Text: Eph 6:10-18
Title: Standing In Christ
Subject: Standing for what is right
Intro: The Bible says, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you
like men, be strong.” 1 Cor. 16:13
I believe everyone here is familiar with the story of Gideon and his
battle with the Midianites from Judges 7. The Midianites numbered
135K, while those Jews responding to Gideon’s call numbered 32K. I
think you can see a problem developing already! Then God says to
Gideon, “send the cowards home,” and 22K left! Now, how did that
many cowards end up on the front lines of battle?
Some reported for duty because they were scared not to! You know,
peer pressure! Some reported because their wives told them to! You
know, spousal pressure! Some reported because they didn’t know the
seriousness of the situation! You know, situational pressure! But as
soon as the opportunity presented itself to depart—they departed!
Now the Lord says, “Ahh, Gideon, we still have a numbers
problem—there are still too many. Bring them down to the stream for
a drink.” And so 9,700 get on their knees and stick their faces into
the water, while 300 bring the water to their lips and lap it up.
Then God says to Gideon, “send the careless home,” and the 9,700
left! Now, how did that many careless soldiers end up on the front
lines of battle?
Well, first, they were not cowards! They were ready to fight, but
they did not realize the scope and seriousness of the battle. Had
the enemy come upon them with their faces in the water, they would
have all lost their heads! They forgot that obedience is in the
details. It is the little things that trip us up; that moment of
carelessness or inattention to a very important detail. So 300 were
left standing with God and Gideon!
So what’s the point? Well, according to God, only 1% of Christians
are ready to stand and face the enemy. They are the conquerors. 33%
of Christians are willing to stand for God, but are careless in
their walk, talk and practice of life, thereby disqualifying
themselves from many areas of service for God. That leaves 66% of
Christians that are out and out cowards when it comes to standing up
The Bible says, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like
men, be strong.”
So what’s the point? Well, I do not think anyone in this room has
made it his or her goal to be a failure for God. But if this
percentage holds, 1% of you are conquerors, 33% of you are careless
Christians, and 66% of you are out and out cowards when it comes to
standing up for God! My purpose tonight is to use the Word of God to
remind you of your responsibility to stand as a conqueror.
The Bible says, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like
men, be strong.”
“Standing in Christ”——-Eph 6:10-18————prayer
Note: We are living in an age when STANDards (something worth
standing for) are falling like autumn leaves. We are not standing
for what we once did. Our personal standards have taken a nose dive,
and, sadly, new Christians use older [in the faith] Christian’s
lifestyles as their standard of holiness. Therefore our church &
Christian school standards continue to slowly deteriorate as family
values and standards go down the proverbial tube. And because all of
our attention is focused on ourselves, we are slowly losing our
desire and ability to stand up for God. We are excusing activities,
actions and attitudes in our lives and in the lives of others that
we once considered inexcusable! But God has not called us to be
cowards. God has not called us to be careless. God has called us to
What does it mean to “stand?”
1) “To be fixed in the presence of others, 2) to be unmovable, firm,
3)to be ready/prepared, 4) to be of a steadfast mind, 5) to not
hesitate or waiver.”
What does it mean to “withstand?”
“To set one’s self against, resist, oppose”
Stand for God’s standard of right, and withstand, in yourself and
others, God’s standard of wrong! Sometimes you must be fearless, and
sometimes you must be fearsome. Our example is Christ.
I. GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS TO BELIEVERS IN CHURCH (v10-12)
A. The Time to Stand (v10) (but never a time to relax)
1. Finally (when you hear and understand your responsibility) &
2. “My brethren”. This concerns the whole church.
B. The Ability to Stand (v10)
1. Be strong (“empowered/strengthened”) in (not “by”) the Lord
Note Your ability to stand comes from your relationship to Jesus
Christ. The moment you see yourself as a hell deserving sinner, and
you see Jesus Christ dying in your place as your Saviour and
Substitute, and you trust Him and Him alone to pay the penalty of
your sins, you become a child of God. At that moment you are placed
As Christ’s human ability came from His relationship to God, your
human ability comes from your relationship to the Son of God!
2 Cor. 2:14 (in part) “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth
us to triumph in Christ…”
The Ability to Stand (“in the Lord”)
2. Because you stand in the power (“dominion”) of His [inherent
might] (“the strength of another”) (v10) (imperative)
Note: You don’t exercise your dominion or your strength, but the
power of Christ’s dominion & strength, & that because you are in
3. Because you stand dressed in the whole (complete w no missing
parts) armour (“protective battle gear”) of God (v11a)
a. Put it on & leave it on!
Note: The armour is not yours, it is provided by God in Christ! So
your ability to stand is 1) in the Lord, 2) in His dominion &
strength, 3) in His armour. For the battle we need all that God
provides, and God provides all that we need!
4. Why do you need this 3 fold provision? (v11b-c)
a. So that you are able (“have the ability, power”) to stand one’s
1) Against (“towards, facing”) the wiles (“deceit, trickery”) of the
a) “Wiles” = plural for various forms. Look them full in the face &
recognize them for what they are! (The problem is with you!)
Note: The Devil tricked the cowards into following Gideon, but God
exposed them. The Devil tricked the careless into letting down their
guard, but God exposed them. And the Devil will trick you into
thinking that you can serve God in your own strength and on your own
terms, but God will expose you.
b. What are the wiles of the Devil? (v12)
1) He makes us think the enemy is flesh and blood (“the weakest part
of man”), but we wrestle NOT against flesh & blood!
a) “Wrestle” = a contest of strength where one combatant pins the
other to the ground & can do damage in the process. Individual,
2) He makes us think the enemy & the battle are not spiritual, but
we wrestle against spiritual adversaries. Now the Holy Spirit lists
the adversaries: 3 groups.
a) Principalities & powers (thrones & dominions). These are
orders/ranks of angels, in this case Satan’s fallen angels called
demons. These are the demons that deal directly with individuals.
b) Rulers of the darkness (“of ignorance respecting divine things
and human duties, and the accompanying ungodliness and immorality,
together with their consequent misery in hell”) of this world. These
are archangels, rulers of the darkness of this world, who rule over
the ranks of angels. This is a world-wide dominion everywhere there
is spiritual darkness.
c) Spiritual wickedness (“elements, forces of evil”) in high
(“heavenly”) places (the abode of Satan and his demons)
You are not fighting the Muslim at the 7-11, you are fighting the
one who blinded the eyes of the Muslim at the 7-11!
II. SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS TO BELIEVERS IN CHURCH (v13) (Because your
fight is with this enemy…….)
A. Take (“pick up”) unto you the whole armour of God
1. So you are able to withstand
a. In the evil day (“the day of your testing, a critical day, a day
of peril and trial”) (a day when you might not be thinking right)
2. So you are able to do (“perform, accomplish”) all (“the whole”)
that’s necessary (God’s will for you)
3. So you can stand [as victor] at the end (battle & age)
Note: The whole Christian puts on the whole armour for the whole
battle. It is not like these items are not hanging in your spiritual
closet. You were given them the moment you received Christ. Some of
you have put them on and left them on (conquerors). Some of you have
put on some, and laid aside some (careless). Some of you hung them
in your spiritual closet, and they are in mothballs to this day
III. THE ARMOUR OF GOD (v14-18) (In order to stand you must..)
A. Girt Your Loins About with Truth (“that which is true according
to God”) (v14)
1. Truth is your robe. When it is tied tight around you it keeps all
the other parts in place & allows freedom of movement
a. Before God
b. Before others
B. Having on the Breastplate of Righteousness (v15)
1. Protects the heart and will from Satan’s arrows & thrusts
2. Right thinking/acting according to God’s standard. Doing what’s
C. Your Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace (v16)
1. The military sandal that made quick and sure steps possible
2. “Preparation” = a state of preparedness, mental readiness
a. “The preparation which comes from the Gospel whose message is
peace [with God].”
Note: “It is the peace with God which alone imparts the sense of
freedom, relieves us of what burdens us, and gives the spirit of
courageous readiness for the battle with evil.” This is not the
proclamation of the Gospel, but the prompting by & dependence in the
Gospel for the conflict.
D. Take up the Shield of Faith (v16)
1. “Above all” = most especially. s faith, war is death!
2. The shield that is adaptable to every circumstance, because God
never changes. It is protection from every stroke of Satan/life.
3. The shield which consists of faith (“trust in the word of
another”). Not only for salv., but for every circumstance of life.
a. It extinguishes and protects from fiery missiles
E. Take up the Helmet of Salvation (v17)
1. “Take” = take up or receive [as a gift from God] (imperative)
2. The helmet which is salvation. Protection for the head, mind,
intellect. You can stand because your thinking is protected by salv.
in Christ, and should be governed by Christ. With the mind of Christ
you will not be confused or confounded.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of
love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7
F. Take up the Sword of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God (v17)
1. Take up the sword supplied by the Holy Spirit
a. The only offensive weapon. Though we are told to stand, in order
to take our position and hold our ground it is sometimes necessary
to thrust and cut
2. Which is the spoken Word, the preached Gospel in all its length
Jesus said to Satan, “It is written” and spoke the Word of God.
Paul stated that the Gospel was “the power of God.”
G. Praying Always (v18)
1. An individual act & a continuous attitude. While you stand, you
acknowledge your humble dependence on God by prayer.
a. Prayer does not change God, but it does change your attitude
toward the battle
2. In the sphere of the Holy Spirit, which is in the will of God
Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for
we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit
itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be
Note: You can be clothed with all the military gear, and yet be
careless in this vital activity. Your prayer life is to include
variety, earnestness, consistency, and spiritual reality.
H. Watching Out for Your fellow soldiers (v18)
1. Watching for all saints (what is best for others, self-denial)
a. By perseverance (staying true to your calling)
b. By supplication (asking God on their behalf)
Concl: I suppose the title “coward” is offensive to most of us, yet
God said to “send the cowards home,” and 66% left. I suppose to be
reminded that we are careless Christians is also offensive to most
of us, but God said to “send the careless home,” and 33% left. That
only left the 1% who were ready for battle. These were conquerors
Though we all want to be thought of under that title, the sad truth
is, most of the 99% are unwilling to leave their comfort zone for
the battle zone. Most of the 99% are unwilling to make the necessary
changes in their lives to stand as a conqueror, not even necessarily
before men, but before God.
How is it with you tonight, brother or sister in Christ? If I asked
the conquerors to come forward, would you honestly be in that
How about the 33% that are careless Christians? Are you willing to
make one or more changes in your life that will lead to becoming a
conqueror? (And you already know what needs to be changed.)
How about the 66% that are cowards? You know who you are even if no
one else does. How many of the 66% are pricked in your hearts with a
desire to enter into your reasonable service for God?
First, is a determination to stand for God!
Second, is a determination to put on the whole armour, not just some
of the items your feel most comfortable in.
Third, is a determination to do the will of God no matter the
circumstances or consequences.