10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
On Monday afternoon two men were shot by a person in a black SUV near Robinson and Cottage Streets. The 24-year-old driver was shot in his side and arm, while the 27-year-old passenger was shot in the hand and left elbow. They are both being treated at the nearby Hospital. Police have obtained an arrest warrant for a suspect they believe fired shots at two men sitting in a car on Monday afternoon. Columbus police are searching for Robert Bobby Watson, 21 years old. Watson is facing numerous charges including assault with intent to murder. Police have not yet determined a motive and said the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous. If anyone has information on the suspect they are asked to call 911. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. We hear stories like this all the time on TV shows, the radio, and the news, and it happens so much that we are not even fazed by it. We have become numb to these types of stories. Do you know that over 144 people were shot and killed in Columbus in 2020. And I am sure that there are more than that because this does not take into account the ones that were shot by police officers. Someone gets shot, stabbed, or attacked and we just go on with our lives. People commit terrible crimes every day because the are armed and dangerous. They are robbing folks because they are armed and dangerous. They are beating folks because they are armed and dangerous. They are terrorizing neighborhoods and schools because they are armed and dangerous. They are killing folks because they are armed and dangerous. And in many cases black men are being killed because some police officers and others think that they might be armed and dangerous just because of the color of their skin. But I would like to submit to you today that every single child of God should be armed and dangerous.
If you are in the fraternity or sorority of the twice born you should be armed and dangerous.
If you are born again you should be armed and dangerous.
If you have accepted the Lord into your heart you should be armed and dangerous.
If you have confessed with your mouth that Jesus is the Lord of your life you should be armed and dangerous.
In other words if you are saved you should be armed and dangerous
What are you saying Pastor Brian? We all need to be strapped, packing heat, ready to bust a cap, ready to spread some lead? No, not at all but I am suggesting that you get armed and that you become extremely dangerous with the full armor of God! Shall we look at the text? In the text today Paul is writing the sixth part of his letter to the church in Ephesus. He tells the people 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Now as I prayed, prepared, and researched for these messages I found a great deal of useful information describing the full armor of God. My main source of information was an article I found on learningreligions.com entitled Armor of God Bible Study by Jack Zavada, and I am so excited to share it with you over the next month. And if you pray for me as I preach and teach I really do believe there’s a blessing in the house.
Someone will be healed.
Someone will be delivered.
Someone will be changed.
Someone will be challenged.
Someone will be encouraged.
Someone will receive confirmation.
But you have to be armed and dangerous.
According to Zavada The Full Armor of God, described by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18, is our spiritual defense against attacks from the enemy. Now if we were to leave home every morning dressed in a suit of armor, we would feel and look pretty silly. Fortunately that’s not necessary. The Full Armor of God may be invisible, but it’s just as real, and when used properly and worn daily, it provides solid protection against the Enemy’s attacks. The good news is that none of these six pieces of the Full Armor of God require power on our part. Jesus Christ has already won our victory through his sacrificial death on the cross. We only have to put on the effective armor he has given us.
Aren’t you glad that the power of the armor does not come from man?
We are so fickle we’d turn off the armor because someone got on our nerves, or bought the outfit that we wanted.
Or we’d turn the armor off just because we felt like it or we were in a bad mood with a jacked up attitude.
We’d be negligent with our resources forget to pay the bill and the power would be shut off.
So thank God for Jesus that he paid the ultimate price in order for us to have the full armor of God. So lets talk about this armor! This morning we are going to discuss two pieces of the armor. The belt of truth and The breastplate of righteousness. Let’s begin!
The Belt of Truth, which is the first piece of the Full Armor of God, is described by Zavada like this. In the ancient world, a soldier’s belt not only kept his armor in place, but it might be wide enough, as a girdle, to protect his kidneys and other vital organs. Just so, the truth protects us. Practically applied to us today, you might say the Belt of Truth holds up our spiritual pants so that we’re not exposed and vulnerable! Jesus Christ called Satan the “father of lies”, and deception is one of the Enemy’s oldest tactics. We can see through Satan’s lies by holding them against the truth of the Bible. The Bible helps us defeat the lies of materialism, money, power, and pleasure as the most important things in life. The world wants us to believe that money, power, pleasure, and materialism are what truly matters in life.
