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The Soldier’s Weapons (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
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July 23, 2022 4:00 am

The Soldier’s Weapons (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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July 23, 2022 4:00 am

God’s armor protects us in spiritual warfare—but we don’t just put it on and stand. It’s important to prepare to defend ourselves with the right weapons as well. Find out what we need to fight in the battle. Listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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The armor of God is what protects us in the midst of virtual warfare, but a soldier doesn't just put on armor and then standstill. It's important that we are equipped to defend ourselves with the right weapons as well. Today I'm Truth for Life weekend will find out what we need to fight in the battle.

Alister Bragg is teaching from Ephesians chapter 6 will be focusing on verses 17 and 18. Most of the treatments on this particular section of Scripture that you find in books, namely in common. Trees follow along from verse 17 a into the remaining part on 517 and into 18 and deal with both the sword of the Spirit the word of God and prayer under the same heading of the armor for the Christian, but in actual fact, there is a difference between the helmet and all that is preceded it, and the sword which is now brought to our attention because when we come to the sword of the Spirit and to prayer. We actually leave the armor behind and we come to the matter of our weaponry and here we are given to us the offensive elements of our Christian warfare.

There has been provided for us all that is necessary to be able to stand in the evil day, with little emphasis made on a consideration of our backs. Is it where it would seem that we are standing face onto the antagonism and warfare that is ours to engage in, and then having concluded that Paul says I want to identify for you your weapons so that you make sure that you're using the right weapons in engaging in the right warfare, and of these, he mentions to first of all, the sword of the Spirit. Some of you I know are particularly interested in military battles and skirmishes and warfare from particular periods of history and some of you I know have actually visited in Scotland and have been enthralled by the massive and wonderful display in Edinburgh Castle the capital of Scotland all the weaponry that goes right back down through the years into the ninth and 10th century.

As it turns out, and when you go through those particular pieces of the museum you come across these incredible swords. The two-handed are double handed swords, many of which are hanging on the wall and it becomes apparent very quickly that one had to be particularly strong to be able to wield one of these things, and most of the swords that I have seen what actually considerably larger than myself and may even have been almost as heavy as myself and so I admire them. I am struck by the fact of the at their historicity and their interest. But while I find them historically interesting. I'm forced to conclude that they are at the present point in history, practically useless because although they are marked by these historical qualities they are practically useless. Know that is largely the picture, which many people take in relationship to the word of God, that somehow or another the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God is in the minds of many people.

Historically interesting and yet practically useless. Note we would not or should not be surprised by that. Their foremost attack of the evil one from the very beginning was an attack on the word of God. If you look for example in Genesis 3 just to pinpoint this in our minds we read in verse one now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman didn't God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden so the first attack of the evil one was an attack on the authenticity of the word of God. Are you sure that God really said that. And of course his insinuation was he didn't and down through the corridors of time, his strategy has changed very little. And that has been forthright and subtle and circuitous attacks on the word of God to redeem value in the minds of men and women. The priority in place of the word of God in order that the evil one engaging in warfare against the people of God may be far more successful than he might otherwise be if he can get the people of God to doubt the weapons of their warfare to set aside the weapons of their warfare, then of course it is going to be very easy for him to gain great victories. No part of the problem has been that in the attack of the evil one.

Over time he has been successful in suggesting to men and women that somehow or another that the historical claims for the Bible are fatuous.

Karl Marx was at the forefront of much of this suggesting to men and women writing about the idea that Christianity arose in the second century and that Jesus was actually a mythological figure that he had been invented about 200 years after he didn't exist and that he was then made much of in the various documents which these people had conjured up and when the New Testament was said to be written. It was actually a historically worthless document, and many people at the turn-of-the-century in America as well as in Britain, grew up in churches where that was actually taught from the pool and consequently they grew up without any notion of confidence in the Bible itself, and they were always surprised that anybody would be particularly concerned about the Bible in terms of its practical usefulness, rather than simply acknowledging its historical interest not want to say to you tonight for some who are wondering about this that the authority and the authenticity of the Bible, particularly the New Testament documents has far more to substantiated than most other historical literature. Indeed, no ancient document or selection of documents have come down to us with such a wealth of manuscript tradition, as have the Gospels we have copies of the Gospels. When I say we, the church does in various places throughout the world that go back to well within a century of their compilation that is in the latter part of the first century A.D. and when I say we have and we don't have them expand our intact.

We have pieces so that they are there, within a relatively short time after the events taking place.

