Notes on Christian Warfare (13)

“Fighting the Good Fight”

The way, the truth and the life!

Galvanised With the Truth  (Ephesians Chapter 6 Verses 10-20)

The whole armour of God needs to be taken up and utilised in order to be victorious in this fight (v13). The apostle now begins to explain to us what this complete armour consists of, piece by piece, beginning with the truth (v14). To galvanise something in engineering terms is to give a piece of iron or steel a protective layer of zinc. It prevents corrosion. So Paul urges us to take action to prevent the corrosion of our faith, to galvanise ourselves with a layer of truth. In other words to act upon the truth revealed to us by God. Because in an evil day we need the ability to stand (v13). It is only standing upon the truth of Scripture we will be able to do so. A soldier in the field of battle will only conquer if he is fully armed. Seven in Scripture is the number of completeness within the covenant of grace, hence we have seven items that make up the full armour of God. We have, truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the word of God, and finally prayer. All items are needed for conquest. Here (v14) we begin with divine, saving truth, the reality of God’s utterances. Paul likens it to a soldier’s belt worn when on duty. The Christian soldier is never off duty. We must remember that the warfare is not just about our own personal salvation, growth, and well-being, though that is included. It is about the worldwide plan of redemption, the filling up of the kingdom of God’s dear Son. It is about the complete devastating of the cosmic powers and spiritual forces of evil (v12). So our personal battles and victories are vital because they are all part of that. But sometimes we need to be reminded of the bigger picture. The entire thing is scary unless we remember two things. One, we do not fight this war in our own strength. Two, the outcome is not uncertain, victory is assured. So we must maintain our focus and that upon the all-sufficient, limitless power of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:19; 3:20). We need to be galvanised with the truth of this. One of the ways the devil, our enemy seeks to sidetrack us into getting us to lose our focus on Christ. And to focus overmuch on ourselves, our sins, our failures. So get your mind on the truth of God’s forgiveness. Your sins cannot be greater, stronger than God himself (Zechariah 3:1-5).

Our forgiveness is a reality, truth. The sin-stained prodigal is restored, reinstated to the privilege of service with joy and without hesitation (Luke 15:20f). The truth of God’s wonderful and free salvation must galvanise us, it cannot be reversed. This is our justification, it is God’s declaration of the repentant sinner, righteous! And none can change that declaration, not even God. He will not go back on his word of truth. This applies to the big picture too. The kingdom’s of this world will be the Lord’s, this is his blood-bought world, don’t ever forget it. Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God (Revelation 11:15-16). Grasp hold of this belt, the truth, hold fast to it, galvanise yourself with it. The battle is won or lost in the mind. But the truth of the gospel is unassailable if we but gird our minds with it, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Peter 1:13). To focus on the truth is to daily have our minds renewed with Scripture (Romans 12:2). To know the truth about your own salvation (Romans 6:3). It is only from the truth of God’s word that we will get the assurance, the courage, the confidence to fight and win. It comes from the facts, the truth of God that can be relied upon to the utmost. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8:31-32)?

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

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