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The Soldier’s Weapons (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
July 30, 2022 4:00 am

The Soldier’s Weapons (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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July 30, 2022 4:00 am

God’s Word is an essential weapon in spiritual warfare. But did you know that the devil is unafraid of prayerless proclamation? Learn how to use both weapons—God’s Word plus prayer—for maximum impact. Study along with Alistair Begg on Truth For Life.


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As we face the reality of spiritual warfare lives. We see that God's word is an essential weapon but did you know that the devil is not afraid of prayerless proclamation today on Truth for Life.

We can will learn how to use both weapons spoke the word of God and prayer for maximum impact. Alistair Begg is teaching from Ephesians chapter 6 will be focusing on verses 17 and 18 as you study the Bible for yourself and some of you are taking notes this evening. Let me remind you of three principles in studying the Bible and in coming to grips with the word of God. These are principles of biblical interpretation.

They are not unique to me. You'll find them everywhere.

When you read the Bible, read the Bible in the awareness of its natural sense. In other words read the Bible with simplicity in light of its most general sense, don't read the Bible like a mystery book, the plain sense of Scripture, the purpose of God's revelation in the Bible is clarity. It is not confusion. The purpose of God in writing.

The Bible is that there would be a readily intelligible message and not a series of dark and mysterious mysteries and riddles. And as you are aware of one of my now great clichs. The main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main thing I'm not seeing things that are hard to understand.

In the Bible.

Don't misunderstand me what I'm saying is that when we come to the Scriptures is a principle of interpretation we come seeking the natural sense of what is being said and in the things that are essential and clear. It is essential that there is absolute unity in things that are peripheral, we would not say that everything is of the same significance as something else.

For example, some people get very very concerned about whether ladies wear hats or whether they don't, I would say that that was peripheral and therefore I would exercise liberty in relationship to that it would not be imperative that we all agree the same thing. So in the in the essential things we should have absolute unity in the peripheral things we should allow one another. Liberty and in all things we should approach one another with perfect chatter. That way we will be able to get along another second principle is not the natural sense.

But what we might refer to as the original sense the first principle is the principle of simplicity.

The second principle is the principle of history. The principle of history we made much of this as we studied various sections of the Bible.

I hope that it would be obvious to you, namely that the permanent message of Scripture may only be understood within the circumstances in which it was originally given in the third sentence is if you like the general sentence or the principle of harmony and all that simply means is that we set the verses in the context in which their file. The reason there. There is because God is purpose to have them in that way so that is a harmony about the unfolding of Scripture and therefore we set the verses within the context of the letter we sent a letter within the context of history resent the old and the light of the new and the new in the light of the old so these three principles will be.

I think I help to you coming to the Scriptures understanding its natural sense the matter of simplicity, its original sense, the matter of history and its general sense, the principal of harmony. Now when we begin to get to grips with the Scripture in that way, then we will be able to use it on the attack as well as on the defense and let me conclude this weapon is just a verse from Hebrews chapter 4 in verse 12 for the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

That's why you see when we use our Bibles, we need to use them with great care.

If you have a friend who does a lot of woodworking. There will always be very, very concerned if you're a novice or an amateur or a nuisance. Around the place to tell you now know me fiddling and falling around with the stuff. A lot of this is sharp. You know, or if you've ever had the opportunity to be in the company of a surgeon as he engages in his work. He exercises extreme caution in the way he makes the cut because of the sharpness of the scalp and in the same way since the word of God has such amazing power to be able to divide even spirit and soul and Marilyn joints his work to get in the very heart of the issue, it is imperative that in the wielding of the sword, we do so cautiously and graciously and purposefully and kindly rather than that we become a sort of quarreling derivation swinging the thing around our heads everywhere we go.

