Stand

[10] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. [11] Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. [12] For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:10-13)

 

Since the Fall of man there has never been a time in our history where mankind was more evil than they had been previously. From the time Adam and Eve committed the first act of betrayal against God, sin has reigned in the life of every individual conceived. Our world is in the same state today as it was in the Garden of Eden as sin entered the scene. 

Time and accessibility have run a parallel course of progression as technology has ventured beyond the imagination of previous generations. The instant access we have to a plethora of resources is an incredible reality. With all the beneficial materials that we have at our disposal, it should not surprise us that there are inversely a great deal of evil of which we are made aware, as well. Due to the nature of today’s media, we are more than likely faced with a variety of issues that some people in previous days did not encounter (although they existed in some form or fashion).

The sin in our world is on display to the masses, yet those who are fallen are numb to many of them due to their sin nature. This is not shocking. Ephesians 2:1-3 states, ” And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 

Sinners sin. It’s in their nature, and they can’t help but act out the rebellion within them.

Our enemy, Satan, is at-large in this world, and he is looking to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). 

The world is a bleak and hopeless place…without Jesus!

Jesus said, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (John 12:46). He came as light, and through His Spirit, He bestows that same light unto His followers that they may go forth and combat the dark cloud of sin that envelops the world. The darkness cannot withstand Him.

Before He ascended into heaven He told His disciples that “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). He called them (and subsequently us) to be witnesses! However, His witnesses would not merely go about this business in their own strength; they would receive power through the Holy Spirit to do whatever He would lead them to. This is how we push back the darkness – by His Spirit! Without it, we are power-less to accomplish this great task. 

Sin marches on with Satan at the helm, but with an inevitable defeat awaiting it. That said, our enemy will wage war until the end of time when he is finally trampled by our Victorious King. Knowing this, we must, as Ephesians 6 above commands, STAND FIRM. We must be equipped for battle daily to offend the darkness and defend against the attacks of the devil. We cannot just sit around and wait for the return of our King, nor can we merely discuss the problems that are so prevalent in the world today. As 1 Corinthians 4:20 states, “the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20).

The Spirit within us empowers us to fight for the faith with boldness. However, we are not to feel entitled to tear down other people on account of their sin. Jesus said this in John 13:35: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” If we don’t display the love of Christ for the world to see, how will they truly see Him in all of His glory and splendor. Your evangelistic approach cannot begin with condemnation, but with grace. Use Isaiah 6 as an example. In his vision, Isaiah first encounters the Lord in all His glory and is then forced to recognize his wickedness. When people truly see God, they will have no choice but to face their sin. Begin with grace, for that’s what captured your heart. 

In a fallen world, we must stand firm for the gospel message. We cannot compromise, even though the world will tell us we are intolerable. The truth we proclaim is our salvation and firm foundation, and to back down for the sake of “peace” with the world would be a tragedy.

The gospel is offensive to sinners, for it exposes their evil heart and need for a Savior. It also is life to those who take hold of it, and that is our goal – to preach the gospel so that those dead in sin might be raised to life in Christ. 

We stand on a spiritual battlefield, with life and death in the balance. If you have chosen life, share it so that others might experience the same freedom that you have found in Jesus and be rid of the curse of sin. 

Go forth and make disciples. 

-Sean

 

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