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Thursday, October 23, 2014

This is War! Putting on the Full Armor (Pt. 4)

Part 4

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with feet fittede with the readiness that comes fromthe gospel of peace.”-Ephesians 6:14-15.

When examining the armor of God, it is important to remember that each piece is constructed by God for battling a spiritual enemy. This is evidenced in no other piece of armor more than the breastplate of righteousness.

The breastplate of a Roman soldier was affixed to a man’s chest primarily to protect his heart. The heart is a prime target. If you can strike the heart, you can stop your opponent dead in his tracks. This is true not only in the physical realm, but the spiritual realm as well.  

The spiritual heart of a man is the inner soul and spirit of a man. It is a person’s center for spiritual, emotional, intellectual and moral activity. Speaking of the heart, Proverbs 4:23 states:  Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” This passage reinforces the necessity of protecting and keeping our heart healthy. We must guard our hearts above all else because if it becomes compromised it will jeopardize our confidence before God.  Nothing can compromise our hearts faster than condemnation.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God.”-1 John 3:21.

Condemnation is Satan’s primary weapon to rob you of the confidence that comes from knowing Christ. The Apostle Paul recognized this in Romans 8:1-2 when he wrote:

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

The breastplate, created to guard our hearts against the arrows of condemnation, is constructed of the righteousness of Christ. Righteousness, simply defined, is to have right standing with God; justified and free from condemnation. It is not a righteousness of our own, but that which is imparted to us by God through faith:

“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”- Philippians 3:8-9.

Our own self-righteousness is no match for the penetrating power of condemnation. To attempt to maintain our confidence utilizing our own righteousness would be akin to rushing into battle wearing a breastplate that we’ve constructed out of cardboard:

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away”-Isaiah 64:6.

The confidence we have to stand against Satan’s accusations and condemnation is not afforded to us through our own self-effort, but through Christ’s willingness to take on sin so that we may be clothed in righteousness:

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”-2 Corinthians 5:21.

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe and without it being seated securely in place we will lack the confidence needed to face our spiritual enemies.


Pastor Scott Burr

Lead Pastor

Dayspring Community Church


Thursday, October 16, 2014

This is War! Putting on the Full Armor (Pt. 3)

Part 3

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.”

                                                                                                            Ephesians 6:14-17

Before we can effectively defend our ground we must understand how the armor God has provided for us functions. The short and simple answer is this: Armor is put on for protection! This means that each piece of armor is significant in what it protects and how it protects.

So we want to begin our discussion on the full-armor of God by focusing, on what I believe to be, the single most important piece of armor provided and that is the belt of truth:

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.”- Ephesians 6:14

For the ancient Roman soldier this leather belt wrapped around his waist and was fastened securely into place by a buckle. The leather straps draping the front of the belt provided protection to the soldier’s vital organs: kidneys and liver.

However, the loin belt also had another very important function. The loin belt held all the other pieces of armor in place. Without it, everything would fall away or apart. The Apostle Paul referred to this belt in Ephesians 6 as the loin belt of truth. Truth, for every born-again believer, is the most important element of our armor. Like the Roman belt it ought to encircle our lives and be securely fastened as not to be moved. Truth cannot be a shifting part of our armor. Instability in its security will cause vulnerability with every other area.

So what is truth? Jesus defines it this way:

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”-John 17:17

Truth is not our opinion, not what is culturally acceptable, and not what is politically correct. Truth is the word of God! The unchanging, unfailing Word of God!

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”-Psalm 119:105

It is this truth that David spoke of in Psalm 51:6: “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” In fact Jesus told his disciples in John 8:31-32: “If you hold to my teachings you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

Truth is essential to victory! As a believer, you cannot live victoriously without the word of God having an active central role in your life. When we cease to read and apply the word of God on a daily basis it is only a matter of time before we fall to pieces spiritually. Our ability to appropriate and understand the rest of our spiritual armor rests on our knowledge of truth.


Pastor Scott Burr

Lead Pastor

Dayspring Community Church



Thursday, October 9, 2014

This is War! Putting on the Full Armor (Pt.2)

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.”
                                                                                                            Ephesians 6:13

It is every Christians’ responsibility to show up in the battle against wickedness! Ephesians 6:13 instructs that each of us are to put on the full armor of God and stand our ground against evil. This means that each of us is to show up fully equipped to engage the enemy and fight alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ.

In ancient Rome, no soldier went to the battlefield without being fully armed and dressed for battle. The Roman legions were an imposing and impressive force. The sight alone of these well trained and properly equipped soldiers would send chills up the spines of their enemies. 
This was no ragtag army. They each carried with them everything they needed to win.

Does the enemy we face see us as an impressive and imposing force? Does Satan tremble when he sees the people of God? Or are we just a ragtag army? Ragtag armies were recognized as being ill-equipped. Some had armor, others did not. Some carried a sword, others did not. Some had shields, others did not. This meant that each soldier had an area of vulnerability, which left the army open to defeat.

How then should we be dressed to face our enemy?

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.”
                                                                                                Ephesians 6:14-17

Each of these pieces of armor play a vital role in our war against wickedness and each of us must put on the entire armor if we are going to be effective in battle. Author Rick Renner in his book “Spiritual Weapons to Defeat the Enemy” made this observation:

“God has not left us naked before the enemy. He has provided us with spiritual weaponry that has the ability to counter-attack and defeat any scheme that the devil would try to use against us. God knows that in or for us to successfully fight the unseen powers that have been marshaled against us, we must have His special supernatural power that He has provided for this fight.”

We must then appropriate the armor God has provided for us and then stand our ground; because when we do not show up to fight we forfeit the ground we have been assigned to defend!

Pastor Scott Burr
Lead Pastor

Dayspring Community Church

Friday, October 3, 2014

This is War!!!! Putting on the Full Armor (Pt.1)

"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."
                                                                                                                         Ephesians 6:10-11

As I read that passage this week I was struck by Paul's instruction to the Ephesians. He told them to be strong in the Lord, put on the full armor of God, and take their stand against the devil's schemes. Whether you want to believe it or not, we are in a battle against evil. This is not a war being waged on foreign soil that we watch from afar and can escape by changing the television channel. It is being waged in our hearts, homes, marriages, schools, governments, churches and communities.
It is a war that is inflicting heavy losses and countless casualties primarily because believers are deserting the battle. Why? Because we have failed to teach God's soldiers how to stand against evil without attacking people:

"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 heavenly realms."
                                                                                                                               Ephesians 6:12

How do we stand against the wickedness and evil in our world when it is being carried out, embraced, and supported by our friends, families, classmates and co-workers? How do we maintain our integrity and stand firm in our convictions when we are being maligned by a culture that opposes our moral and biblical worldview.

Our biggest struggle in this war against wickedness is being able to separate the evil being done from the person who is subjecting us to it. The battle becomes personal. We attack each other by belittling, humiliating, and demeaning each other even though, and this passage is clear that, our battle is not against flesh and blood!

Satan loves this!

As long as we are attacking each other we are not taking the fight to him. The primary reason we don't take the fight to him is that we have no idea what waging war against evil looks like and consequently have become ill-equipped to fight that way:

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."

                                                                                                       2 Corinthians  10:3-4

Instead of taking a stand against evil; we fight the way the world does. We attack and kill each other rather than taking the fight to Satan's doorstep. We are at war, but before we engage the battle we need to be equipped!