Making people fearful and antagonizing everyone who sit still long enough, we given one of those hey try that first size is the Bible you know you are read it sometime you you you cloth eared nitwit you see, that doesn't endear people to the Bible you understand in the same way that many of our bumper stickers causes much offense is the offense that we feel are some of the other people's bumper sticker sort of in your face time, we need to take the sword of the Spirit and wheeled it with great care and great skill that brings us finally to the second weapon which is namely prayer because it is interesting and it is imperative that prayer on the word of God are put together always because it is in the shedding of the word of God, backed up by prayer, that the word of God has dramatic impact. That is why, for example, in acts chapter 6 the apostles make this change in the developmental and organizational plans of the fledgling church and in acts chapter 6 they recognize that the predicament that they're facing and some of the practicalities of Christian expedience, namely that the food matters in the distribution of food for widows that they were getting themselves all tied up in knots and so the league 12 gathered all the disciples together in acts six verse two and they said to them, it would be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables so brothers 27 man from among you, are known to be full of the Holy Spirit in wisdom and we will turn this responsibility over to. Then I noticed this, we will give our attention to prayer and to the ministry of the word of God, the devil is unafraid of prayer lists, proclamation for preaching and what happens in a preaching event is merely the gathering of results of the battle which has either been simultaneously or previously waged at the rival of prayer that you see is a great corrective to us when we think about all that's happening in such an event, or when we are beginning to make much of someone who is given the privilege of simply being a voice piece because when anything happens, it's the result of other unseen people engaging in believing prayer for the proclaiming of the word of God for the wielding of the sword of the spirit. Lord you're going to have to do this prayer and the word of God going together.

That's why Paul's letters are so full of these prayers for the church. For example, in Ephesians, from which we get our weaponry here in Ephesians chapter 1 he is praying for these people. He says in Ephesians 115. For this reason ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I have not stopped giving thanks for you and remembering you in my prayers and he asks that they may have an increase in their knowledge of God. In verse 17 that they may have an understanding of the way that God has called them to a glorious inheritance in verse 18, that they may have a revelation of the power of God in verse 90 the very power that raised Jesus from the dead. Whenever the church in history has been in decline, there has been an absence of believing prayer and there has been an absence of the effective wielding of the sword of the Spirit and whenever the Church of God in the course of history has been lifted out in us. Of usefulness, it can always be traced to faithful unsung heroes laying hold of God's great and precious promises in prayer and then for others being lifted up as it where and wafted on the wings of the prayers of those who will stand at the head of the line in the day of his coming. See from the perspective of the history books of the final quarter of a century history will be explained in terms of the political machinations of men. The strength and forcefulness of the combination of Reagan and Thatcher in standing against the tide of communism. History will explain the fall of the Berlin wall and those dramatic scenes as people scrambled for pieces of the wall and as the bulldozers brought them down secular history will not record what heaven will reveal, namely the Christians in Eastern Europe had bled and die and agonize in prayer for the downfall of the totalitarian regimes of atheistic Communists and this surely is that battle was fought and won on that level. As I believe paternity will reveal so the battles in times past were fought on one and I wanted turn you to one battle with which to conclude this evening. You can read it in Exodus chapter 17 and is the battle between the people of God in the Amalekites Amalekites event against Israelites at risk for being Exodus 17 in verse eight, the Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at rest. The demon Moses said to Joshua choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites what you want to do.

Moses, while tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands all I see okay so me and the guys we're gonna do the hard stuff down here on the battle rights and you get to use then on the top of the hill. Holding your walking stick. Joshua would never said because the staff of Moses had been symbolic of God's abiding presence with them.

It was with that staff that he had parted the Red Sea. It was with that staff of the pleadings that come upon Egypt. It was that staff which was a symbol of Moses ultimate dependence upon God and God's abiding provision for his people.

It was if you like that Moses in the symbolic gesture was going to take the part in prayer in verse 10 so Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered.

And Moses, even in her went to the top of the hill as long as Moses held up his hands. The Israelites were winning but whenever he lowered his hands. The Amalekites were winning when Moses hands grew tired. They took a stone and put it under him and he sat on here and and her held his hands, one on one side and one on the other so that his hands remained steady till sunset so Joshua overcame the Amalekite Army with the saw and down on the battlefield, it appeared that effectiveness was directly related to the power and influence and wisdom of Joshua and his colleagues from the vantage point of heaven are strange and unbelievable little scene was the key to it all. A strange man with his hands held up in dependence upon God.

So much so that his brothers in the sight of him would take turns in holding up his hands along with that. You see why Spurgeon would say regularly to his congregation.

