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October 8, 2021 4:00 am
This is war and every child of God as a soldier and we've all been drafted and you can't dodge the draft and there are no deferments and if you don't know that there's a war, you just lost the battle.
We have so much in Christ we have so much of the word of God to give us direction.
We have the indwelling Holy Spirit, and yet we can't scan on can't smugly say well I got all this going from him.
We have to recognize, you may not know that in his earliest days as a picture Ruth unconsciously stuck out his tongue. Only when he threw curveballs, which warned the batter and gave him a terrific advantage. Now think about your life, what might you be doing or not doing that gives the world Satan and your own flesh. An advantage over you and what can you do about that. Find out today on grace to you as John MacArthur continues his study from Ephesians 6 titled the believers armor and now here's John with the lesson in our Bible study this morning to worship the Lord together as we learn more about him by hearing his word in Ephesians chapter 6 and were just kind of now looking at verses 10 to 13 were talking about the believers armor as Paul closes the letter to the Ephesians, he speaks of a great struggle which lies before every believer. We told you last time that Paul is very clear about the fact that the world is a battleground that the whole universe.
In fact, is at war.
There is a war between God and Satan. We see it in many places in Scripture perhaps know more clearly than in the book of Job where Satan and God are in conflict verbally. The conflict between God and Satan comes down to the holy angels and the evil angels, and they are at war comes down another step to good men and evil men, and they too are at war. The whole thing since the fall of man since the curse entered into the earth is a warfare Christian life is a struggle of battle, a wrestling match. As Paul calls it in verse 12, so we literally exist as believers in a life-and-death struggle and frankly people. I don't think everybody understands this is war and every child of God is a soldier and we've all been drafted and you can't dodge the draft and there are no deferments. This is war and if you don't know that there's a warrant you just lost the battle. We have so much in Christ we have so much in the word of God to give us direction. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit, and yet we can't stand on our own confidence. We can't smugly say well I got all of this going for me, I'm all right for script, it's 1012 says let him that. Think of the standard take heed lest he what lest he fall.
We have to recognize it when war no one in return for our resource in this war. The hymn writer said the arm of flesh will fail you dare not trust your own.
We don't turn to ourselves. Isaac Watts wrote from the. The overflowing spring. Our souls shall drink a fresh supply while such as trust their native strengths shall melt away in group and die. We can't trust ourselves and so verse 10 says this finally brother if this is war and just to win, you have to be a soldier. My brother, be strong in the Lord and the power of his might.
That's God's path.
That's God's hundred percent really that's God's part is strength is the issue. God is our strength from these the overflowing spring. Our souls shall drink a fresh supply. He is the resource. The class will fail us and so we must know then that to win the battle. There is a divine energy, there is a divine resource and a divine power that gives us victory but verse 11 says we have to have a part to verse 11 as we saw last time says put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Listen, there is that same divine paradox. The strength is God's.
And yet, the commitment must be ours. We see in the Christian life. The apostle Paul simply says I am crucified with Christ.
Nevertheless I live yet not I Christ. So it is my life and it is Christ in me. This divine paradox we see in every revelation of God's word to man. We see it, even in the Scripture itself book of Ephesians written by Paul gets written by the Holy Spirit. You are saved by God in his sovereignty alone in his grace alone, and yet you committed yourself to Christ, you must live the Christian life. With diligence and commitment. And yet it is God's power and God's power alone living through you and so we see both sides so it's there together here. We are strong in the Lord and it is the power of his might. And yet we must appropriate the resources, Cromwell set it right yet great theology didn't know it when he said, trusting God and keep your powder dry. I remember when I was a boy watching television with my father and it was a boxing match and the fighter was standing in his glory and are going to the little ritual picking his feet and getting it rising on his shoes and and that all of a sudden he knelt down and crossed himself. I said to my dad. Dad does that help and he said it does.
If he can punch the fact the matters of the Funds will do a bit of good. Excess weight is in the Christian life. The strength is God's and the mind is God's, and the powers God doesn't help but doesn't we can punch it doesn't we put the armor on. You see it's a question of availability and appropriation. Beloved, no.
First, it's more no second, the power is there.
