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How to stand our ground against Satan and his attacks
Ephesians 6:10-18

In 2 Samuel 23 a light is shone on the 30 mighty men who served as the back bone of David's army. Each of them was a brave and distinguished warrior pledged to support David and give their lives for him.

One of those men was named Shammah. In 2 Samuel 23:11-12 it says of "Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils/beans, Israel's troops fled from them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory."

This morning we are going to take a look at Ephesians 6:10-18. In this passage, which is built around the image of Roman soldier putting on his armor, we are exhorted to equip ourselves spiritually that we might be able to stand against the Devil's schemes, that we may be able to stand our ground-- much like Shammah stood his ground against the Philistine invaders, experiencing a victory- not because of his strength but because the LORD worked a great victory.

READ Ephesians 6:10-18

HOW TO STAND OUR GROUND AGAINST SATAN AND HIS ATTACKS

A. WE HAVE AN ENEMY AND HIS NAME IS THE DEVIL

-The Devil, also called Satan, Lucifer, an angel of light, the Father of lies, the Dragon is our enemy.
-He once served God as a high ranking angel in God's courts. Sin entered into his heart and he - a created being and not eternal nor all powerful- sought to take to God's throne- deceiving a large number of God's angels, leading them into rebellion against God
-Though he is a defeated foe and will soon be cast into the fires of Hell, he is powerful
-Over him we can have victory- this victory is in and by the power of Christ.
-He is so deceptive that he has convinced the majority of people that he does not exist.
-As for his tactics and methods they are varied.

The Devil tempts us to sin (to go against God's laws). He appeals to our pride, to what we see with the eye. He incites persecution against the saints. He incites the corruption of justice. He twists the Word of God. He seeks to raise doubt in our minds as to God's goodness, love, holiness, justice, the life to come. His agenda is to destroy, enslave, ruin, break up marriages, disqualify Christians from service, paralyze godly people- stopping them from acting, serving, and standing up for what is right.

The Devil hates all people and is doing everything in his power to mess people up. Death, destruction, idol worship, Gay marriage, the concept of multiple genders beyond male and female, disease, mental illness, alcoholism, pornography, witchcraft, the occult, the rest of the religions of the world (all having to do with people getting to God on their own terms), violence, hate, unforgiveness, greed, etc. These all trace there way back to him and to his encounter with Eve in the garden.


B. AS THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST WE ARE INVOLVED IN A SPIRITUAL CONFLICT WITH THE DEVIL

"Our struggle is not against flesh and blood"

Yes, our flesh and blood brother or sister or co- worker, or teacher, or leader may be giving us trouble- trouble for our faith in Christ, and trouble because we have chosen to live the way God has set out for us in His Word. YET behind the material/flesh is demonic/Satanic influence.

In 2 Corinthians 4:4 it says "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

All those who are not in Christ are held captive by Satan. They under his power and they do not even know it.

As ones who realize this we understand that the clashes in values that we have, the persecution and harassment that the followers of Christ endure for righteousness sake, it has to do with the spiritual conflict the Devil and the rest of the fallen angels

Further: We realize that everything is spiritual. Everything in life has a spiritual component. It's always a good question to ask "What is going on here spiritually? What are the issues at hand?


C. VICTORY OVER SATAN CAN BE HAD! YET, IT'S NOT OUR STRENGTH THAT IS GOING TO WIN THE BATTLE, IT'S GOD'S v.10

In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it says; "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

Shammah didn't win the battle in the field because he was strong and healthy. The Israelites didn't defeat their enemies as they entered into the Promised land because they had a large and well trained army (they were vastly outnumbered and outgunned). David didn't become king because he was stronger than Saul (he was hugely outnumbered). The prophets didn't stand before Kings and rebuke them and call them to repentance because they had more courage than the average person. NO, all these things were because of the LORD and His strength.

As for God's strength and power being available to us let us remember Paul's prayer in Ephesians 1:17-21

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

The Devil, and the temptations that we face (many of them coming from our own flesh), these things cannot be stood against by our own strength. It is the LORD's strength and power that we need. This is why we are urged in v.18 to "pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests"

With God nothing is impossible. Upon Him we must be continually calling and the great news is this: His power is available to us.


