03/08/15 Alive and Active!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, March 9, 2015 Under: Sermon

Worthy Walk Series – Ephesians 6:17

Intro: What is it that God has created in you? For whatever the reason, I will always remember the old Young Frankenstein Movie with Marty Felton and Gene Wilder. When I first saw this movie decades ago it was a time when the theater was the best way to watch a movie. There are several great scenes that still come to mind when I recall that movie. First of all it was hilarious, one of the scenes that made me laugh the most occurred when Marty Felton who was Gene Wilders (the mad scientist) assistant. Marty Felton was asked to go down into the basement and get a brain for the monster that Dr. Frankenstein was creating. As the horrifying events continued to unfold it was later evident that Dr. Frankenstein’s creation was given an abnormal brain. Dr. Frankenstein with all his intelligence couldn’t be guaranteed that what he created would have any defects. God instills within us if we so choose to accept a perfect spirit! We must decide whether we will allow the abnormities of life to intertwine. Let me go back to the first statement I made, what is it that God has created in you? Are you alive and active are you living or have you not yet come alive.

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)

The NIV says: “For the word of God is living and active.”

Text: Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV)

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Application: Protect and Serve!

1. Helmet of Salvation:

We have put together 4 parts of the full armor up to this point; The Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, The Shod‘s of the Gospel of Peace and the Shield of Faith. We can’t leave out protecting the head and the mind. The fifth piece of God’s armor is represented by the Roman soldier’s helmet, without which he would never enter battle. Some of the helmets were made of thick leather covered with metal plates, and others were of heavy molded or beaten metal. They usually had cheek pieces to protect the face.

The purpose of the helmet, of course, was to protect the head from injury, particularly from the dangerous broadsword commonly used in the warfare of that day. It was a large two–handed, double–edged sword that measured three to four feet in length. It was often carried by cavalrymen, who would swing at the heads of enemy soldiers to split their skulls or decapitate them.

The fact that the helmet is related to salvation indicates that Satan’s blows are directed at the believer’s security and assurance in Christ. The two dangerous edges of Satan’s spiritual broadsword are discouragement and doubt. To discourage us he points to our failures, our sins, our unresolved problems, our poor health, or to whatever else seems negative in our lives in order to make us lose confidence in the love and care of our heavenly Father.

The sign of the Christian soldier is the helmet of salvation (deliverance). He must protect his mind and its thoughts, keeping all thoughts focused upon the Leader, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His objective of reaching the world with the glorious news that men can live forever.

The helmet that protects the mind of the Christian soldier is salvation. Unless a man has been saved, his mind cannot be protected from the fiery darts of temptation. The mind of an unsaved man is focused upon this earth; it is normal and natural for him. The unsaved man sees nothing wrong with being his own person and doing his own thing just so he is reasonably considerate of others. His mind and thoughts are upon the earth; and the fiery darts of extravagance, indulgence, pleasure, self-centeredness, worldliness, and immorality are a part of the unsaved world's daily behavior. The mind of the saved man is focused upon Christ and His mission of sharing the good news of life, both life abundant and life eternal. Because of this, Satan launches his fiery darts of temptation against the mind of the believer, trying to get his thoughts and attention off of Christ and the conquest and ministry to souls. The Christian soldier desperately needs the helmet of salvation.

“For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 (HCSB)

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

For Satan, the battle is never over, and he loves to attack us with discouragement the moment we think we are safe. The test of a person’s character is what it takes to stop him. Some people retreat as soon as the first shot is fired, while others fight through battle after battle with no thought of giving up. Satan will try every means to discourage and deter us, reminding us of defeats and dangers and setting every possible object in our way to destroy our assurance in Christ.

Because the adversary will never lay down his sword against us as long as we are on earth, God’s armor is a constant necessity until we leave this earth forever. Only when our work on earth is finished can we say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”

The truly surrendered life is the life committed to aggressive, confrontive, and unreserved obedience to all of God’s commands. We must continue to be imitators of Christ. Paul’s own spiritual helmet was his firm hope in the completion of his salvation.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

The faithful believer does not “lose heart in doing good,” because he knows that “in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.” The Soldier that is alive and active will experience a worthy walk with his helmet of salvation strapped on!

