Christian Universe ™
Be Strong In The Lord
September 19, 2010
The apostle Peter wrote that we must add virtue to our basic faith in Jesus Christ. Virtue is from a root word meaning strength, or manliness. It has come to embody to many the concept of good morality. The apostle Paul wrote that we are engaged in a spiritual battle in high places, and that we must clothe ourselves in the entire armor of God. He writes that Christians must take a stand for righteousness, and be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Be Strong In The Lord
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 09-19-2010
Presented to Load church of Christ on 09-26-2010
Ephesians 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."
When we recently studied about things that we must add to our faith in order to secure our election of God, the first thing that is added to our newly found faith is virtue, which means strength, or, as some say, morality.
As new Christians is that we are immediately drawn into a fight. Our first struggle is often within ourselves.
Romans 7:22 "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."
1 Corinthians 9:26 "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
We struggle to keep sin out of our minds, and our bodies under the control of a clean mind.
Sometimes that fight is with family members, either with non-Christians, or professed Christians with varied doctrinal concepts.
Luke 12:51 "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."
It is not that Jesus wanted division over peace, but He knew that those who follow Him will automatically be attacked by their loved ones who disagree with being a Christian. It takes great strength to stand firm on truth and righteousness when our loved ones turn against us.
Sometimes, our own religious brethren turn on us and attack us. Jesus warned His apostles about their fellow Jews.
John 16:1 "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me."
Some think that they serve God by killing God’s elect.
Galatians 2:4 "And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you."
1 John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
Other times, we find ourselves under attack from people from other churches or religions, over doctrinal disagreements.
Revelation 3:8 "I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee."
2 Corinthians 11:3 "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."
2 Corinthians 11:12 "But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
Lately, more so than ever, the attacks come from worldly people -- atheists who hate Christianity.
Romans 1:18 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."
What are we do to in the face of all these attacks? We must stand strong in the Lord.
Romans 13:12 "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light."
Ephesians 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 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.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"
We must be prepared to stand strongly as Christians. There is now, as there was then, spiritual wickedness in high places. In our battle against the forces of darkness, we need to don our armor and be prepared to stand our ground. Atheists and many non-Christians would like nothing more than for us to just fade away and disappear.
Ephesians 5:11 "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light."
We gird for spiritual battle and take a stand. We stand our ground. Clothed in spiritual armor and with spiritual weapons and shield, we can be strong in the Lord. We reprove the works of darkness by being light. Our lives contrast the lives of those who oppose God and His will.
1 Corinthians 16:13 "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong."