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The weapons of our warfare are not carnal by Tom Malone
2006-02-13
4700건 조회
The Weapons of Our Warfare are Not Carnal

By Rev. Tom Malone

Longtime Pastor in Pontiac, Michigan;



밫he weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong
holds.뵕II Cor. 10:4.


In this chapter Paul is defending his apostleship.


In order to understand what he said in this verse, you have to understand that people had said,
멬ell, this Paul is not a very imposing looking man. In fact, his speech is not very powerful. His
letters are weighty and strong; but his presence is weak, and his voice is not so good.?


Paul is writing to them and saying, in defense of his apostleship, 밫he weapons of our warfare are
not carnal.?

Notice four things that are most thought-provoking in this text.


I. There Is a War Going On



A lot of folks don뭪 seem to know that to be a Christian is to engage in a warfare. And the Bible
describes that warfare. When Paul wrote to a young preacher named Timothy, he said, 밫his charge I
commit unto thee, son Timothy?that thou by them mightest war a good warfare?(I Tim. 1:18). He
was saying, 밳oung preacher, you are in a battle, in a warfare, and it is not going to be any
picnic.?Paul wrote to this same young preacher, 밇ndure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus
Christ?(II Tim. 2:3).


Now what are soldiers for? Soldiers are not just to be on parade. They are to carry a gun and
fight. Soldiers are to engage in a warfare.


Many of the Lord뭩 people don뭪 know that they are in a warfare.


First, I read a verse that just absolutely amazes me. Revelation 12:7 says, 밫here was war in
heaven.?We think about Heaven as a place of peace, but God talks about a war there.


Now doesn뭪 it stand to reason that on this earth Christians are going to be engaged in a warfare?
Paul was always conscious of this warfare. At the end of his life뭩 journey, he said, 밒 have
fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith?(II Tim. 4:7).


Notice Ephesians, chapter 6, verse 11: 밣ut on the whole armour of God??


God says to every Christian, 멠ut on the armor.?Why an armor? Because you are a soldier. Why
armor? Because you are in a battle. A spiritual war is going on, God says. So, 밣ut on the whole
armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.?


Now what I want you to see is verse 12: 밊or we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places.?This is not a battle against people. This is not a battle against mere
human beings. We are in a warfare against supernatural forces. Do you feel that conflict? Do you
realize you are in a spiritual conflict, a great agelong struggle?


What is it all about? It is about who shall have the supremacy, Christ or Satan. It is a struggle
for the souls of men. It is a battle to keep people out of Hell. It is a struggle to get people
saved. It is a warfare, a conflict until the final finish. And every one of us is engaged in it. Do
you realize that you are in a warfare?


Some great Christians have entered into this warfare and have been so close to God that they knew
they were in a conflict. Thank God for men like Martin Luther who have been willing to go against
the tide and against tradition and against common opinion and go against the way that many other
people were going.


One day Martin Luther felt such great conflict going on in his room, and he was the only one in it,
visibly. But he began to wrestle and struggle with the Devil. The Devil became so real and his
power so strong that Luther picked up an inkwell, threw it at the Devil, and it splattered against
the wall on the other side of the room. He realized he was in a spiritual warfare, in a great
conflict. No wonder God used Martin Luther as a Christian.


The average Christian is not a soldier. He doesn뭪 have on any armor. He is not really engaged in
a spiritual struggle. He is not fighting anything, not really standing for anything. If we don뭪
stand for something, we are apt to die for nothing!


If this Bible makes anything clear, it is that God뭩 people are in a spiritual struggle against
the forces of evil. And they are supernatural forces that operate in the realm of darkness, and we
are to penetrate them with the light of Christianity.


We are in a warfare. That ought to keep us from folding our hands and taking it easy. That ought to
make us sit up and take notice. 밯oe to them that are at ease in Zion?(Amos 6:1).


And while the Christian church and the people of God are taking it easy, the forces of evil are at
work as never before. Communism, Catholicism, liberalism, ritualism, legalism and intellectualism
are at work, while the church is taking it easy.


