THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 7-8-07

LESSON TITLE: "PUTTING ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD: STANDING AGAINST THE WHILES OF SATAN"

WELCOME

Solomon once proclaimed, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver." How are your words spoken and then perceived? Thank you for joining us this morning for the Living Word Program. It is always a privilege to have you with us for this time of offering to God. We welcome you to this service for our Creator.

Today, we have the opportunity together to worship and praise our God. This morning we will glorify our Lord through songs of praise and through the study of His perfect Word. Won't you do your part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer.

(Prayer)

As those who love God, do we hear, believe and act on the words of our Master? Well, if not we need to learn to heed the words of our Savior. Let's sing about this wondrous truth at this time. So, won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Hark The Gentle Voice Of Jesus!"

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

How many times have we said something we regretted? When was the last time you said something you wish you could take back? Words are so very important! However we often throw words around and say things that really aren't worth repeating.

On one hand, words can do so much good and can accomplish so much, because they encourage and edify the hearer. While on the other hand, words can do so much harm, tearing down, hurting and even damaging the hearer. No doubt this is why we read the words which Paul spoke to the church at Ephesus, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Ephesians 4:29. There we have it well summarized, our communication should only benefit those who hear it. Making them better people, encouraging them to be more Christ-like. Also notice that the idea of undeserved favor is mentioned in this verse. We say that which is good and right, no matter who we are talking to - whether they deserve it or not!

There is a final reason why our words are so important. Read with me the words of Jesus found in Matthew 12:37, there He said, "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Also look back in verse 36, where He said, "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment." There you have it, our words are of the utmost importance because by them we will be judged in the last day. Either found justified before our God for the good we say, or condemned by God because we have misused our words.

Think about our fruits this morning. Isn't that how people know what we are all about. Again back to our text in Matthew 12, back in verse 35, Jesus prefaced His comments by saying, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things." As we stated in the beginning, People will either know we are of God or not by what we do and say. Again, not forgetting that our words will either prove us acceptable before God or condemned? Are you using the proper type of communication in your daily life - that which is to the glory of God?

This morning we will begin a new series of study entitled, "Put On The Whole Armor Of God!" Our first lesson today deals with, "Standing Against The Whiles Of The Devil." So please stay with us through our next song and in a few minutes I will return with this study from God's Word. Now it's time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "How Great Thou Art."

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Ray Sullins

In Matthew chapter 4, we read of a beautiful story in the life of Jesus when He was tempted of Satan. We recall there that Satan came to Him and gave Him several temptations, three exactly, and in all of the temptations, Jesus was able to withstand them and to be strong. It's also interesting to notice there what He used to withstand the devil's temptations. He used God's Word. He spoke of those things that were from God and says that if is God's Will, then we do things, and if it's not, then we don't. So Satan would misuse and try to twist the scriptures in his presentation to Jesus. Jesus always used the Word of God to remain strong.

I want to recall to you another verse found in 1 Peter chapter 5. Here again, we read about that same Satan who not only went after Jesus as the Son of God but also strives to go after us today. We read there beginning in verse 8, "Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour." Here we see that Satan is like that cunning animal, a lion, the animal that goes around to seek it's prey, seeking for the weak, the easier prey, the lame prey, the prey that might be easily taken out, and then he pounces on those animals and then he eats those animals. Well Satan is after us as well, and it's also life threatening to us in a spiritual standpoint. He comes after us that he might as well take us down and when he does, then he pulls us away from God.

I want you t notice what he states though in the next verse from the same text, verse 9, he says, "Resist him." Who is that? Satan. Satan the roaring lion who is going about trying to bring us and pull us away from God. "Resist him. Be steadfast in the faith knowing that the same sufferings are experiences by your brotherhood in the world."

So what do we need to do? We must be ready and prepared knowing that Satan will strive to get us and by being ready as all others must be ready when we are tempted as they are, we can resist, and when we resist then we are those who will be found faithful in the end.

I also like there in verse 8 as we read there just a moment ago the concept of being sober and vigilant. He's meaning there to have self control, to be watchful, to know that these things will happen for when we know they will happen and we prepare ourselves, it's much easier to withstand then and overcome those things that are presented before us.

