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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - The Armor of God

Michael Youssef - The Armor of God

Michael Youssef - The Armor of God
Michael Youssef - The Armor of God
TOPICS: The Invisible War, Spiritual warfare, Armor of God

In the last message we saw how, when Satan kept on coming at Jesus in the wilderness, tempting him and tempting him and tempting him again, our Lord defeated him over and over and over by the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. One of that equipping that we're gonna look at today, we're gonna look at it closely, is the armament that God gave us. Don't ever forget that God provided that armament for us in order to be equipped to defeat him. There's only one offensive weapon, but all the others are defensive. Hear me right please. These are our protective armor. They are our Hazmat suits for the hazardous warfare. They are our battle fatigues that we need to put on always, always, always.

So turn with me please to Ephesians 6 beginning at verse 10. I am gonna divide this passage or this armors into three categories. Three categories. The first category is a permanent uniform. That's a uniform that you wear day in and day out. Then there is a defensive weapons that we use to defend ourselves and have victory over Satan. And then there is one offensive weapon but also can be used defensively. So look at the uniform. The uniform that has to be on all the time, verses 14 and 15: "Stand therefore, having fastened the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace".

Now, I don't wanna read too much into this but this uniform has to be worn every day, every moment of every day. You don't know anybody on the base who's serving, who is in the service of the military, any branch of the military, who does not wake up first thing in the morning and put on the uniform. They don't walk around in their bathrobes. They put on that uniform daily. That uniform is permanent. It is not you put it on and off. It is permanent. That's why I want to explain this to you because it's very important. Every waking moment. When you go to work, when you socialize, you permanently put it on, and that is why it comes first. The uniform comes first. This is our identity. This is our survival kit.

I believe that our Lord Jesus Christ's whole life categorized by this singular uniform. When answering the critics, his Jewish critics, in John chapter 7, verse 18, he said, "He who speaks for himself seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness in him". I want you to write this down. The truth and righteousness, they go together. Truth and righteousness belong to each other. That's why they're together in this passage. They are not stagnant, but they belong to each other. They have a purpose and it is to announce to the world that we are enlisted in God's army. You know, sometimes if you see military fatigue on television and you don't know which, sometimes they look alike, but only when you come close to the shoulder and you see the American flag and you say, "He's one of us".

You see, that's uniform. That's your uniform, that's my uniform. And you wouldn't think, generally, that they start with the belt but it does and I'm gonna explain to you why. There's that leather, wide leather belt, wraps around the soldier's waist. The belt helps the soldier when they tuck this robe, whatever they're wearing, free-flowing clothes back then, they free the person and because in the battlefield or even in everyday working in the field, a free-flowing robe is a great hindrance to getting anything done. But, you can move faster when you tuck it inside the belt. Are you with me? You can run faster when it's tucked in the belt. You can be flexible in all of your daily activities if it's tucked inside the belt. And they tucked 'em into that belt of truth.

When you tuck everything in life under the belt of truth, you're not gonna fumble and stumble and that is why the belt of truth, listen to me, is a permanent feature of the uniform. It's the first thing in the uniform. Without the belt of truth, you will fall for every false teaching. Without the belt of truth, you will never be able to discern the truth from falsehood. Without having that belt of truth around you, you are going to fall for every trick, for every false preacher, for every fast talker, for every great communicator who misleads you into falsehoods. And that is why biblical truth must be wrapped around you all the time. It helps you to smell false teaching a mile away. Not only that, but it will help you to run away as fast as you could when you hear a false teacher.

And the second item, which they belong together in that permanent uniform, is the breastplate of righteousness. In ancient times, that breastplate is designed to protect your vital organs, your heart, your kidneys, your liver, your vital parts. Their vital organs. This is the bulletproof vest, if you like. Hear me right please. In the spiritual war, as I've said, truth and righteousness belong together. They belong to each other and that is why they are part of this permanent uniform. The righteousness of Jesus Christ that he imputes upon us when we come to him confessing that we are sinners and deserve hell and ask for forgiveness, and he gives us his forgiveness, he puts on us that righteousness of Jesus Christ.

The righteousness of Jesus Christ protects our spiritual vitality. It protects our vital spiritual organs. It reminds us that Jesus accomplished our salvation on the cross and Satan can never take that righteousness away from us. When Satan tries to assault you with doubt over your salvation, when Satan accuses you of past sins from which you've repented long time ago, when Satan try to accuse you of sins that God has forgiven you long time ago, or tell you that you are not good enough for salvation, that breastplate of righteousness of Jesus Christ that we are wearing, reminds us that it is not our self-righteousness that saves us, it is not our efforts or hard work that saves us, we can not achieve that righteousness if we work 24/7. But it is by grace of God that we are saved and that is not of our own lest we boast, but it's a gift of God.

Remember that the righteousness of Jesus Christ and not ours saves us. That, my beloved friend, is gonna equip you to joyfully, joyfully, obey the Word of God. There are some people who see the word "obedience to the Word of God" as a burden. I have to do it. No, but when you have that breast of righteousness of Jesus Christ on your chest, you are delighted in serving God, you're delighted to obey God. Let me say it again. Truth and righteousness belong together, and that is why those who have paper breastplates of self-righteousness, of work salvation, Satan will pierce every time. The third part of that permanent uniform are the boots.

