All Souls Anglican Church | 02 9569 2646
The Journal

Armed and ready for the Lord

Dear Friends,
Someone once said it is not hard to believe in the devil because he advertises. The person meant that it is easy to see the effects of evil at work in this world. We see lives destroyed by drugs and relationships broken by unforgiveness and people and governments abuse power and exploit vulnerable people. We can see the devil at work in individual relationships and across nations. To grow spiritually as a Christian we need to recognise the devil is real and we need to resist his schemes against us. The Bible doesn’t say a lot about the origin of the devil except that he was a fallen angel who is in rebellion to God - see Isaiah 14:12-15. Paul recognises in Ephesians 6:10-20 that we are engaged in a spiritual battle and that just as we cannot save ourselves by our own power we also need God’s power to resist the devil. Paul says that we are to be strong in the Lord 6:10. The greek means to be strengthened. The devil he tempts us to doubt God’s goodness and Word just as he did in the garden with Adam and Eve. Jesus faced the devil’s temptations and had to resist him and so do we. The devil is described as having schemes which can also mean strategies to discourage us in our faith. Paul was in chains for his faith and he uses the picture of a soldier who before he went into battle would put on his armour. Our armour is the Gospel of Jesus. The emphasis is to be so full of God’s Word and truth in our lives so that there is no room for the devil’s lies. Accordingly the first piece of armour described is the belt of truth which is of course God’s truth in His Word. Jesus himself declared that He is the truth John 14:6 and so we need to progressively grow in our understanding of God’s Word so we can spot the lies and deceptions of the devil. These pieces of armour progressively describe what the Gospel does for us. For example the breastplate of righteousness speaks of the fact that through faith in Christ we are declared righteous before God - see also Philippians 3:8-9. To compliment these pieces of armour we are to pray in the Spirit on all occasions for our fellow Christians. One of the great lies of the devil in our age is to discourage /tempt us to be regular in fellowship by distracting us with other activities and engagements. Regular Christian fellowship is vital for Christian growth in faith and helps in the process of being strong in the Lord. At our 5pm service we continue our series on people who met Jesus and in Luke 8:40-56 we meet Jairus and a woman suffering from bleeding. They were desperate and so were open to receive from Jesus. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara

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