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Spiritual Warfare Requires Spiritual Armor

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
August 19, 2023 4:00 am

Spiritual Warfare Requires Spiritual Armor

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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August 19, 2023 4:00 am

GUEST: MATT MORRELL, pastor, Fourth Baptist Church (Plymouth, MN)

The Bible clearly teaches that Satan was created by God as the preeminent angel before Satan arrogantly desired to be like God (Isaiah 14), rebelling against God and persuading, as some interpreters believe, one third of the angels to join his rebellion.

For this, God cast Satan out of his high position in heaven. Satan and his demons now engage in relentless warfare against God, leading non-believers into sin and away from being reconciled to God and tempting Christians to compromise their service to God.

Satan is mentioned all over Scripture. 1 Peter 5 says: “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 John 5 says “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”

In short, there is a great spiritual war taking place for the souls of men. This is why the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 6, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

So how can Christians defend themselves in this war? How is the war manifested—is everything difficult that happens to us because of Satan? And what is the “spiritual armor” that Paul describes that Christians are to “take up”—the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit?

Matt Morrell, pastor of Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth, MN and president of Central Seminary and the radio station it operates in Minneapolis (WCTS AM1030), as well as Fourth Baptist Christian School, joins us to discuss his 10-part preaching series this summer on Spiritual Warfare from Ephesians 6:10-20.

We hope you benefit from understanding how the spiritual armor God provides for the Christian is fully effective to “stand firm” and “resist” the wicked one.
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Spiritual warfare requires spiritual armor. That is a topic we'll discuss today on the Christian Worldview radio program where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. I'm David Wheaton, the host. The Christian Worldview is a listener-supported radio ministry.

You can connect with us by visiting our website, TheChristianWorldview.org, calling our toll-free number, 1-888-646-2233, or by writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Before we get to our preview for today's program, I just want to give a brief update on the appeal that you've been hearing the last several weeks during the breaks in this program for support on the new stations and networks that we launched on last year in 2022. Well, the good news is that listeners are responding and things are heading in a more viable direction for most of those stations, so thank you for that.

Now, that being said, we still have a ways to go on these new stations, so we're going to leave up the announcement for now. In the meantime, we are creating a page on our website that will detail the list of needs so that you can see them in case you'd like to support The Christian Worldview in our mission. We find that listeners sometimes aren't familiar with how Christian radio operates financially.

It's a bit unusual compared to other types of media. The Christian Worldview purchases airtime on stations in the hope of impacting listeners with the biblical worldview and the gospel, stepping out in faith that listeners will then support the program through making donations, becoming a Christian Worldview partner, purchasing resources, coming to events, and other things like that. Now, speaking of events, our one annual in-person fundraising event is coming up on Monday, September 18th. This is the Christian Worldview golf event here in Minnesota. Now, even if you're not a golfer, even if you're not local to Minnesota, we're going to let you know in the coming weeks how you can be a part of this annual event. So the best way to stay up to date on all that is happening with The Christian Worldview is to subscribe to our free e-newsletter. You get updates on program topics, links to the guests and recommended resources, events we have coming up, and much more. If you want to do that, just go to thechristianworldview.org or call us toll-free 1-888-646-2233 to have your email address put on the e-newsletter list. We won't sell it or share it, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Okay, now to the preview for today's program. The Bible clearly teaches that Satan was created by God as the preeminent angel before Satan arrogantly desired to be like God. You can read about that in Isaiah 14, rebelling against God and persuading, as some interpreters believe, one-third of the angels to join him in his rebellion. For this, God cast Satan out of his high position in heaven, and Satan and his demons now engage in relentless warfare against God, leading non-believers into sin and away from being reconciled to God, and tempting Christians to compromise in their service, their walk with God. Satan is mentioned all over scripture.

For example, 1 Peter 5 says, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Or 1 John 5 says, The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

Think about that. In short, there is a great spiritual war taking place all the time for the souls of men and women. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians chapter 6 that our quote struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. So how can Christians defend themselves in this war?

