Truth, Rightousness, and Peace (Ephesians 6:14-15)

May 12, 2019 00:28:29
Truth, Rightousness, and Peace (Ephesians 6:14-15)
Covenant Words
Truth, Rightousness, and Peace (Ephesians 6:14-15)

May 12 2019 | 00:28:29

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Show Notes

Rev. Christopher Chelpka
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Episode Transcript

WEBVTT 1 00:00:00.520 --> 00:00:05.919 As we consider these things. Let's turn now to Ephesians chapter six and consider 2 00:00:05.960 --> 00:00:14.189 the armor of God. Ephesians six. Please remain standing as I read to 3 00:00:14.230 --> 00:00:24.500 you tonight. I'm focusing this evening on verse fourteen, but I'll read from 4 00:00:24.620 --> 00:00:34.939 ten to twenty. Let's hear the word of our God. Finally, be 5 00:00:35.100 --> 00:00:39.609 strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the 6 00:00:39.689 --> 00:00:43.649 whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of 7 00:00:44.210 --> 00:00:49.289 the devil, for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against 8 00:00:49.329 --> 00:00:54.679 the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, 9 00:00:54.719 --> 00:01:00.679 against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take 10 00:01:00.759 --> 00:01:03.510 up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the 11 00:01:03.590 --> 00:01:11.109 evil day and, having done all to stand firm. Stand therefore, having 12 00:01:11.150 --> 00:01:15.030 fastened on the belt of truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness and, 13 00:01:15.189 --> 00:01:19.379 as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the 14 00:01:19.459 --> 00:01:23.900 gospel of peace. In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith with 15 00:01:23.459 --> 00:01:29.340 which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one, and take 16 00:01:29.420 --> 00:01:33.250 the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word 17 00:01:33.250 --> 00:01:37.530 of God, praying at all times in the spirit, with all prayer and 18 00:01:37.650 --> 00:01:42.530 supplication to that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all 19 00:01:42.569 --> 00:01:47.599 the Saints and also for me, that words may be given to me, 20 00:01:47.840 --> 00:01:52.840 and opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel for which I 21 00:01:52.959 --> 00:01:57.519 am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly as I ought 22 00:01:57.560 --> 00:02:02.430 to speak the God, bless his word to us, may be seated. 23 00:02:08.909 --> 00:02:13.030 So I said the focus of the sermon was on fourteen. I should have 24 00:02:13.030 --> 00:02:17.020 said fourteen and fifteen. We're going to give our attention tonight to the first 25 00:02:17.300 --> 00:02:23.340 three pieces of armor. I'm not really an expert in armory stuff, so 26 00:02:23.860 --> 00:02:29.659 I might be using the wrong terms. They're I'll look that up, but 27 00:02:30.210 --> 00:02:35.610 until then we have these, these three these three things, a belt of 28 00:02:35.810 --> 00:02:45.000 truth, a breastplate of righteousness and shoes, shoes that are described as readiness 29 00:02:45.840 --> 00:02:49.560 in the gospel of peace or of the gospel of peace, or given by 30 00:02:49.599 --> 00:02:53.680 the gospel of peace. Now you remember in this section Ephesians chapter six. 31 00:02:53.840 --> 00:02:59.189 Here at the end of effusions, Paul is reminding us of something that we 32 00:03:00.110 --> 00:03:04.909 sometimes forget, sometimes we're surprised by, and that's that the Christian life is 33 00:03:04.990 --> 00:03:09.389 a struggle. It can be even describe, be described in military terms, 34 00:03:10.069 --> 00:03:16.939 battle, armor, fight. The Christian life is one that requires fighting. 