TEXT: Ephesians 6:10-20
Introduction: Charles Wesley, 1741--
1. Soldiers of Christ, arise, And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies Through His beloved Son.
3. Stand then in His great might, With all His strength endued,
But take, to arm you for the fight, The panoply of God.
How many people have sung this hymn through the years and had no idea what this term means? Panoply: “the complete equipment of a warrior; any complete covering that protects or magnificently arrays.”
Thus, the term generally refers to the entire body of armor and weaponry used by ancient soldiers in their warfare. The hymn draws its thought and language from Paul’s description of the Christian soldier. Read TEXT. In this passage of Scripture, the apostle Paul likens the life and work of the Christian to that of a soldier in battle.
What can we learn from a careful look at Paul’s description of TITLE?

I. A call to war, vs. 10-11. You are ordered abroad as a soldier of the King to help our French comrades against the invasion of a common enemy. You have to perform a task which will need your courage, your energy, your patience. Remember that the honour of the British Army depends on your individual conduct. It will be your duty not only to set an example of discipline and perfect steadiness under fire but also to maintain the most friendly relations with those whom you are helping in this struggle. ---Lord Herbert Kitchener, British Secretary of State for War, 1914
A. As Christians, we are engaged in a spiritual warfare: 1 Tim. 1:18-20
B. To engage in this warfare, we must be “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might”: Josh. 1:5-9
C. Our goal in this warfare is to be able to “stand against the wiles of the devil”: 2 Cor. 2:10-11

II. A call to fight, vs. 12-13. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. ---Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, 1940
A. Christian soldiers must fight: 1 Tim. 6:11-12
B. The idea of warfare and fighting implies an enemy—”not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against…spiritual hosts of wickedness”: 1 Pet. 5:8-9
C. “Put on…Take up”—time to fight: 2 Cor. 10:3-5

III. A call to arms, vs. 14-17
A. Girded your waist with truth: Jn. 8:32, 17:17
B. Breastplate of righteousness: 2 Tim. 2:22, Heb. 12:11
C. Shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel: Rom. 1:16
D. Shield of faith: Rom. 10:17, Heb. 11:6
E. Helmet of salvation: 2 Tim. 3:14-15
F. Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God: Heb. 4:12

IV. A call to support, vs. 18-20. “praying always with all prayer and supplication;” why?
A. Because it’s the avenue by which we make our requests known to God: Phil. 4:6-7
B. Because God wants us to do so: 1 Thess. 5:16-18
C. Because prayer works: 1 Pet. 3:12, Jas. 5:16-18

Conclusion: We sing all kinds of hymns to encourage us as soldiers of Christ:
Onward, Christian Soldiers
There’s a Royal Banner

Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus
Encamped Along the Hills of Light
Am I a Soldier of the Cross?
“Like it or not, every person is involved in this great war. There are no conscientious objectors, no mere spectators, and no neutral parties. You are either for God or you are against Him (Matt. 12:30).” ---Dee Bowman
Which side are you fighting on?

By Wayne S. Walker

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