Here is an excellent sermon titled: “Friends Defend Their Friends” by Pastor Korter of Bellingham, Washington Seventh-Day Adventist Church on 30. October 2010. Pastor Korter and his family are serving the Bellingham district which includes one other church in Lynden, Washington. The sermon is centered around Ephesians 6:10-12.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
As we near the coming of Jesus, we will experience a spiritual battle going on between the powers of good versus evil. The devil hates followers of Jesus. The devil wants the sinful nature to win and he targets the mind and the will of people. The battlefield is the mind. The devil wants to gain control over our lives. Who has control over our minds?
As God’s people, we have an insight into the Great Controversy. The devil uses drugs, alcohol, pride, gambling, and sex to ensnare us. The devil wants to destroy us. Does God have a solution for us? Claim Ephesians 6:10 and be strong in the Lord and din the power of His might.
The battle has been raging since the Garden of Eden. The disciples came to Jesus and Jesus told them: “Do not be deceived”. The devil is cunning and treacherous. What is Temptation? Total effort that the devil puts forth to induce us into sin. Temptation itself is not a sin. If temptation flashes through your mind, don not be burdened with guilt. The devil manipulates us with guilt. You cannot prevent birds from flying over your head but you can prevent them from building a nest there.
Sin begins in the mind. We struggle against a highly intelligent being. The devil knows our weak points, but he cannot change our will unless we let him. Read Patriarchs and Prophets by Ellen White about how Satan attacks our weak points. In God’s strength, we can conquer our sinful nature.
The difference between sin and temptation:
Temptation is a telephone that is ringing. Sin would be to answer the phone. Let the phone ring but don’t answer. What can I do to resist temptation?
1. Think about something else.
2. Claim a Bible promise.
3. Law in Physics that one object can occupy space at one time. Seek the Lord in prayer when temptation comes.
4. Sing to resist temptation. Powers of darkness cannot stand to listen to praise to the Lord Jesus. They flee.
5. Get out your Bible and read aloud. The devil cannot stand the Word of God read to him.
Pastor Korter promises that if you run to the Lord in prayer, read the Bible and sing praises to God, temptation will leave. It works. No one was tempted more than Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane.
God’s people are not doing what works. Ephesians 6:17-18
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
The helmet of salvation-praying always-be in a spirit of prayer. Don’t give up. Direct commission from God of Heaven. Pray for each other. Love each other. VERY IMPORTANT.
Paul is giving an insight into the Roman soldier putting armor on. Put on the whole armor of God. Temptation comes-it should bound off you. Only one piece of armor is offensive-sword of the spirit-word of God. Never turn your back on the enemy. The moment we turn our back on the enemy-we are in trouble. The moment temptation is over-you grow stronger. Depend on Jesus. If we look to ourselves and our power, we are lost.
We live in a culture that says you are weak if you need God. Jesus is our friends and defender. He is pleading with us to help. The bully of the universe is out to get us. Jesus wants to be our friend and keep us with Him.
There was a 16 year old boy at school bullying other younger children for money. One 7 year old boy had a $1 per day to use for a snack. The 16 year old bully twisted the arm of the 7 year old boy and threatened to cut the young boy’s arm off if not given the $1. Every day the 7 year old boy had to give up the $1. One day the children were playing in the school yard and the 16 year old boy was bullying younger children and then ran into another boy the same size as he was. The 7 year old child ran up to the other larger boy and asked him if he wanted to make 50 cents a day. The boy agreed and then the 7 year old boy walked up to the 16 year old bully and said: “Never again am I going to give you money. The 7 year old’s new friend came running and defeated the bully. We are the 7 year old boy and the devil is the 16 year old bully.
The devil is trying to steal our lives. We need to ask our Friend ( Jesus ) to come and stop the bully. We don’t have to pay our friend as He has already paid on the Cross. When Jesus died, the devil thought he had won. If we don’t chose life with Jesus, we chose death with Satan. Every thing about Halloween is about honoring the bully and death. Verse 10 tells us to “Be Strong in the Lord and His Might”. We can make a choice. Satan trembles before Christ majesty. Satan falls back. Cry unto the Lord. Claim Jesus. He will hear you. He will help you in your temptation.