War - Questions
PART 9 - PAUL'S WAR
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Why did Paul ask for boldness in sharing the Gospel? Wouldn't you have thought that Paul was already fearless in sharing the Gospel? What does this prayer request say about Paul? What does it say about us?
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.”
“Who are you, lord?” I asked.
And the Lord replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.”
2 Corinthians 4:4
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
One reason why Paul asked for boldness in sharing the Gospel is because he knew that sharing the Gospel was an act of war. When we witness for Christ we are attacking Satan's territory. We are involved in a Kingdom Power Encounter! How have you seen evidence of the warfare of sharing the Gospel in your life? What changes in our culture have made sharing the Good News of Jesus more difficult and less difficult?
When it came to witnessing, Paul didn't just need boldness, he needed clarity, so he asked that words would be given to him. Have you experienced God given you just the right words to share with someone in a witnessing situation or some other situation? What happened?
Ephesians 2:1-10 are some of the words that God gave to Paul and now to us. Pastor Karl feels that it's a great passage to use in witnessing. All you need to remember is one address (EPHESIANS 2) and four words (FROM, BY, THROUGH and FOR). Why is using Scripture good for witnessing? Why is Ephesians 2 a good passage witnessing? Why might it be a difficult passage to use?
Give it a try. Practice witnessing in your group. Have one person read the first part of the passage and work through FROM. Then have another person read the next part of the passage and work through BY and so on.
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Click the graphic below to find help with sharing Ephesians 2. You can also find it on your Church App under More - Share Your Faith.
Have you used some other tool for witnessing? What was it? How was it? How could this Bridge Illustration help you in witnessing. Once again, click the graphic below to find help the Bridge Illustration. You can also find it on your Church App under More - Share Your Faith.
How do you need prayer in sharing the Gospel? Who do you need prayer for when it comes to sharing the Gospel?
That brings us to the end of the Armor of God. What did you find helpful in this sermon series?
Have you tried using the Armor of God prayer? Try it if you haven't yet. Click the graphic or the link below.