35 00:03:19.460 --> 00:03:23.860 It requires strength, it requires withstanding, standing strong, standing firm, not 36 00:03:24.099 --> 00:03:35.090 getting knocked down, extinguishing darts, being protected and so on. And so 37 00:03:35.330 --> 00:03:38.650 though the Christian life can rightly be described as a battle, as war, 38 00:03:38.930 --> 00:03:44.080 as a struggle, we also see in this passage that this battle is unusual 39 00:03:44.240 --> 00:03:50.120 for two reasons. First, because the enemy is hidden. Paul says, 40 00:03:50.159 --> 00:03:54.199 we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against rulers and authorities, 41 00:03:54.280 --> 00:04:00.990 against the cosmic powers over this special present darkness, against the spiritual forces of 42 00:04:00.110 --> 00:04:06.949 evil in the heavenly places. The enemy is hidden. We cannot see him 43 00:04:08.909 --> 00:04:15.019 now. Certainly Wi will experience fless and blood manifestations of that work, even 44 00:04:15.060 --> 00:04:21.100 as a Herod for example, sought to destroy Jesus when he was born. 45 00:04:23.019 --> 00:04:27.610 These was very flesh and blood activity, but behind that work was something more 46 00:04:27.769 --> 00:04:31.490 ultimate, where the true battle is being fought, and that's the first thing 47 00:04:31.529 --> 00:04:35.769 that's unusual about it. We are tempted to see everything in terms of this 48 00:04:36.089 --> 00:04:42.439 world to see everything in material terms, but the Bible tells us that there 49 00:04:42.439 --> 00:04:46.480 are immaterial things, spiritual things, both good and evil, which we cannot 50 00:04:46.519 --> 00:04:51.839 see, and the battle is ultimately being fought on that level. That's one 51 00:04:51.870 --> 00:05:00.269 reason this, this battle, is unusual and important to remember. Similarly, 52 00:05:00.389 --> 00:05:02.430 there's a second way in which the battle is unusual, and that's that the 53 00:05:02.589 --> 00:05:11.660 battle we wage and the armor we fight in is also unseen. This armor 54 00:05:11.779 --> 00:05:15.259 that is going to be our defense and our strength in the battle is also 55 00:05:15.300 --> 00:05:23.930 a spiritual one. Ultimately, it comes from standing in Christ, who none 56 00:05:23.970 --> 00:05:28.810 of us can see, not because he cannot be seen, because he has 57 00:05:28.970 --> 00:05:33.329 a true body, a human body that is glorified, but his body is 58 00:05:33.449 --> 00:05:39.680 not here, it's in heaven. We wait for his return and as long 59 00:05:39.720 --> 00:05:44.920 as we can't see him, he therefore remains unseen. We stand in him, 60 00:05:45.079 --> 00:05:48.199 somehow, though. Stand firm, stand strong in the Lord, in 61 00:05:48.319 --> 00:05:53.949 the strength of his might. How do we do that? By means of 62 00:05:54.029 --> 00:05:57.910 the Holy Spirit, WHO UNITES US to Christ. And again, the Holy 63 00:05:57.949 --> 00:06:02.949 Spirit is UN seeing. Now, so we have this, this extremely important 64 00:06:02.949 --> 00:06:06.660 way in which we are supposed to frame our lives, supposed to think about 65 00:06:06.740 --> 00:06:12.420 this struggle we are engaged in, and yet we recognize that there is a 66 00:06:14.579 --> 00:06:23.610 difficult aspect of it. Perhaps we've had the opportunity to consider the enemy now 67 00:06:23.850 --> 00:06:27.889 for a few weeks. Now I'd like to turn and consider this way in 68 00:06:27.970 --> 00:06:33.199 which we fight, this spiritual unseen and yet very real. Just as real 69 00:06:33.399 --> 00:06:41.240 is Christ himself, this spiritual armor that we wear so that you may stand 70 00:06:41.480 --> 00:06:45.560 firm, as God says, even in the evil day, even in the 71 00:06:45.600 --> 00:06:49.269 darkest hour. And tonight what I want to do is consider