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Ready For Battle?

Ready For Battle?

     Down through the years, and in the history of most every nation, there is the record of wars, skirmishes and battles. Some of these were waged to earn independence from those who would oppress them. Other conflicts are for the purpose of defending hard-fought freedoms that had been wrought in the forming of the nation, or those decided upon by its people as that nation was becoming established.   Still other “struggles” result from efforts to overthrow the established government by those with a different set of ideas as to how that particular land is to be ruled.
     There are perhaps, at times, various ways in which these types of conflicts could be resolved and not all of these need to result in bloodshed or physical hostilities. Unfortunately, many are intent on resolving differences at any cost.   Sadly, the idea of some is to compromise, rather than “standing up” in the face of adversity. However, there are some things which are not ever to be compromised, and some things which we must be ready to defend.
     Jude verse 3 is very clear. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.   And, verse 4 provides the reason this admonition is given. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.   But Jesus, in John 18:36, was also very clear that the “defense” commanded in Jude vss 3 was not to result in the types of “battles” in which the world participates.   He said: “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”   The church (kingdom) has to be defended, but not in a violent manner.
     Some in our nation have expressed their readiness to defend themselves by arming themselves with weapons.   This has set up quite the dispute on the issue of guns and whether or not the citizens of this nation should be allowed to have them. This should not need be debated in this country, as the Second Amendment of our Constitution guarantees this as it states: “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” When this “right” is abused by the lawless and wicked (those of this world), violence is most always the outcome.  
     So, how is one to “fight” for the cause of Christ? In spiritual warfare, one has no need to “take up arms” in the same manner in which carnal warfare is engaged. We have inspired directives that should make us “ready for battle”. First, we must make sure to be properly attired.   In Romans 13:12, the Spirit had Paul write: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.“   When we are properly “outfitted” and prepared with what God has provided, we will be better equipped to defend the truth and stand in opposition against all who are against God.  
     Most all students of the Bible are familiar with Ephesians 6:10-17 and all the citizens of the kingdom of heaven should be.   These passages also tell us why we need the spiritual armament. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
     God has provided those who are in the kingdom (the church), all the items needed to defend themselves. He has also delivered unto us the weapon by which we can mount an offence against the adversaries of God.   With the armor of God and the spiritual weapons supplied, we can heed the advice given to the young evangelist in 1Timothy 6:12. There, he was told to: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” Timothy had been given what he needed.   He was a faithful soldier in the war against evil.   God has not asked anyone to do anything without supplying the tools with which to complete the task.   The spiritual weapon each Christian has is the Word of God.  
     It is the Word of God and the application of it in our lives that make us, and keep us prepared.   1Peter 3:15 tells us one of the ways we can remain ready. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: If you haven’t obeyed the gospel, you haven’t taken up the armor of God, and you’re unprepared for the battle for your soul.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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