And how is this war manifested? Is everything difficult that happens in a Christian's life because of Satan? And what is the spiritual armor that the Apostle Paul describes that Christians are to quote, take up the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. Well, joining us today is Matt Morrell. He's the pastor of Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth, Minnesota, and president of Central Seminary and the radio station it operates in Minneapolis, which is WCTS, as well as Fourth Baptist Christian School. He joins us to discuss his 10-part preaching series this summer on spiritual warfare from Ephesians 6 verses 10 through 20. And just as a note, my wife Brody and I are members of Fourth Baptist Church and are thus accountable to their pastoral staff. This is important to us with the Christian worldview being a parachurch ministry. The Christian worldview isn't trying to be a radio church or starter movement, but rather complement the mission of our local church. So we hope you benefit how the spiritual armor that God provides for the Christian is fully effective to quote, stand firm and quote, resist the wicked one.

Now before we get to the interview, is it just me or have you noticed that the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places are becoming more front and center? You probably heard earlier this spring that Target Corporation, which is based here in Minneapolis, contracted with Abprolin, this is according to the National Review, a clothing brand that sells Satanist merchandise to create products for its Pride collection. According to the article here, Abprolin's owner is a self-described gay trans man based in London. The brand sells shirts, pins, and stickers with the design of a pastel goat head, which is representative of Satan, and the message, Satan respects pronouns. Quote, Satan loves you and respects who you are.

You're important and valuable in the world and you deserve to treat yourself with love and respect. LGBT plus people are so often referred to as being a product of Satan or going against God's will, so fine. We'll hang with Satan instead, the company stated in another Instagram caption. Quote, Satanists don't actually believe in Satan. He is merely used as a symbol of passion, pride, and liberty.

He means to you what you need him to mean. So for me, Satan is hope, compassion, equality, and love. Unquote. Well, if that's not enough, according to the Hill online publication headline, after school Satan clubs gain popularity amid legal victories. Quoting from the article, after school Satan clubs have been steadily increasing in popularity and are not likely to slow as their supporters rack up media attention in legal wins fighting for free speech. The clubs associated with the satanic temple and offered only in primary schools, the youngest children, begin at the beginning of 2020. So this is a recent phenomenon and quickly gained attention from parents who wanted an alternative to religious clubs, according to June Everett, campaign director of the after school Satan club.

Quote, that's kind of when things started blowing up, she said, and I anticipate that every year moving forward is going to get busier and busier. Quote, we're definitely not interested in having children identify as Satanists, said Rose Bastette, who has been involved with the satanic temple for four years. Everett said the clubs are excellent alternatives to Christian after school groups for agnostics, atheists, and religious minorities, such as pagans, emphasizing that groups actual activities can encompass nearly anything.

Last paragraph, the satanic temple has looked into expanding into high schools, but says it is difficult because students must be more actively engaged to keep the club running as opposed to primary schools where the groups are adult run and easier to implement—in other words, target the youngest, most vulnerable, most innocent children. Now, this week on Truth For Life, which is the radio ministry of Pastor Alistair Begg, they had a series on the devil and demons, where he quoted John Calvin. John Calvin in his Institutes says this, We have been forewarned that an enemy relentlessly threatens us—an enemy who is the very embodiment of rash boldness, of military prowess, of crafty wiles, of untiring zeal and haste, of every conceivable weapon and of skill in the science of warfare. We must, then, bend our every effort to this goal, that we should not let ourselves be overwhelmed by carelessness nor faint-heartedness, but on the contrary, with courage rekindled, stand our ground in combat. Wish I had written that, don't you?

That's terrific! If we had all the rest of our lives, we probably—a few of us—could write a statement concerning spiritual warfare that is as succinct and helpful as Calvin was able to put it there. Satan is not a figment of the imagination. He is real, and he is not some vague embodiment of evil. He is personal.

That was Alistair Begg. And with that as context for our discussion today on spiritual warfare, let's get to the interview with Pastor Matt Morrell of Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth, Minnesota. Matt, it's so good to have you on the Christian Worldview radio program today. Before we get into our topic of spiritual warfare requiring spiritual weapons, tell us how and why you put your faith in Jesus Christ, and how did you know you were called to be a pastor? Thank you, David.

It's great to be with you on the program today. I was so blessed to grow up in a Christian home. In fact, my father was a pastor, and consequently, I heard the gospel at the earliest of my remembrance and was always under the sound of preaching and teaching.

But as a child, it became personal to me. In early of 1981, I came to understand that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. I was at a backyard Bible club. The teacher was giving the simple gospel lesson, and I responded to that, put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ at that time.

And it was the simple faith of a child. And I'm so grateful for being exposed to the gospel early on and for God calling me and drawing me to Himself, and that as a pastor's son then, I wasn't necessarily interested in being a pastor. I wanted to have more adventure in life. I wanted to be a pilot. I wanted to be a lawyer.

