Saint Paul's Lutheran Church of Irvine

Tomorrow at Saint Paul’s, September 2nd, 2012: “The Full Armor of God” (Eph. 6:10-20)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Happy Labor Day weekend! Talk about “labor,” though, we have a doosie in tomorrow’s text about our most formidable labor. In a way, though, it will turn out to be tremendously liberating to get the full scoop. I’m talking about the battle we are all in (all of us who are actually children of God and disciples of Jesus Christ). “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12) The Christian life is a fight; it is a battle. This fact in itself is liberating. How often have we heard false “Christian” messages/enthusiastic rantings that the Christian life is deliverance from troubles and worries; an earthly reward to be among those who no longer labor, no longer worry…super Christians with super attitudes and super lives? Let’s return to reality. God teaches us about our fight, our battle. The full scoop though is understanding the LORD’s teaching on how we can do more than stand under such circumstances: the LORD equips you with three weapons for protection, two for defense, and one for attack (against the dark powers). What are these? What do they do? How are they employed? In what context are they enacted? These questions will be answered as I elaborate on one of my favorite sections in God’s Holy Word!

Here is an excerpt from the sermon:

God’s Word does not suggest that all ailments and maladies are connected to demon possession. The point, however, is that the evil spiritual realm is absolutely real and furthermore, affects the lives of people. Our epistle, however, at verse 13 states that there comes for all Christians when in the midst of your fight against the powers of the devil, the really big day comes, “the evil day.” What will you do dear Christian when this “evil day” comes? It is a day of exceptional temptation; an amazing occasion of spiritual trial. Your faith will be rocked. How will it happen? For Job it happened through extreme weather, the loss of loved ones, his wife, diseases, and friends. Some of these will appear treacherous and ugly, others will be disguised bright and beautiful like an angel of light. It may be the death of a loved one, the sin of adultery, the loss of a job, a physical, mental or emotional ailment, it may be a divorce, a loss of property, bankruptcy, winning the lottery, going to a party that will change your life forever, a car accident, a promotion…but on this day, this evil day, your life will change and the evil one will have occasion to rock your faith, to rob you of your faith, to rip it out of your heart.


         Think of life’s battle as a boxing match and you are called to withstand during the entire match…to stay in the fight, but then in the ninth round you’re hit with a left uppercut and it lands square on your jaw; then that overhead right comes and you’re hit right on the temple, your legs buckle, and you are thrown back. This assault here is one way of describing the evil day. What will you do? Will it be over for you? Will you turn from God as the devil celebrates his knock out? No, that is not what the LORD wants for you.


            His commitment in Christ is to protect you through the battle, and to instruct you so that you will be able to withstand and remain in the victory of Christ as He fights for you and fights in and through you! 


See you in God’s house!


In Your Service & To Your Glory,


Dr. Espinosa

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