Why the name Warriors for Christ? Why Warriors? Simple – we are in a war and war requires warriors. The war we are in is not of flesh and blood, in other words, it’s not hand-hand combat, or a typical battlefield exchange. The war we are fighting is a spiritual war. There are spiritual forces of evil. Consider that for a moment. We have heard of, and some of us have witnessed, what we would considered the worst kind of evil. When we think of the word evil, images that may come to mind are Adolf Hitler, Ted Bundy, or Jack The Ripper. But the reality is, we have no ability to imagine total evil. Don’t get me wrong, these men were evil – but spiritual forces of evil are at an entirely different level of evil and they hate us! Ephesians 6:12 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. It is interesting to consider that Paul uses the word “wrestle” here. It would be one thing if he used a word that communicated more “distance”, but you cannot get any closer to your enemy than a wrestling match – this means that these spiritual forces of evil are right in your face. If you do not realize you are in this wrestling match, that you are in this war, then your enemy has already won. When a person yields to the passions of their flesh, they have been wrestled into submission by the enemy. This enemy is not always the devil, but the devil is certainly the leader of this band of evil forces: Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. The devil is scheming – he’s planning. Anything that keeps your eyes off Christ is most likely part of the devil’s schemes. Let that sink in for a moment – ANYTHING that takes priority over your allegiance and obedience to God as a good soldier for Christ is a scheme of the devil. Are these “passions of the flesh” that big deal? If I yield to them occasionally it’s not that big of a deal, right, after all, I am human? 1Peter 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Wrap your head around that! It doesn’t say body, it doesn’t say mind, it says SOUL. The passions of your flesh wage war against your VERY SOUL – the only part of you that is eternal, YOUR SOUL! That’s the war we are in – for our soul! Our mind set must be, “fine, you can kill my body, but you are not going to touch my soul!” To pursue the passions of the flesh is like playing spiritual Russian Roulette – except it isn’t a bullet that you don’t know is in the chamber or not, it is a giving over to sin, it is a hardening of your heart. If you still feel remorse and shame over your sin, that is a blessing from God. To trample on God’s Grace by presuming He will continue to give the blessing of Godly sorrow, that He will allow continued disobedience without consequence, is a dangerous place to be. 2Corinthians 10:3-4 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. If we are truly in this war for our soul, we must have weapons – so what are they? The armor of Light! Romans 13:12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Darkness has done its work on us. We have spent a lifetime clothing ourselves in the works of darkness – whether it be worldly pursuits or even false religion, which has an appearance of godliness, but no ability to save the soul. We must cast off these works, we must cast off this cloak of darkness and put on a new garment – armor – ARMOR OF LIGHT! The whole armor of God! Ephesians 6:13-20 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. So, what are the weapons of our warfare? Truth: Immerse yourself in the Truth of the Gospel AND sound doctrine Righteousness: Turn from sin and walk in holiness, do, say, and think things that are pleasing to God Walk each day in light of the Gospel: the same Gospel that saves us, sustains us, never tire of hearing it Faith: Trust in God’s promises, be faithful to your King Salvation: Know that you are saved by the Blood of the Lamb, it is not of yourself. Your bad days don’t “un-save” you and your good days don’t get you a “better seat.” You do good as a form of worship and thanksgiving to God for saving you. Bible: The Sword of the Spirit! The very WORD OF GOD! You need it EVERY DAY! Read it, meditate on it, memorize as much as you can. Prayer: Be constant in prayer. Confess your sins. Make your requests to God. Intercede on behalf of others. Boldly approach the throne of Grace.