I wanted to go into broadcasting, actually, for a time. But over the course of time, God just impressed upon me a love for His Word and for His Church. And I might describe a call as a burden that doesn't go away, and over the course of time in my adolescent years into my college years, I could not escape a burden that just was persistent. And I would point to that as God's calling me to be in pastoral ministry.

Wouldn't trade it for the world, and wild horses couldn't drag me from it. I'm so grateful for my salvation and the Lord finding me faithful and putting me into ministry. Yeah, I heard one pastor say one time, if you can do anything else but being a pastor, you should do it. In other words, it's got to be such a clear burden like you just described it. That's right, and in fact, I think that's some of what has sustained me by God's grace through difficult times of pastoral ministry.

It's going back and recognizing the clarity of a call. It gives me the courage to survive some of the stormy days in ministry. All right, Matt, you did a sermon series this summer on spiritual warfare, taken right from Ephesians chapter 6. I'm just going to read the passage and then follow up with each piece of armor that Paul listed in his letter to the Ephesian church, and then have you give a little more explanation.

I'll include some of the bullet points from some of your messages on these topics. And so Ephesians 6 says, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Verse 13, Therefore, take up the full armor of God so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm, therefore, having done having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Verse 17, And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Now there's a little more of that passage that we'll get into later in our interview about prayer, and Paul concludes it. Let's start out by talking about the context here for why Paul concluded this letter to the Ephesians with sort of a warrior analogy, and then why you chose to preach on this particular passage this summer. The question is a good one, the context of the letter of Ephesians, and that's an important question, because I believe that the best practices for us is to preach and to teach expositionally through books of the Bible, because the context is always the key to the Bible truth, and we never want to extract a Bible truth from its larger context. The larger context here, the letter to the Ephesians, the epistle to the Ephesians, follows a similar format to Paul's other epistles, in which that the first part of the book is positional doctrinal truth. The second part of the book or the letter, the epistle, is practical, and so after multiple chapters here about the richness of our position in Christ and all of the wealth of Ephesians chapter one and our salvation, Paul then gets to some practical things at the end, and as you read in verse number 10 there, Ephesians 6 verse 10, Paul says finally, and that's not a conclusion, it's a climax, so he's saying after everything that I've written here in the the first part of this letter, finally this climax, and it could be translated from now on, and it says that Paul is saying what I've written to you about the wealth of your position in Christ is now your walk in Christ, and ultimately he writes of waging the warfare in the strength of Christ, so from now on this is what you will be facing, and I think it's relevant to us today as modern western Christians because we go from our position to our practice, and it is war before us.

It really is war. Pastor Matt Morrell with us today here on the Christian Rule of Your Radio program talking about how spiritual warfare requires spiritual weapons, and we're going to go through each one of those weapons listed, but before we get to the first one we'll take a short break for some ministry announcements. You are listening to the Christian Rule of Your Radio program.

I'm David Wheaton. God's truth is enduringly true throughout all the generations. It transcends culture. The church is always going to be an embattled people. If it's swimming with the tide, it's not being the church of Jesus Christ.

Look to the past, learn from the past, because the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. That was from the just released documentary, The Essential Church, which chronicles how three churches followed God's command to gather during the pandemic rather than comply with arbitrary government mandates. Normal retail is $12.99 plus shipping for this two-hour film. For a limited time you can order the DVD for a donation of any amount to The Christian Worldview. Order at thechristianworldview.org or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233 or write to box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. You may recall that last year The Christian Worldview had the opportunity to expand to new markets such as Salem stations in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., life-changing radio network in the Northeast, and American Christian Network. We expanded for one purpose, to reach new listeners with the biblical worldview in the gospel. If you listen to the program on one of these stations, we are asking for your help as we are well behind recouping our cost of airtime through listener support. We are praying for new Christian worldview partners who will help us remain on the air in these markets.

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Be sure to visit our website, thechristianworldview.org, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. Our topic today is spiritual warfare requires spiritual armor, and our guest is Pastor Matt Morrell of Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth, Minnesota. Matt, we're going to play some sound bites from Tucker Carlson. Many listeners will know him as the former number one rated television political talk program on Fox News before Fox let him go or fired him. Just several months ago this took place, and we have some clips of some various either interviews or speeches he's recently given. Someone asked him about the last election, whether it was a free and fair election, and he clearly has doubt about that and how that can affect the future of our constitutional republic if you don't have fair elections. But then he went into another angle, which I think was unexpected. He started to discuss how he has come to realize after all his years in politics and what is taking place right now in America, he said something like there are unseen forces acting on people now.