And thirdly, you got appropriated not let me go back to verse 12 we left off last I want you to understand how important is to put on the armor is important because of our enemy. Look at verse 12 for we wrestle not against flesh and blood man is not our enemy man is not a that's a good reason why we should hate men is the reason Jesus hated sin and love sinners because the sinner was not really the one was what was behind the center see the God of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not less than the glorious light of the gospel should China demand. The thing you should feel about sinners is to be a loving, sympathetic, gracious, merciful pay because they are the dupes of Satan. If you're going to hate and hate him and his forces is the enemy don't be so foolish as to think that if you got what men you've accomplished the victory.
Men are not the enemy, where men we can cope with men. Our enemy is beyond the human and the point that Paul is making here is you cannot do this on your own. You cannot fight this battle on your own is not a human battle you as a human being are fighting against a superhuman force and not just one of them. Satan is not a solitary enemy, he has amassed a force of demon beings that are so vast there beyond our ability to know not how does he define the much look back where we left off with the terms of verse 12.
You will notice that the word against appears before each of these separate items against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly snail notice the use of the word against separate each of the categories you have principalities you have powers you have rulers and you have wicked spirits literally. Now these are simply categories of demon beings here. It is Paul's statement. We are fighting a superhuman fall highly intensely organized in God's governmental order. You'll notice the as you study God in the holy angels, God had the Angels organized you you God created all the angels I believe the Bible says all easels at one time angels do not procreate.
So they were all created some pointed in past eternity. They were all created at one point in time. They have existed since that time they were created differently just like people are different. Angels are different. They're all different kinds of angels, for example, reading the Bible about archangels and then we read about cherubim and read about Seraphim and we read about principalities and powers in thrones and dominions and those are even called strengths or mites and you look at that look at first chapter of Ephesians verses 20 and 21 we have some of those terms. So God is organize this whole angelic force from the top down. We got the archangels and then you got the principalities and then the powers of the thrones and the dominions in the mites and the cherubim and the Seraphim and they all different functions all different capacities. For example, read the book of Daniel, go back in chapters 9 and 10 and you get some insights into this, God gave orders perhaps to the archangels and the archangels within disseminate the orders to the host of angels would carry them out, and in Daniel's case some angels on the way to assisting Daniel this angels on his way to assisting Daniel.
He gets confronted up into heaven somewhere by a demon who will hold him up. I don't know how that works. Their spirit beings but that's not for me to know someday maybe I well but anyway this demon holds up this holy angel from accomplishing his purpose and so God then dispatches Michael who is super Angel Archangel.
He comes down gives a shot to the demon and sends the angel on his way, which means that one Angel apparently has greater resources in dealing with the faux and another which simply points out the distinctions in angelic being.
Now there are among the demons distinctions also rise. You have the principalities and the powers who may be more involved in the higher operations and then you have look at the phrase the rulers of the darkness of this world literally should be translated. The world rulers of this darkness, these would be demons that infiltrated the political structure of the world. They are called world rulers of this darkness, the term darkness refers to hell, and the pit and the dominion of Satan when you were saved. Colossians 113 says you were taken out of the kingdom of darkness were translated out of the kingdom of darkness.
The Bible says that hell is a place of darkness where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing and gnashing of teeth is called outer darkness. So darkness is synonymous with the dominion of demon with the abode of Satan.
So what were saying is this beloved that we are in a warfare that is very sophisticated there a high-ranking and powerful demons who are principalities and powers.
There are others who have found themselves to be occupying places of world leadership as they literally indwell the world rulers so the battle lines are drawn is against this incredible force that we fight, we are pitted against an enemy that is behind us we can't see we can't touch. We can outthink outwit that that is deceiving that is lying that is powerful, supernatural, superhuman. That's where the battle lines and the sooner you realize it the better off you to be.
That's where the battle lines and if you know there's a battle. As I said you probably lost one along the way because you really haven't taken time to think it through. Now what is the object of our work for what is our part. What are we supposed to do. Verse 13 we just cannot talk about this for a minute. Wherefore, that's where you need to notice was if the strength is in the Lord.
Verse 10 and we have all available armor verse 11 and if the enemy is the strong if the enemy is this comprehensive if the enemy is this powerful wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, I mean, you better get on if it's this serious. If God is so powerful and armor is so necessary and the enemy is so double then get that's what he said you can't be indifferent. You can lose put your armor on so that you may be able to withstand in the evil day say when is the evil day today. Today's evil day right so tomorrow be and so has every day been since Satan usurped the throne of the world. This is the evil day from the time the usurper took over until he is cast into the bottomless pit is the evil day, and evil assaults the kingdom of God and he says that you may be able to withstand. You must have the armor and having done all, to stand by like to stay well you know I like to see when the shock of battle is over and the dust settles and the smoke clears that somebody stay. I was in Scotland man came to me and Frazier burrowed in a backwards collar. Some of them do up there church. He said I am a minister and I have been for many years.