the first three 72 00:06:49.350 --> 00:06:55.110 strengths. We might call them three pieces of armor. The first three strengths 73 00:06:55.149 --> 00:07:00.579 that we get from Christ when we stand in Him Truth, righteousness and readiness 74 00:07:00.819 --> 00:07:05.339 of the gospel of peace. My hope is that as we think about these 75 00:07:05.379 --> 00:07:10.620 three things, as we come to understand them better and why they are useful 76 00:07:10.779 --> 00:07:15.370 to us in battle, our faith might be strengthened and our courage for the 77 00:07:15.490 --> 00:07:23.930 fight. So First, truth. When we stand in the Lord and find 78 00:07:23.970 --> 00:07:29.170 our strength in Him, part of this strength relates to something called truth. 79 00:07:30.040 --> 00:07:38.040 Now you will know, without much proof, that people don't always use truth 80 00:07:38.199 --> 00:07:44.509 for strength. In fact, just the opposite. Lies are very powerful lies 81 00:07:44.670 --> 00:07:50.149 and cunning and deceitful ways have great power in them, are very strong, 82 00:07:50.870 --> 00:07:56.629 and yet we, as Christians, reject them. We take something that is 83 00:07:56.829 --> 00:08:01.100 evidently very powerful, used constantly throughout our world and in our lives, and 84 00:08:01.300 --> 00:08:05.300 yet we reject them as a way in which we are going to fight this 85 00:08:05.500 --> 00:08:11.459 battle. Why would we do that? Why would we take something that others 86 00:08:11.819 --> 00:08:18.410 freely strap around their waists and reject it and instead take a different piece of 87 00:08:18.649 --> 00:08:24.050 armor, armor called truth? Well, there's lots of good reasons for that. 88 00:08:26.209 --> 00:08:30.800 Why is truth strong? Why is truth the right thing to wrap around 89 00:08:30.879 --> 00:08:37.279 us to prepare and be prepared for battle? One reason is that though lies 90 00:08:37.360 --> 00:08:41.389 and deception, cunning deceit, these things are powerful, so is truth, 91 00:08:43.350 --> 00:08:48.429 in fact, even more so. Truth is powerful and that it always stands 92 00:08:50.590 --> 00:08:56.460 even when it's under attack. It does this because truth is a characteristic of 93 00:08:56.580 --> 00:09:01.379 God, it's an attribute of God, and God him self is immovable. 94 00:09:03.179 --> 00:09:07.860 Lies and deception do have a certain power, but always and only for a 95 00:09:07.940 --> 00:09:11.889 limited time. Lives are powerful, but they have a very short shelf life 96 00:09:13.409 --> 00:09:16.809 in getting you what you want. We have all kinds of ways of describing 97 00:09:16.970 --> 00:09:22.049 this. Right in English we have various metaphors and idioms. We talked about 98 00:09:22.049 --> 00:09:24.960 a web of lies, right, the way in which it the things that 99 00:09:26.000 --> 00:09:30.559 are required to keep it all together, the intricacies with which it must be 100 00:09:30.720 --> 00:09:35.080 woven in order to be useful. It's hard work lying, it's hard work 101 00:09:35.200 --> 00:09:39.149 deceiving. We have another way. We talked about this you. We talked 102 00:09:39.190 --> 00:09:45.029 about lies and deception like a house of cards. Right, something that is 103 00:09:45.350 --> 00:09:48.830 impressive in a way. It takes a lot of work and doing that goes 104 00:09:48.870 --> 00:09:54.179 into it, and yet the ease by which it all falls apart is also 105 00:09:56.419 --> 00:10:03.059 stunning. Lies are like this. They have this this way of being established, 106 00:10:03.100 --> 00:10:09.250 or looking established, and yet also not. Or consider another thing. 107 00:10:09.330 --> 00:10:13.690 Have you ever been in a workplace or a family where lying was normal? 