Let's play the soundbite and I'll follow up with a question. Well, I'm clinging to the hope that elections still matter. I really want to believe that because I'm American in a very fundamental way.

But leaving aside even elections, I think it's clearly a pivot point in history, and I don't think the issues that we debate and really are in some ways distractions are the core issues at all. There are forces, unseen forces acting on people. People, while they have free will, of course, and they can make decisions and they live with the consequences of those decisions, they're not really in charge of the arc of history at all. They are being acted upon a lot, okay?

And I never really appreciated that because I'm American. And so I grew up with this feeling that we're the sum total of our choices. Well, that's not what I'm reading at all. People's choices matter. You need to do certain things and not do other things. On the other hand, you are not in charge. You are being acted upon by a world you can't see. And that, by the way, is consistent with my life experience. I feel like it's really important to approach politics with that in mind.

Like, a lot of these issues are symbols of this much larger battle. Very interesting comments by Tucker Carlson. He's not a professing born-again Christian. I think he's Episcopalian. In another Psalm by coming up, he's going to talk about how he started reading the Bible for the first time this year, and he's in his mid-50s. And the things he's discovered, he said, have been maybe the most important thing he's done in his life.

So clearly something's going on inside of him. But what are your thoughts on what he was just saying about where we are in our country now? And he sees these unseen forces acting on us, just sort of as we read in Ephesians 6, about our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. I'm not sure he's maybe knowledgeable about that particular passage, but I think he's seeing something, or he's almost alluding to that, where someone maybe outside core Orthodox biblical Christianity is seeing something going on in our country.

What are your thoughts on that? Well, David, I think it's remarkable insight that he has, as one who may not be a born-again believer, but pastorally, I share the burden. I fear that those inside the church as well as outside the church are oblivious to the spiritual warfare that is being waged against us. There are unseen forces that are at work, and in fact that was the subject of my summer series in preaching through these things, the unseen battle. It's an unseen battle that we must note, lest we be taken by surprise. And so it's a powerful insight that Tucker has suggested there. I think it's real. Yeah, it was very interesting. We'll play more from a few other comments that he makes as well coming up here in the program. Pastor Matt Morrell of Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth, Minnesota is our guest today as we talk about spiritual warfare.

Now Matt, it's not just an unseen world. I think it's becoming more seen as well. And let me just read you a couple paragraphs from a recent news story from Alpha News here in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. There's an art center here called Walker Art Center, very well known in this area down in Minneapolis.

Yes. Here's the title of the article. Walker Art Center holds, quote, playful demon summoning session for families. The Walker Art Center has received millions of dollars in taxpayer funds through Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Now listen to what took place during this event. The event, which took place at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, was part of the Walker's Free First Saturdays program and featured artist Tamar Etun, who creates, quote, demon traps. Next paragraph, quote, this is from the literature from the promotional material for the event, quote, families are invited to create a vessel to trap the demon that knows them best, perhaps the demon of overthinking, and then participate in a playful ceremony to summon and befriend their demon. The website for Walker Art Center said the event was designed for families and finished with a, quote, playful demon summoning session. Quote, after designing your trap, Lylett the empathetic demon will come from the dark side of the moon to lead you in locating your feelings using ancient Babylonian techniques, the website explains. This collective and playful demon summoning session will conclude with a somatic movement meditation designed to help you befriend your shadows. Just one more paragraph because it truly is something a very well-known organization like this.

Now this is interesting. Here's more about the worldview behind this event. The exhibition parts or goes away from the historical gender binarism that associates Lylett, that's the demon, archetype with unchecked violence and manipulation.

Here, Lylett, again the demon, mediates the inner demons and renegade instincts that are deliberately silenced, the exhibition details. This event, I think if it had taken place 10 or 15 or 20 years ago in America, people would be completely shocked and outraged. Well, David, yeah, there's no words for that, and I was not aware of that, thank you for bringing that to light, and perhaps these are the things that Tucker Carlson as a journalist is also discovering, and it's a great threat to our country and our culture.