D. HOW TO TAKE OUR STAND AGAINST THE DEVIL AND HIS SCHEMES? PUT ON THE FULL ARMOUR OF GOD!

How is it that we can stand against a foe who is so fearsome and who has so many under his control and enslaved to him? How is it that we can stand as lights and beacons of righteousness in this dark world?

Be strong in the Lord. Put on the armor of God.

To help us remember how to stand up to Satan's attacks Paul provides us with a beautiful and easily memorized illustration: A Roman soldier prepared for battle.

THE ARMOR OF GOD- our key to standing up against Satan and his schemes

1. Stand firm with the BELT OF TRUTH buckled around your waist

We need to stick to the TRUTH

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life.

We need to stick to Christ, the Words and teachings of Christ, the Bible

We need to stick to this truth: Truth is absolute. Morality/right and wrong does not depend upon the situation we are in. Right and wrong has been decided by God and doesn't change.

The Devil's lie is "That's true for you, I have my own truth" NO!

2. Stand firm with the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS in place v.14

Breastplate guards ones heart. The Bible tells us to guard our hearts

We need to commit ourselves to being righteous

To be righteous is to pursue holiness. It is to do the right thing- the right thing according to the Word of God. It is to be patient, kind, gracious, forgiving, loving, tender, honest.

We, by virtue of our faith in Christ as Savior and Lord have been clothed with the righteousness of Christ. This is why there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ

No matter what people around us decide to do, we need to stick to what we know from God's Word, pleases Him. We need to do what is right and holy- even if our brothers and sisters in Christ are compromising.

3. Stand firm with FEET FITTED WITH READINESS that comes from the Gospel of peace v.15

Interesting: Roman sandals have rivets, plugs on the bottom that gave them traction

We need to remain forever and always ready and willing and able to tell people the Good News of Jesus Christ and how they can be saved from there sins and the judgment to come.

No matter the blow back we get, we are to love those around us, warning them of the danger they are in, pointing them to Christ.

When people turn to Christ in faith and repentance they are delivered from the Judgment to come. They are saved from their sins and Hell. This is a defeat for Satan- for Satan has come to kill and destroy. Jesus came that we might have life.

4. Stand firm by taking up the SHIELD OF FAITH- with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one v.16

Interesting: Roman shields soaked in water to extinguish arrows. Roman shields when used with other soldiers highly effective at repelling the enemy (we always stronger together!)

We need to hold on to our faith

Satan is always working to discourage us. His aim is to cause us to doubt the love, power, goodness, holiness, and promises of God.

We are saved by faith in Christ. We are to hold on to our faith, believing God. Trusting God

When we like Abraham choose to believe God- no matter the circumstance- then whatever Satan throws are way, we can will be able to stand firm. They key: Trust God

5. Stand firm by putting on the HELMET OF SALVATION v.17

To stand firm against the Devil we as the followers of Christ need to remind ourselves that we are SAVED v.17

We need to remind ourselves that we have been bought by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

We need to remind ourselves that because of our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord that is why we have right standing with God

We need to remind ourselves of our identity in Christ. We are the children of God. Our sins have been forgiven. He who began a good work in us is keeping us and will keep us secure in Christ.

6. Stand firm by taking up the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the Word of God v.18

Yes, this is another plug for us getting into the Word of God, studying it, memorizing it, committing ourselves to doing it.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God

The Bible is God's Word. It tells us how we came to be, who God is, why we need Jesus as our Saviour, how the end of the world is going to play out, how to live in a way that pleases God, the kind of people we are to be.

Hebrews 4:12 says; "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

When faced with Satan's temptations Jesus responded with the Scripture. God's Word teaches us right and wrong. We need to always be asking the question "What does Scripture teach?"

6. Stand firm by giving yourself to PRAYER v.18


CONCLUSION

As the followers of Christ we are involved in a spiritual conflict

At the centre of this conflict is the Devil, our enemy

We can have victory over the Devil

We can have victory over the Devil and stand our ground against his attacks by putting on the Armor of God