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This is War

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
February 20, 2020 9:00 am

This is War

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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February 20, 2020 9:00 am

You’ve probably heard about the spiritual armor Paul describes in Ephesians. But have you ever really thought you needed it? In this message, Pastor J.D. walks through each piece of spiritual armor so that you know how to arm yourself for the spiritual attack happening right now but also so you understand that you need every part of your body covered–because where the gospel has built you up, Satan cannot attack you.


Today on Senate life with JD Greer. If you feel weak and unqualified to engage in the spiritual realm.

That's a really good thing because you're more likely to lean into God's power in those places the dependence of the objective and weaknesses.

An advantage because weaknesses of the places he most naturally depend on God, rejoice about weaknesses for those the places I don't need to be reminded to defend on God line with heard about the spiritual armor Paul describes in Ephesians you ever really thought you needed today. Pastor JD walks through each piece of spiritual armor. You know how to arm yourself for the spiritual attack happening right now but also so you understand that you need every part of your body covered because where the gospel has built you not attacking strength. Pastor JD day June 6, 1944, 6:30 AM 5000 ships carrying 160,000 Allied troops approached the southern beaches in France for the largest invasion in modern history.

What we now refer to as the day some of the men who survived the invasion that they said they remember the steady stream of expectations being broadcast over the ship's intercom's in the final moments before the ships approached the difference beaches. One said fight to get your troops to shore fight the Savior ships and if you got any strength left fight to save yourself once that we may die on the sands of France, but we will never turn back and another one said this is it, pick it up, put it on. You got a one-way ticket and this is the end of the line over 2500 American soldiers died that day.

Many of them in a span of about 15 minutes as the boats reached the shores disembarking soldiers literally had to crawl over the bodies of other soldiers in order to be able to make it onto the beaches, not images like that make us grateful for the men and women who have given their lives for the cause of freedom, but I sera to emphasize that the men who approached the beaches that day at Normandy had no delusions at all about what they were walking into. Not a single one of them thought that they were going to an exotic beach in France for a vacation.

They knew they were walking headfirst into the onslaught of an enemy who wanted nothing more than their complete and total destruction will see the end of the book of Ephesians, Paul pulls back the curtain on life and he shows us that we were in the midst of a battle that is no less fierce with an enemy, no less stringent the tragedy is that many of us have no idea where even in a battle we approach life as if it were a vacation rather than a war like were on a playground other than a battleground.

But that's not true and you and I might wish all day long that it were true, but I didn't change the fact that we really are in a battle with a very real enemy, and unless we wake up to that probably end up as one of the casualties. How silly would it be to show up on D-Day with a beach towel and a ducky that that's how many of us are showed up spiritually for this battle. So, Paul starts his conclusion to the book of Ephesians like this. Chapter 6 verse 12 C says we don't wrestle against flesh and blood owner know we got Riggins rulers, against the authorities, but not earthly authorities rulers, but against the cosmic powers over this present darkness were against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places will start with the obvious, Paul believed that an unseen spiritual realm met obvious.

For whatever it's worth. Jesus did to back Jesus spent a large portion of his ministry in direct conflict with the demonic, and he summarized his whole ministry as proclaiming liberty to captives captives implies that there something or someone that you been held captive by so Paul just picking up right where Jesus left off and throughout the book of Ephesians. He's gonna refer to the believer's life is a struggle as a night as warfare against evil forces and is getting in the book of Ephesians with a list of weapons that we need to engage in that warfare. CS Lewis once observed, he says well when it comes to the demonic people usually follow one or two errors. Either they take him altogether too seriously or they don't take them seriously enough. Maybe you've known people who fit into that first category of error Christians to kind of imagine that that that Satan is to blame for every inconvenient circumstance in their life. A dead car battery a traffic jam of the demon is messing with traffic to get a price increase of Bojangles biscuits are now a dollar 46 run run my budget so I can't dive in your like I don't think that's what's happening here but but other people on the other side may be in reaction to them or maybe just because the Western culture that we grow up in, they commit an equally dangerous error if not more dangerous. And that is, they ignore him altogether. But not only does that ignore a significant teaching theme in the life of Jesus that also means that of what Jesus said is true at all. That's like walking onto the beaches of Normandy no clue that there's an enemy that has machine guns trained right at you know for what it's worth. Satan could care less whether or not you believe in him because he's not after your recognition.

He's after your destruction. That second Corinthians, Paul tells of an angel of light in Angel lightning. He transforms himself in whatever form is best suited to deceive you, even if it means you mistake him for an angel of God, so it makes sense that in the modern Western world. Satan's best deceptions would not come from Aiken somebody's eyes rolled back in their head foam at the mouth and levitate 6 feet above their bed.

