“The Believer’s Warfare (Part V)”
I. The Preparation (preparing for war with Satan)
II. The Armor (armor of a soldier)
III. The Enemy (Satan and his minions)
IV. The Battle (The spiritual battle)
– TODAY –
V. The Victory (Of the Christians)
A) The evil day
- The verse we want to focus on this morning is Ephesians 6:13…Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
- Do you remember what the “armor” is?
- Prepare yourself with “The truth”
- Breastplate of righteousness (doing the right thing always)
- Shoes of the gospel of peace
- Shield of Faith (our Faith and belief in God and His Son)
- Helmet of Salvation (Your assurance of salvation)
- Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God, the KJV on the Koran)
- Don’t get caught with your armor off, because you never know when “the evil day” will come.
- What is the “evil day?” It is the day that you are tempted, the day when evil reigns in the world.
- As long as Satan is the prince and power of the air in this world, the evil day exists.
- When is the evil day? It is yesterday, today and the future.
- We are to report our warfare to the commander (pray to God), and watch Him do the work.
- The victory is yours. Resist the devil, he’ll flee from you.
B) Victory depends on the soldier
- There is a hymn written that I remember singing and the question was “Am I a soldier of the cross?”
- I believe that question is to those who are in doubt about their salvation and the song is to encourage people to question their place in the battle, their place in the kingdom, their armor for the warfare against Satan.
- The real question to ask yourself this morning is… “What kind of a soldier am I?”
- There are good soldiers and bad soldiers. There are soldiers who work hard at being the best they can be. Then there are soldiers who could care less about the war and do nothing but the bare minimum to skate by.
- Eugene Bartlett, author and composer of both words and music to the song titled “Victory in Jesus,” was born in Missouri. After finishing Hall-Moody Institute in Martin, Tenn., he began teaching in singing schools. Because of his musical gifts and talents, young Bartlett was a sought-after music teacher.
In 1918, he established the Hartford Music Co. in Hartford, Ark., and published many shape-note songbooks featuring his songs and the songs of contemporary writers.
For more than 20 years, Bartlett conducted singing schools throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama and Tennessee. For several years he edited a monthly music magazine, Herald of Song, promoting singing schools, including news of local personalities and advertising the newest songbooks.
“Victory in Jesus” was written in 1939, two years before Bartlett’s death. The song first appeared that year in “Gospel Choruses,” and a paperback songbook published by James Vaughan in Lawrenceburg, Tenn.
Since the early 1960s, “Victory in Jesus” has become popular among evangelical congregations, and the recent hymnals published for these churches have included it.
C) The “Victory” is no mystery to us
- I Corinthians 15:51…Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
- Need I remind you, that this “mystery” that Paul mentions in this verse is not a mystery to us today living in the church age which is the time after the cross.
- The mystery is what was “the hidden truth”in the Old Testament, but was revealed by Christ in His ministry and His apostles in the New Testament after the cross.
- The mystery was the “Rapture of the church,” which is first mentioned in John 14:1-3.
- This mystery is also our “victory” that we have in Christ Jesus and causes us to sing that wonderful song.
- As you also know that when Paul says “…we shall not all sleep” he means that not everybody will be raptured from the grave (as they are considered by O.T. saints asleep in the Lord, as dead in the body). As you further remember that Paul tells us “the dead in Christ shall rise first” In I Thessalonians 4:16.
- What about those of us who are still alive at the time of the rapture? Paul goes on to say in I Thessalonians 4:17… Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
- So, I Cor. 15: 51 tells us that some will be raptured from the grave and some will be raptured wherever they live.
D) Victory in being changed
- Now then, Paul tells us in verse 51b) …“but we shall all be changed,”
- This means that our bodies will be changed from an earthly body to a spiritual body. (It is explained in verses 52-54)
- 52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
- The dead bodies that are asleep in the Lord have already been changed because they will be raised “incorruptible.” Whereas those being still alive will be raptured out as corruptible but they will be changed.
- Look now at verses 53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
- The “victory” here in verse 54 that Paul quotes from Isaiah 25:8, tells us that “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
- What does that mean? You must realize and surely know that death is final. After you die, nothing you do can bring you back to life.
- Life is in Christ. Death is separation from God and His Son Jesus Christ.
- Satan gets the dead people. God gets the living.
- To “swallow” something is like a whirlpool. Water is all around in a circular motion and it consumes or swallows up everything around it. The idea here is that our “joy” of victory in Christ swallows up the pain and sorrow of death.
- Paul then goes on in verse 55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
- The “grave” is a holding place for the dead bodies. It is a place of darkness. As long as you are in the grave, you cannot do anything and you cannot see anything because you are lifeless and in the dark.
- Christ Jesus is our light and our redeemer.
- Now Paul talks about the “sting” of death. Look at verse 56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
- The sting is the sin that exposed the law but conquered by Christ Jesus in His death. Paul tells the church in Rome that in Romans 5:21…That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
E) Thank God for the victory
- Our debtor is God and to Him we should be ever so grateful for what He has done for us who are so undeserving. 57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
F) How to be victorious
- Look at verse 58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, When I look at this verse especially when Paul calls the Corinthians in the church there “beloved.” That word has a special connotation towards the brethren there at Corinth because Paul had worked so tirelessly with them in the issues they had in the church. He watched them grow and glow. But now he reminds them to get the victory in their life by doing the following…
- “…be ye steadfast,” Be firm, solid, confident in the faith, not wishy-washy in your beliefs.
- “…unmoveable,” Don’t allow other people toss you to and fro with every wind of doctrine.
- “…always abounding in the work of the Lord,” Continue to grow and mature in the Word (Bible knowledge), and work of the Lord.
- “…forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” “…as ye know” meaning that you should stick to your guns when it comes to knowing the truths that you have learned and experienced as you mature in Godly things. When Paul tells them “that your labour is not in vain” He is saying that the work you do for Christ Jesus is always rewarded.
- How do we get “Victory in our life?”
- Prepare yourself for the war with Satan
- Put on your armor and keep it on.
- Know the enemy (Satan)
- Battle daily
- Be steadfast, unmovable, continuing in spiritual maturity
G) Victory in Security
- Jesus is talking here in John’s gospel which tells of our security/safety in the hands of Christ. The Jews are always known as God’s peculiar people, the pearl of great price.
- But we as the Gentile nation are known as the bride of Christ. Here is what Jesus comforts us with in John 10:27…My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30) I and my Father are one.
- The connotation here of the word “pluck” is the same word harpasei, which means “to snatch” used in Matthew 13:19…When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
- Satan is a snatcher, a catcher, a plucker who takes away people who do not belong to God or Jesus Christ.
- Do you know why Satan cannot snatch us away? Look at Psalms 91… He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
- Did you get that? “He (the person that is secure in the hand of God ) that dwelleth in the secret place (A place that is so secret that no one knows where it is at except God) of the most High (God).”
- Verse 2) I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
- The Psalmist here is telling us that God is his security in times of distress, discomfort, sorrow, and terror. The Psalmist trust is completely in God.
- Comforting words come in Psalm 91:5…Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6) Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
- The Psalmist reminds us that we need not be afraid at night or in the day time, and that we should not fear the things “that walketh in darkness” or better put in today’s times… “the things that sneak up on us and try to destroy us (such as Satan’s minions).
- No man (being) can snatch us away from our Father who art in heaven. We are hidden in a secret place and given the power to defeat Satan if we would only “…resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
- Have Victory in your life today and let Jesus be your commanding General that leads you in the war against Satan.