Your pastor may preach the same sermons to far greater effect. If only some of you will determine in the on scene place to hold up your hand independence upon Almighty God. William Cowper, one of my favorite hymn writers with words that were then sent to an arrangement from music from Beethoven writes these words in somewhere between 1731 and 1800. What various hindrances we meet in coming to the mercy seat. Yet he who knows the worth of prayer, but wishes to be often there prayer makes the darkening cloud withdrawal prayer climbs the ladder. Jacob saw gives exercise to faith and love brings every blessing from above restraining prayer we ceased to fight prayer makes the Christians are more bright and Satan trembles. When he sees the weakest state upon their needs while Moses stood with arms spread wide success was found on Israel's side, but when through weariness. They fail that moment Amalek prevailed. Have you know words, think again.

Words flow up the pace. When you complain and fill your fellow creatures. The year with the sad tale of all your care where half the breath thus vainly spent two heaven in supplication sent our cheerful song would often be here what the Lord has done for me. So we recognize that there is a water we discovered our strength to be in the Lord.

We identify the enemy we delineate our responsibility. We clothe ourselves with the armor we take our weapons from the hand of the commanding officer and we hear them say quick. March are you ready for battle. Some of you tonight may not even be in the Army and so you just had a talk about something that is irrelevant to you until your joy sterling classical about 30 miles from Glasgow was a scene of boyhood paradise for me for their Battalion our regiment was still in working order.

Is it well when I was a small boy and at certain times in the day they would come out in March on the Castle Esplanade and I would walk on the cobbled street beside them as they marched trying to keep step with the soldiers and I loved it and I admired them I had no uniform. I wasn't in the Army I was just hanging around on the site I'm speaking to someone this evening and that fits you would like to give you a piece of literature that could tell you how to enlist to remove you from simply walking up and down on the sites when the Army marches so that we would be able to introduce you to your commanding officer to give you your armor to provide you with the weapons and to encourage you to come and join us in the back are you ready for the battle.

Will you be one of the unsung heroes who lays hold of God's promises and faithfully praise for the church listing to Alister Bragg on Truth for Life weaken today's message concludes our study on the subject of spiritual warfare.

Alister will be back in just a minute to close with prayer at the end of today's message Alister mentioned a piece of literature that tells you how to enlist in God's Army. That literature is called the story we posted a video version of it on our website so you can watch it or download it and share it with friends as often as you'd like completely free. Simply visit our website Truth for story now as we listen to Alister's teaching on the reality of spiritual warfare.

It has become increasingly clear how challenging the Christian life can be and living in the distinctly secular culture doesn't make that any easier.

The book being the bad guys subtitles how to live for Jesus in a world that says you shouldn't shares principles from Scripture to encourage us to live faithfully in every part of our lives, at work, at school with our friends and neighbors. Even though our beliefs put us more and more in the minority, the truths in this book will help you persevere in tough times. This is the last week and were mentioning the book being the bad guys you can find out more when you visit our Don't forget if you are away from home this summer you'd like to listen to truthfully from local radio station. You can find the time and station call letters were the program can be heard, simply visit Truth for finder to skim the ZIP Code or the city name even a local landmark. You'll find a list of stations in your area that broadcast truth for like now here's Alister close with prayer eternal God and loving father, look upon as an RC tonight. We pray as we have had your word. Speak into the lives of those who have come out of interest, but who know themselves to have no uniform never to have received your commission and simply to be walking on the sidelines. Something about the staring of the drum. There's something about the forcefulness of the Army.

There's something about the strident nature of their boldness that attracts them. Help them to hear your voice, bidding them lay down the arms of their rebellion and be gathered up in the arms of your loving embrace for some of us who, in the midst of the warfare have lost sight of where the real backless phone and wondered why it is that we've had so much time to skirmish internally to criticize people within the Army to call in question this and that in the next thing. Where did we get all of this time it's on our hand because we forgot what the battle really is tonight. God is calling us to say no to resentment and bitterness and self-pity and selfish preoccupation and to lift our eyes and looked out to take our stand against the devil's ski Lord, we don't want to be just a bunch of chocolate soldiers that melt the sooner the heat is turned.

We want you to make a strong and useful, so that when we have done all we been able to stand so that one day when we stand before you and have we might hear you say well done good and faithful soldier, for we ask these things in Jesus name on Bob Lapine. How can we be certain that Jesus actually died, but his body was stolen. Join us again next weekend for a special message. Where will investigate the history of the resurrection Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is furnished by Truth for Life with the Learning is for Living

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