God’s Recruit Training

25 March 2018 PM – Ephesians 6:10-11 – Armour18 – Scott Childs

Introduction: Military recruit training is a basic training time for new military recruits. It is an essential time of exhausting exercise, tough discipline, and critical training in the ways of war.

Every Christian needs to go through God’s spiritual recruit training to get in shape and to learn how to fight spiritual enemies. Many Christians never submit to the disciplines of God’s spiritual recruit training and the enemy constantly defeats them. Other Christians have learned the basics but need a refresher course.

Transition: Whether you are a new recruit or one that needs to review the basics and get back in shape, God’s recruit training is for you. To be ready for battle, you must allow God to strengthen you in three ways.

1.        Be Strengthened by God’s Person, v.10
(Ephesians 6:10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

The strength you need to be a victorious Christian is not in yourself. It must come from the Lord.

a.         Finally, my brethren {In the future, brethren}
1)         The word “finally” simply means in the future. We must not live in the past. We must press toward the future.
2)         “Brethren” addresses this to Christians.
b.         Be Strong {allow yourself to be strengthened}
1)         The word “be strong” finds its root in the Greek word dunamis from which we get the word dynamite. It is a command, but it is also passive, we must allow God to strengthen us. (Active: I hit the ball; Passive: the ball hit me).
2)         God must strengthen you, but He can only strengthen you if you allow Him to by doing your part.
a)         Walk in the light with God, not in sin (1John 1:6-7).
b)         Walk in the Spirit by yielding to Him (Gal 5:16).
c)         Follow God’s Victory Steps in James 4:7-10.
c.          In the Lord {by the Lord}
1)         We must be strengthened by the Person of the Lord.
2)         Only the Lord can protect us. Self-strength will fail for we are no match for Satan.
a)         (Proverbs 28:26) “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”
b)         (1 Corinthians 10:12) “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
3)         It is the Lord and His Word that can give you strength in the time of temptation.
a)         (Psalms 119:11) “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
b)         (Psalms 37:31) “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”
c)         (Isaiah 40:29) “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”
v  First, we must allow ourselves to be strengthened by God’s PERSON.

2.        Be Strengthened by God’s Power, v.10
…be strengthened in the power of God’s might

a.         God’s power is supernatural
1)         The word translated “power” refers to a superior force. It is a power that will enable us to overcome what stands in the way.
2)         We must allow God to strengthen us, not only by His PERSON but also by His POWER. He has the overcoming power to defeat Satan’s attacks.
b.         God’s power is in His intrinsic might
1)         God’s might is His innate ability. It is part of Him!
2)         The power of His might is God’s superior overcoming power that rests in His divine ability.
a)         (Jeremiah 32:17) “Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:”
b)         (1 John 4:4) “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
3)         God’s power is greater than every lust, every habit, and every temptation you will ever face.
a)         While Satan is much stronger than us, compared with the power of God, Satan’s power is less than that of a little child against a giant.
Ø  A little girl listened attentively as her father read the family devotions. She seemed awed by her parents’ talk of God’s limitless power and mercy. “Daddy,” she asked, placing her little hands on his knees, “how big is God.” Her father thought for a moment and answered, “Honey, he is always bigger than you need.”

b)         Like the Psalmist, we must rely on God’s superior power for victory. (Psalms 20:7) “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalms 46:1) “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalms 56:3) “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” (Psalms 73:26) “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”
v  We must allow ourselves to be strengthened by God’s PERSON and God’s POWER, but third, we must…

3.        Be Strengthened by God’s Panoply, v.11
When I was a teenager, I trimmed Christmas trees one summer. My equipment included a razor-sharp, arm-length knife, leather boots, and a hard plastic leg guard. Even trying to be careful, a couple of times the knife hit the leg guard. That piece of armour saved me from a cut leg. Protective armour is important!

a.         God has a full suit of armour prepared for us.
1)         The English word “panoply” comes from this Greek word panoplia. It speaks of a full suit of armour.
2)         God’s armour is not physical equipment but spiritual resources.
a)         In the first century, a soldier’s armour included a belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword.
b)         God also has spiritual panoply for our protection as we will see in the weeks to come.
b.         We must put on the whole armour of God
1)         God’s armour provides perfect protection. It provides a defence that the greatest demonic power cannot penetrate. It equips the believer with offensive weapons so powerful that the devil himself must turn and flee.
2)         God commands each believer to put on His armour.
a)         The middle voice of the verb “put on” indicates that you must do this command to yourself. I cannot do it for you, and God does not do it for us. Each Christian must put it on himself. It is a command to obey.
b)         We must put on the whole armour of God. Every piece is critical. It is a daily necessity. You cannot keep from sin without it.
c.          God’s armour enables us to stand against the devil
1)         This word “stand” means to hold a watch post or to hold out in a critical position on a battlefield. Rogers
2)         The wiles or tricks of the devil are far too powerful for us.
a)         (2 Corinthians 11:14) “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
b)         (1 Peter 5:8) “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
3)         However, if you wear the whole armour of God, you can stand firmly for right in the face of the devil’s most powerful tricks.
4)         You CAN have victory over sin. You can say NO to temptation. You CAN overcome anger. You CAN do right!
Conclusion: I have never met a soldier who said that recruit training was fun or easy. It is a lot of hard work. The same is true of God’s spiritual recruit training. Spending needed time in the Bible and in prayer developing a close fellowship with God takes a lot of work.

Has Satan tripped you up lately? Have you yielded to temptation? Have you caved in to lust or anger? If so, it is because you did not allow God to strengthen you by His PERSON, by His POWER and by His PANOPLY. You were trying to resist temptation in your own strength. You are no match for Satan. God is the only one who can defeat our foe. You need God’s strength and His armour.

If the enemy has defeated you this week, humble yourself, confess your sin, draw near to God, allow Him to strengthen you, and put on His armour.

Song: Trust and Obey 261