Expository Preaching
J. Michael Shannon and Robert C. Shannon
(c)opyright J. Michael Shannon, 1982
THE GOSPEL IN ACTION
"On the Front Line"
Ephesians 6:10-20

Introduction:  We all want to be where the action is.  Paul saw the action in a spiritual conflict between good and evil.

Proposition:  The strength we receive from the gospel translates itself into everyday experience.

  I. OUR CONFLICT, vs. 10-12

A.  Against the devil
B.  Against principalities and powers
C.  Against rulers of this world
D.  Against wickedness in high places
E.  Not against flesh and blood
 II. OUR CLOTHING, vs. 13-17
A.  The armor
1.  Truth
2. Righteousness
3.  Peace
4.  Salvation
B.  The weapons
1.  Faith
2.  The Word of God
III. OUR CONCERN, v. 18
A.  Concerned at all times
B.  Concerned for all Christians
C.  Concerned with all perseverance
D.  Concerned in all prayers
 IV. OUR CONFIDENCE, vs. 19, 20
A.  Speak boldly
B.  Speak authoritatively
C.  Speak properly
Conclusion:  We have not been placed in the world unprepared.  God has provided the protection and power we need.

    "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries.  On such a full sea are we now afloat; and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our venture."  - Shakespeare.
 

    Gordon McLaughlin is a native New Zealander.  That gives him the right to speak of his own nation.  He has wriften a book about his homeland entitled The Passionless People.  He calls modern New Zealand "a sterile society."  Couid that be said of some congregations?  Are we a passionless people?  Or are we caught up in the grand passion Christ shares with His servants, to redeem the world?
 

    Cato ended every speecb he gave in the Roman Senate with the same ringing words: "Carthage must be destroyed! Carthage must be destroyed!"  Finally, that great threat to Rome was vanquished, and Carthage was, indeed, destroyed.  We must see ourselves in a great spiritual conflict, a conflict so serious that we can never think of negotiating a compromise. It is a conflict so serious that peaceful coexistence is impossible.  Sin must be destroyed.  Christ must conquer. We are His warriors."Onward, Christian soldiers!"
 

    When Socrates was sentenced to death in Athens, his friends gathered. They offered him escape, but he refused to violate the laws of his beloved city.  Quite calmly and with no sign of distaste, he took the poison and drained the cup!  As he faced death with courage, we must face life with courage.  As he saw principles worth dying for, we must see principles worth living for.
 

    Remember that young David found that the armor of King Saul did not fit him.  So he went to face Goliath without any armor at all.  In a very different setting, we must ask if the armor of God fits us.  If it does not, who is to blame?  If it does not, what shall we do?  The answer is that we must "grow into it."  Did your parents always buy your clothing a little big so that it would last longer and then allow you to "grow into it"?  Perhaps that is what God has done.  He has made the armor a little large so that we may have room to grow!
 

    Someone tasted the dark broth they served in the barracks of the Greek army and said, "Now I know why the Spartans do not fear death."  Everyone knows why Christians do not fear death.  They know theirs is a winning cause.  They have complete and absolute confidence in the power and the promises of God.
 

    "I am a man," said Terence, "and nothing human is alien to me."  Even so, nothing human is beyond the concern of Christ.  Therefore, nothing human is beyond the concern of Christians.  We are concerned about the body, about hunger and starvation.  We are concerned about the mind, about ignorance and falsehood.  We are concerned about the emotions, about love and hate, fear and doubt.  We are concerned about the spirit.  We are convinced that the whole man must be treated; and sometimes the spirit must be treated before the body, the mind, or the heart.  That is not always so, but it is sometimes so.  We are open to all kinds of human need and ready to respond in the name and spirit of Christ.


The Gospel in the Church (5:23-32)
Table of Contents
The Gospel We Believe (Col. 1:6, 25, 26; 3:16)

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