It really is, really shocking what's going on. You see this, I think even with the transgender movement, the abortion movement, there is a deeply dark spiritual satanic influence in that whole world. Pastor Matt Morrell is with us today here on The Christian Real View. How does our struggle, you know, not against flesh and blood, how is that manifested in the believer's life? I know it can be different for different people, but how not to conclude in one's life that everything is about a spiritual attack? I think you mentioned this in one of your sermons, that you can overemphasize this as every problem is due to Satan or the demons attacking me, rather than the world and my flesh. So how to sort of arrive at a right kind of balance, a biblical balance on this issue?

I don't think we need to have an attraction to all things that are unseen in the spiritual warfare around us, neither should we have an aversion to them. And we need to find balance and respond biblically. But it's common for us to default to the devil made me do it type of excuse. And I would submit for the believer, before the devil made you do it, very possibly, the world and the flesh made you do it. And the enemies of the soul, the world, the flesh, and the devil, the devil doesn't necessarily need to tempt me or assault me apart from my own flesh.

I'm depraved in myself, and my heart will default to carnality because of the sin that's within me, Paul even said in Romans chapter 7, a wretched man that I am. And so I think we need to be careful not to credit the wicked one with every failure in our Christian life experience. On the other hand, we must be mindful that he is oppressing us and seeking to devour us and firing his darts at us in every way. The struggle, I think, manifests itself in different ways for different people. I think the King James Version, the wiles of the devil, or the schemes of the devil, and these evil tricks that are manifested in different ways, temptations that may lead to addictions. It may manifest itself in dark depressions and despair. It might manifest itself in any other vice of our human experience.

And so I think it manifests itself in a believer's life in different ways. That's some of the difficulty in addressing these things, because they are so varied, and the wicked one is so creative after millennia of targeting Christians and the men and the women of God. Just on the same issue of the attacks of Satan, in one of your earlier messages in this 10-part series, you said, the enemy, Satan, is more powerful than the strongest man. Our duty is not to defeat, but to defend against Satan's attack.

You said God is the one who will defeat Satan. You hear often today, we need to rebuke Satan and cast him out, or exorcism. What is the correct biblical approach to the question of rebuking Satan versus resisting him? Biblically, we're called to resist. And in Ephesians 6, as you read just a moment ago, we are called to stand, to withstand. I think it is in error for us to pursue the exorcism, the rebuking, and the aggressive offensive counter-attack to Satan. Many believers will look to the Gospels, they'll look to the Book of Acts, and they'll observe that Jesus rebuked demons. Jesus' disciples aspired for that same power.

But that's really absent from the rest of the New Testament as a practice that we ought to engage in. And so I would counsel a believer with great sobriety and humility to stand and resist, but not to engage in the hubris of thinking that we can take on Satan. It's often, I think, an error of preachers that are proud and loud, and they will boast, you know, I dare Satan to come at me because I can handle him, I can take him, and I think we err in that way. Pastor Matt Morrell with us today here on The Christian World View. We're talking about spiritual warfare, how it requires spiritual weapons as part of his 10-part sermon series on this topic from Ephesians chapter 6 this summer.

And you can hear these sermons by going to our website, thechristianworldview.org, where we have a link directly over to this sermon series. Let's get into the first piece of armor that Paul lists here, the belt of truth. Matt, we're in a truth war in our society.

Constant assertions that boys can become girls and vice versa, and abortion is healthcare, and love is love for marriage, it's unending. Even in the church, we see the battle right now that women should be pastors, clear teaching in the Bible otherwise, but this is the way it is right now, this truth war. And so the belt of truth, you mentioned in your message on this topic, you said, truth can't be determined philosophically and pragmatically, truth must have a theological source. All truth is from God. So explain how truth must have a theological source, rather than just a conservative political or kind of common sense approach to truth, and how a Christian must be diligent to accurately know and how to proclaim truth in society in the church.

Well, David, this matter is not a modern phenomenon. From the beginning, Genesis, the Garden of Eden, Satan assaulted Eve on the basis of truth, saying or asking, has God indeed said? So from the very beginning, the crisis has been a crisis of truth, and this piece of the armor, the belt of truth, is where we begin. In fact, it was also then Pontius Pilate who asked Jesus, what is truth?