They come from him working stealthily invisibly silently behind the scenes anonymously to Peter and Paul pretty much all Bible says things like this for 3 to 5, eight, be alert and be of sober mind because your enemy. Your enemy the devil prowls around every day like a roaring lion, just looking for somebody to devour to numbers. Thereby, Peter shows me at least two things. First, things like a hunter and hunters don't care if you see them or not impact hunters would prefer that you didn't see them. Second thing I noticed is that Peter call Satan a lion, which means he's part of the cat family. See I knew it I knew it I knew a catcher demons that demons but just because you can't see them just as you can see in the media and their in 1864 physician named Ignatz Semmelweis stumbled onto a theory that we now refer to as germ theory is in those days everybody thought diseases would spontaneously generate in the body because that was something wrong with the body and too much blood or you got too hot, or some like that as her doctors in those days would go between patients that had different diseases without ever washing their hands. Plus, it was assumed in our culture backbend that real gentlemen didn't need to wash their hands because their hands were already clean cancer doctors would go from working on the corpse of a dead person. For example, delivering a baby. Which is why death rates in the hospital's infant mortality rates and mothers were so incredibly high. Will Semmelweis begin to suspect that these doctors were carrying diseases with them, contained in small particles that were invisible to the human eye. They didn't have microscopes powerful enough to see them.

I didn't know what to: we just refer to them as microbes, which literally means small pieces of flesh. Now this all seems so obvious to us now, but nobody in those days thought that way. So Semmelweis tested his theory by just having the interns wash their hands at the hospital little water a little bit of chlorine before delivering babies and he found that the mortality rates about mothers and infants went down dramatically, but even after this conclusive evidence, improve the doctors at the time wouldn't accept the theory because the idea that all this death and all of this disease was caused by something that you couldn't see just seemed unbelievable to them at a famous conference.

Semmelweis pleaded with these doctors. Gentlemen, for God's sake, just wash your hands. Nobody listen. About two decades still got a Louis Pasteur came along and proved in a different way. Even Semmelweis's own wife didn't believe him. He died a couple decades later in an asylum. See many Christians are equally nave when it comes to what is happening in their lives because they are just as disbelieving to the things that they can't see and they say because I can't see with my eyes. It must not really exist but can't you look around and see the evidence of the demonic everywhere.

Andy Stanley says if you really want to see evidence for the demonic you not to find by looking through a microscope. You can find it by looking in the rearview mirror, not at your kids, but in the rearview mirror of your life in the rearview mirror of your life. Can't you look back in your life. Did you look in the rearview mirror of your life and see how certain temptations were just too perfectly timed entry specifically tailored for you to be merely coincidental how the wrong person got put into your life at just the right time or how the right questions were planted in your head throw you off track how the right suspicion grew up in your heart to really destroy the relationship or how the perfect storm happened in your marriage or your small group or your staff team in order to drive a wedge between you all I and I know that sometimes you Braswell user to reason away a lot of that.

So we know the reason my wife and I have a problem is because our personalities are so ill suited to one another reason I struggle with that temptation is because my dad did and I had the same genes is him but then every once in a while.

Every once in a while something happens you encounter something and something inside of you says no that evil maybe it's an act of terrorism or mothers killing their children rewatch a special on the Holocaust and you see how embarrassed Germany is. And they say how do we have done something like that. It's because we wrestle not against flesh and blood. We wrestle against rulers and authorities in spiritual evil and very high in controlling and influential places. You see, God tells us about these things for at least two reasons, both of which we see here reflected in Ephesians 6.

The first reason is to make us verse 18 to make us more alert, because when you recognize there's more your temptations then lost her doubts or relational problems or personality conflicts when you realize that there is an enemy that is strategizing your destruction. It will make you more aware unite most of you know, before I became pastor here serve for a couple years as a missionary. In unreached people group over in Southeast Asia and Sue brought in some branch of the United States pass out some Bibles in our area. I'm I never really been done before in make a long story short amount of 2500 people collapsed on these guys and the police arrested them in the mob was calling out to the police or they were rioting to demand of which release these teammates of mine so that they can murder them. They did this for about the space about three hours one afternoon so I one of the guys that we had put with the team was a local, there's a local believer so I didn't recognize him like it.

The other guys. The mob burned my friends cars towards them and so this guy said as I was stating that in that mob if they were calling out for the police release these guys that had a recorder and up. I guess I just recorded in court about 30 minutes of this mob as they salve is murderously savage way called out for the police that the let these guys out to the lake and Caleb home later. He played that recording for me and I'm not a demon behind every rock, God. But when I listen to that there was something in it that I said that's beyond anger. There was something on it that was going on in that that that murderous mom well couple weeks. I got put under house arrest essentially under house arrest for a couple weeks and eventually everything subsided.

We able to move around again II knew I needed to get out get a little vacation so I went down to a resort city, not far from where I was walking the hotel, checked in the hotels by myself and the your new Sparta world when you check into hotel. You believe your pass for the nationalist with my passport across dowsing would be more diverse behind it and when I put my passport that I felt this hand cannot distribute, stroke mine and I looked up.

