Putting On the Whole Armor of God -- A Study in Ephesians 6...
Pastor Billy Robertson
sermon notes 11 September 2016
The head leads the rest of the body, be
it the physical direction as in diving or
gymnastics or in planning something
which takes research and action. The
head is where the mind, the will, and the soul work together to make choices. It is often under great stress by the flesh, great temptation by the world, and outright assault by the enemy of our souls, the devil and his minions, to make wrong choices, destructive choices, and even deadly choices. Wrong choices can look good, but good is often the enemy of best, and without the protection of the Helmet of Salvation, giving in to those old pre-salvation ways can seem to be easier and happier than fighting the fight it takes to defeat the flesh, the devil, and the world. The pressure to abandon faith and the desire to give up and give in is as real, and sometimes as sharp, as a concussion, but with the Helmet of Salvation, you can stand strong and avoid that cranial dent the enemy wants you to suffer...
Close combat--that is often the fight that the believer must wage against the enemy of our souls. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. That suggests he gets in close, into our personal space, into our emotions and our heads. His purpose is to set up a strong hold in our lives and deny us the freedom Christ has purchased for us. In Matthew 26:51 the sword used is a close-combat weapon. It was used for invading personal space and dealing cutting blows to the enemy. Our Sword of the Spirit is like that two-edged sword, meant to thrust, cut and slice the foe. The believer must know that our enemy will come after us, and that the fight is often long and constant. We must learn our weapons and how to defeat our enemy. Through the Word of God we can know how to fight, and win! The Word of God is our Sword of the Spirit and Jesus showed us how to use it both defensively and offensively. Listen as Pastor Billy shares the power and skill used in wielding The Sword of the Spirit.
Pastor Billy Robertson
sermon notes 14 August 2016
Ever been in trouble, real trouble? Ever
have someone come to your rescue and
plead your cause?
Trouble and rescue-right and wrong.
Just how are those things settled in the Bible? "Right, righteous, righteousness -- to be straight, to operate in a straight, honest and truthful manner, to choose what is right and pure, to honor and correctly apply God's law."
Abraham and Job both were accounted by God to be righteous men because of their faith, and their works and their lives gave evidence to that faith. They kept the way of the Lord and operated in just judgments. In the Old Testament it meant the fulfilling of the requirements of the 10 Commandments, the Law. One thing is very clear, however - no one can fulfill every facet of the law.
If we do not sin in action, we do in attitude and thought-life. No one can earn the complete sinlessness to which the Law points since everyone makes mistakes, and no one is perfect and sinless. No one, except Jesus the Messiah, and that is the very reason for the Gospel. It is the Good News that in Him we can have accounted to us the covering of righteousness we cannot attain by ourselves.
Righteousness. Walking the right path in the right way, helping others, while pleasing and honoring God with a perfection found only in the blood covering of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and our Advocate before the Father, Who will defeat the Accuser on our behalf each and every time.
David in the Psalms said "My times are in thy hand" when calling out to the Lord during a particularly rough time in his life. His times, his goings and comings, his experiences, his very existence David acknowledged with entirely withing the hand of the Lord. Nothing could happen to him that the Lord did not ordain or allow--he belonged to Him, and therefore had faith in all that passed to be used for his good or the good of others. Faith. As a shield, faith in the Father of us all can pull us through sorrows and grief, through internal and external battles, through temptations and joys. That shield, like the Roman shields at the height of Rome's power, was strong and could interlock with its neighbor shields forming a covering and protection that was amazingly tough and through which the arrows of the day had little chance of penetrating. Our shield of faith does more than just rebuff the enemy's attacks--it literally douses the flame and removes the power of that attack. When our faith is grounded in the word of God, truth, and trust, when we remember past experiences of God's protective and guiding hand, our shield stands firm and holds against the devil's attempts to draw us out with temptations, distractions, and downright lies. The shield of faith....
Six Steps to Shield Yourself from Satan --An interesting article by a pastor in Abu Dhabi on handling those flaming darts...
Peace...there are two kinds--which one do you have? Experience of peace might mean no apparent turmoil. Judicial peace is a legal ending of turmoil, and the battle is over. Someone has won. As a Christian, we can have both, although experiential peace is harder to attain, as this world is not a place that likes or encourages real peace. As long as the enemy of our souls is running his evil tracks across this world, and as long as we have the flesh with which to contend, we will have opportunities for turmoil and challenges. However, our peace is beyond what the world offers. We have a Savior who has already attained the judicial peace and defeated our enemy. We just need to appropriate and act like it. God has provided. Now we must believe it and walk in it. John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Jesus gives us a peace we cannot attain through the world, but only through personal committed and trusting association with Him.
