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Our Mighty Weapon

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
February 3, 2021 7:00 am

Our Mighty Weapon

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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February 3, 2021 7:00 am

Every superhero has a battle to fight and a unique weapon to wield. Superman has x-ray vision. Spiderman shoots webs. Although Christians also have an enemy to fight and a mighty weapon to use, our battle is not simply a story from the pages of a comic bookit’s the daily reality of life as a follower of Christ.

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Every superhero has a battle to fight in a unique weapon to use Superman has x-ray vision. Spider-Man shoots webs. Although Christians also have an enemy to fight in a mighty weapon to wield our battle is not simply a story from the pages of a comic book.

It's the daily reality of life as a follower of Christ will find out more about our secret weapon during this broadcast of the Bible study our welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly.

God has provided us with a weapon that has the power of the sword to defend against the attacks of Satan. Let's listen in together is Dr. James Boyce identifies this great weapon and encourages us to make use of it. Dr. Sinclair Ferguson who is an associate Prof. of systematic theology at Westminster theological seminary, has written a book in which he discusses lay Christians are to be used against Satan based on the very passage from the six chapters of Ephesians that we been studying now for a number of weeks.

The book is called add to your faith an entity has an interesting way of dealing with this armor he sees each piece of armor is being directed against one way in which Satan moves against us, the breastplate of righteousness. For example, is in his judgment, our defense against Satan as an accuser of the thing Satan does is accuse the brethren we have that great example in Zechariah the third chapter, which we looked at earlier where Joshua the high priest is there in the temple performing his duty and Satan, as they are side-by-side to accuse them of being unworthy to perform service for Donnie undoubtedly is pointing to Joshua's filthy garments which are symbolic of his sentence, saying, look how wicked that man is no wonder was that wicked can possibly serve God were told in the story how an angel is present how the angel says take away his filthy garments, that in place of that gives them a rich robe and a clean turban, which symbolizes being clothed with righteousness of Jesus Christ. What we have justification and after that the angel challenges them to stand, live righteously in the practical details of his life.

Satan is the accuser, but this righteousness is resistant matter of our feet being fitted with the gospel of peace is our defense against Satan is the serpent, the shield of faith is our defense against Satan as a tempter tempts us to believe that God is not adequate to keep us God will not do what he says our faith in God is the way we resist that the helmet of salvation is our defense against Satan as a deceiver. We come today in our study to this matter of the sword of the Spirit and in this respect, Sinclair Ferguson says we are defended against Satan is a liar by the word of God. One of the thing Satan does is why Jesus said it's recorded the eighth chapter of John that Satan is a liar from the beginning of a father. How will I see. Never does the truth is what Jesus says, how are you to stand up against an enemy was always lying. How do you know what is true especially when that is done in subtle ways, as it certainly is in our culture, always with a little bit of truth mixed in with what is fundamentally a great falsehood. How are you possibly going to stand against that answer the Paul gives heresy begins now for the first time to speak about an offensive weapon is that we are to resist Satan as a liar by means of the sword of the Spirit, which he says is a word of God out if were going to understand the essential point that Paul is making week have to know that the word which occurs here as a translation for the word work in the phrase the word of God is not the word logo switches the great and most common of all the Greek terms work, rather sword Fremont Arima really means is saying it's a word that is a particular word. It's almost the diametric opposite of the idea of the logo.

Oslo boxes that all embracing great concept that includes everything over here is the word that Paul uses, which is as specific as an individual verse of Scripture John 316 is a hard Rhema God.

Romans 323 is a hard Rhema, of God.

You see that's important because what Paul is saying is that we are to resist Satan, not by embracing this great great concept that includes everything which of course we can't do because we are finite by coming to know memorize and employ the specific words of Scripture are the greatest example of temptation. All the Bible is a perfect illustration of that and I'm referring as I'm sure you know to the temptation of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is recorded in Matthew four also in the fourth chapter of Luke and significant. When Satan came to tempt the Lord, the Lord replied, in each instance by a philosophical argument or by a general appeal or by some vague statement of Christian belief but he replied, in each instance by a specific quotation of the text Scripture I you know how it was, the devil came to him after he had been in the wilderness for 40 days was hungry and said to them, if you are the son of God tell these stones to become bread on the nature of this temptation did not apply in the use of Christ's miraculous power to provide food for what it was hungry. We know that because shortly after this, the matter of days. Afterwards, our Lord attended a marriage in Cana of Galilee and use that power to change the water in the stone water pots to wine and soy provided wine and it wasn't very long after this and Galilee that he multiplied the loaves and the fish in order to feed first of all in one occasion 5000 and then on the second occasion 4000 for the was anything wrong in principle with this use of the Lord's power. I think RC Sproul is right when he says that the real key to that particular temptation is in its very first word, the word if if you are the son of God tell these stones to become bread.

