Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.
Defense: When the enemy of our souls comes at us he baits us to step into the trap he has prepared – tempts us to fall to sin, we must be on the defense…
He said to his disciples, “Offenses will certainly come, but woe to the one through whom they come! (Luke 17:1 CSB). (stumbling blocks temptations)
David, in Psalm 55, says, For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng.
“Bitterness can result from the hurtful words of a friend or coworker… You find yourself rehearsing the offense over and over again, each time driving the root of bitterness deeper within your soul. Bitterness can derive from a sense of being unjustly treated.
Bitterness is easy to justify. You can get so used to a bitter heart that you are even comfortable with it, but it will destroy you. When you allow bitterness to grow in your life, you reject the grace of God” (Henry Blackaby). From your expectations, things being different, Not your way.
When we are tempted to gossip: Ephesians 4:29, 30-32 – Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear… Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
On the Offence: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. – 1 Peter 1:23
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”… So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. – Romans 10:13-17
When we put into practice the Word of God—Obedience—When we love one another … encourage, pray for, serve, forgive, carry each other’s burdens, teach… This is being involved In The Kingdom, preparing for battle – training to deal with the World – both.
Love one another, by this… When we go into the World… this is the sword of the Spirit in action, this is invading enemy strongholds and territory, this is advancing the Kingdom!
But like any weapon, the Sword of the Spirit must be used with care. Improperly applied, it can drive people away from the Kingdom. Be careful! This weapon forces the user, as well as those who face it, to look at themselves in light of what God says. You don’t beat people with the Truth! John 17:17 – Sanctify them in Truth, your Word is Truth.
In Ephesians 4… Speak the Truth in love and with love.
We join in the battle in two ways: Prayer, which we are commanded to do, and in speaking The Word. This battle is fought on two fronts: the spiritual side which is through prayer and in the physical when we Speak the Truth in love. This is the reason we have been given the Armor of God is to be involved in the War, to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom!
In John 14:13 Jesus said Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. – 1 John 5:14
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. – James 1:21-22
As a doer of the Word you are using the Sword of the Spirit!
If you are not in the battle I invite you to come and pray to be made battle ready. If you are battle ready I ask you to join with me this morning praying for those who are struggling, the unsaved, the sick, and for the Kingdom to advance in our communities.
- How familiar are you with the Sword of the Spirit?
- Can you use it to defend against the schemes of the devil?
- Are you ready and able to use it in all circumstances?
- The Word: Matthew 4:4, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 1 Peter 1:23, James 1:22-23