Now, of course, now we have very heavy boots because of the nature of warfare. Back then, they had a very tight sandals, wraps all the way. Sometimes in the knee, but sometimes it goes up at least halfway, but it tightly fit. It had to tightly fit because of the desert and sand and climbing mountains and it's a different kind of warfare as we have today. The gospel of peace is that irrefutable truth that in Christ, and in Christ alone, we now have peace with God. If you go around your Christian life wearing flip-flops, you're gonna get your feet burnt, you're going to lose your peace. You're gonna lose your peace. You won't have peace.

Beloved, in the spiritual realm, these flip-flops, whether it be your own ideas about God, whether their own philosophy, whether it's you want to do your own thing, whatever they are, they will burn your feet. But when your feet are firmly protected with the very solid, imperishable boots of the gospel, you'll always feel safe, no matter what happens. No matter what happens. And with these boots, you can kick Satan out to Timbuktu. This is the uniform. This is what we permanently wear day in and day out. This is what we put on daily, every waking moment. That's what your living, thinking, and behaving should reflect. Can I get an "Amen"? Secondly, I come to the defensive weapons, verses 16 and 17. The shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. The Roman soldiers had two different shields.

There are two different words in Greek. I'm not gonna bore you with Greek, but Paul uses the one that is 5 feet by 2 1/2. That shield is designed to protect the soldier completely. They were not very tall back then. They just get behind that thing and they are covered, completely, from head to toe. It is made of wood and covered by metal and then sometimes they rub oil on it in order to retard the flaming darts that sent their way. They put a little fire in the dart and they throw it at 'em. The fiery darts of temptation that he sends your way, whether they'll be doubting your salvation, whether they'll be questioning God's love for you, whether they'll be questioning that God cares for every detail of your life or getting you to distrust God, whatever, whatever he throws at you, that shield of faith is a pleading of the blood of Jesus Christ that will extinguish all fiery darts, all fiery darts.

What about the helmet? Well, the helmet of salvation protects your mind. It protects your mind. In the spiritual realm, let me tell you, I've said this before, and I'm gonna keep saying it because we're seeing it now with our own eyes, that the biggest war is not the wars that are taking place all over the world. The greatest war is the one that takes place between your two ears: the battle for the mind. And that's what Satan is after. If Satan can muddle your thinking, if he can muddle your spiritual thinking, if he can muddle your moral thinking, he's two-thirds of the way in. And that is why the helmet of salvation always protects us from falling in the traps that we are not saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. And that is why, listen to me.

Please listen to me. That is why daily intimacy with God helps to place that helmet firmly on your head. Listen to me. God did not call us to hide from the enemy. God did not call us to outsmart the enemy. God did not call us to be clever with the enemy. He called us to plead the blood of Christ and to protect the minds by the helmet. God called us to withstand actively, actively withstand, believing the Word of God, believing the authority of the Word of God, believing and taking and using the authority of the Word of God. That will put your enemy to flight. Trust me. Try it. We thank God for our defensive weapons. We thank God for our permanent uniform. But thirdly, I come to the one offensive which also can be used defensively.

Verse 17: "And take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God". We saw in the last message how our Lord Jesus Christ defeated Satan again and again. How? How did he defeat him? By the Word of God. The Word of God is a sword. It's a sword. And that is why many false teachers and preachers working on blunting their sword. They're blunting that sword until it lost its power. It can never lose its power but that for them and for their people, sadly. Question: How do we use the Word of God as an offensive weapon? When we seek to lead people to Christ, listen carefully to me please. When we seek to lead people to Christ, and rescue them from the grips and the clutches of Satan, the best weapon, the only effective weapon, is the Word of God. No clever marketing technique, no bait and switch, no appealing to emotions, not manipulating people's emotions, this will never work. Will never work.

And when you see somebody become a Christian, "Oh and", because of their emotional got manipulated, I promise you, and they get excited, then they may join a church, 2, 3 years later, they're gone. They're gone. Remember, it's the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity, who inspired the writers of the Bible. Therefore, he is the ultimate author of the Bible. And that is why the Bible calls the Word of God the sword of the Spirit, and that is why the believers who make themselves to be available channel for his power, God will use. God will use. And the more we yield, the more we yield to his Spirit, the more the Word of God dwells in us richly and speak through us.

Beloved, listen to me. I'm getting close to the end, but listen to me. The Word of God is flawless. The Word of God is faultless. The Word of God is complete and authoritative. The Word of God is the source of all victory. The Word of God is effective and decisive. The Word of God is the source of all truth. God's Word is the source of joy, peace, and spiritual vitality. Listen to me. Because the Word of God slices through people's defenses, God's Word pierces the conscious and awaken spiritually dead people, like I was and like you were. Running away from God, whether it be literally or spiritually, trying to escape obedience to the Word of God, or thinking that you're getting away with something contrary to the command of God, my beloved friends, my beloved friends, that will only open you to the enemy's attack.

You'll open the door wide. It will bring you pain, it'll bring you fear, it'll bring you suffering because you have left yourself defenseless. And the further you run away, the longer the trip home. By the same token, please, please do not leave yourself defenseless by disobedience because that's the moment the enemy ruthlessly will attack you. Don't take a chance. Whether you watch or you're here, don't take a chance. Come home to your heavenly Father and stay home. You will never experience greater love or greater care. And that is why we daily put on the uniform and regularly use the defensive weapon and always, always, always be ready to use the sword of the Spirit.
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