Sunday, March 9, 2014

Church of the Living God
Bible Study Lesson
Presenter: Overseer Ennis F. Tait

Date:   Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Series: Spiritual Warfare
Reference Scripture:  Ephesians 6:13

Today’s Discussion:    “Hold Your Position”

In 1865 a very famous hymn entitled “Onward Christian Soldiers” was written to inspire children as they walked from the Horbury Bridge to the Horbury St. Peter’s Church.  The musical piece was adopted by the Salvation Army in 1871.  In addition Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt used this same tune to open their peace meetings in 1941.  The origin of the hymn was drawn from Paul’s encouragement to Timothy as he prepared him for his pastoral assignment.  (Read: II Timothy 2:3-4)

·         Endure Hardness – [soong-kak-op-ath-eh-o] - to suffer hardship in company with:
·         Soldier – [strat-ee-o-tace] – a camper-out, i.e. a (common) warrior
·         Warreth – [strat-yoo-om-ahee] – to serve in a military campaign; to execute the apostolate; to contend with carnal inclinations.
·         Entangleth – [em-plek-o] – to entwine, i.e. involve with; a fix position; to twine or braid
·         Affairs – [prag-mat-i-ah] – a transaction, i.e. negotiation

Paul’s tenor in his message to the young pastor is strong.  He challenges Timothy to uphold a certain standard that God (through the Lord Jesus) has set for all those HE has enlisted (chosen to serve) in HIS army.

The lesson aim is to convey to all believers the seriousness of spiritual warfare.  More importantly, the “church” must be reminded that the spiritual battles in which we shall fight are not ours, but they are God’s.  Interestingly, there seems to be a misunderstanding on the part of the “church” as to who the real enemy is: (“for we wrestle not against flesh and blood”).  Paul warns the “church” of the evil forces that are operating in the “darkness of this world”. And as believers we are expected to stay “sober and vigilant”.   

In verse 13 the Apostle Paul issues a final command to the church regarding their involvement in spiritual warfare.  “Take unto you the whole armour of God” is the final clause in the rules of engagement warfare manual that commissions the soldier before he/she engage.  Paul warns the “church” stand strong in a time period that’s coming and filled with evil and difficulty.  (Read: I Timothy 4:1-3; II Timothy 3:1-7) 
According to the Apostle Paul, the “church” cannot afford to come unglued under the pressures of a worldly invasion.  There are battles inside the church that are in full array.  (Read: Romans 7:18; 23)  Thus, Paul uses the term “withstand” to expose the struggles we face to resist the temptations of the enemy. (Read: James 4:7; I Peter 5:8-9)  Paul tells them to “STAND”.  In addition Paul encouraged the church at Corinth “be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord”.

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