It is Time to Get Dressed for Battle! (September 8, 2019)

Sermon Text: Ephesians 6:10-20

Pastor Daniel Schmidt 

Did you catch the news for today?  We are at war!  I am not talking about our nation being at war with another world power.  But you and I are in a spiritual battle.  Day after day, we as Christians are under attack. Day after day, you and I are being made fun of or put down for believing what we know to be true from the Word of God. Make no mistake about it…you and I are in a spiritual battle.  Today, the encouragement for each one of us is to be prepared to fight.  Fellow Christian soldiers: IT IS TIME TO GET DRESSED FOR BATTLE!

Led by God the Holy Spirit, in Ephesians chapter 6 the Apostle Paul paints a picture in our mind’s eye of a soldier getting prepared, getting dressed to fight in battle.  As Christians, you and I are fighting a spiritual battle that we need to be dressed for and ready to fight.  God’s Word before us describes the battle in this way: “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Our enemy the devil, the sinful world around us and our own sinful natures are all battling for control of your heart and mine.

To fight off these spiritual enemies, the Lord has given you and me THE most powerful weapon we need: his almighty Word.  It is only from the Word of our God that you and I are dressed with the other weapons we need for our spiritual battle.  Listen again to the list of weapons you and I put on through the Word: “the belt of truth”…“the breastplate of righteousness”…“feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace”…“the shield of faith”… the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit”.

How are you and I able to be dressed to defend ourselves when “the day of evil comes”; when sin and Satan attack?  If you and I try to dress ourselves, the only result will be defeat in hell.  But, on Easter Sunday, as our Champion, Jesus Christ, rose from the dead, he won a great victory over our spiritual enemies.  By his grace, he has given you and me that same victory to enjoy as well. By the power that comes only through the Word of our Lord, with our victorious Savior at our side, you and I are able to be dressed to fight this battle and win.  As we read, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Today, we at St. Matthew’s resume our fall schedule of worship and Bible study.  Are you one of those who, in the past, did not make use of the opportunities you have to join your brothers and sisters in Christ in worship or in a study of God’s almighty Word either on Sunday Mornings or during the week?  Then my dear friends in Christ, take off the dirty clothes of excuses of why you aren’t coming!  It is time to get dressed for battle!  It is time to get into the Word!

But, don’t attend worship or one of our studies simply because a pastor tells you that you should be there.  Rather, come to worship, come to Bible class to get dressed for battle.  Come to be filled with the power that only the Word of God is able to give to you.  The more time that you and I spend in the Word of our God, our God-given faith in Jesus as our one and only Savior grows and becomes stronger.  It is only by the Word of our God that you and I are properly dressed for battle.

One final thought that is found in these verses from God’s Word before us today is to pray for one another.  Pray that you and I would make use of all the opportunities we have to share the Gospel with others, so that many more join us and are dressed for battle as well. As Paul writes, “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

In a sin-filled world that is increasing in wickedness, there are many things that are available to our enemy, Satan, to attack you and me.  Greater than any battle against terrorism, you and I are fighting a battle against The Terrorist, the Devil, who is waging a war against you and me each and every day.  How are you and I able to dress to fight this battle?  Remember that you don’t have to go out and find your own battle clothes.  The victorious, Almighty Savior, Jesus Christ, provides you with the only battle clothes that you need: Jesus…who went to battle in your place and mine; Jesus…who crushed the devil’s head in a great victory on Easter Sunday; Jesus…who won the forgiveness of all of your sins and mine; Jesus…who made you and me soldiers in the Lord’s army; Jesus…who promises to dress you and me for battle, as we continue to spend time in his powerful Word.  My fellow soldiers in the Lord’s army, with the blessing of God the Holy Spirit, IT IS TIME TO GET DRESSED FOR BATTLE! Amen.