The reason I think that's right.

Is that immediately before this.

In the 17th verse of Matthew three God spoke from heaven to say of the occasion of Jesus baptism. This is my son there is God speaking that is unequivocal direct this is my son. Shortly after this in the wilderness. Satan is there to say well if you really are God's son prove it by telling these stones become bread. That, by the way, explains our Lord's answer.

He quoted from the eighth chapter of Deuteronomy verse three saying it is written, man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. In other words, he say the important thing here in this situation is not whether I am hungry or not, God is certainly able to provide for me and he certainly going to sustain my life to do what I have to do.

The real issue here is whether I believe God God the father is just said you are my son and I believe him and I don't have to prove it by some display of miraculous power this point, the devil being the shrewd tempter that is began to play Christ game, he said, in effect, I see by your quotation of Deuteronomy that you know the Bible and a been studying it and I just want to mention that when I am not wandering up and down in the earth.

Tempting Job and people like him my quieter moments I to have Bible studies and recently in my quiet time I was reading the 91st Psalm, and I read there in the 91st Psalm verses 11 and 12 these words.

I quote them to your right not only study it. I memorize it. And this is what it says he will command his angels concerning you, so they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Now that is what it says is that I guess Jesus would have lauded and Satan would've said, what you know.

I believe that do you believe that I believe that so much that I have this suggestion.

I think what we ought to do is go up to the city of Jerusalem to the temple up to the highest pinnacle of the temple that is the highest point around here and then what you should do is jump off and God is going to fulfill his promise. I believe he will is going to bear you up so you will dash your foot against a stone.

You're going to float down gently the people who were there going to say, look, this is a miracle in your ministry, which I know is important to you and believe me it is also important to me. Your ministry is going to get off to a riproaring start. I didn't fool Jesus. He said it is true that you are quoting Scripture, but it is also true that you must set one portion of Scripture against another is a great principle of hermeneutics Scripture interpreting Scripture and he said I'm sure you must know, it is also written in here.

He quotes from the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy verse 16 do not put the Lord your God to the test say he was telling Satan what is going on here is the testing of me. Not my testing of God and what we want to see here is whether I will remain faithful that when the devil threw off all pretense that subtly Jesus to a place where he showed him all of the kingdoms of the world and their splendor and he said look I will arrange it so all of this becomes yours and only you will do what I most want. I want you to fall down, bow down and worship me. Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 613, just three verses earlier.

He said it is written, worship the Lord your God and serve him only say I don't know of any passage of Scripture that could make Paul's point from Ephesians 6 more clear than does the temptation of our Lord.

But it's clearly here is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, the King of Kings, one in whom there was no sin, who never did anything wrong one who stood in the very power of God and in intimate communion with him, so that there was never a shadow that came between himself and his awareness of the father and his obedience to the father's will hear is this Jesus your Lord and Savior who when he is confronted with Satan responds by the use of Scripture that's the case, how are you and I think that we can possibly in our weakness and send stand against Satan unless we to also know and are able to use the word of God. My great appreciation for the navigators at this point because I think of all the groups that are working in this country to disciple Christians.

They more than any other group, are stressing the importance of the memorization of Scripture say all well you know I mean I study the Bible is good. I don't want to minimize that all you say I have an idea of what it contains and I'm glad for that. I don't want to minimize that either you say I read it regularly. Yes, that's good but that's not enough so you can have a general idea of what the Bible says and when you get into temptation. It is very easy to get confused on that score.

Because Satan is a great confusion, that's what the word devil really means is the word Diablo loss since the one who's always messing things up on the devil's very able to do that with your thinking mixed up so you really don't know what's like a confusing site is really what it means is that really what it said or is really the way a Christian should act or not. What you need in a situation like that is the very words of God. The Halima about which Paul speaks, the only way you can have that is if you memorized so that in times of temptation the words of Scripture. All else is being shaken, rising to the surface and direct the way in which you should go times like that single word of Scripture will be an anchor to your soul that you will hang on to and say I don't know.

I'm confused.