108 00:10:16.370 --> 00:10:20.850 Was Their strength in that? Did the family hold together? Was the family 109 00:10:20.929 --> 00:10:28.559 stronger because of it? Not? Ultimately, strengths of relations, the strength 110 00:10:28.600 --> 00:10:31.600 of relationship, ships of will, these kinds of things, they're built on 111 00:10:31.799 --> 00:10:39.750 trust, and trust is built on truth. When we set aside lying and 112 00:10:39.909 --> 00:10:46.549 cunning and deceitful practices and instead choose to speak truth, to do so in 113 00:10:46.750 --> 00:10:54.740 love, our task becomes simpler, nobler and more lasting. The truth is 114 00:10:54.860 --> 00:10:58.899 also powerful because it works within reality. Right. God, who is true, 115 00:10:58.980 --> 00:11:03.610 has created the world in a particular way. When you are lying, 116 00:11:03.850 --> 00:11:11.370 you are working against the grain, constantly, constantly, working against reality. 117 00:11:11.450 --> 00:11:16.330 But when you tell the truth, when you act and wise and true ways 118 00:11:16.370 --> 00:11:22.159 according to the will of God, there's strengthen that. This is, of 119 00:11:22.240 --> 00:11:26.519 course, what Jesus himself did. He always spoke truly, he accomplished everything 120 00:11:26.559 --> 00:11:31.200 he said he would do. His promises remained true to the end, and 121 00:11:31.320 --> 00:11:37.029 his resurrections a perfect example of this. Jesus said, I will die, 122 00:11:37.029 --> 00:11:39.990 I will be killed and in three days I will rise again from the dead. 123 00:11:41.029 --> 00:11:45.750 Jesus and in his disciples weren't scrambling around trying to figure out how to 124 00:11:45.830 --> 00:11:50.980 manage this lie that they had told. No, Jesus just rose from the 125 00:11:50.100 --> 00:11:56.899 dead. Just that's not fair. But the point is is that when you 126 00:11:56.980 --> 00:12:05.370 stand in truth, you stand in truth. The truth stands on it us, 127 00:12:05.450 --> 00:12:07.570 on its own. My Dad always used to say, it's not something 128 00:12:07.610 --> 00:12:11.929 that has to be propped up in all kinds of ways. In a way, 129 00:12:11.009 --> 00:12:16.559 you can just kind of say it and walk away. When you stand 130 00:12:16.600 --> 00:12:20.559 in the truth, when you stand in reality, you stand in God. 131 00:12:22.759 --> 00:12:28.320 What does it look like to put on the truth. What means rejecting lies 132 00:12:28.559 --> 00:12:33.470 and rejecting lying. It means learning the truth. It means learning to detect 133 00:12:33.590 --> 00:12:39.710 what is a fraudulent trick and what is the genuine thing. Practically, this 134 00:12:39.909 --> 00:12:46.580 means believing God at his word and learning it, learning to distinguish what is 135 00:12:46.860 --> 00:12:52.980 wise from what is foolish, what is true from what is false, and 136 00:12:52.179 --> 00:12:58.299 we do that by learning his word, by memorizing the catechism, in the 137 00:12:58.340 --> 00:13:03.289 scriptures, for example. We begin to put into our into ourselves, the 138 00:13:03.450 --> 00:13:07.529 truth of God, so that when we hear deceptions, when we hear lies, 139 00:13:09.889 --> 00:13:13.799 even when they be be covered or coming at a different way, we 140 00:13:13.919 --> 00:13:16.039 can detect them, we can know them and hold fast to what is right. 141 00:13:18.480 --> 00:13:22.360 And, of course, living truly also means a not just believing in 142 00:13:22.559 --> 00:13:28.389 it, but of course living it out as well. That brings us to 143 00:13:28.509 --> 00:13:37.870 this second piece of armor, righteousness. Righteousness is related to truth. Righteousness 144 00:13:37.909 --> 00:13:46.460 is the State or quality of being upright, the state or quality of being 145 00:13:46.899 --> 00:13:52.620 true, of being a true person in one's whole self. And the Bible, 146 00:13:52.259 --> 00:13:56.049 righteousness usually has an an outside of it as well. Usually has a 147 00:13:56.090 --> 00:14:03.129 kind of legal sense, that of having been judged as good as righteous, 148 00:14:03.169 --> 00:14:09.970 as just as morally right, or perhaps as one who is able to be 149 00:14:09.039 --> 00:14:15.480 judged and stand in that judgment right. Judge me, my conscience is clear. 