I have to wear the latest fashion.
I have to be driving the freshest and newest ride.
I need to be a part of this club or organization to prove that I have arrived.
I need to be making this much money
I need to live in this neighborhood
And it is even effecting our young people and they are judging other kids based on what they are wearing or not wearing (what are those). But, the truth of God’s Word shines its light of integrity into our lives and holds together all of our spiritual defenses. Jesus told us “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV) In other words, the truth shall set you free. The world is constantly portraying evil as good. It has become so twisted that many people see the most despicable things as all right. We see it everyday on TV. We hear it on the radio. Fantasia has a song called I’m sleeping with the one I love. At first I thought that’s nice you’re sleeping with the one you love, hopefully it’s you husband, but as I listened to the song I realized that the song was glorifying an affair because she says the man she’s with is good, but he’s not good enough so I’m sleeping with the one She loves… so the song is a modern day version of the woman at the well because neither one of these men seems to be the singer’s husband. People just doing whatever makes them feel good despite the consequences of their actions, but of course I am not talking about anyone at SCC!
No one in here is getting high or drunk.
No one in here is going to the club or party and kicking it all night long. No one in here is getting busy without a wedding ring. What’s Beyoncé say….
No one in here is moving from one partner to another.
No one in here is just doing what they want to do, however they want to do it, whenever they want to do it.
You need the belt of truth so that you can show the world the truth of Jesus Christ. Here are three things that happen because you’re wearing the belt of truth
The truth will set you free.
When we realize the truth that Jesus Christ loves us in spite of our mess, this sets us free.
When we understand the truth that while we were yet in sin God sent Jesus to die for us, this sets us free.
When we come face to face with the truth that God has forgiven us of all the stuff we’ve done, this sets us free.
And when we are free, this truth will set others free.
The truth will set others free. You see what happens is others see all that you have gone through and the freedom you now possess because of the truth of God in your life, that they want what you’ve got. They want to experience what you experience. They want to feel the way that you feel. So in a sense you have to be like Harriet Tubman. Once Harriet got her freedom she went back to the plantations to help free others. So once you receive freedom from this life of sin by the truth of God’s word you must go out and share your story in order to help others get to freedom as well.
The truth frustrates the enemy because we are free. He is the father of lies. And he uses lies to keep you in bondage. Just like the slave masters controlled slaves by twisting the word of God to meet their needs. Now if a slave owner got upset after a slave or slaves were freed how much more will the devil be frustrated that the truth of God has set you and others free. Because once you know the truth you are a threat to everything that he has planned.
I don’t know about you but I like the idea of frustrating the enemy.
I like the idea of messing up the enemies plans.
I like the idea of getting on the enemies nerves.
I like the idea of jacking up satan’s plans.
That’s why I will continue to put on the belt of truth!
The next piece of armor is the Breastplate of Righteousness, which guards our heart. According to Zavada, a wound to the chest can be fatal. That’s why ancient soldiers wore a breastplate covering their heart and lungs. Our heart is susceptible to the wickedness of this world, but our protection is the Breastplate of Righteousness, and that righteousness comes from Jesus Christ. We cannot become righteous through our own good works. There is nothing we can do to become righteous. When Jesus died on the cross, his righteousness was credited to all who believe in him, through justification. God sees us as sinless because of what his Son did for us. When God looks at us all he sees is the blood.
He does not see the liar.
He does not see the cheater.
He does not see the gossip.
He does not see the fornicator.
He does not see the adulterer.
He does not see the mistake.