2. Sword of Spirit:

The sword was a weapon used for both defense and offense. The sword was used both to protect and to fight off and slay the enemy. The sign of the Christian soldier is his use of the Word of God. By living in the Scriptures, he protects himself from the onslaught of the enemy; and he fights and wins battle after battle, day after day. Remember: Jesus Christ Himself overcame the onslaught of the devil by using Scripture: Matthew 4:4-10 “But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' 7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.' " 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "

The written Word is the one weapon that assures victory for the Christian soldier, for the "Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword.”

The emphasis of the present passage is on how believers are to use the sword of the Spirit. It is not a physical weapon designed by human minds or forged by human hands but the perfect spiritual weapon of divine origin and power. Like the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation, it is always to be at hand, ready to be taken up and used when a battle begins.

Scripture teaches many truths about itself. First, and most importantly, it claims God as its author. “All Scripture is inspired by God,” “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21

The Bible also claims that it is inerrant and infallible, containing no errors or mistakes. It is flawless, faultless, and without blemish. As God’s own Word it could not be otherwise.

  • The Bible claims that it is complete. 
  • The Bible claims to be authoritative.
  • The Bible claims to be effective.
  • The Bible also claims to be foundational. 
Those who listen to God’s Word and heed it give evidence that they belong to God, and those who deny and contradict His Word give evidence that they do not belong to Him.

The Bible is also a source of happiness. “Blessed [or happy] is the man who listens to me” Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God, and observe it”. No person can be happier than when he discovers, accepts, and obeys God’s Word.

The Bible is the source of spiritual growth. “Like newborn babes,” Peter admonished, “long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation”.

It is the source of power, “living and active and sharper than any two–edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit”, the source of guidance, a lamp to our feet, and a light to our path, the source of comfort, the source of perfection. And the word of God is the source of victory over our great spiritual enemy, our most powerful weapon against Satan.

The word of God is so powerful it transforms men from the realm of falsehood to that of truth, from the realm of darkness to that of light, and from the realm of sin and death to that of righteousness and life. I t changes sadness into joy, despair into hope, stagnation into growth, childishness into maturity, and failure into success.

Every time God’s Word is used to lead a person to salvation it gives witness to its power to cut a swath through Satan’s dominion of darkness and bring the light of life to a lost soul.

Testifying to His Word in our family, among our friends, at work, at school, in the classroom or pulpit, or as we travel, uses the most powerful spiritual weapon in the universe, which no power of Satan can withstand. For the very reason that God’s Word is so powerful and effective, that is where Satan’s greatest offensives are mounted. He will do anything and everything to undermine God’s Word and those who preach and teach it.

Many people seem to be genuine and faithful believers—until hardship, criticism, or persecution come. When the price for faithfulness becomes too high, they reveal that they never had true faith in the first place. Still another hearer also accepts the word in a superficial and temporary way, but as he trusts in his wealth the word is choked and “it becomes unfruitful” Because he wants the world, he forsakes the word.

When the seed of God’s Word is “sown on the good soil,” the hearer understands it and “indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty” It is here that the great offensive power of the sword of the Spirit is seen as it converts a soul from sin to salvation.

The Christian who misquotes and is confused about scriptural truths will not be a successful witness. The effective teacher, preacher, and witness must “be ready in season and out of season” The more we know and understand Scripture, the more we will be able to march through Satan’s strongholds and lead people from his kingdom to God’s.

No believer has excuse for not knowing and understanding God’s Word. Every believer has God’s own Holy Spirit within Him as his own divine teacher of God’s divine Word. Our only task is to submit to His instruction by studying the Word with sincerity and commitment. We cannot plead ignorance or inability, only disinterest and neglect.

Conclusion:

Christians are not onlookers to God’s work. They are called runners, fighters, soldiers, doers of good deeds, opponents of Satan, seekers after holiness, and countless other names that denote active obedience. Be strong! Put on the full armor of God and stand firm. As you struggle against the devil and his forces, take up the full armor of God and resist in the evil day! Gird your loins, put on the breastplate of righteousness, take up the shield of faith and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit: LIVE AND BE ACTIVE!

The helmet of salvation is that great hope of final salvation that gives us confidence and assurance that our present struggle with Satan will not last forever and we will be victorious in the end. We know the battle is only for this life, and even a long earthly life is no more than a split second compared to eternity with our Lord in heaven. We are not in a race we can lose.

Psalm 119:11

“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!”

In : Sermon 


Tags: "worthy walk series" "book of ephesians" 
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