150 00:14:16.000 --> 00:14:20.360 I am right or I am righteous. This is where the truth, 151 00:14:20.600 --> 00:14:24.110 standing on its own, sort of stands in us, in our state and 152 00:14:24.230 --> 00:14:31.230 in our position toward God and his law. So, broadly speaking, you 153 00:14:31.230 --> 00:14:37.230 might say righteousness has to do with one's character or one's relationship to the law. 154 00:14:37.820 --> 00:14:43.220 One easy way to think about this is in superhero terms. In Superhero 155 00:14:43.419 --> 00:14:48.820 terms, the righteous person is the good guy right, he's the one who 156 00:14:50.620 --> 00:14:56.929 has the the the the the the good guy close and the good guy attitude. 157 00:14:56.769 --> 00:15:01.250 If you've ever read any comic book books are seeing a superhero movies, 158 00:15:01.289 --> 00:15:05.610 you will know sometimes, however, that a superhero will will drink a potion 159 00:15:05.090 --> 00:15:09.480 or a spell will be cast or something will happen and then all of a 160 00:15:09.519 --> 00:15:16.120 sudden becomes sort of the bad guy version of themselves. He's still the same 161 00:15:16.159 --> 00:15:24.470 guy, but the uniform changes, it transforms in his way and indeed his 162 00:15:24.750 --> 00:15:30.230 actions change. The reasons he fights change. The reasons why he fights also 163 00:15:30.309 --> 00:15:35.110 changes why, because he's a bad guy now. Right, good guy, 164 00:15:35.309 --> 00:15:41.340 bad guy, righteous, unrighteous, now, our uniform, our armor rather, 165 00:15:43.259 --> 00:15:48.539 God says, ought to be marked by righteousness. Christians are supposed to 166 00:15:48.620 --> 00:15:54.690 be the good guys, remember truth. When we stand in truth, we 167 00:15:54.850 --> 00:16:00.250 stand not in our own reality or our own version or understanding of the truth, 168 00:16:00.330 --> 00:16:03.679 we stand in the truth of God. The same is true. This 169 00:16:03.720 --> 00:16:11.559 is critical. The same is true for righteousness. We Are Christians, are 170 00:16:11.799 --> 00:16:15.679 called to be the good guys. are called to be righteous, not simply 171 00:16:15.840 --> 00:16:22.149 by living righteously, although that's a part of it, but by actually being 172 00:16:22.590 --> 00:16:26.710 the good guy, by actually being righteous. How does that happen? The 173 00:16:26.830 --> 00:16:30.629 same way it happens with truth. In truth, we stand in the truth 174 00:16:30.750 --> 00:16:36.299 of God, and for righteousness, we stand in the righteousness of God. 175 00:16:37.659 --> 00:16:41.500 The righteousness that we have in the Bible is extremely clear on this point. 176 00:16:41.940 --> 00:16:48.570 Is a righteousness that is not of our own. It's from Christ and this 177 00:16:48.649 --> 00:16:51.970 is really important because when you're thinking about putting on the armor of God, 178 00:16:52.289 --> 00:16:57.409 this breastplate of righteousness that is going to protect you and mark you and identify 179 00:16:57.649 --> 00:17:07.400 you, it's a good question to ask. How strong is it? How 180 00:17:07.559 --> 00:17:14.079 Strong is the righteousness of Christ? Well, my friends, it's so strong 181 00:17:14.200 --> 00:17:22.109 that it preserved Jesus himself from death when God judged him for the sins of 182 00:17:22.150 --> 00:17:27.109 the world. Remember in Psalm Eleven, when we reign about God pouring out 183 00:17:27.109 --> 