And so really, this is an age-old crisis, and we must establish objective truth. And as you mentioned, truth cannot be determined pragmatically or philosophically or in any other way. Truth must be sourced in God. And in that, God is absolute, truth is absolute. In that, God is immutable, truth is immutable. In that, God is authoritative, truth is authoritative. And so really, this goes to the core of theology, not philosophy, to the core of theology, not politics or anything else. So we go to the person and the character of God and what God has said to identify and establish truth, knowing that Satan is a liar, he's the father of lies, and he will undermine and twist and pervert the truth. He will assault us in areas of doubt regarding truth. And that's all he needs to do, is just introduce doubt.

Any reason why this is the first piece of armor mentioned by Paul, the belt of truth? Well, that's a great point, a great insight, I think, because we have to start with truth. It's the non-negotiable, absolute benchmark for every other conversation.

And in going back again to Genesis and a Christian worldview that is rooted in the Genesis account that God is, God has spoken, and this is truth. Okay, I want to put another soundbite from Tucker Carlson. I think this was a speech he gave, and he talked about how he's learned over his life in politics, and he's speaking the political realm here, that debating issues, marshaling facts and truth claims on one side, doesn't really gain ground with those on the other side. So let's hear the soundbite, and I'm going to follow up with a question for you.

I'm just noting what's super obvious. Those of us who are in our mid-50s are caught in the past in the way that we think about this. One side's like, no, I've got this idea, and we've got this idea, and let's have a debate about our ideas. They don't want a debate.

Those ideas won't produce outcomes that any rational person would want under any circumstances. Those are manifestations of some larger force acting upon us. It's just so obvious. It's completely obvious, and I think two things.

One, we should say that and stop engaging in these totally fraudulent debates where we are using the terms that we used in 1991 when I started Heritage, as if maybe I could just win the debate if I marshaled more facts. I've tried that, doesn't work, and two, maybe we should all take just like 10 minutes a day to say a prayer about it. I'm serious. Why not?

Like, why not? Now, Matt, I'm just going to play a little more of the audio of the host from where this soundbite came from on a video podcast called Fighting for Truth. The name of the host is Colin. He followed up what Tucker said by saying this. Stop thinking that it all comes down to debating the issues or presenting all the facts. Stop thinking that if you just presented all the facts in a clear, rational way, then we could solve the deepest problems that we have in the culture of war.

As Tucker says here, he's tried putting all the emphasis on having the facts, and it rarely works, if ever, because these people we're up against don't care about facts. They care about worshiping themselves. In other words, this isn't a political persuasion. Radical leftism is a religion. In fact, it's a false religion. If you don't believe me, try debating the facts with an advocate of unaliving babies in the womb. Life begins at conception, you might say, when a new and unique genetic code is created, and you'd be correct.

That's a fact. But guess how many people on the other side care? Virtually no one, because they want to be God. They want to recreate the world in their image and be the arbiters of what is life and what is not. Or try debating the facts with someone who's in favor of the trans agenda. There are only two sexes, two genders, male and female. This, too, is an undeniable fact, both biblically and scientifically. See Genesis 1 27. But again, they don't care.

If I want to be a woman, they say, then I can be a woman, because I identify that way, and it's my right because I said so. Do you see the circular reasoning being employed in both these situations? It's not a debate about the facts.

It never has been. You need to get that out of your mind. This is fundamentally one religion that is true and another religion that is false.

Don't let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise. And the sooner we figure this out as Christians, the more clear our thinking will be on these topics. So whether what Tucker Carlson said or the host said to follow, that debating the other side just based on, quote, the facts or the truth is often pointless. So the question is, how do we explain or how do we be persuasive with the truth of God's Word to a world that doesn't believe in that truth, that doesn't even want to hear that truth, that has a completely different foundation for, quote, their own truth?

David, that's a million dollar question that I will struggle to answer. As a presuppositionalist, meaning by faith, I begin by faith, trusting and accepting that God is, Hebrews 11, to please God, we must begin by believing that God is, that's Genesis 1, verse number 1, that God has spoken. As a presuppositionalist, I accept that. An evidentialist may try to, with facts, convince an unbeliever of truth. But again, this is where the spiritual warfare is waging. Satan has blinded the eyes of those so that they cannot see the light of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. And this is where we feel stuck at an impulse of trying to convince the depraved mind of truth. And this is why the truth war is really where it all begins in spiritual warfare. And that is why when Jesus is in the wilderness with Satan, being tempted by Satan, Jesus has to go back and say, it is written, it is written, it is written, inciting the truth of what God has said. And I think the belt of truth for the believer is the first piece of armor that we must take up and put on for a wage war.

