The Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and …
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against …
Does God ask more of His people than they can do? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 on “Discipline,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says no. God gives believers the ability to do what He calls them to do. This is seen throughout Scripture in the many instances of miracles. God commands people to do seemingly impossible tasks, like Moses striking the rock in the wilderness so that water would flow out, or Peter asking Jesus to command him to walk on the water. God gave these men the ability to perform these miracles, not because they could do them of themselves, but because God aided them through His Holy Spirit. Sanctification is similar as well. Believers are never passive nor are they able to be transformed daily by their own strength. This is why the grace of God is needed to enable and to empower believers to live lives of holiness and service. Many people mistake this to mean either that sanctification is entirely a work that they do, or think that sanctification is wholly a passive act. But it is the Spirit that enables believers to live as God commands. For as in all of life, it is the Holy Spirit that makes all who repent and believe in Christ new creatures who seek to love God and neighbor and honor the gospel.
- We must be active and diligent, not passive. We have been given power through the Holy Spirit, but we must develop it.
- We must take in spiritual nourishment (reading the Bible, prayer) and exercise (putting faith into action) to strengthen our faith.
- We must live out our faith in practice. The best way to keep strength is to do the work. Idleness leads to temptation.
- We must add virtue (moral vigor), knowledge (insight), temperance (self-control), patience (endurance), godliness (walking with God), brotherly kindness, and charity (love) to our faith.
- Virtue: Do not be languid or lethargic. Pull yourself together and be active. Shake off spiritual sickness and laziness.
- Knowledge: Exercise your senses and gain understanding of the truth. The more we know of God, the more we know His strength.
- Temperance: Control yourself in all areas of life. Do not waste energy through lack of self-control. Control your temper, desires, and appetites.
- Patience: Go on steadily. Do not do things by fits and starts. Continue patiently through obstacles and disappointments. Do not wait for the mood to strike you. Start and keep going.
- Godliness: Walk consciously in the presence and sight of God. Obey the command to walk before God and be perfect. Realize God sees all you do.
- Brotherly kindness: Love your brethren. Harsh thoughts of others drain your energy. Helping others helps you become strong.
- Charity: Have universal love for all. Do not merely like others, but love them with God's love.
- Use the name of the Lord. His name is a strong tower. Invoke His name and be strengthened. Remember what He has done. Threaten the enemy with His name.
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.