00:17:33.819 wrath and judgment and coals and a scorching fire on the unrighteous. That's what 184 00:17:33.059 --> 00:17:40.579 was poured out on Jesus and he withstood it. He withstood it because he 185 00:17:40.940 --> 00:17:45.569 was righteous, because he was when, because he went to the cross as 186 00:17:45.650 --> 00:17:51.930 a perfect as a righteous a sacrifice so strong that he was not only able 187 00:17:51.970 --> 00:17:56.849 to endure that wrath and judgment, but he perfectly completed it, so that 188 00:17:57.049 --> 00:18:03.440 our sins have been atoned for. Do you want proof that your sins have 189 00:18:03.559 --> 00:18:07.839 been atoned for? Do you want prove that the righteousness of God in Jesus 190 00:18:07.160 --> 00:18:14.150 is is so strong that it can preserve you from death itself? Will remember 191 00:18:14.710 --> 00:18:21.589 that Jesus rose from the dead. That's how strong his righteousness is. I 192 00:18:21.670 --> 00:18:25.430 don't know how much a more to commend to you, then putting on the 193 00:18:25.470 --> 00:18:30.539 righteousness of Christ. If you want strong armor against the schemes of the evil 194 00:18:30.619 --> 00:18:36.180 one, against his flaming darts and the things that he might throw at you, 195 00:18:37.180 --> 00:18:42.849 put on the righteousness of Christ. Speaking in these terms in Romans AP 196 00:18:42.890 --> 00:18:49.170 Paul says. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ 197 00:18:49.210 --> 00:18:56.440 Jesus, no condemnation, and because of that he promises us that nothing can 198 00:18:56.480 --> 00:19:02.920 separate us from the love of God. When we stand in the righteousness of 199 00:19:02.960 --> 00:19:08.160 Christ. We are good guys, to put it in a very sort of 200 00:19:08.240 --> 00:19:15.869 simple way, we are good because he is good. We stand not in 201 00:19:15.990 --> 00:19:22.029 our own righteousness, but in his. It's not just good, it's perfect, 202 00:19:22.390 --> 00:19:26.740 perfect goodness, perfect holiness. So when the accusations come at us from 203 00:19:26.819 --> 00:19:33.099 Satan and says, how dare you think that you confide on the side of 204 00:19:33.180 --> 00:19:36.859 God? You did this, you did that, you thought this, you 205 00:19:37.019 --> 00:19:42.289 thought that, we say, true enough, but I'm wearing the breastplate of 206 00:19:42.410 --> 00:19:48.769 Christ's righteousness. I stand in his strength, in his might, not my 207 00:19:48.930 --> 00:19:59.039 own, so far away I cannot die. Nothing can separate me from the 208 00:19:59.119 --> 00:20:03.759 love of Christ when we stand in his righteousness. How do you do that? 209 00:20:03.880 --> 00:20:08.150 How do you put on the breastplate of righteousness? By rejecting your own 210 00:20:08.190 --> 00:20:15.990 righteousness, by rejecting and leaving aside every other hope of salvation, your words, 211 00:20:17.150 --> 00:20:19.789 your works, your feelings, whatever it is you might want to put 212 00:20:19.869 --> 00:20:25.180 on, whatever protection you might want to put on. Don't do it, 213 00:20:26.140 --> 00:20:30.500 throw it aside. Just take the righteousness of God that is given to you 214 00:20:30.579 --> 00:20:37.970 freely, take it and refuse all else. When you take the righteousness of 215 00:20:38.049 --> 00:20:45.289 Christ by faith, nothing can hurt you. The last thing I'll mention tonight 216 00:20:45.490 --> 00:20:52.720 is these shoes, the wret described as the readiness given by the gospel of 217 00:20:52.880 --> 00:20:57.960 peace, or readiness of the gospel of peace. This is a reminder to 218 00:20:59.200 --> 00:21:02.559 us that God does not declare US righteous and put us into this, this 219 00:21:03.430 --> 00:21:10.109 state of justification, so that we might be assumed into the great oneness of 