All God sees is the blood! Is anyone grateful for the blood? Accept your Christ-given righteousness; Let it cover and protect you. Remember that it can keep your heart strong and pure for God. You have to protect your heart at all cost. Because Jesus paid it all. All to him I know. Sin had left a crimson stain, but he washed it white as snow. You have to protect your heart with the breastplate of righteousness. This is what the breastplate righteousness does for us.
Righteousness fixes us. Remember how jacked up we were before the righteousness of God fixed us. One of my favorite songs is he took me and made something beautiful out of my life.
Is that anyone’s testimony today?
Did he pick you up and turn you around?
Did he place your feet on solid ground?
Where you lost and now found?
Did he look beyond your faults and see your needs?
Did he clean up what you messed up?
His righteousness fixes us.
Righteousness fortifies us. Fortify means to protect or strengthen against attack; surround or provide with defensive military works.
2. To furnish with a means of resisting force or standing strain or wear.
3. To make strong; impart strength or vigor to.
4. To increase the effectiveness of, as by additional ingredients.
5. To strengthen mentally or morally.
6. To confirm or corroborate.
In other words, His righteousness builds us up.
His righteousness improves us.
His righteousness strengthens us.
His righteousness gives us a strong foundation on which to stand on.
On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand. His righteousness fortifies us.
Righteousness fine tunes us. So after his righteousness fixes us and fortifies us, it fine tunes us. Now have you ever heard an instrument that was out of tune. It just doesn’t sound right. It does not make the beautiful music is was created to make because it needs to be fine tuned. Or your car is not running the way that it should run because it needs to be fine tuned. Or you computer is not operating correctly because it needs to be fine tuned. After you and I are fixed and fortified every now and then we get out of tune. We get off track, and we are not running the way God intended us to run and we need fine tuned.
God’s righteousness fine tunes us by taking us through a storm.
God’s righteousness fine tunes us by making ways out of no ways.
God’s righteousness fine tunes us by reminding us that He is the reason we live move and have our being. Is anybody in the room bedsides the man holding the microphone excited about the fact that God’s righteousness fixes us, God’s righteousness fortifies, and God’s righteousness fine tunes us.
You must put on the breastplate of righteousness!
You must put on the belt of truth!
Let me share this story with you.
How Many Beans in the Jar? (On Faith and Truth)
Christian writer Tim Stafford tells of an unusual approach to teaching about religious truth adopted by a pastor he knows. You might expect this, for the pastor, Stephey Bilynskyj, holds a Phd in Philosophy from Note Dame University! Whenever he runs a confirmation class the pastor takes a jar full of beans with him. He then gets the students to guess how many beans are in the jar, and writes down their guesses on a notepad. Pastor Bilynskyi then asks the class members to list their favorite songs, writing them down alongside the bean estimates. Pastor Bilynskyi then returns to the bean guesses, revealing the actual number and then whose guess was closest to being right. After congratulations have been offered attention is then refocussed on the song list. “And which one of these is closest to being right?” Pastor Bilynskyi asks. Invariably the students argue that when it comes to “favorite songs” there is no right answer. It’s purely subjective, a matter of taste. It’s at that point that Pastor Bilynskyi asks “When you decide what to believe in terms of your faith, is that more like guessing the number of beans, or more like choosing your favorite song?” Always, Bilynskyj says, he gets the same answer: Choosing one’s faith is more like choosing a favourite song. Bilynskyi disagrees, and though he still confirms those who hold this view, does his best to try to argue them out of it!
Source: Reported by Tim Stafford, Christianity Today, September 14, 1992
So what are you trying to say pastor? The truth of God can not be like your favorite song list because you’re favorite song list can change. Unlike the number of jelly beans in the jar. That number is fixed. It does not change just like the truth of God which leads to righteousness never changes.
And I was just wondering if there is anybody here excited about the fact that you have access to the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness.
If so stand on your feet.
Put your ten stringed instruments together and give God a ridiculous praise.
Praise him for his belt of truth.
Praise him for his breastplate of righteousness.
Praise him for the access to this armor.
Praise him for the ability to use this armor.
Praise him for allowing you to be armed and dangerous.