Ephesians 6:10-14 Stand Upon The Word of God
Our text today is, Ephesians 6:10-14, Paul says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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 spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 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. Stand therefore...”
Recently, I was asked by someone what our dress code is here at this church. I told them that most of our congregation chooses to dress casual. The fact is, we have no dress code to follow here at Community Church. People wear whatever is comfortable to them.
I believe that one could make the argument, however, that only those who are dressed in God’s armor will continue to come to church week after week. We are all in a war, and even as we sit here today, under the ministry of the Word of God, there is a battle that is raging for your heart, your mind and your soul.
Paul is coming to the end of this letter and he is emphasizing that Christians are to stand. To do this, they need to remember all they have learned in this letter and apply this grace to their lives. In doing so, they will be a people dressed for battle and equipped for war. They are not to finish this letter and set it aside to gather dust. They are not to finish this letter and then throw it away as if they are never going to need it again. They are to…
put it into practice
and proclaim it boldly in this world
When John Calvin preached a sermon on this text he spoke of how Paul’s words would have been a reprimand and a rebuke to some of the people in the church of Ephesus. Apparently, there were some in the church who needed to be reminded to put on the armor of God and to take a stand.
Calvin writes, “God works in such a way by us that he will not have us to be like logs of wood, but he will have us exercise our faith and be like men of war, to serve him in battle, so that the difficulties we encounter do not restrain us from keeping on our course, but that we resist all ambushes and assaults directed against us.”
Dr. David Thompson speaks of this text and says, “These Christians had been believers for many years. Paul knew that they needed to be challenged well into their Christian life that a believer lives in a battleground and not a playground. Paul reminds them that if they are not careful they can be spiritually and morally wounded.”
I would like to approach this letter as if Paul were directly addressing us today. I would like us to allow Paul to speak to us just as he did the Ephesians. By allowing Paul to remind us, reprove us and reprimand us concerning these things we will be prepared for the battle that we are facing.
Ecclesiastes 7:15 says, “It is far better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than the song of fools.” With this in mind, let us consider that Paul ends this letter with a wise rebuke; rather than, ending it with a song. Let’s consider four brief observations about this verse.
First, consider that it takes no courage at all to be entertained by the song of fools.
People often gather around such songs in this world and are entertained by the beautiful music and by words that lull our hearts and consciences to sleep.
Such a song does not challenge our heart to put away foolish things.
Such a song does not confront our evil thoughts or our wicked behaviors; rather, it encourages us to become more foolish and more unwise.
The song of a fool encourages us to forsake the Lord and to indulge in the ways that are an offense to His holiness.
Secondly, it does not take courage to sing this foolish song to the masses in this sinful world.
Those who sing such a song, do not challenge those who hear them.
This song does not call them to action against the things that dishonor God.
Those who sing such a song do not encounter hostility from the world because they are giving to the people what they want to hear.
No courage is required to speak according to the wisdom of men and to proclaim foolishness to the masses who want to hear it.
In fact, to do such a thing in this world can bring the person great popularity and prosperity.
Thirdly, It does take a great deal of courage to stand and be a person who will listen to the rebuke of the wise.
No one likes to be rebuked.
No one likes to stand patiently while they are being reproved and corrected.
Our natural inclination is to avoid such moments; but a person who listens to a rebuke is better off than those who turn away and refused to listen.
Paul has given us lot’s of instruction in this letter. Will we receive it?
Fourthly, it takes courage to be the man who will stand upon the Word of God and use it to reprove, rebuke, and to train in righteousness.