220 00:21:10.190 --> 00:21:14.309 Blah Blah Blah. He puts us in this state so that we might be 221 00:21:14.509 --> 00:21:18.099 his servants, so that we might be ready and move, ready to move 222 00:21:18.380 --> 00:21:25.420 and live for him. We are justified before God. We are put on 223 00:21:25.539 --> 00:21:30.660 the right side of the right army so that we can be ready, so 224 00:21:30.779 --> 00:21:34.970 that we can be ready, ready for what? To fight, as the 225 00:21:36.009 --> 00:21:41.250 armor would suggest, or to bring peace, readiness of the Gospel of peace? 226 00:21:42.450 --> 00:21:47.049 Of course, the answer is both, and it takes us back to 227 00:21:47.130 --> 00:21:52.599 the unusual nature of this battle, the unusual nature of the armor of God. 228 00:21:52.759 --> 00:22:00.589 God makes war by bringing peace. He brings victory through suffering. He 229 00:22:00.910 --> 00:22:07.589 brings power and identity through self sacrificial love. When we put on the armor 230 00:22:07.670 --> 00:22:11.150 of God, when we stand in Christ against the schemes of the devil, 231 00:22:11.190 --> 00:22:17.660 we stand as those who are ready, those who have peace with God and 232 00:22:18.539 --> 00:22:23.380 who are ready to bring it to others. And when people come to Christ 233 00:22:23.420 --> 00:22:30.690 under that Gospel of peace which we share with them, the work of Satan 234 00:22:30.809 --> 00:22:36.730 is conquered. When the Gospel goes out and is proclaimed, this gospel of 235 00:22:36.849 --> 00:22:42.529 peace with God, through the work of Christ, those who are once enemies 236 00:22:42.809 --> 00:22:52.759 become friends. God is glorified, Satan's work is undone. You remember Paul, 237 00:22:52.839 --> 00:22:56.079 for example, the very one who writes this letter and now sits in 238 00:22:56.319 --> 00:23:03.069 chains for the sake of this Gospel. He himself was once a persecutor of 239 00:23:03.150 --> 00:23:12.460 the church, but now peace. And of course, it brings peace not 240 00:23:12.579 --> 00:23:18.619 only for those who come to Jesus and come under his authority, but it 241 00:23:18.700 --> 00:23:22.660 also preserves peace for them against any who would try to break it apart, 242 00:23:22.980 --> 00:23:26.890 any who would try to destroy it. Psalm, too, talks about this. 243 00:23:27.049 --> 00:23:32.970 It says the people, the nations, they take counsel together against the 244 00:23:33.089 --> 00:23:37.410 Lord and is anointed. How will we break apart their union, their bonds. 245 00:23:38.890 --> 00:23:44.480 The Lord sits in heaven and laughs. Psalms who says he holds them 246 00:23:44.559 --> 00:23:48.880 in derision, is going to break them in peaces for like a like a 247 00:23:48.359 --> 00:23:56.190 pot smash. This is important to realize because when we think about what it 248 00:23:56.309 --> 00:24:00.910 means to be safe in Christ, are like we read in Psalmilevin, why 249 00:24:00.990 --> 00:24:03.950 are you saying to me? Run Away and be scared? I have the 250 00:24:03.029 --> 00:24:07.349 Lord. That kind of strength, that kind of confidence. That's what this 251 00:24:07.470 --> 00:24:14.299 passage is about. Standing strong in the strength of God. Why? Because 252 00:24:14.339 --> 00:24:18.299 it's God, because of the ways that he has given to himself to us. 253 00:24:18.420 --> 00:24:25.170 In Christ, he establishes us, peace for us, peace between him 254 00:24:25.210 --> 00:24:29.369 and with one another. When we come under his authority, when we come 255 00:24:29.450 --> 00:24:33.490 under the gospel of peace, the good news of peace, and for those 256 00:24:33.529 --> 00:24:37.329 who reject it and would try to harm those who are under it, we 257 00:24:37.490 --> 00:24:47.400 know that we are safe, that there will be peace. I don't have 258 