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Sermon No: 1416-The Army of God



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SERMON TOPIC: The Army of God

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 2 March 2014

Topic Groups: OVERCOMING

Sermon synopsis: 1 Tim 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith.

2 Tim 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race...

1 Tim 1:18-20 Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles. Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.

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The Army of God.

1. There is a war going on.

1 Timothy 6:12.

Fight the good fight of faith.

2 Timothy 4:7.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race….

1 Timothy 1:18-20.

Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles. Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.

2. It is a spiritual battle, much of it in the mind.

Ephesians 6:12.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

2 Thessalonians 3:3.

But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5.3.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

3.There is a war within ourselves.

James 4:1-3.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

1 Peter 2:11.

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Future battles & war.

Revelation 12:7-9.

Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down that ancient serpent called the devil,

or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth,

and his angels with him.

Revelation 13:4-7:

People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it? The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

Future battles & war.

Revelation 17:12-14.

The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.

They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.

They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings.

Future battles & war.

Revelation19:11 & 19-21.

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army.

But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf.

With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur. The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse

Jesus’ victory over our sin and the world.

Colossians 2:13-15.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

John 16:33.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!

I have overcome the world.

Requirements for the Army of God.

Separation from the world.

2 Timothy 2:3-4.

Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer

1 John 2:15-17.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

2 Corinthians 6:14 & 17

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?... Therefore, Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.

Enlisting.

Who can enlist: (Anyone)

John 3:16.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2 Peter 3:8-9.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Enlisting.

When to enlist. Today (Now) Hebrews 3:7-8. So, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness.

God calls us. Call up papers. John 6:44. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them

Putting on the uniform.

Identifying with Christ.

Matthew 10: 32-33.

Whoever acknowledges me before others,

I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

Baptism in water.

Matthew 28:19.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Basic Training.

Hebrews 6:1-3.

Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.

Matthew 28:20.

and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

2 Timothy 2:15.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

There is a difference between Boot Camp and Club Med.

If you think you have it tough, Paul wrote some of the New Testament books from prison.

Paul has been called the greatest Christian who ever lived. He also suffered greatly for the name of Jesus Christ. When Paul defended his calling to the church, he defined suffering as a major proof of his spiritual office.

2 Corinthians 11:23

I have worked much harder,

been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.

2 Timothy 2:3.

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Daily rations.

Matthew 4-4.

Man shall not live on bread alone,

but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Matthew 5:6.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

John 4:31-35.

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, Rabbi, eat something. But he said to them, I have food to eat that you know nothing about. Then his disciples said to each other, Could someone have brought him food? My food, said Jesus, is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, It’s still four months until harvest? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

Posted to a unit.

The Lord places us in a local body and we need to put down roots and fulfil our responsibilities.

Imagine if the Army calls 100 000 men up and they all want to be pilots. In the Army you can’t just roam around from one place to another, if you want to go somewhere else you have to ask for a transfer.

1 Corinthians 12:14-19.

Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body, it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be?

Lines of communication.

Communication is the life line of any army, making the difference between victory or defeat.

There has to be two-way communication.

Psalm 66:18.

If I regard iniquity in my heart,

the Lord will not hear me.

What is your prayer life like?

John 10:3-6.

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Discipline.

The mastery of self.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27.

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

2 Timothy 1:7.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Discipline.

We need discipline in all these and other areas.

Proverbs 25:28.

A man without self control is like a city without walls.

TIME

FOOD

SLEEP

MONEY

THOUGHTS

TONGUE

PRAYER

BODY

Know your enemy and his tactics.

1 Peter 5:8

. . your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Ephesians 4:26-27

In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

and do not give the devil a foothold.

Jude :8-10.

In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings.

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, The Lord rebuke you! Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct, as irrational animals do, will destroy them.

Obey your commanding officer.

Luke 6:46-49.

So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”

John 14:21-24.

Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them….

Jesus replied, All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.

Morale.

The strongest army can be defeated if it has low morale.

The most effective weapon that is used in wartime to undermine morale is propaganda, which is almost always lies or twisted truths.

Hebrews 10:24-25.

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Nehemiah 8:10.

Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!

Secure your position in Christ.

2 Timothy 1: 12.

That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.

Armies use trenches to dig in and secure their position and make sure they do not lose ground. Get to know who you are in Christ.

Fight the enemy, not each other.

Philippians 1:27.

Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.

1 Peter 3:8.

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tender-hearted, and keep a humble attitude.

Ephesians 4:3.

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

Fight the enemy, not each other.

John 17:20-21.

I. . . pray. . . that they all may be one, . . . that the world may believe that you sent me. 1 Corinthians 1:10.

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

2 Corinthians 13:11.

Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.

Friendly fire in battle is killing your own troops, how sad that in the Army of God it is sometimes intentional.

