The message below is based on quotes
and notes from the
audio version of
a sermon on Ephesians 6:10-17
Rev. Cliff McManis
It was presented at
Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley
on December 16, 2007
An invisible spiritual war has
been raging since the beginning of time, and people everywhere
are involved in its battles -- whether they know it or not.
While God reigns in the midst of the deadly struggles, our
primary antagonist is Satan. This master-manipulator has been
granted a limited measure of power and authority in this world
-- but no more than God has allowed for His own purposes.
First, we must recognize that
there is a war, even though we can't see it.
Second, we must put on
the armor God has given us. Here are His instructions:
in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Put on the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil. 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
take up the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to withstand
in the evil day, and having done all, to
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with
truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel
of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith
with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of
the wicked one.
"And take the helmet of
salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the
Word of God..." Ephesians 6:10-17
Third, we must "stand" (notice
the repeated command) -- hold our ground -- and resist all the
onslaughts of Satan. We can't run away; our enemy operates in an
realm we can't even see. So don't go looking for him; he will
come to you! So stand ready to resist his assault! Take
your position and be prepared!
Wearing the first five parts of
Armor of God
Salvation -- you can hold a defensive posture.
The only offensive part of the
Armor is the sixth: "Take up the sword of the Spirit"
 -- the Word
Do you doubt that this war is
real? Then please continue.
In the Book of Job, God pulls
away the veil to the heavenly realms. We see Satan at war with
God's people, and his immediate target was the faithful Job -- a
man of integrity who loved and trusted God. God had given him
ten children and great wealth, but Satan couldn't trouble him.
At least not yet!
Verse 6 offers an amazing glimpse
of the heavenly realm. Notice God's unquestioned authority over
all things and the limits He sets on Satan's delegated power.
Satan may touch Job's household and test the faith of God's
servant. But he can't touch his life -- at least not yet:
"Now there was a
day when the sons of God came to present themselves before
the Lord, and Satan [a
also came among
them. And the Lord [who
knew the answer well]
said to Satan, 'From where do you come?'
answered the Lord and said, 'From going to and fro on the
earth, and from walking back and forth on it. ”
Lord said to Satan, “ Have you considered My servant Job,
that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and
upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
answered the Lord and said, 'Does Job fear God for nothing?
'Have You not made a hedge around him, around his
household, and around all that he has on every side? You
have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have
increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and
touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your
Lord said to Satan, 'Behold, all that he has is in your
power; only do not lay a hand on his person.'
went out from the presence of the Lord." Job 1:6-12
The next set of verses show the
cruel work of Satan. With God's permission, he destroyed all of
Job's possessions as well as his precious children. God had a
special plan for Job, and we see His victory at the end of the
book. But -- as for most who follow Jesus -- the process was
came to Job and said, 'The oxen were plowing and the donkeys
feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took
them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge
of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!'
"While he was
still speaking, another also came and said, “ The fire of
God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the
servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to
tell you!' ...
"While he was
still speaking, another also came and said, 'Your sons
and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their
oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from
across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the
house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead;
and I alone have escaped to tell you! ”
"Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head;
and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:
'Naked I came
from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.'
"In all this Job
did not sin nor charge God with wrong." Job 1:13-22
Job passed the test! Through
those ordeals -- and all that would follow -- Job stood firm in
Standing firm when
Job understood what most people
today neither see nor acknowledge: Satan can't do anything more
than what God permits. God allows no test greater than we can
bear, when we follow Him and
wear His armor.
Jesus modeled the promised
victory at the very beginning of His ministry. Immediately after
His baptism in the Jordan, he was led by the devil into a barren
wilderness to be tempted and tested. After 40 days, He was
starving and vulnerable:
devil said to Him, 'If You are 'the Son of God, command this
stone to become bread.'
"But Jesus answered him, saying, 'It is
written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every
word of God.’
"Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed
Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And
the devil said to Him, 'All this authority I will give You,
and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I
give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship
before me, all will be Yours.'
"And Jesus answered and said to him, 'Get
behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship
the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’
"Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the
pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, 'If You are the Son
of God, throw Yourself down from here. 'For it is written:
'He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you, and,
‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your
foot against a stone.’" Luke 4:1-11
Jesus continually quoted God's
mighty Word. "It is written,"
He began, thus affirming the authority of the written Word
Satan tried to deceive him by
using the same strategy. "It is written," he said as he quoted
from Psalm 91. But his scheme only served to twist the meaning
of God's Word and pervert the application of God's truth.
The deceptive use of the Scriptures remind me of the strategies
of today's Emerging Church leaders.
Who defines the Kingdom of God?]
Jesus recognizes the deception at
answered and said to him, 'It has been said, 'You shall not
'tempt the Lord your God.’
"Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he
departed from Him until an opportune time." Luke 4:12-13
That "opportune time" for Satan
can be any time we are tired, distracted, focused on the world
-- and not wearing God's armor!
were also false prophets among the people, even as there
will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring
in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought
them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many
will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way
of truth will be blasphemed." 2 Peter 2:1-2
Knowing the power of
If we want to fight against
Satan, our main offensive weapon is the "Sword of the spirit" --
God's Word! Though postmodern and emerging churches increasingly
reject this victorious weapon, those who love and follow God had
best remember and wield it. Ponder these five reasons for it
Word of God is inspired.
It is "God-breathed!" The truth came out of God's mouth.
God is the author. So when the people claim that Mozart was
"inspired," they are referring to something totally different
and earthly. The Scriptures are inspired (breathed) by God, not
by Moses or Paul! Men wrote it, while God gave it.
Scripture is given by inspiration of God..." 2 Timothy 3:16
2. The Word
of God is authoritative.
Since Bible is inspired by God, it is perfect, flawless,
authoritative -- our final and ultimate source of Truth. Yet,
foolish humans continue to supplement its message with
fictitious authorities that undermine the validity of Scripture.
Human opinions, popular sentiment, secular science, traditions,
and politically correct sentiments are believed to be more
authoritative than His Word! Even Peter, the disciple and friend
of Jesus, was guilty of seeing reality from man's, rather than
"But He [Jesus]
turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are an
offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God,
but the things of men.'" Matthew 16:23
Our victory is found in the
authority of God's Word as seen from His perspective. The
world's shallow substitutes or feel-good illusions will only
assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away,
one jot or one tittle [a tiny mark in the original
spelling of a word] will by no means pass from the law till
all is fulfilled." Matthew 5:18
3. The Word
of God is living. It
penetrates our very mind and thoughts -- whether we accept it or
not. Unbelievers get irate when they hear the Scriptures. For
example, when John McArthur quoted the Scriptures during a Larry
King interview, others in the "religious" panel were enraged.
"For the word
of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any
two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and
spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of
the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no
creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked
and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
4. The Word
of God is sufficient.
Everything we need to know is in the Bible. It's complete.
is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness, that the man of God may be complete,
thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy
did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in
the Holy Spirit and in much assurance..." 1 Thessalonians
5. The Word
of God is perspicuous.
understandable to all who know and follow God. But to those who
prefer the world's ways and philosophies, the Scriptures are
perplexing, disturbing and offensive.
The emerging church movement
tends to deny the perspicuity (clarity) of
Scripture. They want liberation from its Truth -- not wisdom and
clarity to understand and follow it. God wants us to understand
His truth and message. He tells us that we can know it-- and
that we can
know that we know it.
that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway
of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has
come and has given us understanding, that we may know Him
who is true...." 1 John 5:19-20
"Thanks be to
gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your
labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:56