He said as your father named Jack MacArthur and I said yes.
He said them. Your father came to Ireland 30 E. 30 years ago and he said he came with two other men to hold a revival in Ireland Belfast and all around arm and he said them at that meeting I want to hear your father and I received Jesus Christ dedicate my life to the ministry. A sonic pastor now because of the Lord using your father, I just wondered if it was indeed your father would you do me a favor and tell him that when you see and I said I will and he said to me ask you question. He said to where is your father.
I said always pastor ministry teaching the word like he always says he says he still faithful to the word and I said yes and still faithful to the word.
Still carrying on. Still standing secured. So what happened to check questionable became an apostate denied the faith. The truth denied the word of God should all who said that's so sad.
He had so much potential she will grab a check so I died an alcoholic said oh no, yes you did. I don't relish telling you that you are no some three men went Ireland 30 years ago in the digital lots of people done little when the battles over the dust clears the metal standings also people do it all ready. She said racers for several years and I've been very involved with you that I'm leaving because I decided to marry a non-Christian, having done it all's not standing for pulses, you know I'm willing to preach humbling to fight I'm willing to run to win this race. Prescriptions nine. I will do everything I can for the cause of Jesus Christ. But down deep in my heart I have one gnawing fear that it preaching. I myself might become a what a castaway was there. Lots of people who did it all and all pastor a church taught class had Bible study medieval Jesus Christ over the battle got hot and the smoke cleared, they were down.
No, I did have the armor in heavy armor of edge people in churches so you know, our pastor, so and so terrible things happen is why the nebs armor and realize a strong foe was God protecting God's power can protect him, but he didn't appropriated. Listen we don't chase the devil around you go final demons and you call my name and chasing around the pit. Nolan said what it says is when they come usually just stay. By the way, the word stand here is the same word used in James 47 where it says, resist the devil and he will flee from you, exactly the same word used in first Peter 589 where it says the devil is about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. In verse nine says, whom resist steadfast in the faith same word standing and resisting is what were called to do this and Satan will be there making his attack constantly if you're living for God. The finding to just stand against him with the armor will God help us, you know, if you live foolishly without your armor on, and you don't live the kind of life God wants you to live and not in the middle of the battle equipped and ready to be what God wants you to be appropriating the resources something you could fall when you fall. It's so sad because it's such a terrible collapse. The world sorta climbs over you and watch you lying there and gloats you know in your failures and you forfeit your reward.
You know, second John verse eight look to yourselves that you lose not the things which you have wrought but that you receive a full reward.
You know you can amass a reward at the receiving having to place the feet of Jesus Christ was the whole thing by falling look at my own life and I see all the things God has given me a godly heritage all those preachers of my background on the fifth generation of creatures. I see all the godly heritage and I see all the education God gave me an ministry here and how is blessed my life and enriched it with friends and people to stand by me in prayer and how is given us from beyond anything we ever imagined, and I see all of this and yet I know deep down in my heart that this is all of the grace of God and where I do stumble and fall. I would forfeit all of those things that I would lose in terms of victory in this life will I be saved because no man could snatch me out of the father's hand, I forfeit the blessing and the fruitfulness and the reward so were standing. That's what he said in a bloodless, if you're going to stand. You got to have the armor on. That's the whole point of what I want you to get. You've got to have the armor on. Look at the armor with me from that which I'm just going to read from verse 13 to 17. So you get it in your mind. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand stand therefore, having your loins girded about with truth or truthfulness. Having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
On top of all that, taking the shield of faith with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God went tremendously to find out what every single one of those things means. Listen to me now I want to get this is an easy and I think the more we stand for Christ in the world. The hotter the battles going to get and the better were going to like it because the greater God is going to be glorified. I think we need to be ready, but there's one thing I want to add.