It is this beautiful and beautiful girl this.

Looking back at me and she said, are there languages that is there anything else that you would like to hold at this hotel tonight and I looked up and eat a baby I was and I was emotionally. I was bankrupt I was spent. There was nothing no strength.

I have left. I was as low as I've ever been in my life and I look up at this some beautiful face staring back at me and everything inside of me wants to respond and say yes but then all of a sudden it wasn't like a vision like I actually saw things, but is just an insight from the Holy Spirit. Rob look into the eyes of this beautiful girl and I recognized the same savagely murderous spirit that had been in that mob that was now coming after me in a different direction and actually recoil. I hiked up her. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me you get out of there and I pulled back and I just love my passport. They are not just ran the other direction. Because see, there are times in your life where you have to realize it's not just about lust and it's not just about a personality conflict and it's not just relational problems, you got an enemy who is prowling around like a roaring lion, and he is trying to devour you, and so he comes for me when I'm tired or when I'm down and he seduces me with the lust of the flesh. Sometimes he waits for me offstage when I have done well to whisper in my heart how awesome and extraordinary. I am ill take whatever form he wants in order to be able to take my eyes off of God and to convince myself that I can do it better my way so he tells I want you to be alert that this is not a flesh and blood thing you're just a real enemy, and for some of you, you were totally blind to the fact he's working in your family and in your heart. The other reason that God tells us about these things, he says, is to drive us to greater dependency on God.

You see this were merely a battle against other humans or with my own life. That would be one thing but it's against an enemy was supernatural power and so Paul concludes the book of Ephesians by reminding them the presence of the spiritual forces in the temple one more time, turn them away from themselves from hoping themselves to good to make them and cast themselves on in our hope in finding help in God and severely says finally, finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. By the way right. Here's where that verse verse 12 we read just a minute ago about the rest of your flesh and blood goes therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm knows a couple of phrases that I've highlighted.

I want to make sure you see both of them having done all, to stand firm means that there is no way you can escape this fight. There's only two places in the Christian life in which Paul says a Christian can and should flee sexual immorality and the love of money when it comes to monies and honeys you get out of town. I but everywhere else. You gotta learn to stand firm, because you can escape even if you did run parents listen to me. You can't protect your family from Satan but put your kids in private school or home, school, or by limiting their access to the outside world and I am not saying that either of those, or any of those are our bad decisions.

My family has done all of those things, but you have to learn to stand firm in the battle and not always assume you can run from it because you can't run from it.

If you come after you, wherever it is said that the first ray stand for any government, be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might shows me that this is got nothing to do with your power had not been a recurring theme in the book of Ephesians.

You're dead and you're saying you're spiritually powerless. This hope is about Christ power in you. In fact, in this battle. Your strengths are more often liabilities because your strings are the places where you will most likely forget to depend on God and lean into his strength. You see, if you feel weak and unqualified to engage in the spiritual realm. That's a good thing. That's a really good thing because you're more likely to lean into God's power in those places we always say around here that in the Christian life. Weakness is an advantage because dependence is the objective that you want take no try this down and think about it for about a week.

Dependence is the objective, then weakness is an advantage because weaknesses of the places you most naturally depend on God, rejoice in weaknesses to those of the places I don't need to be reminded to depend on God you feel spiritually powerless to engage the enemy.

Congratulations your stage I.

That's a really important stage because that's where you'll know to depend on God else.

He listened. There's something really important to remember here as we get to the end of the book of Ephesians. Listen Paul is not introducing new content right at the end like something he wants to add on and I go, yeah, these random pieces of spiritual armor are also really important to me.

