Friday, March 2, 2012

Countdown to Rekindle 2012

2 days until Rekindle!!!

Rekindle 2011: Session 5 - Stand Firm by Mickey Connolly
Ephesians 6:10-20 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 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. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
If you aren't running away from the devil - you are probably running the same direction.
James Montgomery Boice - "These verses are the culmination of this book and the point on which they end is that each Christian is engaged in a great spiritual battle and must equip himself for it."
In light of the opposition, stand firm in the power of Jesus.
Clinton Arnold - "The best way of summarizing the activity of evil spirits is to say that they stand for everything that is contrary to God's purposes and the welfare of his people. Whereas God creates life, the forces of darkness are bent on destroying life...Whereas God is holy and seeks virtue in his people, Satan's host are evil and seek to promote every imaginable vice."
  • The Lord's Strength - v.10
James Montgomery Boice - "The devil is not all-powerful, but he is certainly much more powerful than we are. So if we are to resist his evil influences it must be by the power and provision of God only."
    • We are not fighting this battle alone - we are fighting it in the strength and power of God
  • The Devil's Schemes - v.11-12
    • Before we go up against the devil, we need to know his strategies.
      • An Organized enemy
        • verse 12
      • A Powerful Enemy
        • He is a fallen angel
      • A Wicked Enemy
        • He plays dirty
        • He's referred to in the New Testament TWELVE times as "the evil one"
John Calvin (Institutes, 174) - "There must be consummate depravity in that disposition which devotes itself to assailing God's glory and man's salvation."
      • A Crafty/Clever Enemy
        • He's smart and experienced
      • A Hidden Enemy
        • He works in secret...behind the scenes
          • Deceit
            • Father of lies, makes sin look attractive
          • Temptation
            • He's great in advertising and marketing
          • Accusation
            • He accuses you, God and others
          • Torment
            • He comes to kill, steal, and destroy
John Calvin (Institutes, 172) - "All that Scripture teaches concerning devils aims at arousing us to take precaution against their stratagems and contrivances, and also to make us equip ourselves with those weapons which are strong and powerful enough to vanquish these most powerful foes."
John Newton (Letters, 115) - "But though you are to keep your eye upon him, and expect to hear from him at every step, you need not be slavishly afraid of him; for Jesus is stronger and wiser than he, and there is a complete suit of armour provided for all who are engaged on the Lord's side."
  • The Church's Stand - v. 13-20
    • Integrity (What keeps you from drifting in your commitment to God? - The Word of God)
      • Belt of Truth - A foundational commitment/determination to live true to God. That foundational commitment then undergirds each individual decision or battle of life and enables us to STAND FIRM.
        • Underlying
        • A temptation of the evil one is the theory that there is no absolute truth...submit to God, be true to him...that is your fundamental commitment.
      • Breastplate of Righteousness - A fixed determination to do what is right in the face of the onslaughts of Satan
        • Ongoing
        • Our main problem will always be our own heart.
        • The devil can do nothing to a good heart so guard your heart.
    • Faith (a determination to do right in the face of evil)
      • Shoes - Gospel of peace. The ability to not slip and fall in the face of his attacks
        • Faith in the gospel keeps us from slipping and falling in battle.
      • Shield of Faith - Trust in God's promises and power that will serve to extinguish the devil's accusations and lies
        • Deny - Extinguish - Block - Say No - Have faith
    • Conviction (application)
      • Helmet of Salvation - We need to think rightly so that we can believe rightly so that we can live rightly so that we can STAND FIRM
        • Think right - believe right - live right - stand firm
      • Sword of the Spirit - The word of God repels the devil
        • If you are weak in the Bible, you are wobbly in your stance.
        • Repel attacks
      • The Power of Prayer - Prayer accesses the Lord's strength
        • Persevere, pray to be bold in proclaiming the gospel
        • Pray to access God's strength
  • Application
    • What were your thoughts on the devil/demons before this message?
      • Did you tend to overestimate or overestimate their activity?
    • Mickey asked - what anchors your beliefs?
      • So what does?
      • How have you been affected by the idea that there is no ultimate right and wrong and that ethics can be situational?
      • How does ultimate truth undergird your Stand for Jesus?
    • How can you apply this armor to your daily life in order to help you to Stand?

No comments: