, and David says, I don't, I can't wear this armor. I don't want this armor. And so David goes out to fight Goliath seemingly with no armor.

And he gets these five smooth stones, the first stone, as you know the story, he slings it, kills the giant. Well, David, as much as any figure in the Old Testament, prefigures Jesus himself. Because Jesus is the son of David. And what you're seeing in that story is that David is essentially saying, I am going to wear a different kind of armor. Whereas Saul had this majestic armor, Saul had no integrity and no righteousness. And David is wearing armor of integrity and righteousness.

He's a man after God's own heart. Saul was a coward with thick armor. David had faith.

So David, what did he do? He beat Goliath with righteousness and faith, a different kind of armor. And when Jesus came, Jesus approached all of life from a different perspective than all the other great leaders. And he loved enemies and fellowshiped with sinners.

He was a friend to the outcast. He marked his life by utter and complete righteousness, never ever once sinning. His word was so full of truth that every single thing he said, he also did.

The only person who's ever done that. Complete integrity. Peace so sweet and so deep that a big storm, a hurricane could be brewing and he's sleeping in the boat. He wore an armor that was different. And what Paul's saying is we don't fight against flesh and blood. And so you don't wear the kind of armament that the world wears, but instead you wear the armor of God.

It's as if this is what's happened. When you accept Christ, you are mysteriously, mystically, eternally joined with Christ. And you being found in Christ are clothed with Christ's armor. If Christ was righteous, that becomes your righteousness. If Christ had peace, then he gives you that peace. If Christ had faith, then he instills in you that same faith.

And so what you do is you adjust to this, that this is who you are. The Lord saw that he needed to send someone into the earth who would have this armor. And so Isaiah prophesied it in chapter 59.

He saw there was no man and wondered that there was no one to intercede. Then his own arm brought him salvation and his righteousness upheld him and he put on righteousness as a breastplate and a helmet of salvation on his head. This is a picture of a messianic picture of Christ himself.

He has come. And when you accept Christ, you get his armor, okay? It's not your armor. You're not forging it. You're not making it.

You're not creating it. You are given this armor and so you can wear it. All right, let's think about the armor just very quickly. Some of these different pieces, the belt of truth. Truth comes first because this is an important piece of the Roman soldier's armor, the belt. Some of the old translations say the girdle because you'd be girded in it. It'd come around and everything hangs on the belt, okay? So the sword hangs on the belt.

In a sense, it's like everything holds together with this. Truth comes first because the spiritual battle is always a battle for truth. Satan is a liar and he's a father of lies.

Lying is the native language of hell. And when you are born again, you are put into a new position with Christ so much so that you're given the mind of Christ. The truth of God is put into you because the Holy Spirit himself is the spirit of truth and he reveals the truth to you and he makes God's word come alive to you. The revelation of truth is not a system of truth.

It's not even a set of doctrines, but he is a person. Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the life. This means that when the battle becomes its fiercest, the first thing to do in all spiritual warfare when you're in this time of temptation is to stop and say, what is the deception that I'm up against here and what is the truth? What is the deception and what is the truth? This constitutes a whole lot of what we do in spiritual ministry here is essentially when we get together in prayer with one another and you get with discerning people under the unction of the Holy Spirit who know the truth and know God's word is that so often what happens is that you're just a seize in your life and how are you being tempted? You're tempted with thoughts that do not match up with the truth of God's word and what happens is we just we replace lies with truth, we replace lies with truth.

So many different ways that our minds get distorted thoughts may come from pain of life, may come because of sinful reactions to trauma that you've experienced, may come because of the culture that you're bombarded with, all of these different ways. So the first and the primary thing in spiritual warfare is the belt of truth. When we talk about girding up your loins, what this is really talking about is that the Roman attire was kind of a robe and so you had to kind of have something, your belt was important, you had to hike that into there, stuff that robe in there so that then you wouldn't be encumbered and you could run, you could move. The belt is the centerpiece, everything hangs on it and then the breastplate of righteousness and here again I cannot overemphasize, it's the armor of God and see I think I grew up believing that the armor was okay, I need to live a righteous life today and that's how I have the breastplate on so if I do something that's not right then I don't have the breastplate on.

