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A Soldier of the Cross

Eph. 6:10-20

Introduction: I personally have never been in the military, oh I spent some time
in ROTC during high school but I have never served this country as many have.
However I stand before you today as a soldier, a soldier of the cross. If you are a
child of God today, that is to say born again by the blood of Jesus Christ you too
are a soldier of the cross. Do you know the scripture we just read gives you and I
marching orders, a battle plan and an issue of uniform and weapon. Our enemies
are identified and the dangers of not being prepared are given. We are in the
most important war the world has ever been part of and its a world war that
spans eternity. Today we are going to look at A soldier of the cross and how we
are prepared through

I. A godly proclamation V.v.10-11


The word finally means from now on, until the Lords return, not to be mistaken
with a conclusion. This is spoken to Christians as determined by the word
brethren.

A. Strength of the Lord


The availability of spiritual and moral strength

B. Power of His might


The presence and significance of Gods might

C. Confidence to fight
God has provided us with armor [put on] for use, He has prepared us for action
[able], He has empowered us [stand] to oppose the enemies trickery, wiles,
methods or craft [wiles].

II. A heavenly battle plan V.v.12-13


Many things must take place before God allows His saints to tangle with an
enemy like the devil. We must understand His battle plan, yes God has designed
a battle plan for His saints to use against Satan and his demons. We must
understand how to

A. Identify the enemy


Our battle [wrestle] will always be in the direction of [against] demons
[principalities] and their influence over people [power] along with Satan himself
[rulers].
This enemy will always attack the spiritual ignorance and error [spiritual
darkness] of our age [world] placing us in a battle against evil spirits [spiritual
wickedness] in the day and age we live in [high places].
B. Account for your armor
Paul tells us when we confront the person or thing [wherefore] we are to be in
spiritual shape equipped with the tools needed [armor of God] to withstand [able]
the devils attack during this period of time [evil day] and to be established [to
stand] as one of Gods soldiers with battle plan in hand when called upon.

III. A soldiers preparation V.v.14-17


The word stand again means to establish ourselves and be prepared to do
battle as a brave, confident soldier of the cross. We have been equipped with

A. The girdle (belt) of truth (absolute)


The belt worn by a Roman soldier was the center piece of his armor. Just about
everything else he used attached to his belt. The absolute truth of Gods word
and our testimony is the centerpiece of our witness and the ability to be used by
Him for service.

B. The breastplate of righteousness (Gods standard)


The breastplate of a Roman soldiers armor was made of many strips of steel or
bronze about 4 inches wide, they overlapped and was connected on the
backside by leather straps. Nothing was able to penetrate this armor and it was
attached to the belt to keep it from being lifted to expose vital areas of the
soldiers body. Paul likeness the breastplate to righteousness because Gods
standard is written upon our hearts from the moment we are saved. Gods
standard will protect us if we cling to it and keep it fastened to the truth of His
word.

C. Feet shod with the gospel (the great commission)


Roman soldiers wore a special shoe called a caligae it was similar to our sandals
only it had a sole made of pure leather about thick and the bottom was
studded with spikes. This shoe allowed the soldiers to advance upon the enemy
with confidence and eagerness. In Matthew 28:19-20 the Lord gives us the great
commission, the charge to deliver the gospel to the world. He has equipped us
with a firm footing to deliver the gospel to a lost and dying world.

D. The shield of faith (absolute faith in Christ)


The Roman soldier shield was a very interesting work of art, it was made of wood
similar to our plywood formed into a semi circular shape, covered with leather
and its edges were banded with either steel or bronze. This would absorbe the
blow from any sword, dagger or spear and even extinguishes a flaming arrow. No
wander the word of God likens it to faith. Of course the faith Paul is talking about
is the absolute faith in Christ. There can be no wavering with this faith. We must
be secure in it, everything in our life must rest upon His life and what He
accomplished on the cross.
E. The helmet of salvation (protect your thoughts)
When a Roman soldier put the helmet upon his head he had an assurance that
the enemy could not attack any part of his head, he was completely protected.
Our salvation is complete in such a manner, we have eternal security spiritually
and if we allow it we too can have mental and emotional security as well.
Salvation can and will protect our thoughts if we let it. The word of God will direct
our eyes, ears, hands and feet, and in turn our thought will follow. Likewise where
our mind goes our feet often follow.

F. Sword of the spirit (doctrine & promise)


Word rhema The Lords word as it pertains to doctrine & promises of
God as revealed and taught in the Bible.
The sword it the only piece of equipment the Roman soldier has for offense and it
is all he needs. Gods word is the only piece of equipment you and I need to
attack the devil and his demons. However we must use it enough to be good with
it. Roman soldiers were trained to use their swords; Christians should be trained
to use their Bibles as well.

Illus. Every Christian receives their armor the moment he or she is saved; now
the question for you this morning is where is your armor? Some have hidden it
away thinking it is meant to be kept shiny and clean ready to hand back to the
Lord when He comes for His church, like the steward who hid his talent they will
be disappointed. Then there are those who take it out every once in a while make
sure it still fits and all pieces are still there, they never really use it but still they
hang on to it. When the Lord returns they too will be disappointed. Now there are
a few who have put on this armor and wear it every day just like a soldier,
policeman or anyone else would wear their uniform. Our armor is meant to be
used, it should have battle scars on it, it should show signs of wear and tear,
mending and maintenance. I believe it will be these soldiers who the Lord
rewards most.

IV. A sincere petition V.v.18-20


Paul closes with a word about prayer, praying always are words of continuance.
In other words Paul is reminding to never cease in prayer, you may ask why. If
we have a healthy prayer life we will be prepared to fight the devil when needed.
Paul gave us some examples why

A. With aggressive prayer


Look at the words Paul used! Pray with supplication, in the spirit, while watching
with perseverance and vigilance [thereunto]. Our prayer life should be
aggressive.
B. For all the saints
Paul ends verse 18 with supplication for all saints not the one or two we really
like, but every child of God. Without reserve.

C. For boldness of speech


Last on his petition was Pauls request for himself and all those who are called to
present the gospel publicly. Paul ask that he would be given the proper words for
the proper situations that these words could be spoken plainly [boldly] in order to
make the hidden truth [mystery] of the gospel known to mankind. If you have
trouble finding someone or something to pray for just pray for me, I always
welcome it.

Conclusion: Do you know for sure and without a doubt that your ready for battle?
The devil is no rookie when it comes to warfare; he has a lot of experience with it.
He has defeated a lot of people and made a lot run and hide, not because he is
stronger but because many have entered into battle unprepared. Or they have
battled the wrong enemy, some have battled people of the world, some fellow
Christians and our real enemy will let that continue until everyone is worn out,
then he will strike and deadly blow. There are souls at stake and that price is too
great for your and I to not be prepared for the real enemy. Close as the Lord
leads.