“The final question is, “
‘Have I learned the art of offensive warfare?’ We have been studying those weapons that are generally included under the heading defensive armor. We have seen, however, that though in physical warfare this description may be entirely adequate, in spiritual combat it hardly reaches far enough. Even truthfulness or integrity—the belt—is not exclusively defensive. It captivates! Righteousness—the breastplate—not only serves as a protection; it also wins the neighbor for Christ, that God may be glorified (Matt. 5:16). The peace that provides readiness for the spiritual battle—the shoes—furnishes both time and energy for invading the enemy’s domain and robbing him of the spoils he has taken. Faith—the shield—overcomes the world, recapturing the lost. And salvation—the helmet—sings its way into the enemy’s prison-camp, setting the prisoners free. But although all this is undoubtedly true, nevertheless, the most conspicuously offensive weapon, offensive both in physical and spiritual combat, is certainly the sword. Says Paul: ‘(and take) the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.'”
William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of Ephesians, vol. 7, New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 279.
Ephesians 6:14–17 (ESV)
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
First of all, thanks to all who helped get the landscaping improved today. It looks great, and we had great weather for it. Two trips to the dump (trailer full + stuff in the van) means that things look pretty cleaned up, and the old kitchen cupboards are gone.
20 years ago, Jerry M. and I installed that kitchen–it was an Ikea floor model that they sold off in auction. We wanted simple white, and while the really fancy kitchens had higher bids, we got the whole thing for $1100. Problem was, it was all metric, and Ikea was getting out of the metric kitchen sizes. So we installed the metric on one side of the kitchen, and when we needed more cabinets, non-metric was installed on the other side. At any rate, it’s all gone now. They weren’t made for the extreme use in a daycare and church setting, and were getting pretty rough.
I saw Aunt Dorothy this evening, and she may get to return to her home tomorrow! She is very happy about that–please pray for her.
Tomorrow I will be preaching Ephesians 4:1-3, a decidedly more “practical” text, but remember, God’s Word is always “practical,” because truth is practical:
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1–3 (ESV)
1 John 4:7-21
“What do we really need, what is our greatest need? Our greatest need is life. Most people today are but existing; they have no life. When their pleasures are shut off, when because of war the cinemas and theatres and public houses and dance halls have to be closed they have nothing. They have not got life; they are but existing, and dependent upon things outside themselves; they need life. But where can life be found? It is Christ again who has said, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’ (John 10:10). Life means spiritual life; life means a relationship to God and an enjoyment of His fellowship; and Christ our Lord has it in all its fulness. He says, ‘He that cometh unto me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst’ (John 6:35). ‘The water that I shall give you’, He says to the woman of Samaria, ‘shall be in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life’. Though the world may take everything from you, though you may be naked and bereft of all things, this life from Christ will still go on springing up eternally within you.”
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ: An Exposition of Ephesians 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1972), 62.
Romans 1:16–17 (ESV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
It is a new year, isn’t it!
At Mountain View Christian Church, we are looking forward to growth as individuals, but also as growth as the Body of Christ in this part of the city.
Some points to note:
- I will be preaching a series on the book of Ephesians. Check the sermon download page if you want to hear these. The series will run for 17-20 weeks.
- Wednesday night Bible study will be a brand-new approach: Salvation’s Symphony. This will be a look at the many words and terms God’s Word uses to illuminate the doctrine of salvation.
- We will have a number of “Special Events.” Please click on the link to learn about these.
Seek the Lord, have a great year. Let’s do this together.
Many seek hope wherever they can find it. The mistake, though, is in thinking that hope is a sort of buffet table of options, when there is only one. Some seek a general notion of god, or higher power, without seeking to hope in Him on His terms:
“There is no such thing as Christianity apart from the Lord Jesus Christ; there is no blessing from God to man in a Christian sense except in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Anything which claims to be Christianity without having Christ at the beginning and the centre and the end is a denial of Christianity, call it what you will. There is no Christianity apart from Him; He is everything.”
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Ultimate Purpose: An Exposition of Ephesians 1 (Edinburgh; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1978), 43.
Grace becomes “cheap” when we fail to appreciate its breadth and depth:
“It is because man has an inadequate conception of sin that he has an inadequate conception of the grace of God. If you want to measure grace you must measure the depths of sin. Grace is that which tells man that in spite of all that is so true of him God looks upon him with favour. It is utterly unmerited, it is entirely undeserved; but this is the message of ‘Grace be unto you.’ It is an unmerited and undeserved action by God, a condescending love. When man in sin deserved nothing but to be blotted out of existence God looked on him in grace and mercy and dealt with him accordingly.”
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Ultimate Purpose: An Exposition of Ephesians 1 (Edinburgh; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1978), 40–41.