Monday, 30 December 2013

The Christian In Complete Armour (2): "Put On The Whole Armour Of God ... " (Ephesians 6:11).

"Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11).
In this verse, God tells us two things: (i) what we are to do - "Put on the whole armour of God"; (ii) why we are to do this - "that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
To put on the whole armour of God involves, first of all, a change of heart. This may be seen when we look at two other passages where Paul says, "Put on."
If you are to put on the whole armour of God, you must, first, put on the Lord Jesus Christ.You must have Jesus Christ, living in you.
If you are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, you must, first, put on the new man (or new nature). You must be born again. You must become a child of God before you can be a soldier of Christ.
To understand the intensity of the conflict between god's people and Satan, the enemy of our souls, we must go back to the beginning of the Bible. In Genesis 3, Satan is described as the serpent. He is subtle. He tricked Adam and eve, and he is out to trick us too. When Adam and Eve followed Satan rather than God, they were naked (Genesis 3:7). This is our position, if we are not armed with the whole armour of God. If we are to fight against Satan and be victorious over him, we need to be alert and well-equipped. This is why God says to us, "Put on the whole armour of God."
To be armed with the whole armour of God, you must take off the filthy rags of your own self-righteousness. You can't have both. The armour of God won't fit on top of the filthy rags of your own self-righteousness.
If we are to walk in the strength of the Lord, we must not try to live in our own strength. You and I must say, "In myself, I am weak. In myself, i can never be strong. I will always be weak" - but there is something else we must also say: "In Christ, I am strong." In Him, we have true strength, the strength which becomes ours when we put on the armour of God.
Remember - it is not my armour or your armour. It is the armour of God. As we put on the armour of God, our trust must be in Him, the God of the armour, the God who has provided this armour for us, the God who, alone, gives us the power to be victorious for Him. This armour of God is also described by Paul as "the weapons of our warfare." It is only through God's power that these weapons become "mighty through God" (2 Corinthians 10:4).
In our conflict against Satan, we have a wily enemy. Scripture speaks of "the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11). The devil is subtle.He is "the serpent." When you see a snake, creeping along, You can never be sure which way it is going to go. The devil is like that. The Word of God tells us that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Do you remember the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The wicked queen came to Snow White, dressed as an old lady. She came with beautiful apples. They were full of poison. Things were not as they seemed. that's the way it is with Satan.He's the deceiver. He comes to us, quoting from the Bible. This is what he did when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Why does he quote the Bible to us? Does he hope to strengthen our faith? No! He wants to sow seeds of doubt. The Apostle Pal wrote, "We are not ignorant of his devices (his clever arguments)" (2 Corinthians 2:11). If we are to be victorious over the devil, we must "not be ignorant of his devices." What about us? Are we ignorant of his devices?
Satan is not only the deceiver. He is also the tempter and the troubler. He comes to us with temptations. He comes to us.
Even while we with accusations. He does nothing but make trouble for us.
He attacks those who are newly converted. He loves to bring ministers down. He loves to complicate things for theologians so that their "minds are corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:3). when we are going through hard times, Satan says, "Blame God. It's all his fault." When we're rejoicing in the Lord and His goodness, Satan says, "This is all too good to be true. All this talk about God - it's all in your own imagination." When things are going badly, we must not over-react. "Blame God", says Satan. This is what we must not do. We must trust Him in the difficult times as well as praising Him in the good times. When things are going well, we must not become complacent. We must not take it all for granted. That's what Satan wants us to do. When things are going well, we are at our most vulnerable. we can so easily become proud of our own achievements and forget all about God.
There are times when Satan does not seem to be troubling us too much. These are the times when we must take great care. In Luke 4:13, at the end of Jesus' temptations in the wilderness, we read, "When the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time." Satan only appears to leave us alone. In these quieter times, he's busy - planning his next attack. He will never give up his evil plan to disturb God's people.
Even, in the hour of death, Satan will be busy seeking to disturb the peace of those who belong to Christ.
Even, while we are worshipping the Lord, Satan is desperately trying to undermine our faith - "You don't think God wants to have anything to do with a sinner like you."
When you feel that your sins are greater than the grace of God, be sure that this thought comes from Satan, and remember this: "Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin."
When Satan accuses you, don't argue with him, saying, "I'm not as bad as all that." Send him to Jesus. Let Jesus answer for you. When Satan accuses, let it make you more humble, more careful and more prayerful.
13.9.92 pm; also 2.10.96 - Burnside Bible Study

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