Volume. XXXIII, No. 31
Sunday, 27 January 2019

From the Pastor’s Heart: How to be Godly (Part 12)

We have considered the armor of the Christian based on Ephesians 6:14-17 and have seen five parts of the armor, and now we will look at the last one, which is the sword of the Spirit.
6. The sword of the Spirit: It is none other than the Word of God. This particular description discloses some of the essential and important natures of the Word of God. The main character who uses and produces its effects is none other than the Spirit. It means that the Word of God is not just combinations of alphabets in various forms like human literature. It also means that the Word of God has life in it, because the Spirit is the living Lord. The sword is a weapon for both offence and defense. It offensively exhorts, encourages, and enlightens us to know and follow the will of God in all times and situations. It guides and leads us. It defensively defends, secures, and strengthens us to be strong in the Lord and not to be deceived or carried away by false teachings and from our steadfastness in our Christian way of life and conviction. Such importance of God’s Word demands us to believe, know, understand, and obey it. If we would add one caution to this lesson it is that the Word of God must be pure without any subtraction from or addition to it. This caution includes our correct understanding of the Word. If we do not understand the Word correctly, we fall into dangers of forming false and misguided convictions, which is detrimental to the genuine faith in God.
Related thoughts
Now, we turn our attention to more practical and applicational lessons in relation to the Christian armor. So far, we agree that the Christian armor is necessary for Christian life and spiritual health. A problem is that knowing the necessity of it is not the same as possessing it! If we fail to put on the armor, we will be defeated in spiritual battles.
1. If we have all other equipment to help us without the armor: there is much other equipment that could help us to be godly. They are even very important ones we must have including prayer, good books, godly conduct, or passion for Christ. Even though they are all helpful, profitable, and necessary for sound and healthy spiritual life and growth, if we are not clothed with the Christian armor, we would fall into traps that the devil has set to delude and seduce us. These six pieces of the armor protect, guide, and lead us.
2. If we are not armed with the Christian armor: Ephesians 6:13 says, “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.” The verse indicates that there will be difficult days. We may not be able to define what the evil day means, but could say that it may refer to hard times with trials and also spiritual wars against the devil. There are constant assaults against us by our enemy. In order to withstand the fiery darts of the evil forces, we must be clothed with the armor. The devil is like a roaring lion ready to devour souls. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
3. If we do not have the wholeness of the Christian armor: it is hard to think that any Christian does not have the Christian armor. However, there are possibilities that some parts of the armor are either not properly prepared, or are rusty, incomplete, or defective. In such cases, we do not have enough preparations to fight against evil at any time. We may show some good qualities and examples in certain areas, but at the same time we demonstrate not so edifying or even bad qualities and examples.
4. If we were born into the family of God: it is God’s prerogative to made us the partakers of all things pertaining to life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” Therefore, we cannot think of any possibility that we are not given the armor. However, every part of the armor needs to be strengthened. As we grow from spiritual infancy to maturity, we grow in stronger and well-prepared armors. All parts are provided for us by God in the first place, and as we become more skillful we are better able use the armor and guard ourselves with it. 5. If we all have this Christian armor: why does Paul command us to put on the armor, if all of us have it anyway? It is because we may be lazy or negligent to use it to fight spiritual battles. Or, we may be ignorant of it and put it aside, as if we do not need it. This ignorance could come from our lack of knowledge of the Word of God. In other words, it is more than possible that we do not use it, though we have it. As a result, we do not overcome temptations, trials, or false teachers. We simply do not know the benefits of the armor. This armor is like our outfit that we must put on every day and at every moment. It is because our battles with the devil last all our lives. By not using the armor skillfully, though we belong to God, we could be blemished and unprofitable.
6. If we desire to put the armor on constantly and use it effectively: we must watch and pray. Think about all parts of the armor again – faith, hope, knowledge, righteousness, and the preparation of the gospel of peace. They are effective weapons against distrust and unbelief, despair, lie and deception, sin and hypocrisy, and any burdens we must bear. Having talked about the Christian armor, Paul says in Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” In regard to putting the Christian armor on, there is no different between the strong Christian or newborn babe in Christ. The newborns are weak and have the smallest ability to resist and withstand sin, they need the armor. However, the seasoned and mature Christians face dangers of backsliding, being cold by losing the first love for God, and trials or temptations.
Benefits of having Christian armor
We need weapons and protective gears for spiritual battles. Paul solemnly says of the battles in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
1. Benefits from faith: John says of the power and benefits of faith in 1 John 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” Faith supplies the strength we need to withstand the enemy’s assaults. 1 Peter 5:9 says, “Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” We resist the devil by being steadfast in the flesh. What is not possible by faith? (Mark 9:23).
2. Benefits from righteousness: it enables us to break through the power of temptations and to deal with every matter in honesty, integrity, and purity without deceit. The most famous Bible reference on this matter is probably Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart.” Psalm 15:1-2 says, “LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.” We can live with clean conscience.
3. Benefits from the Word of God: Proverbs 2:4-6 says, “If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” The Word of God shows the will of God. When we know His Word, we shall be guided by His will. If we follow His guidance and keep His instructions, we will not be changed by circumstances, for God has strengthened us till we see through all challenges.
Therefore, on each morning, let us not think that we are ready to move on until we are assured that we have put the Christian armor on. Our safety is not in our own power but rests in the armor God has given us. The main reason why we fail to become acquainted with this armor is that we allow our hearts to enjoy the pleasures and delights of the world, give too little effort to muse upon the heavenly things and live a life of weak prayers.

Your Pastor


More Lively Hope



 Bible Study & fellowship meetings resume from next week.
 Family Easter Bible Camp - those willing to serve in the committee please contact Dn Kevin Low or Bro Edy Lok.
 During the days of heatwave the church Fellowship Hall can be used for those seeking relief. Please contact Dn Kevin Low or Bro Edy Lok for access.
 In the coming weeks, new overseas students will be coming to our church. Please make them feel welcome.
 Missions teams going to Batam, Cebu & Phnom Penh next month. Please give your encouragement, prayers & support.
 Hope Bookshop has selected cards for sale for $1 each.
 Lunch Duty: This week: Volunteers. Next week: AFG.



Praise & Thanksgiving

 Visitors & church activitiecs this past week.
 Working Bee yesterday.
 God’s daily provision, guidance & protection.
 Journey mercies: Those cwho have travelled.



 Healing: Those in affliction.
 Missions Trips: Cebu (2-12 Feb; Batam: Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee (13-14 Feb). Cambodia: Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee, Dn Kevin Low, and those from Ebenezer BPC) (15-26 Feb).
 Missions: Rev Sokha & Sis Nam Soon Sun & family & ministry (Phom Penh); Sis Ang Liang Phoa & ministry; Filadelfia B-P Church (Batam).
 Journey mercies: Those who are travelling.






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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041