Brian Charette unpacks Ephesians 6:10-14 and a biblical approach to standing firm in our time.
Pastor Kerry’s Message – 8/8/21
This morning is a kind of Part 2 to Pastor Kerry’s message last week as we fill in for Pastor Adrian who is away for a much-needed vacation. We encourage you to watch that message when you have a chance. You’ll find it here:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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.13 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. 14 Stand firm then…
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
The Greek word, histemi (throughout the Ephesians 6 text) is an important one throughout the New Testament as it relates to how a believer is to act. It means “make a stand,” “stand before/among others,” “rise up,” “stand unshakeable,” etc.
1. Standing is standing as individuals together – in unity
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.
Just as in the church at Ephesus, there were those in Philippi taking stands against each other instead of the real enemy.
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
2. Standing is sacrificing
In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them. Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.
3. Standing is an expression of love
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Ultimately, to stand firm – to take your stand – in a biblical sense, is to love.
And perhaps, in the middle of a love drought, those of us carrying living water are needed more than ever.
Stand firm, and you will win life.