Things are dreadfully uncertain, but this I know God has said this and you hang onto that and so resist Satan. And when the victory I like to share with you some of the things that the words of God will do first words of God are very compelling. Calvin his one who knew this when he wrote about the Bible. He contrasted it with the greatest works of antiquity and he said you know really is no comparison. If you think of the ability of the Bible in its effect on you. Here's what he wrote this power, said Calvin, which is peculiar to Scripture is clear from the fact that of human writings. However, artfully polished. There is none capable of affecting us all comparably free, Demosthenes or Cicero read Plato and Aristotle.

Others of that tribe. They will. I admit, were you delight you move, you enrapture you in wonderful measure but retake yourself from them to this sacred reading and in spite of yourself so deeply will it affect you so penetrate your heart so fix itself in your very marrow that compared with its deep impression such vigorous orators and philosophers have will merely banish consequently is Calvin. It's easy to see the sacred Scriptures which so far surpass all gifts and graces of human endeavor, breathe something divine so they do a great story that echoes a testimony of John Calvin in a book called journey in the light by a French philosopher and later American theologian whose name was Emile Calle. He had received a naturalistic education in France. In all the years of his education is never so much as seen the Bible yet, in spite of the fact that he was very highly educated. He recognized as seen began to plumb the depths of his own nature, that there was something desperately lacking in his life when he came to believe is that he needed a book, a book as he phrased it in those days would understand so we decided that since he didn't know of any such book and set about to prepare one for his own uses the red in his studies and came across what he thought were particularly moving passages. He copied them out of this little book that he carried with him and when he was finished he would index it and then he would have it in such a form that by using his index he could read passages that would lead him from mood of dejection or depression to a mood of joy and liberation. He tells how on the day that he finished his book he went outside the little French town in which he and his wife were living inside down under a tree began to read began with great expectation. But is he ready set a feeling of disappointment crept over him wasn't working and he began to realize as he was reading it, why it wasn't working. It wasn't working because he himself and made it instead of leading him to the great emotional release he had anticipated the text only remind them of the text from which they came in his work and copying them down the wall about Zoe. He realized he wasted a great deal of effort he put the book back into his pocket. At that very moment his wife came out, of the city. She had been there that morning and had stumbled upon a little juvenile chaplain which he had never seen before she went in but sure unsurprised about yourself asking the pastor who was there. She could have a Bible. He gave her one. She had taken it and now see was out of the city and giving it to her husband apologetically because she knew that he had always said I never want one of those things in my house instead of the rebuffs you might've anticipated. She found that he grabbed the digger ladies that hereby will silently see it. He picked it up and began to read it and then here's what happens here are his own words. I read read read just now allowed in with an indescribable warmth surging with them. I couldn't find words to express my on wonder and suddenly the realization dawned upon me.

This was the book that would understand me. I needed it so much, yet unaware I had attempted to write my own in vain. I continued to read deeply into the night, mostly from the Gospels, and lo and behold, as I looked through them. The one of whom they spoke the one who spoke and acted in them became alive to me this God I pray that night, the God who answered me was the same God, of whom it was spoken in the book words of God. You say are divinely compelling because they are divine. Secondly, the words of God are convicting anyone it was ever preached or taught the Bible for any length of time is had the experience that after the sermon or lesson. Someone will come up and say why are you preaching about me say the thing you were talking about this morning is exactly the thing that I've been doing someone has been telling you about me and I don't like it at all. Sometimes it's very difficult to convince them that nobody has come to the pastor before hand and said, won't you please preach against the sin of gluttony or the sin of gossip or whatever the particular sin might've been. This is the power of the word of God. It does that, because it's the word of God is of men don't do that you can preach against what you think someone else is doing wrong you preaching your own words.

It doesn't carry any conviction. People just get angrier. They brush off. They say well that's your opinion I think differently when the words of God. The very words of God are shared God, who alone is able to change the human heart brings conviction of sin starts to lead some on the road to life everlasting. The third thing the words of God are is converting not only do they convict us of sin. They turn us from it. Just think of all the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been radically transformed by the power of this book are Bible. My favorite story in that regard is told by Harry are decided grade preacher Bible teacher of an earlier generation of the book written toward the end of his ministry called random reminiscences from 50 years of ministry he was thinking back to the early days when he was out in San Francisco and had stopped on one occasion on a Sunday afternoon to listen to street service that was being conducted by a small group of Salvation Army workers. They recognize them asking to give a testimony did while he was giving his testimony.