Now I want to turn to our main text in the new series that we are beginning, that is found there in Ephesians chapter 6. As you are turning there I might encourage you to think just for a moment about the fact about what we will be considering together for in this passage we read about the armor of a faithful child of God, the Christian armor. What basically we will begin to see here in our main text is that there are things we can do specifically to make ourselves ready against Satan for Satan is striving to do things against us and if we have made ourselves ready then there is a good and encouraging outcome for those who tempted. So if you will, look with me there in the text, Ephesians chapter 6 beginning in verse 10. It's interesting here what Paul begins with as he speaks to the church at Ephesus and he tells them to be strong. Well, what is it that we are striving for in this life? What is it that all of us as Christians want? To be strong. We want to study and know the Word of God and we want to be strong to stand in it, and then when we stand in it, we want then to be known as those who are faithful in the sight of God. So with that in mind, he says, "Finally brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." Notice the strength here is tied directly to the power of God. What is the power of God? Well we know God is all-powerful. But the power of God that we have part in is the Word, the gospel. Romans 1:16 says, "The gospel is the power unto salvation." "It is that perfect law of liberty," James 1:25. And so we have the power of God through the Word that if we study it is able to make us strong. Now how exciting that is because when we go back to our introductory thoughts there in Matthew 4, what did Jesus do? He was strong in what way? Through the Word of God. He used the Word of God to resist the devil, to be strong, to be watchful, to be vigilant.

And so with all these things here, we read that through the power of God and His Word, we can find that same strength to resist temptation. And that's good because in verse 11 he says, "Equip yourselves. Put on the whole armor of God." That's also interesting because in all of the things that we read here and we'll begin to notice in our text together is that they are active things. They're not passive things. They're not things that will be accomplished by sitting on our couch or doing nothing or just watching TV or being involved in things of the world. They are things that take action on our part. To be strong, we must what? Know the Word of God which is the power of God and then as we read here we must put on something. And what is that? The whole armor of God. We're going to look at what the armor is specifically in just a moment, but we want to look here at what it is really talking about in relationship to the outcome if we do put on the armor.

Notice he goes on in verse 11 to say, "If we put the armor on that you may be able to stand against the whiles of the devil." We'll be able to stand, if you'll notice here, against those things that the devil is throwing at us, those schemes, those plans, those things that he has done to say, "How can I bring him down?" Again, how does he do it? He looks for those weaknesses. He looks for those soft spots just like we looked at in 1 Peter chapter 5 and verse 8. He looks for the areas that we are lame in or that we are weak in and then he pounces on those things. Well here it says, "The whiles, the schemes, the plans that the devil has." Because he sees our faith and he says, "I want to destroy their faith in God." So how encouraging we read here in verse 11 that we learn that we are able to put on something which is referred to as God's armor that we might be able to resist those very clever schemes, those very cunning schemes. In fact, what was he described as, that is Satan in the book of Genesis as well as in the book of Revelation by John? He was described as "the serpent, the cunning." In fact, there in Genesis, he was described as "a beast of the field that was more cunning than any other beast." The serpent. So here we have the idea clearly that Satan is looking cleverly at the best ways he can to bring us down. But how much greater to know that by the power of God and His Word, we can put on something that can resist anything he throws at us, anything he shoots us with.

In fact, we might also notice here as we continue on that the battle we are about is a physical battle. Not necessarily just physical that we carry out in the fact that it's with flesh and blood though, physically in a spiritual sense. There's things to do in a physical way that really are attributed to spiritual things that when we think about armor, when we think about a soldier, when we think about equipping ourselves with the things that we will read here, we think more about a literal or physical warfare. In fact, that's what verse 12 does for us. It helps us to understand the fight, the struggle. He says, "Therefore, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood..." We're not fighting against flesh and blood. "But against the principalities, against the powers," he says, "against the rulers of darkness of this age, against the spiritual host of wickedness in heavenly places." He says, "We're fighting against Satan. We're fighting against a spiritual realm. We're fighting against that which the church is, a spiritual thing." In fact, what is God? John 4:24 says, "God is spirit." So God spiritually is helping us in our spiritual lives to overcome the spiritual darts and wickedness of Satan. And so therefore when we know that he's doing that, what are we able to do? Again, equip ourselves and overcome the schemes and the plans of Satan.