Consider that, in contrast to the gap which exists between the time when Tacitus wrote which is about 50 years after Matthew Mark Luke and John, and the earliest surviving manuscript of Tacitus's work, which is followed 800 years later 800 years after he wrote in you get the first document and nobody asks whether Tacitus wrote the truth no one asks whether Tacitus was a good historian, no one spends their time calling into question the veracity of his work, but here we have the New Testament documents within 60 or 100 years of the time and everybody's up in arms, the sick, or usually can believe that that is historical stuff. Livy who was a contemporary of evangelists writing at the same time as Matthew Mark Luke and John. There is a gap between his writing and the earliest manuscript which we have from him is 1100 years after he was there when you take the secular writers of ancient history. You have about two or three pieces of manuscript which attest to the text of those writers. When you take the text of the New Testament, you have literally hundreds of documents. If you doubt that you need only to begin to study begin to go to the University begin to read with an open heart and an open mind and Manchester University. For example, we have a fragment of John's Gospel, which is dated between A.D. 181 25, also a Coombe random fragment of Mark's gospel, which dates to before A.D. 68.

And that is when the Coombe ran community was overrun by the Romans and the caves were sealed so by the time the Romans overran the Coombe ran community. They had already copies of the gospel marked down within immediate proximity of the events described in the gospel know what should I tell you what I want to tell you this, that by the manager of a passing of less than hardly a generation.

The New Testament was not only written.

It was on his way to being compiled and if the gospel writers had been coming up with wild and wonderful stories about Jesus and his deeds there were still plenty of people around the say. That's a lot of nonsense because it wasn't 1100 years afterwards and 1100 years afterwards there ain't nobody around you can call in question. What you say but 50 or 60 years afterwards. Somebody's going to say now now don't be making that stuff up the Roman historians Tacitus and Pliny along with the Jewish historian Josephus you can read these guys attest to what archaeological sources confirm if you read to Roman and one Jewish historian about this person, Jesus. This is what you'll discover the test within a matter of a short period of time after the time of Christ in their writings. You may discover this without a Bible without reading the Bible, you may find from two Roman and one Jewish historians, these truths concerning Christ one. He was born of a virgin to perform miracles.

Three he was executed by Pilate, for it took place in thick darkness. Five. At the time of the Passover six. He claimed to be God.

Seven he said that he leave and come back that he was the Messiah. 19 that he rose from the tomb 10 that he had disciples and 11. These disciples worship him as God. So the secular Jewish and Roman historians with no ax to grind. Simply chronicling the events of this Jesus of Nazareth affirm the veracity of the New Testament documents themselves.

So you see behind all of that and I commend you for example at FF Bruce is marvelous little book.

The evidence for the New Testament document behind the affirmations of the Bible concerning the sword of the Spirit. There is authentic historical secular evidence.

Not that we needed to be compelled to belief but in order that we may be able to address our pagan neighbors and friends who trot out the classic clich so you surely don't believe that stuff that was made up in the second century and we often find ourselves struck dumb saying, well, oh no it wasn't. And they say oh yes it was and then we going to one of those things which leads to absolutely nowhere. But it with a little bit of homework and a little work and a little bit of reading on the site. We can be well prepared to draw the sting of the foolish assertions of our pagan neighbors and friends and begin to make them consider the possibilities of the wonder of this sort be able to say to them, it is not only historically interesting but it is practically useful, how useful is it, Paul tells us when he writes in second Timothy three and in verse 16. What is the work of the word of God.

What does this Scripture do, what does this sort effect in people's lives.

Two Timothy 316 all Scripture is God breathed and it is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Jesus use the sword of the Spirit in counteracting the attacks of the evil one in his temptation recorded. For example, in Matthew chapter 4 if you turn to Matthew for for for just a minute, you will see how the priority of the Scriptures was therefore Jesus himself, the temperature in Matthew four came to Jesus and said if you are the son of God tell these stones to become bread. How does Jesus reply. He replies with the Scriptures, it is written, he says, man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. So the devil comes out in a second time and took him to the holy city, and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.

If you are the son of God, he said, throw yourself down.

For it is written. Now he starts to use the Bible against Jesus.

He will command his angels concerning you and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone on it is positive for moment and tell you that everybody who uses the Bible.

There are people who use the Bible to coach use the Bible with great skill. It is a sort on which they will fall. That is why the Christian science reading rooms are so attractive they are neither Christian nor scientific and they always have the Bible, there but the key to understanding the Bible in the mind of a Christian scientist is not the enabling power of the Spirit of God who illumines the printed page, but it is the key to it all. Namely, that the work of the Lady Mary whatever her name was Baker Eddy or whatever name in the same way those magnificent advertisements by the Mormons on television made much of the Bible. I haven't seen one yet that doesn't have the Bible and why is that it's the same strategy is the devil in Matthew four. While you want to use the Bible how use the Bible that I will show you how we can use the Bible is the sword on which they will fall and Jesus replied, it is also written. Do not put the Lord your God to the test and the third time the devil to come to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, etc., and said all this, I'll give you if you bow down and worship me.

And Jesus said to him away from me, Satan, for it is written, worship the Lord your God and serve him only then the devil left him, you want to know to get the devil to leave you use your Bible, read your Bible, learn your Bible quote your Bible understand your Bible get to grips with the Bible. It's all in this book Christianity is Christ, and Christ is revealed in all the Scriptures. For that reason we want always to affirm our commitment in this way, Jesus not only in Matthew four makes much of this, but when we view him in his high priestly prayer in John chapter 17 we find a similar emphasis. John chapter 17 in verse eight. Four.

I gave them. He says to his father. The words you gave me and they accepted what was Jesus doing when he was walking and he was talking he was giving the very words that the father knew his children needed to have here in this book, the Bible, the psalmist and some 119 in verse 11 speaks to us concerning the way the Scriptures work for us in defense. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

The same truth in some 119 in verse 89 and following your word of the Lord is eternal, it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations. You establish the error offended in jurors your laws and you are to this day for all things serve you. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction I will never forget your precepts, for by then you have preserved my life saving me for I am yours.

I have sought out your precepts. I remember working my way through the hundred 19 seminar Bible study on Wednesday night in my previous church in Scotland years ago there was a young man there is civil engineer who was working on the oil pipelines that were coming in and going out to various rig mechanisms that were established largely by American oil companies in the North Sea and off the shores from Aberdeen and this fellow Tommy who prior to my arrival there had had a massive heart attack. As a young man in his 20s. He was a very strange thing, but I never forget when he was home on this particular Wednesday night and he would fly back up to Aberdeen and then he would go out onto these rigs, etc. and he would stay in the Holiday Inn and have a need in the Holiday Inn in Aberdeen. As some of you know if you've been there is little bit more upmarket than the average quality in here at least is a little more expensive than the average quality in here and the stewardesses from British Airways would stay there and the stewardesses from British Airways would in the evening I sit around and talk and depending on their mood and sense of fascination be perhaps interested in the camaraderie and the companionship of a young eligible bachelor like Tommy intelligent well-versed the civil engineer with a fat wad of money from these American oil companies.

In his hip pocket and I'll never forget him coming back some couple of weeks later and telling me pastor I came awful close to disaster the other night and Aberdeen but do you know what kept me know what kept you Tony. Who's that thing you didn't sound 119. I will never forget your precepts, for by then you have preserved my life Tommy tonight is in heaven yet another massive heart attack and is so young man in his staircase went to have, but it was a wonderful reminder to me of the power of the word of God to keep if you will store the word of God in your heart a wee bit every day. It will stand you in great stead. If, at the age of 18, you save a buck a day with compound interest shall have $1 million before you retire and if from the age of 18, you would store up of the Sunday you would have such a wealth and working knowledge of the Bible that people would be sitting at your feet in years to come. As you wielded the sword of the Spirit, but may I say this to you.

Nobody ever became a Bible scholar on one sermon a week. Nobody ever became agile with the sword of the Spirit simply by listening to somebody talk about nobody will ever become useful with the Scriptures, minus our real desire to know the word of God. That's what it takes.

It takes a desire to know the word of God and that desire is not a natural thing. It is a supernatural thing and even the supernatural desire is waged war against by all the activities of the evil one who says the original.

Don't become so concerned about that. Don't spend your time on that there are far too many other things. If you're going to become a student of the word of God. We need to becoming submissive to his spirit and we need to be committed to the study.

It demands constant diligence, we never become a Bible scholar lying in front of the television or playing in the park laziness and in discipline will monitor our ability with the sword.

We need to be like the billions in acts 1711, always searching the Scriptures on a daily basis to see if these things are so were we know the better we understand God's word, the sharper and more effective our swords will be listing to Alastair Bragg on Truth for Life. We can 1 Good Way to sharpen your sword is by using a daily devotional to reflect on God's word and if you don't currently subscribe to the Truth for Life daily devotional. You can sign up for today.

It's free when you sign up each day you will receive an email with the passage of Scripture and the corresponding commentary from Alastair again.

It's free.

You can subscribe to go to Truth for as you listen to today's teaching on the reality of spiritual warfare you may have been saying to yourself that the battle has never been more obvious if you'd like a healthy dose of encouragement you want to read a book titled being the bad guys how to live for Jesus in a world that says you shouldn't know that may not sound like much of an encouraging title but the book will help you take a big step back and do a little bit of recalibrating, even though we may find ourselves in the minority when it comes to a variety of issues.

Things like sex and gender. The author of this book reminds us God is in control. He is sovereign over all things, just as he has been throughout all of history.

If you're uneasy about the state of our world.

Read the book being the bad guys you learn how to adopt a renewed sense of peace and joy even in the midst of a culture that opposes your views. Find out more about the book being the bad guys when you visit our website at Truth for Life.I'm Bob Lapine. Thanks for listing this weekend.

Did you know the devil is unafraid of Perla's preaching join us next week and will learn why believing prayer is so powerful.

The Bible teaching of Alastair Bragg is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living

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