Truth is a concept that these days moves. "Your truth vs my truth" is often heard, especially during heated discussions, but Biblical truth is solid, is immutable, is not given to personal definition. And, therein lies the problem. Often folks want to name experience as truth. "Your experience vs my experience" would be the better phrasing. Truth is not movable, not given to culture or whims. God has made clear in His Word that it is His definition that transcends all cultures, all emotion, all variables. Listen as Pastor Billy shares the real meaning and impact of "truth".
What does it really mean to "gird up your loins"? The Biblical Warrior's Secret
Prayer. A conversation. A petition. A way of expressing hurt, love, dreams, hopes, heartaches, confusion, and trust. Prayer is all of those things, and more. It is a relationship of speaking and listening to the God of the Universe and the lover of our souls. It is a tool of connection and contemplation. What is not often considered is that it is a bulwark and bludgeon against the onslaught of the enemy. Prayer~a major part of the armor God gives us to wear while in the battles of spiritual warfare. It is mightier than we realize, and Pastor Billy gives us valuable tips on how to use this tool to lift our hearts, increase our trust, access the wisdom of God, and land telling blows and strong reminders on our already defeated enemy and his minions. Prayer.
The importance of prayer as part of the arsenal of power against the attacks of the enemy and the exhaustion of the flesh cannot be underestimated...Look at your problems in the light of God's power, instead of looking at God in the shadows of your problems... Do you want what God has available to His own? Everything God has, no matter what?? You may and probably will face problems, but without problems, there is often no feeling that you need to pray. No problems, no prayer? Hmmmmm Problems make us face our frailties and lead us back home to Him. Facing our problems, with prayer and trust in God, causes us to grow in our relationship with Him, and makes us grow up to be more of what we should be in His image. Be real, be you, and talk to Him ... It doesn't need to fancy ... it just needs to be real.
Peace -- The presence of something good, not the absence of turmoil. It is a confirmation of a hold on solid ground even when everything else is bucking and in the storm. Jesus promised the kind of peace the world does not understand nor can it give. It is a preparation that gives us a centering when nothing else is centered. Peace. It is a part of the Good News of salvation through Jesus the Messiah. Seek the Gospel which is salvation in His name, allowing us to the power of His peace, of His truth, of His work on the cross, and of His righteousness. Seek peace, and let it rule your thoughts, your feelings, and your choices. Seek peace!
Prayer, Part 3 Pastor Billy Robertson sermon notes 13 November 2016
Prayer is not a wishing well or magical lamp--it is a means of intimate fellowship for everyday living and of claiming God’s promises while being abandoned to God’s will and knowing He will work through me. Oswald Chamber reminds us "When we work, we work. When we pray, God works! " We are to keep constant in our mind that we are NOT of this world. We are to have an intimate family connection and dependence on the King. We are to constantly reflect that the Word was made flesh.
The people of His time saw His miracles and works, but it was the way He prayed that made the difference! His boldness, His humility, and His utter dependence on the Father was something the disciples understood to be the source of His connection with the Lord. Jesus showed an intimacy and respect of humility and expectation of God's will to be done, even in us.
It is a deep dependence which leads to an intimate fellowship. Boldness comes honestly and clearly when we KNOW we are a part of a family that hears and listens, and when we have a Protector and Defender that is also a Warrior who has taken us in as His very own and has and will fight the battles with and even for us. Our part is to keep our eyes on the King Who has already defeated the foes of our lives, and Who constantly communicates with us to keep us focused and ready to move at His command. Prayer should always be the first response in any situation. Our problems are His opportunities….
The Lord's Prayer is the example of dependence on the Father and the model of that last piece of armour that brings us fully into God's will and brings us fully under His covering. We draw our strength from the Father, not ourselves. We are far too weak to handle the armor we need. It is with His strength and the knowledge of His presence alone that we will defeat the enemy of our souls. It is with His strength and the knowledge of His presence we can forgive as we have been forgiven, that we can be cleansed, that we can be spiritually and emotionally healed, and that we can be what we were supposed to be from the Garden. The fact that we are in His will, forgiven by the Judge of the universe, and given relationship through Jesus' intercession is the fulfilment of our greatest hope and need--freedom from sin, being an eternal citizen of heaven, and having our daily needs met on a consistent basis, all of which leads to our perfection and growth as a loved and cherished child of the Father.