Christian Growth and Living Series
“Battling the forces of Evil”
Do we really believe that we are engaged in this cosmic battle? Do we really believe that there are “powers of this dark world” which rule our age? Or as the Apostle John says, do we really believe that “the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19)? If we do not believe these things, we certainly cannot expect to have much success in fighting the battle. Why has the Christian ethos in our culture been squandered? Why do we have so little impact upon the world today? Is it not because we have failed to take the primary battle seriously?
If the Church is ineffective in the battle against evil it is only because we are ineffective in our personal lives against this great foe.
And so it is here today that we will look at this problem from a personal perspective and find the remedy which God alone provides.
I. THE DOCTRINAL POSITION PRESENTED TO US.
We must first come into agreement with the scriptures if we will make any headway in this regard.
A. The battle is clearly a scriptural one.
Because this is scripturally crystal clear, and God does not lie, we have been presented with a 100% guarantee of victory.
Yes, a 100% guarantee, which means that we fail on our own merit – because we do not use the God given tools to attain victory.
B. A superficial prayer life and Bible study will only bring disastrous results.
You may be under the misguided understanding that this message will solve all your problems. Yet, unless you are prepared to do something with this knowledge this morning you will not benefit at all and might just be the worse off for it.
You may even come to believe that somehow I have failed you!
1. As daily bathing is important for the physical, the same is needed spiritually.
a) Bath thyself in prayer.
b) Bathe thyself in the Bible.
You wouldn’t want your body to put off some unpleasant odor, yet, it is quite amazing at the number of Christians who have no problem stinking spiritually!
2. The current junk food/fast food philosophy has regulated our appetite for spiritual nourishment.
Our church service has become a drive through window for “fast” music & message that barely satisfies for an hour or two, only to be satisfied from some other window later.
We don’t eat a balanced diet!
We don’t consider the nutritional makeup of our spiritual food!
We even lace it with a little MSG (size of ministry, what does the church do for me, does it meet all my needs) to enhance the flavor.
a) We need to set the table.
b) We need to gather the family.
c) We need to prepare the meal.
d) We need to chew it well.
e) We need to eat and be satisfied.
f) We need to let it digest.
II. GOD’S REMEDY AS A PRACTICAL GUIDE.
“…put on the whole armour of God.”
I’m sure we are all familiar with the armour of God as presented in Eph. 6, But, do we understand it?
We shall look at the seven distinct pieces and areas they protect.
A. Loins girt about with truth.
63 times this word is used in the Bible. It’s predominant meaning is the reproductive parts of the body or progeny.
There is a similar usage in Exodus 12 during the Passover meal where it says that the Israelites were to eat the Passover lamb with there “loins girded up”. Although the same area of the body is inferred, the meaning is quite different.
Exodus speaks of readiness, whereas Ephesians speaks of protection.
Why do the loins need to be protected?
We shall explore both the physical and figurative aspects of this armour.
1. Physical aspects. (Truth vs. Lies)
a) Sexual responsibilities.
The vast number of people slain by pornography is staggering. In a recent article in the Sword of the Lord, Dr. Shelton Smith ripped off the statistics of this annual multi billion dollar business, that ruins marriages, families, and according to one 40 page report with a 175 page addendum, submitted to congress, shows the correlation between hardcore porn and the sexual exploitation of children.
Do not think for a moment that Christians are exempt from this sewer industry. There are pastors, Sunday School teachers, Deacons, etc. that are constantly victimized by this enemy. As well as many innocent church children who have been victimized by the insatiable sin of those addicted to it!
Pornography is pervasive. On TV, in catalogs, magazines, the library, etc. Not all hard core but no one addicted to hardcore porn started there. It begins by desensitizing the individual with softer more seemingly innocent varieties designed to snare the unsuspecting fool.
Gird this loin with Truth!!!
b) Reproductive responsibilities.
Need we ask the question, is abortion wrong? Yet, in many so called churches today this question and others like it are being reinvestigated by so called experts, and spiritual guides.
Life begins at conception!
There is no flexibility! No wiggle room!
Gird this loin with Truth!!!!
c) Marital responsibilities.
The Apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 that “in the latter times some shall depart from the faith…Forbidding to marry.”
I think these are obviously the latter times!!
How many are shaking up rather than marrying?
How many Christians have no problem accepting even living in this shameful way?
I warn you! Your sin will find you out! And so shall we!!
Gird this loin with Truth!!!
d) Parental responsibilities.
We may not like it but we as Christian parents have an enormous responsibility to raise our children in the faith. And that means making some difficult choices.
There are no guarantees with this responsibility. If you’ve been blessed with compliant children thank God, not yourself!
But, if you shirk your responsibility and find them going astray, you will be accountable before God.
Many wayward children after much rebellion in the face of Godly parents who maintained strict Christian upbringing and were not flexible with their beliefs, have come back as the prodigal son!
Gird this loin with Truth!!!
2. Figurative aspects. (Truth vs. Heresy)
In this part of our series “Battling the Forces of Evil”, we are examining the seven areas of warfare in which we as Christians are to protect with the armour of God.
Last time the first area, the loins, was seen from the physical aspect. This week we shall view it from a figurative aspect.
I also must warn you that any favorable progress in this area must first be dealt with in the physical.
There is no sense trying to fool ourselves that we will be able to battle in this realm if we are struggling with the physical.
A true spiritual being can only be complete when that individual has brought his body into subjection.
Paul says: "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (1 Corinthians 9:27, KJV)
a) The marital relationship of the believer to Christ. Eph.5:31-32
One only need view the current imbalance of marital understanding in relationships to see how we as a society have been misled in our wifely role of the bride of Christ.
1)) Remembering the spiritual battle.
Satan has blinded and tricked us to the point of rendering us impotent as true followers of Christ in this regard.
a)) We have played the whore.
b)) We have brought shame to our Lord.
2)) Remembering how to get back.
The principals of life recorded in the Word of God are not optional for us, but are every bit as important today as they were when they were penned. They have not gone out of date, nor are they old-fashioned.
We must allow the Bible to set the pace for our lives again!
We must adhere to it’s statutes if we are to be victorious!
b) The spiritual reproductive life of the believer.
Notice what’s going on around us! Take inventory my friends! We have left off our passion for souls!!!
Gird about your loins with truth!!!
Again the spiritual reproductive system is regulated by the physical. Because we have bought into this modern philosophy of small families, we subconsciously exhibit the same psychology in the church.
1) Money should not regulate our passion.
2) Time should be appropriated for spiritual rendezvous.
3) Blessed is the man who’s quiver is full.
c) The parental responsibility of discipleship.
1) We must nurture new converts with sound doctrine.
2) We must not send them off to daycare shirking our responsibility.
3) We must lead and guide them throughout their lives.
These spiritual areas of our loins must be guarded against the trickery of the Devil!
Schaeffer, F. A. 1996, c1982. The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer : A Christian worldview. Crossway Books: Westchester, Ill.