I think that's completely opposite of what this means. So what this is referring to is that the armor that God gives you is that when He sees you, when you accept Christ, He sees you dressed in the righteousness of Jesus. It is as if when you accept Christ to God, it is as if you never sinned but it's more than that. It is as if you lived the perfectly meritorious life that Christ did live.

The gospel is so powerful in this because when you realize that when you accept Jesus that God completely forever accepts you and has become propitious towards you, favorable towards you because He sees you in the same way that He sees His perfect Son, the Lord Jesus, this changes everything. Why the symbol of the breastplate that goes from the neck all the way down over the abdomen because we know that when we talk about the deepest part of our being, we talk about our heart, you know what I mean when we say a broken heart? The Greek language would often speak of the deepest feelings as being in the bowels.

It's like you're down in your guts, you know, like this is where your deepest feeling, this is where you could hurt the most, right? And this is covered, it's saying, by the righteousness of Jesus. In other words, what we are so eager to do in life is to find a way to not be rejected, to make ourselves presentable, to make ourselves acceptable.

The whole notion of this causes anxiety in our souls and causes us to be vulnerable to the greatest pain. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing. It's free and just a click away at PastorAlan.org. When you make your donation to Alan Wright Ministries today, we'll not only send you the digital downloads of the entire transformational Ephesians series, but we'll also send you a printable copy of Pastor Alan's booklet, highlighting the most important scriptures about your identity in Christ. Make your gift today and discover a whole new way of seeing your life.

Isn't it time to finally find out who you really are? Today is the final day we're offering this special product. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org.

Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. One of the definitions of righteousness is not measuring up to a mark. And essentially that's what shame is, is a fear that I don't measure up to the mark and so I need to do something.

If we operate out of that mentality, then we are just completely vulnerable to all the wiles of the enemy. But when you recognize that you have been adorned not by your own doing but by the saving grace and mercies of Christ himself, adorned with his righteousness, then you wear the breastplate of righteousness. His righteousness is imputed to you and the great fear of rejection is taken away for you have been accepted in the beloved. And then the shoes. The shoes are described not as the gospel of peace but as the readiness of the gospel of peace. So the shoes are not the peace, the shoes are the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Shoes were a very important part of the soldier's armor because the shoes were protective.

Sometimes in ancient warfare they would have, like what we would have in more modern times, minefields. They would have spikes in the ground and so shoes had to be strong in their souls so that if you stepped on these nails, essentially, that it wouldn't pierce your feet. And also, not only protective, but the shoes were really equipped with the ancient form of cleats.

Okay? They were like cleats that you'd wear on a soccer field and they would give the strong grip. The soldier who plays sports knows that your stance is everything. If you don't have a stance, if you can't move using the ground as leverage and have a stance, if you're just sliding around, you can't make an athletic move. And so in sports, if you're playing football and you slip, then you're down or you get clobbered. But in warfare, if you slip, you're dead. So the shoes were very, very important. So the other thing that's important about the shoes would be that they'd be lightweight so that you could be agile. You need to be able to move.

You need to be able to move quickly. So the image here that Paul is using, they're saying that this is a readiness, okay? This is, we used to always call it in his first taught tenets, ready position, right? Your feet are stable. You're on your toes. You are ready.

You're ready. So what makes you ready in the spiritual battle, he says, is the gospel of peace. This is the peace of Jesus. It is not a peace as the world gives. If I had time to, I'd love to talk to you about how there has been, there is a theme that weaves its way through the scripture of the conflict between the peace that passes understanding and the peace that comes with understanding. We always want to have our minds understand so that we can have peace, right?