The Lord has the strength verse 10 verse 11 we put the armor on, because verse 12 says the enemy is so strong versus 13 to 17 define the armor but even when we get on now watch that even when we are already in the armor is on. He says in verse 18. This praying always. Why, because even when we are equipped we are dependent on God so beloved we covenant together to pray for each other, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit watching thereunder with all perseverance and supplication in who we praying for for all saints praying for each other in the battle. I really know we get together for a permit he would talk about somebody's broken leg, somebody's medical treatment.
All that kind of stuff and I wonder whether we really pray about the needful things instead of praying to God to repair bodies we are to pray to God to give strength to spirits and souls is what our prayer life to be picking out people first in your own family you pray for your children that there when the battle husband you pray for your wife that you win the battle, shall have her armor on wife to pray for your husband's that an egg in each other once pray for each. Maybe that's the solution if we would begin a network of prayer for each other that we would stand firm in the strength of God. I believe God hear and answer our prayer.
If were willing to fight the Battle Way, God wants it, fought, and willing to pay the price.
I think I'll give us victory will absolutely give us in ecstasy that we never known greatest joys, the greatest victories I think down my heart to so many people just don't understand this is a war.
This is the only got one shot at just one game final gun goes off.
It's all over.
What you did is in the record. So I asked God to give us his strengths to win but spray fathers just preserve us from the stupidity of the flesh, the Roos and deceit of Satan subtly of his demon hosts the line. The world pump status. God help us to come out and be separate. Help us to have her armor on. Help us to live with boldness, according to your principles makes a great army of the Lord great army raise us up to fight me the old hymn onward Christian soldiers not just be an old hymn, but may be right now marching order onward Christian soldiers going on to face the full recall the words of the hymn writer who said shrink not Christians will ye yield will you quit the painful field. Will you flee endangers our know you not your captain's power.
God help us to dedicate ourselves to live for you. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us jobs titled his current look at Ephesians 6, the believers armor and John our theme in this series has been spiritual warfare and anybody who looks around at the culture today can see that things are unraveling our culture, our government, everything seems to be moving further and further away from biblical truth and so my question is how directly. Do you think Satan is involved in say government or the world of entertainment or education or business is key personally and directly involved in and orchestrating a conspiracy. Of course course.
He is the god of this age. He is the prince of the power of the air, who now works in the children of disobedience. This is his kingdom right. He is the one who is the ruler of this world. Jesus said that again and again and again and again in John's Gospel chapter 12 chapter 16. Satan is behind all of this. This is the world it is the word cosmos means an ordered system but when we talk about Satan's world were talking about the system of evil which she perpetrates relentlessly, relentlessly look. James simplifies this by saying it this way friendship with the world is enmity against God. If you're a friend of the world you're an enemy of God.
You've joined the darkness to fight God in the darkness belongs to the prince of darkness, Satan himself. So when people say you know you're just you coming up with a conspiracy theory has no theory. Thus, no theory can this really connect the dots politically all the time but I can tell you everything that's anti-God.
Everything is antichrist.
Everything is anti-Scripture.
Everything is anti-gospel is a conspiracy reality it is the satanic conspiracy being operated that you see it in politics. Crystal clear godlessness and increasing blasphemy toward the Lord himself use even entertainment.
How could you miss it all the filth and pornography and garbage that's pumped you.
You see it everywhere in our society. You see it in human relations. You see it in the destruction of children in the destruction of marriage family. This is not a conspiracy theory I need people to understand this is a real satanic conspiracy and if you have any discernment to see it for what it is so these are theories.
These are realities. Satan is at work and he's behind it yet. Thank you, John, and friend.
Even if Satan's influence increases in the world. If you know the Bible you will know peace. That said, a reminder about our free study Bible app. It's designed to put biblical truth that your fingertips or on the go wherever you are. To get this study Bible app go to our website today.
You'll find our email@example.com. The study Bible app gives you the text of Scripture, along with access to all of our online resources and for a modest price. You can add the notes from the MacArthur study Bible again to download the app go to TTY.and thanks for letting us know how John's teaching is helping you grow.
Perhaps you been encouraged by the daily firstname.lastname@example.org or the recent radio series on God's plan for giving may have helped you trust the Lord more with your finances or rest sermon or book by John clarified a portion of Scripture that always confuse you. However, God has used grace to you in your life. Please let us know when you mail us at email@example.com or write to us by regular mail at grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 now for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson look for Grace to you television this Sunday on DirecTV channel 370 that's an R BTP and be here Monday, when John examines the belt of truthfulness to critical piece of the believers armor and it's another 30 minute unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you