Put on the Whole Armour of God.

Ephesians 6:10-18.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour 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. Therefore put on the full armour 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

The Armour of God.

The Belt is not the most noticeable piece of the armour, however, it is actually the central piece that holds all the rest securely in place and provides for every need during battle. The belt was broad and made of sturdy leather. From it hung an overlapping skirt of leather straps which on the inside surface were armoured with small rectangular pieces of metal held in place by decorative rivets which showed on the outside. Also from the belt hung specialized hooks and holders on which to secure the scabbard that contained the sword at the proper angle, the quiver which held lances, and an apparatus on which to rest the large battle shield. Also, on the belt were clips with which to hold the breastplate in its proper place. Supplies of bread, oil and water were also on the belt.

The Armour of God.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.

Paul called this the belt of Truth, what was he referring to?

John 17:17 Jesus says, Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.

The written Word (or logos) of God, the Bible is that Truth. The first chapter of John also reveals that Jesus was (and is) the living Word of God, and that He, Jesus, was the God (Eloiem) of the Old Testament as well as the Incarnate Word of the New Testament.

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

2 Corinthians 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

The Armour of God.

Just as the belt is central to the armour of God, the written Word of God (the Bible) is central to all that pertains to spiritual warfare. Knowing by the written Word that we have been made and are the righteousness of God, will tightly secure our breastplate of righteousness. Faith (the shield) comes by hearing the Word of God. Also, we are to fill our hearts with the Word of God. In this case, the scabbard, which holds the sword, could represent the heart filled by the Word of God. And out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. When our heart is full of the written Word, we can unsheathe the sword of the spoken Word of God. When we hear the Word of the Spirit speak to our spirit, we can always test what was said by comparing it to the written Word. We can be confident that we are in the will of God by knowing, living by and walking in the promises of the written record of the Word of God.

The Armour of God.

The Breastplate was really a work of art. Each breastplate was custom made for the soldier that wore it. Often a casting was made of the man’s torso.

This negative casting was then used to make a positive of the torso. The positive was overlaid with brass that was beaten to conform to the details of the torso. Breastplates were often made very elaborate with additional decorations and polished to a brilliant mirror finish that was blinding in the sunshine. Despite its beauty, the breastplate was very functional, protecting the heart and other vital organs from penetration through its metal shell

The Armour of God.

The Shoes or sandals of the Roman soldier

were no normal footwear. Great care was taken by Rome to supply the soldiers with appropriate footwear for their assignment.

Their shoes (or boots) consisted of an elaborately cut and laced sandal of which the sole was layers of metal and leather with ‘hob nail’ spikes extending one-half inch, to in some cases ‘inches,’ from the sole to plant into the ground to keep them from being moved. Some had toe spikes and or built-in spurs with which to do damage to the enemy. The uppers of the sandals were often armoured by small overlapping pieces of metal riveted to the leather straps. In addition, attached to the uppers of the sandal were removable metal greaves that extended up over the kneecap protecting the knees, shins and ankles.

The Armour of God.

The Shoes or sandals of the Roman soldier

Before you go somewhere, you have to make preparation to dress and equip yourself for the occasion, climate and terrain. If you are going downtown, are you going to put on your mountain climbing boots, leather shorts, backpack and climbing gear? If you are going into the jungle swamps, do you wear your arctic parka, insulated long underwear and snowshoes? The same kind of preparation is required concerning the gospel. Which shoes do I need? How should I prepare them?

The Armour of God.

There were actually two types of shields used by Roman soldiers of the day.

One, a small round one, was for dress parades. The other, was a large rectangular shield that in Greek was named, “a door,” because it looked like the soldier was carrying a full size leather covered door behind which he could safely stand.

Each shield was made of six layers of thick animal hide specially tanned and woven together making them as tough and durable as metal yet relatively light weight. The leather shields could be soaked in water before battle so that in the event the enemy would rain fiery projectiles on them, the fire would be extinguished on impact.

The Armour of God.

The helmet was the most noticeable piece of armour.

It was often ornate, intricately decorated and plumed with brightly dyed feathers or horsehair. Some parade dress helmets had course horsehair plumes that would extend to the waist.

The Roman helmet was designed so that blows from sword, hammer or axe could not pierce it but would be deflected and yet allow the soldier maximum visibility.

The Armour of God.

The sword of a Roman soldier of that day, was a feared weapon.

Short, lightweight and well balanced, it was quick and deadly. The two razor sharpened edges of the broad blade could easily slice a roast.

And, the flared and tapered point was designed to easily penetrate and disembowel the enemy. It was well known that if a Roman soldier ever unsheathed his sword -- he would use it.

The Armour of God.

Hebrews 4:12-13.

For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,

it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)




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