Very true. And it is the supernatural truth of God's word that breaks through the blindness, more so than our persuasive articulation of things, even facts and studies and so forth. As I'm getting older and over, beginning to realize, and I should have realized this long ago, of course, that how powerful living and active and powerful God's Word is.

And that's what can break through the truth. And you get the truth and someone in God can use that to penetrate a hard heart and ears that are plugged and a heart that's unwilling to listen to the truth. Matt Morrell with us today here on The Christian Realty, the pastor of Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth, Minnesota. All right, we'll take a short time out for some ministry announcements, but stay tuned. Much more coming up on spiritual warfare.

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I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website thechristianrealview.org where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter. Order resources for adults and children and support the ministry. Our topic today is Spiritual Warfare Requires Spiritual Armor and our guest is Pastor Matt Morrell of 4th Baptist Church in Plymouth, Minnesota. Let's get on to the next piece of armor, Matt, from the belt of truth to the breastplate of righteousness, Ephesians 6 14. Stand firm then, Paul writes, with the belt of truth. We talked about that buckled around your waist with the breastplate of righteousness in place. And here's a couple bullet points from your sermon on this piece of armor. True Christianity is not just orthodoxy or orthopraxy, but also orthopathy. You have to explain that one.

Hold on now. You said that this breastplate of righteousness doesn't refer to personal self-righteousness, but it has to do with positional or imputed righteousness and practical imparted righteousness. We have some doctrinal theological terms here I'd like you to explain as to how the believer can practically appropriate or put this piece of armor to practice.

Great, David. I'll begin with the first comment you made regarding orthodoxy, orthopraxy, and orthopathy. Orthodoxy, right doctrine.

That's super important. Orthopraxy, we conduct ourselves honorably before the Lord and one another. But then there's that third, the orthopathy, and that's right feelings or emotions, or I'll use the word sentiments, or the best word from Jonathan Edwards is affections. These feelings, these emotions, these sentiments, these affections, how do we rightly feel about God in His word? What is an ordinate affection?

What is an inordinate affection? So when we talk about the breastplate of righteousness, the breastplate is that which protects. It protects the torso of one's body where the heart, the vital organs, the gut is. And so there in the heart, we think with the heart as a man thinks in his heart, and we feel in the guts.

It's the Greek spelachna. It's just that feeling, sentiment, affections. And so the breastplate of righteousness is that which protects the vital organs and, as the ancients understood, the place of thinking and feeling. And it's important as believers that we think rightly and that we feel rightly. And this is where Satan is going to attack.

He's going to target our torso, our heart, our gut, where we think and where we feel. And so we need this breastplate of righteousness. All right, the righteousness part. Whose righteousness is being described here? Is it man's self-righteousness?

No. In fact, Jesus told those listening to his Sermon on the Mount, unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. And so it's not man's self-righteousness. It's got to be the righteousness of Jesus Christ that has been imputed to us positionally. So the breastplate of righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that covers those vital organs and the important part of my torso. When Satan is assaulting my thinking, when he's assaulting my feeling, my heart and my gut, then I have the positional righteousness of Jesus Christ that is covering me. That you stand on, that you put your faith in, that you're positionally righteous before Christ. And that leads to practical righteousness or sanctification. There's how theology and right doctrine can affect right living and also right feeling as well, orthopathy.

So thank you for explaining that. Again, Pastor Matt Morrell with us today on the Christian Real Review. Talking about spiritual warfare requires spiritual weapons. We're going through Ephesians chapter 6, based on a 10-part summer series he did on this passage. Okay, we've gone from the belt of truth to the breastplate of righteousness, and let's get to the next one. It is, Have your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Now, in this particular sermon, you went through Romans chapter 5, the first 11 verses.

I'm just going to read the first two verses. Paul writes to the Romans, Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we exalt in hope of the glory of God. And you said, just a few bullet points for the message, that the objective fact is that the believer has peace with God. He's been reconciled to God. Where there was once alienation, there's been now peace with God.

And then you said, The subjective feeling is that we have assurance of our salvation. You said Ephesians 6, 15, here with the preparation of the gospel of peace isn't so much about going, but standing. It's not about evangelizing the unbeliever, but about strengthening the believer. It's about being prepared to proclaim the gospel of peace to ourselves.