00:24:47.559 --> 00:24:52.589 any fancy conclusion. I just hope that you have heard something of who Christ 259 00:24:52.710 --> 00:24:59.109 is tonight what it means to stand in him, in truth and righteousnesess and 260 00:25:00.069 --> 00:25:04.190 readiness, in the gospel of peace. If you do not belong them, 261 00:25:04.269 --> 00:25:08.660 if you do not belong to him. If you find your strength in the 262 00:25:08.740 --> 00:25:15.420 things of this world and lies and selfjustification and pride and anger and war and 263 00:25:15.539 --> 00:25:21.140 self protection, then I hope that you will see that the call here to 264 00:25:21.420 --> 00:25:26.569 believers that you are hearing is a very attractive one, very safe one, 265 00:25:27.450 --> 00:25:33.690 verse strong one. I hope that you will see and connect the dots that 266 00:25:33.970 --> 00:25:41.200 those who stand apart from Christ will be destroyed by him. Lies will come 267 00:25:41.240 --> 00:25:45.680 undone, the sins that you have committed will come down upon your head, 268 00:25:47.640 --> 00:25:51.750 the war that you have with God and with man will end in your final 269 00:25:51.910 --> 00:25:59.829 and everlasting defeat. In hearing God's call to his children to put on this 270 00:26:00.029 --> 00:26:03.539 kind of armor to the one who stands outside of that should cause you to 271 00:26:03.660 --> 00:26:11.019 fear. But I should also call you to hear and hear the word that 272 00:26:11.140 --> 00:26:17.339 the Lord is gracious and though he is at battle with Satan and his schemes 273 00:26:17.460 --> 00:26:22.289 and all those who would stand on his side, he is also saying come 274 00:26:22.410 --> 00:26:30.369 on over, freely cross amnesty will be granted, forgiveness will be given to 275 00:26:30.609 --> 00:26:37.039 all who come to him. This powerful king, who can crush all who 276 00:26:37.119 --> 00:26:41.920 come and defy his authority, is also the one who is powerful to save, 277 00:26:42.079 --> 00:26:47.710 and indeed has even given his own son to die for the salvation of 278 00:26:47.910 --> 00:26:52.109 all of us who are once dead in our trespasses and sins and now fight 279 00:26:52.309 --> 00:26:56.990 on his side. Any who come to him in repentance, who confess their 280 00:26:57.069 --> 00:27:03.619 sins, and he who who are forgiven belong to Christ and receive all of 281 00:27:03.700 --> 00:27:10.900 his life and all of his strength. So this week I admonish you to 282 00:27:11.059 --> 00:27:15.289 be alert, to be sober minded about the work of Satan in this world, 283 00:27:15.329 --> 00:27:22.210 about the powers of darkness, about this present evil age, and to 284 00:27:22.329 --> 00:27:30.640 put on and keep on the armor of God through faith in Christ. You 285 00:27:30.759 --> 00:27:34.880 remember when David had to put on the armor of Saul and it didn't work 286 00:27:34.920 --> 00:27:41.920 because it was too big. And the Lord's armor isn't like this. The 287 00:27:41.079 --> 00:27:48.029 Lord's armor is spiritual, which is great, because you're never going to get 288 00:27:48.029 --> 00:27:52.230 sweaty in it. You can wear it at all times, me night or 289 00:27:52.269 --> 00:27:57.269 day, hot or cold, anywhere you are in the world. It's not 290 00:27:57.470 --> 00:28:02.539 something you take on and you take off. You can wear it whether you're 291 00:28:02.579 --> 00:28:07.259 in fancy clothes or plain clothes, whether you're alone or with someone. Because 292 00:28:07.299 --> 00:28:14.250 it's spiritual means that it's always with you. God is always with you, 293 00:28:15.009 --> 00:28:22.769 it is go always good and comfortable and safe and strong. So wear it, 294 00:28:22.970 --> 00:28:27.319 put on Christ and stand firm. Let's pray

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