June 23rd, 2015 Posted in sermons | 2 Comments »
How are we to live in light of the fact that Christ could return at any moment? First, we need to wake up! The Apostle Paul gives us the answer in 1 Thessalonians,5:6-8
“Therefore let us not Sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.”
We need to WAKE UP,SOBER UP and Finally SUIT UP!
I already looked at the first two catagories in my last two blogs.
Let me close with #3 Suit Up!
“[Put] on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8 NKJV).
You are in a spiritual battle. It started on the day of your conversion and will rage until the day you go to Heaven. You will be tempted, harassed, hassled, and attacked. Simply put, Satan does not want you to follow Jesus Christ. This is why we need to suit up!
Ephesians 6:12–13 says, “We are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms” (NLT). Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm!
It’s really not a choice of fighting or not fighting. It’s a choice of victory or defeat, winning or losing, gaining ground or losing ground.
When we become Christians we also become soldiers in a spiritual battle. “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4). You are no longer a civilian; you are now under the orders of your Commander-in chief, Jesus.
This is what weakens so many Christians today. They try to live in two worlds, and it just won’t work. As James 4:4 says, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” Duplicity and hypocrisy weaken any witness we have to a watching world. They especially weaken our witness to our own children! They see hypocrisy in the home and it turns them away from God. So, suit up!
Paul, having spent a good deal of time under house arrest, knew Roman armor. Two pieces are mentioned: the helmet and breastplate, both essential to the protection of the soldier in battle. The breastplate protected the vital organs of the roman soldier. One well-aimed blow without that protection and he was a goner. We are to have the breastplate of faith, not feeling.
The helmet protected the head; without it you cannot do much. Most motorcycle riders hate helmet laws, but they do serve their purpose. I read about a biker in upstate New York who was participating in a ride to protest helmet laws who died after he crashed his motorcycle and hit his head. Ironically, a helmet probably would have saved his life.
The Roman soldier’s helmet was carefully designed. It was generally bronze on the outside. Sometimes it was leather over an iron skullcap. It was designed to withstand a crushing blow to the head and still protect it. In the same way, Satan will attack us in “command central”—the mind!
Our minds, thoughts, imaginations must be protected. “As a man thinks, so is he” (see Proverbs 23:7). We need to train our minds to think properly and biblically—when impure thoughts come, when doubts come, when Satan comes.
We read in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that we should cast down “arguments, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Satan recognizes the value of first getting a foothold in the realm of the thoughts. Thoughts prepare the way for actions! Most people fantasize, think about, and imagine a sin before they actually commit it. They rationalize it by saying, “This is not that bad; I would never do this thing!” But actually they could and would, given the right circumstances.
The only way to protect your mind is to fill it with godly thoughts. Colossians 3:2, “Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth” (NKJV). When my computer is full, I get a sign that says “memory full.” There’s not enough space on my hard drive to load a new program. We need to have the hard disk of our mind filled so there is no room. That is why we need the helmet of the hope of salvation.