So that was a lot. But how is this gospel of peace, the preparation of the gospel, that your feet being shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, this is a standing, this is a grounding, this is like a foundation you have. Explain that more.

Sure thing. In Romans chapter 10, we have the familiar passage, How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring good tidings. Many times we'll immediately conflate the gospel of peace in Ephesians 6 with the gospel of peace in Romans chapter 10.

And I'm contending that they are different. We do take the gospel of peace to others. They need to be reconciled to God. They need to have peace with God because of the gospel, Romans chapter 10. However, in the context, going back to the letter to the Ephesians, in the context, it's about the gospel of peace enabling us to stand, that you may be able to stand, that you may be able to withstand, that you may stand therefor repeatedly in Ephesians chapter 6. And so I would contend that we need to shod our feet with the gospel of peace. We need to put on the gospel shoes so that we can stand, not necessarily so that we should go, at least in this context. And we do that by preaching the gospel to ourselves over and over and over again. The gospel shouldn't be a talking point at our conversion, but the gospel should be a talking point throughout the course of our Christian life. We are grounded, standing firm in the truth of the gospel message, and that gives us the ability to resist the wicked one. And we celebrate the reconciliation and the peace that we have with God through Jesus Christ. How do you preach the gospel to yourself? Just an example of going through a day?

How would that take place? Great, great question, David. So I may become discouraged in a day, and I'm convinced that nobody loves me.

Well, that is not true. God so loved the world that He gave Jesus Christ. I have failed again. I have sinned again, and I know the depth of my own depravity, and I'm discouraged by that. I go back to the gospel, the forgiveness that was accomplished by His shed blood on the cross.

I fear that I'll never have victory over the wicked one. Well, I go back to the gospel. Jesus rose from the grave, defeated death and the wicked one, so I know that positionally I have been raised with Christ. And so in every circumstance of life, I go back to the gospel, and I find application of the gospel to my daily life.

So there it is. The gospel is not just for our justification, but it's also for our sanctification. Our guest today has been Pastor Matt Morrell of Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth, Minnesota. We have three more pieces of armor to go—the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and also the supply line, the power of prayer behind the armor and the weapons that we will get into next week in part two. Again, you can hear this 10-part series on spiritual warfare by going to our website thechristianrealview.org, and there's a link to the sermons there. The website gotquestions.org says this about Satan. Satan became the ruler of this world and the prince of the power of the air. He is an accuser and a deceiver. His very name means adversary or one who opposes. Another of his titles, the devil, means slanderer. He counterfeits all that God does, hoping to gain the worship of the world and encourage opposition to God's kingdom. Satan is the ultimate source behind every false cult and world religion. Satan will do anything and everything in his power to oppose God and those who follow God. However, Satan's destiny is sealed in eternity in the lake of fire. That's from Revelation chapter 20.

They referenced with that last sentence. So the believer doesn't need to live in fear or dread of Satan. We simply need to use the spiritual armor and weapons that God has provided to be able to stand firm and to resist him. 2 Corinthians chapter 10 says, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

God gives the believer his word so that we can have the discernment, so that we can recognize the lies of the world, the flesh, and the devil. And this armor can be put on so we can stand firm in the myths of it. However, if you are not a born-again Christian, if you have not put your trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, you will not be able to use this armor. You will not be able to discern the lies of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

In fact, you will be overcome by them. So I urge you today to obey Jesus' command to repent and believe in the gospel, the good news that Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, came to earth and lived a perfect life without sin, and then offered himself on the cross in a bloody death as God poured out his justice and wrath on his own Son instead of you. To slightly paraphrase 2 Corinthians 5 21, God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin on your behalf so that you might become the righteousness of God in him. And so we urge you to make today the day that you believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Thank you for joining us today on the Christian Real View Radio program.

In just a moment, there will be information on how you can hear a replay of today's program, order transcripts and resources, and support this non-profit radio ministry. Let's anchor ourselves in what Scripture says. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. So until next time, think biblically, live accordingly, and stand firm. The mission of the Christian Real View is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. We hope today's broadcast encouraged you toward that end. To hear a replay of today's program, order a transcript, or find out what must I do to be saved, go to thechristianrealview.org or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Real View is a listener-supported non-profit radio ministry furnished by the Overcomer Foundation. To make a donation, become a Christian Real View partner, order resources, subscribe to our free newsletter, or contact us, visit thechristianrealview.org, call 1-888-646-2233, or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. That's Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian Real View.
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