Every writer who's ever been in a writing class knows you don't bring up new stuff in the conclusion, you'll say finally then introduce a new concept to what Paul says is finally and then he just comes up with a metaphor to summarize what he's been saying for six chapters to these pieces of spiritual armor or merely a way of applying the gospel that he talked about in six chapters every part of your life. Here's my point this out. When I grew up, I was introduced to the spiritual armor through what I now refer to it final draft discipleship. You might note that is little pieces of finally put them on the boards of this is, how I remember and I just always assume that spiritual armor really strange mysterious things that you needed to have the ward off demons like something a spiritual annual letter and expect overthrow number something like that and I think a lot of crystal bingo that way you will believe you just type it on Google search a little comes up you Christians are like when analyzing what exactly is a flaming dart what your flaming dart find it behind. It reminded you know you like. I don't think this will Paul is doing here Jutta sent each of the seven pieces of armor is simply a way of applying the gospel. That's all that it is a ways of applying the gospel a metaphor for applying the gospel to every single part of your life in back and I could be so bold, some of them are quite repetitive, they get similar concepts putting on the helmet of salvation and taking the shield of faith are not two fundamentally different ideas, the more important ideas that the gospel should cover every part of your body. Every part of your heart. Every part of your life is where the gospel has 45 you, Satan cannot attack you putting on these pieces is how you accomplish how you fulfill God's command in verse 10, to be strong in the Lord we see again the gospel message of Ephesians is that you were weak you were dead you were simple you were guilty and God chose you saved you drew you redeemed you set you apart adopted. You can filled you with the spirit so this battle is not about you, only to fight Satan it's about learning to let him fight in you and through you. You got saved when you realize that you didn't have the ability to save yourself and if you really get same God would have to do it for you in the same way, just like you were saved, you gain spiritual power. The same way by confessing, you don't have the ability to resist Satan in your marriage, relationships or temptations or your life, your parenting that you going to have to depend on God's grace in his power to do it. These pieces of spiritual armor are where you apply the gospel of dependence on God's grace to an area of vulnerability or weakness in your life. So with that as the backdrop let's very quickly look at each of these seven pieces of armor because her seven and because a little repetitive to move quickly. The first piece he says were 13 and 14. Take up the belt of truth your belt. Of course goes around your core, your belt holds all your weapons and the rest of your armor in place and out as far as the metaphor goes. This was really important because nobody wants to go into battle with their pants down. Amen I meant hi so what does Paul mean exactly by belt of truth. Why think probably two things we usually think of truth is primarily a what, but in the Bible truth is primarily our first and foremost a clue. That's right. John 14 six Jesus said I am the truth. On the way the truth and the life. So, to take up the belt of truth means to gird yourself up with Jesus. Make your identity in Christ. This center, the core of your life. I've always heard it said that your identity is based on what the most important person in your life thinks about you.

There's question is Jesus that most important person to you and have you made what he thinks about you. Your core identity. You see, the gospel is this, that in Christ there is nothing you can do that would make him love you anymore. Nothing you have done that makes God love you any less that his acceptance as a gift given to you in Christ.

Had you taken that to yourself.

You still face your identity on how well you perform how you compare to others or you still consume with what other people think about you or do you say Jesus think this way about me. I don't care what everybody else thinks because if that's not your core. That is the first place.

Satan can will attack you so I know it's the first place you number Satan's temptation of Jesus or the first thing out of his mouth. If you are the son of God were one of the attack detected identity.

If you really are the son of God, you would be out here is what he says he if you're really a child of God you wouldn't struggle that a few really were China got your life would be like this. If God actually existed, and he loved you and there's no way your life would be what it is to tell the truth means you cannot get but I know I am a child of God, because God is done that for me in the gospel is the second thing about truth implies is that you have grounded your perspective on everything in your life based on what God says I'm talking about things like sexuality, your sexuality, your marriage, the purpose of your life, what you do with your money, etc. here's a question for you to consider.

How do you determine what is true and right in your life, I'd say. For the vast majority of people in our community inserted outside a church at the end of the day what they rely on is their internal compass what feels right now you got influence of the little bit you let other people influence them of the end of the day. Does this feel right for me for other people.

They follow the whims of popular opinion, whatever the friends think the professors thing their favorite stars in Hollywood. Think the only way to escape the deception of the enemy is to let the word of God shape your thinking. Here's a question. Do you know the word of God in South Africa. Shape how you see everything my friends listen.

These are not just doctrines to learn.

These are a means of survival because wherever you're not covered in the truth of Scripture. You are exposed to the attack of the enemy Satan's first attack on the human race was to say has God really said this in several thousand years. He had come up with a yet even need to come up with the new lines will still fall for that year. In our experience and practical and can check Katie in her new book hidden graces surprising stories that led to the dying churches revitalization we journey from the rich beginnings of the Senate church in Raleigh-Durham to the revitalization of the church, but it doesn't stop there. Doesn't know not all the while on this journey the past 18 or so years our prayers at church has changed from God, let us reach lots of people grow humongous to God.

Let us bring joint salvation to the sitting United that that seems like a really tiny distinction in prayer, but it for me was huge and it's a journey I'm still on and show them it's not about me is about not about even our churches about him in his name and his glory were just instruments in that process we tell that story to tell that story and seven other stories great stories that are by me and simply members here in this little book. We want to give out were amazed by what God is done here. We want to share that with you. I think it will not just encourage you, I think it will inspire what you find is that God's the stories and testimonies of God's work in other places.

You have ignited your heart and out to let this let this book be an encouragement to the tile again graces surprising stories that led to a dying churches revitalization is explicitly available here in Senate life will send you a copy as our way of saying thank you Kenny dollars or more support this ministry today.

It's easy to donate please give us a call at 866-3552 2011 ask for your copy at hidden graces. Never again 35 5224 you can give online Katie now inviting you to join us again Friday for the final three Ephesians

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