Notes on Christian Warfare (3)

“Fighting the Good Fight”

The way, the truth and the life!

The Strength of the Lord   (Ephesians Chapter 6 Verses 10-20)

Our strength is, “in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (v10). Not in ourselves. The Lord, of course, can overcome anything or anyone without us, he does not need us. But we cannot without the strength of Israel (1Samuel 15:29), do anything, let alone overcome our foes. We can do nothing of a holy nature, we can obtain no spiritual victory, without the Lord’s help (John 15:5). Concerning the outcome of Christian ministry, Paul asks, “who is sufficient for these things” (2Corinthians 2:16)? He answers his own question, “not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God” (2Corinthians 3:5). However, there is a well of grace from which we can fetch strength from the Lord. But it needs fetching, by prayer and supplication (v18). It is by our conversion by the free, sovereign grace of God that we are in the Lord, consequently, we find ourselves also, in the midst of this almighty war. We have been promised and so have access to his power to preserve us from and to restrain the malice of Satan. And he is malicious, he hates the Christian with the same hatred that he hates God (1Peter 5:8). He has a fiendish enmity against the saints of God. He is full of bitter envy at Adam’s enjoyment of God and his blessings. If he could have his way he would treat us as he did Job. He would destroy our families, our livelihoods, our health also. Alas, he is not sovereign, he is not in control, he is on a leash, he is a junkyard dog (Revelation 20:2). God alone is sovereign and he is in complete control. God bridles, he prevents his evil designs. He does only what serves God’s ultimate purpose. We see the strength and power of God working on behalf of his people in his judgments. He smites the ungodly. We see it in Noah’s day. As Noah builds the ark the ungodly mock, ridicule and blaspheme, but God takes them away in a flood. They are powerless against the storm of God’s wrath. Remember how he dealt with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, smiting him again and again, finally burying him in the Red Sea. The ungodly today yet speak foolishly against God and treat us with utter contempt. But he, God, as and when he so pleases is able to rend them to pieces and cast them into hell forever. God is for us beloved, he is not against us. We are in a fight, the mother of all fights, but it’s a war that’s been won. We are fighting a winning battle. So be strong, stand, in the power of his might.

We have the strength of his grace. His favour towards us. His strength is engaged on our behalf. It’s a matter of faith, the more you believe, the more you enjoy the strength of the Lord. God loves faith, he loves it when our backs are against the wall and we trust him. He laughs in derision at his and our enemies (Psalm 2:4). Out trust of him brings his strength into operation. “Is anything too hard for the Lord” (Genesis 18:14)? That word “hard” could be translated wonderful, is anything too wonderful for the Lord? The power of grace is not stinted, limited, he is clothed with majesty and divine power, all power. There is no passion when it comes to your own nature that wars against your soul, there is no lust, no evil, no temptation that he cannot subdue. There is no misery or danger that he cannot deliver you from. “Now unto him, that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20). Do you believe that? Take the testimony of the Psalmist. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell (Psalm 27:1-2). As we watch now in our own day the evolutionary degeneration of Western society, with its return to paganism and the attendant sexual devolution that is its necessary fruit. Will you stand? Will you be faithful? We cannot pitch our tents towards Sodom without ending up with real estate in the place. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2Corinthians 2:17-18). So, “be strong in the Lord,  and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).

(© James R Hamilton, written Summer, 2014)
Sermon Audio

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