He noticed that there was a gentleman on the back of the crowd that pulled something out of his pocket wrote up on and afterwards when I recited finish this man came forward through the crowd and handed him his card was his calling card. His name on it arms. I recognized it right away was a man who had made a name for himself lecturing in those days against Christianity was a socialist and diagnostic and on the blank side of the car.

There were the words I challenge you to debate with me. The subject agnosticism versus Christianity next Sunday afternoon with Hall of science and I'll pay all expenses are in Siebel to that is that I'm very interested in this particular challenge and I'd be glad to arrange this.

I have something else scheduled for next Sunday, but I'll arrange to be there if in order to show that this man has something worth debating about. He will promise to bring with him to individuals whose characteristics I'm about to describe. First of all, he must promise to bring with them a woman who has fallen into a low level of society and for many years and been living a depraved life as a prostitute. Perhaps here in this very area of the city and who in one of her wanderings about the city came upon a place where this gentleman was lecturing on behalf of agnosticism and having nothing else to do for the moment went in and sat down hard, lecturing as she heard it hope was born in her heart. She said this is exactly what I need to be delivered from the wretched misery in which I've been living in so she became an intelligent agnostic and went out from that place a changed woman utterly reforming character and became a creditor community. The second individual lines I said is a lamp similar situation. A man who, because of some sin some crime or another has become what we would call a doubt, an outer alcoholic perhaps living in some low haunts here and who in the same way came in the one of this man's lectures and set that is what I need is like blocking all my life if I only believe that that will change me and make me into a man who can be a creditor community and of whom other people will be proud that Ironside said if you serve will promise to do that next Sunday is evidence of the fact that you have something worth debating about.

I promise. For my part to bring at least hundreds, men and women whose lives have been transformed in exactly that way, and he turned to the captain of the Salvation Army core that had been leading the meeting and he said Mr. did you find any like that from your course you know if 60 right here and he said, well, fine. I'm sure I can find 40 from the other mission, wholesome churches around the city and she wasn't about to be finished. She said all and not only will we give you the 60 will give you a brass band and he said all right when I have are hundred and brass band. We will come marching and singing onward Christian soldiers and I will be ready for the debate of the man must've had a sense of humor because he waved his hand in the deprecating sort of way, as if to say nothing doing and he edged out of the crowd, while those who were left behind rejoiced in the power of God, the power of God through the word of God changes lives. The Bible, the words of God are not only compelling and convicting the are converting is a one other thing.

They are also consoling you and I go through difficult moments in life when things really are hard for us sometimes. Her periods of sickness. Sometimes they are seasons of loss we lose a job we lose a reputation we lose friends, husbands, wives, children by death and other means, and sometimes were very cast down.

The world as its way of dealing with the situation the world says well you know things will get better. The world says, well, every cloud has a silver lining. So, on profound things like that but they don't help much. And yet we come to the Bible and we read it and there we hear the eternal sovereign God speaking to our hearts. We hear the Lord Jesus Christ saying low. I am with you always, even to the end of the world and those words of God provide comfort that no words of man could ever give the conclusion of this is obvious, and that is that if the words very words of God, the verses of Scripture have this power that you and I and we are wise at all about only read them but memorize them and treasure them in our hearts. Paul likens words of God was sort, you know, I have been in many museums in which the arms of the Middle Ages have been on display, particularly in the British Isles.

I see all kinds of swords, short swords, long swords, valuable swords, common swords swords that belong to great and important kings and warriors all very impressive but of course they were no good to me at all, or would they ever be. They were there they weren't mine. They were in the museum.

In the case or some such thing is a little soreness to be of any value to a person. It must be his or hers you must pick it up was holding your hand.

You must use its in the France also with words of God.

You can look at this Bible and say all that's a great treasure and it is you can say all many wise things are to be found there. And that's true they are not going to do you any good in the battle unless those things are yours. But she will pick them up unless you can say is you go through life and work with the Scripture disperses by verse in this verse is my verse you do that God uses words to change your life will never be the same and give you strength and courage to stand even against our great enemy, Satan, the enemy of the people of God, let us pray father we ask you to bless the study to our hearts. Bless your words, especially these words in the sixth chapter of Ephesians we been studying granted. As a result of our study, we might each of us have a renewed dedication to mastering specific portions of your great revelation.

So as we do find our minds transformed our hearts, one over and loved Jesus Christ her arm strengthened for the battle which we all face give us great victories through your word against Satan and for the cause of Jesus Christ we pray in his most blessed name, amen and amen. You are listening to the Bible study hour with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals.

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