You might also notice there in verse 13 what he goes on to say. "So what should we do when we know we are in a battle that is spiritual, not really flesh and blood that we will literally spear someone with a sword and kill him and he dies physically, but we're in a spiritual battle here against all wickedness." Then in verse 13 he says, "Then again take up the whole armor of God." And why? That again you might be able to withstand in that day and the day of Judgement that you may stand before God justified for you have done what? Put on the armor of God and been strong and able to do all. Now do all the what? Here's the action again. "That you have done all to stand," that's what he says there at the end of verse 13. To take heed in that day that you have known that you all that you can do to stand. And so what must we do? What God says. Equip ourselves, to put on something.

So what we're going to be doing over the next several months is looking at each of these parts of the equipment of the soldier, the spiritual soldier of God, the spiritual warrior that God designs us to be. So what are those elements of our warfare? What is that which we must equip ourselves with? Verse 14, "Stand therefore having girded your waist with..." What? "Truth," is the first one. "Having put on the breastplate of righteousness." Righteousness is the second thing. "Having shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace." The gospel of peace is the third thing. Verse 16, "Above all, taking the shield of..." What ? "Faith." Faith is the fourth thing. But I want you to notice what it says again that faith is able to do. What are these items able to do? The true, the righteousness, the gospel, the faith. Notice there what verse 16 goes on to say, "Which will help you to be able to withstand or quench all the fiery darts of Satan." There again, the same outcome, the same reward. Then five, we find in verse 17, "Taking the helmet of salvation..." So salvation is the next thing. Then finally, the sixth thing is "the sword of the spirit" which clearly he states in verse 17 "is the Word of God." So again, we have the truth. We have righteousness. We have the gospel of peace. We have the faith. We have that which is called the helmet of salvation. Finally then again we have the Word of God. But again, I would encourage us all to note that as he mentions each of these things, how does he present them? "Girding yourself." Action. Verse 14. Having what? "Put all the breastplate of righteousness." Again action. Above all, what? Verse 16, "Taking the shield of faith." Again action. Notice again verse 17, "Take the helmet of salvation." Verse 17, "Take the sword of the spirit." All of these things are active things that we must do to prepare ourselves. Now we wonder sometimes then why we fail, why temptation brings us down. Well, maybe we haven't prepared ourselves. We haven't taken action, equipped ourselves with that which God has given us through His Word to be what? Ready. Ready to withstand, ready to overcome, ready to be more than conquerors. You see, that's what our God has done. That's what our God has promised. That's why we read there as well in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 and verse 13 that "Our God has loved us so much that if we prepare, if we are faithful, if we are ready, when those temptations come, God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear."

You see how much God loves us? He will see that we will not fall. We will never fall. But it's because we have done what He has commanded to be ready. We have prepared ourselves and equipped ourselves with those things that make us so strong through the Word of God that even when Satan comes, even when he pounces, even when he attacks, he will not endure. He will not overcome. He will not be able to get us. Why? God is on our side? With God on our side, we always are the victors. So I encourage us to be those as soldiers of Christ, to arise, to put on the armor of God and as we have equipped ourselves with the armor of God, to know then that we can be found faithful in our lives to not only serve God, but to defend the Truth, to defend the Word of God, and then offensively to go out and to preach it to others for then we will be able to save ourselves and to save all those that we preach to, as well, so that when the Lord comes again as we have read even this morning, He will take us home to be with Him in Heaven that we might ever be with the Lord, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

(SONG # 3 - "His Yoke Is Easy!")

CLOSING COMMENTS

Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.

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Have we equipped ourselves properly as a child of God? If not, why not put on God's Armor today that you may be able to withstand the devil, and thus serve God as commanded!

(Program closing)