We'd so much rather have the money in the bank that we know how we're going to pay for that. We'd so much rather have understanding. And there is a kind of peace that is like, well, I know everything's going to turn out right because I can understand exactly how it's going to turn out right. But there's a different kind of peace, isn't it?

And when you don't see what the solution is, you have no idea how it's going to work out. And yet somehow there's a peace that passes your mind's ability to understand it. And this is the peace of Jesus when he says, my peace I give you, not as the world gives, do I give unto you.

And all throughout the scripture, there's a conflict. It's like, are we going to live by peace that comes with understanding? Are we going to come up to a promised land and see that promised land and then realize that I can't have peace about going into it because it looks like they're giants and I feel too small? Are we going to have a peace that passes understanding? It's like, I don't know how we're going to win this battle, but God's called me to it.

And so therefore I'm going to move forward. And there's a readiness that comes when you have the peace of the gospel, because what the gospel does is announces to you that you have been reconciled with God and no more is there a war between you and God or God and you that you have peace with God. And you have peace therefore that passes all understanding. What this means is that God is utterly for you at every single point.

You're ready with this, ready with the shoes that are readied by the gospel of peace. Isaiah 53 prophesied, he was wounded for our transgressions. He was crushed for our inequities and upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace. He was chastised so that you could have peace that God will not chastise you. We may be corrected, we may be disciplined, but God is utterly at every point for you and you will never be chastised in shame. My peace I give you, Jesus says. And then the shield of faith was a full length, it's not a little shield, it was a shield that would go full length.

I mean, literally almost the size of the man. And you could literally hide behind this and it's particularly noted here by Paul. This is the shield that quenches the fiery arrows or the fiery darts. So it's a picture of artillery that is coming against the soldier that usually was pitched in tar or something and set on fire at its tip and it would come.

And so sometimes they would soak the cover of these shields that would be leather covered and they would soak them so that they're wet and they would quench the flame when it would come. The thing that's interesting about fire is it becomes in the Bible a metaphor of trials and adversities. So the shield of faith is being pictured here is that which you are given that enables you to keep on moving when you're in the midst of fiery trials. And the fiery trials will come. And what's interesting from the picture of warfare is that the fiery trials tend to come most in warfare when you're moving and advancing.

If you're advancing towards a fortified city to take it, you imagine as you're going up towards the hill, that's when the artillery is going to be coming at you the most. And this is part of what Paul is representing here is that we in these times walk by faith and not by sight. So what is faith? Well, faith is spiritual sight. It's not physical sight. It's not intellectual sight, but it is spiritual sight. How does faith come? Why is it that faith is a gift to us?

Why does it come? In Jesus? Well, the picture that we've used in recent years again is David and Goliath. When David sees that the Israeli army is so cowardly that they won't fight the Philistine giant, David says, I'll fight him. And when David goes out there and kills the giant, immediately this army of cowards that have been standing there trembling in their armor every day for 40 days, all of a sudden they let out a war cry and they're like, whoa, you know, and they start chasing the Philistines for 10 miles all the way to Gath. They are chasing these, these listening, defeating them, plundering them. And they are all of a sudden the most faith filled people in the world.

So what happened? They went from being cowards to being courageous. They went from no faith to complete faith.

And only one thing had happened. They saw what their hero did. This is why Hebrews says, look to Jesus, who is the author and the perfecter of your faith. Want more faith? Look to Jesus. Your faith is born when you see Jesus. How does your faith grow?

When you see Jesus, see what Jesus has done for you. Let your heart be fixed upon that and meditate upon that, you see, that's the shield of faith. And when you take up the shield of faith, you're able to move on. And then there's the sword of the spirit, which is the word of the God, the word of God, the only offensive offensive weapon that's listed. In other words, this is how you inflict damage on the enemy.

This is how you take ground. This is what Hebrews means, the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing through the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. That great hymn we sang, one little word shall fell him. The word of God is living and active and sharp and powerful.

