Ephesians 6:11-17 (ESV)
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not stand against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
1. Fatherhood is about fighting.
The fight is coming. Satan is always on the move.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Fathers were designed to fight for their families.
2. The fight is not with who you think it is.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Be at peace with people and at war with the devil.
Romans 12:14-21 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
3. The fight isn’t about you - it’s about the armor.
Belt of Truth
The belt is the core of the armor and is only loosened when the fight is over. The scabbard is attached to the belt, and the belt keeps the breastplate in place.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The truth is the best legacy you could leave. Never loosen the belt!
Breastplate of Righteousness
The breastplate was typically made of bronze and covered from the neck to the thighs. It covered all your vitals!
Romans 3:21-26 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it - 22 the righteousness of God through faith and Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Put on Jesus’ righteousness.
Battles are won because troops can march long distances at great speeds.
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
If you have already been reconciled to God, then you are prepared. You don’t have to go back and get ready. The Gospel keeps us reconciled to God. Be ready.
Shield of Faith
The soldier protected himself with a large oval or oblong double wood layered shield covered in linen and hide and bound up with iron. The shield would protect them from arrows that were dipped in pitch and fired by enemy forces.
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of fatih, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.
Fath is a shield that puts out attacks.
Helmet and Sword
The helmet and sword were usually handed to the soldier at the same time by the armor-bearer. The helmet was made of bronze with leather attachments, and the sword was a 2-edged blade that could cut and thrust.
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
The sword is the only offensive weapon. This sword doesn’t depend on size or strength. It won’t wear you out. The more you swing it, the more energy you get. Victory follows the man that swings the sword of God’s word.
Matthew 4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
1. What stood out to you most from this week’s message?
2. “The fight is coming. Satan is always on the move.” How can this perspective keep us on the alert against the enemy’s attacks?
3. “The fight is not with who you think it is.” According to Ephesians 6:12, who is the fight against? When we feel attacked by others, how can we remember who our real enemy is?
4. “Be at peace with people and at war with the devil.” What does Romans 12:14 - 21 tell us about how we should respond to people who come against us? Do we usually view others’ attacks as an opportunity to show them peace, blessing, and generosity?
5. Where can we draw the strength, grace, and patience to do this? How might others view God differently if we respond to them lovingly?
6. “The fight isn’t about you - it’s about the armor.” Do you ever feel pressured to be strong enough, brave enough, or perfect enough?
7. How does it feel to know that God doesn’t expect us to be any of these things? How can we remember that the victory is already his, and he gives us everything we need for the fight?
8. “The truth is the best legacy you could leave. Never loosen the belt!” What does this look like to you? How can we begin creating a future legacy of truth now for the generations following behind us?
9. Have you ever needed to walk a long distance? How did your shoes make a difference (either good or bad)?
10. Sometimes in life we need stamina and speed. How does having the right support and foundation under us make that happen?
11. “Put on Jesus’ righteousness.” What can we do to focus on his righteousness and not accidentally fall into trying to create our own?
12. “You don’t have to be strong. Get behind the shield.” Why is it hard to admit sometimes that we aren’t strong and need protection? How can we defeat our pride, admit our weakness, and accept the only protection that can save us?
13. The sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) “The sword is the only offensive weapon. This sword doesn’t depend on size or strength. It won’t wear you out.” How can we keep the power of the sword within us so that it’s ready whenever we need it?
14. “Wake up ready every day.” What do you plan to do to make sure you are ready every day?