Notes on Christian Warfare (19)

“Fight the Good Fight”

The way, the truth and the life!

The Gospel of Peace  (Ephesians Chapter 6 Verses 10-20)

Notice how all the items of armour are correlated, interlocked with each other. There is progression even. We embrace the truth, God declares us righteous and we have peace with and the peace of God (Romans 5:1; Philippians 4:7). The apostle here speaks of gospel shoes (v15), not carpet slippers. We are to be ready for to hit the road with the good news of God’s salvation to the world’s sinners, not for bed. We need shoes that we will be able to stand in and be prepared, ready for whatever we meet. We do want to find ourselves distracted, even disabled by feet that are uncomfortable. For we are in for the long haul, long-term service. We are not engaged in short-term missionary service, you know, just to see if it is suitable for us. Or perhaps if the climate suits us. We need to be quietly and inwardly assured of our calling, settled in regards to the nature and the outcome of our service for the Lord Jesus Christ. The soldier needs to be sure of his capacity and competence to serve. That his cause is a just and righteous one, it is only then that he will not be easily shifted. Standing firm in his gospel shoes, at peace with God and his mind, garrisoned with the peace of God. A squad of soldiers is an impressive sight. One that discourages trouble makers. When we as Christian brethren are thus united, a band of brothers, persuaded of the truth of our message and service to God, communicate the same impression. A powerful, positive impression. And not just in defence of God’s revelation but attacking with it also. Going forward attacking and pulling down the strongholds of the enemy, assured of the outcome. We called to the mother of all wars, a spiritual war remember, against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11-12).

But the outcome of the conflict has already been decided, we are on the winning side. We may not be five-star generals, colonels or even serjeants. We may be just squaddies who have landed on the beach and we’ve got to the first sand dune. And our job is to get to the next one, and who knows, maybe we won’t make it, perhaps we’ll be killed in action? No matter, it’s win win. We go to heaven anyway. So we fight the fight of faith with this amazing peace in our hearts, this assurance of the final outcome. This peace is positively encouraging because it is grounded in the facts, the historical facts of the gospel. The war and its outcome is not even our responsibility, we cry as with Judah of old, “O our God…we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee” (2Chronicles 20:12). This is our peace, resting in God in his might. The battle is the Lord’s. For his resources are limitless though invisible. His servants patrol the earth night and day. I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle-trees answered and said, These are they whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the angel of the Lord that stood among the myrtle-trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest” (Zechariah 1:8-11). So clothed upon with the whole armour of God we are ready, we have the capacity for service that stands on our conviction of the truth revealed to us, the everlasting gospel. Our message of peace that brings peace to others. 

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

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