If you had no other motivation to take the word of God and just put it into you and just hide the word in your heart and memorize the scripture and just know it so that it just comes out of you, it would be for this person, this very purpose. This is the means by which you will take ground. This is your offensive weapon. This is the way that you defeat the enemy.

You're armed. See, when the people of God came up to the promised land and they saw that there were these, here they'd been slaves for all those years, and they saw the people look like giants and they turn back and a generation died away in the wilderness, but there was a man named Joshua. And when Joshua came and the Lord said to him, everywhere that you step your foot, I'm going to give you that land. Joshua led the people and in they went into the promised land, a land that was flowing with milk and honey, a land of great promise, a land of wonder and beauty. But do you know what they did in the promised land? They fought.

Isn't that some picture? As soon as they got in the promised land, they were fighting battles. They fought against the walls of Jericho. They fought the Philistines. They fought over and over in the promised land. The promised land is also a battleground.

So when you're facing battles, Christians, it doesn't mean, oh, I'm doing something wrong and all of a sudden God's against me. It probably just means you're in the promised land. The life that we are given here on earth is a life of ultimate victory. But it is a life in which every single day we are invited to take up the armor of God, put it on and wear it, because this is the privilege. This is the benefit. This is the gift of God.

These are the benefits and privileges of what Jesus bought for you on the cross. This is what God did for you so that you could live your life girded in the truth, that you could live your life secure in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that you could know for sure that you are saved forever with a helmet of salvation. Your feet shod with readiness from the gospel of peace. The sword of the Spirit be an offensive weapon with which you could move through life always with a shield of faith that is guarding you from the fiery darts so that you never need to shrink back. You are armed for battle and more than conquerors, and that is the gospel.

I'm Allen Wright, and today's teaching, you're armed for battle. Just who do you think you are? Now really think about it. How do you see yourself? If you see yourself as worthless, then you might as well do nothing worthwhile. But if you see yourself as treasured, then you'll invest yourself with joy. If you see yourself as a sinner cursed by your failures, then you'll be anxious and exhausted. If you see yourself as a saint blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, then you'll be confident and free.

How you see yourself determines how you live. In an 11-message series, Pastor Alan Wright takes you on a thrilling journey through the letter to the Ephesians that'll flood your soul with good news and empower you to discover who you are in Christ. When you make your donation to Allen Wright Ministries today, we'll not only send you the digital downloads of the entire transformational Ephesians series, but we'll also send you a printable copy of Pastor Alan's booklet highlighting the most important scriptures about your identity in Christ. Make your gift today and discover a whole new way of seeing your life.

Isn't it time to finally find out who you really are? The gospel is shared when you give to Allen Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Allen Wright Ministries. Today is the final day we're offering this special product. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, pastorallen.org. So Allen, if this was a message that someone wasn't sure they needed, hey, if you're looking for security.

If you want to know for sure that you're His and you're His forever, now you can smile. This message was for you. Yeah, if I could just sum up Ephesians in this sublime, God-breathed proclamation that comes through Paul's pen, but is from the heart of God, is know who you are. If you really know who you are, then it'll change how you think, it'll change what you say, it'll change how you react to people, it'll change everything. And no more fitting way to draw it all to a conclusion and to say that God's given you all of this armor.

This is yours. You are a rightful recipient of the armor of God is His armor on you. And so you're still going to face problems, you're still going to have tribulations. And yes, you're going to still stumble and fall, but you have been designed by God through Jesus Christ in such a way that you can live with a spiritual victory. And that's my prayer for each and every one. Keep in mind over and over and over, who am I in Christ?

Remind yourself in the morning and in the evening when you lie back down and it will change everything. Clearly this is what the Bible teaches and what Paul is wanting to say here at the end of Ephesians. And this battle that we're in, it's cosmic in its nature, and we can pretend like there's not a battle, but that's not going to help us. And so we're going to see how every Christian is in it to win it. And I just don't know of anything more important for our daily living than to understand what it is to get up in the morning and put on the armor of God. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-20 22:05:07 / 2023-06-20 22:15:18 / 10

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