God help us to realize we are in a warfare, in a battle.


밫he weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong
holds.?


That leads me to this second truth.


II. We Have the Weapons



The Lord didn뭪 leave us without something to fight with. He says a Christian can be dressed up in
an armor. When I read about the seven great implements of that armor, I find only one place that we
are undefended, and that is right in the small of our back. You don뭪 need anything there if you
are facing in the right direction. If you are not running, you don뭪 need to worry about getting
hit in that place.


Oh, with the weapons the Lord has given us, we have the weapons to win.


I am going to say something this morning that you won뭪 believe. This year, 1964, I have been a
Christian nearly thirty-two years. I have just come to the conclusion that the weapons of our
warfare are not physical. According to the Bible, some of the things Christians think are important
in serving God don뭪 mean one thing.


For instance, I have heard some folks say, 밆id you ever hear So-and-so preach? My, the
personality! He had the people laughing all the time. Such wit!?


That hasn뭪 a thing in the world to do with it. Let me ask you something. What kind of personality
do you think Martin Luther had? What kind of personality do you think the apostle Paul had? Why,
most of his friends couldn뭪 stay around him too long. Oh, we think that personality has something
to do with it.


Now watch this. I have heard folks say, 밢h, she is such a talented Christian!?


Talent hasn뭪 one thing to do with serving the Lord. It is not even mentioned in the Bible. Talent
in the Bible means a piece of money. And talent, as we know it, is never referred to in the Word of
God.


People say, 밢h, that Christian is such a capable Christian.?


That has nothing to do with it. I am amazed that some of the people in this church who do the most,
do it with the least. Do you know why? The weapons of our warfare are not physical. They are mighty
through God. Personality hasn뭪 one thing in this world to do with it. Good looks don뭪 have
anything to do with it. The weapons of our warfare are not physical.


Let me give you a Bible illustration of it.


We read in chapter 17 of Exodus where the children of Israel were fighting against the Amalekites.
They were the descendants of Amalek. It was an Amalekite who killed King Saul because he would not
destroy the flesh. Amalekites in the Bible stand for the flesh and its power. The children of
Israel, in chapter 17 of the Book of Exodus, are gathering against the Amalekites. Here is a great
picture. Moses said to Joshua, the general of the army, 밒 want you to go down yonder in the
valley and fight against those Amalekites. Slay them. God has said that the Amalekites must be
destroyed뾪en, women and children. Destroy them from the face of the earth. They represent the
flesh.?


Moses, yonder on the mountaintop, lifts his hands toward God. He has no sword. He does not touch an
Amalekite. He is not actually engaged physically in the conflict. He reaches his hands toward God;
and when he does, down yonder in the valley, Joshua and the children of Israel literally put to
flight and slay the Amalekites.


When his hands grow tired, they fall down to his side. When they fall, the Amalekites begin to win.
God says to Aaron on one side and Hur on the other, 밐old up the hands of Moses toward Heaven,
because when his hands are lifted toward God, the children of Israel win; and when they are not
lifted toward God, the children of Israel lose.?

The conflict was not being won by what went on in the valley but by what went on upon the
mountaintop.


The weapons of our warfare are not physical but spiritual. Many a Christian is trying to fight a
spiritual battle with carnal, fleshly, worldly weapons. You are not going to win that way.


When there is a conflict between two Christians, a lot of people set about to win it with physical
weapons. It is not done that way. And the church, in its conflict against the forces of evil, is
not going to win with physical weapons.

You know, you can have the finest buildings in the world, you can have the most beautiful church in
the world, but that will not win the battle. It is a spiritual battle.


So, 몋he weapons of our warfare are not physical, but are mighty through God.?


What are they? The Lord has given us something to fight with. It is amazing, astounding, pathetic
and pitiful how little the average Christian uses the weapons the Lord has given him to fight this
warfare.


First of all, there is the Word of God. There is absolutely nothing in this world like it. Chapter
6 of Ephesians tells us that one of our weapons is 뱓he sword of the Spirit, which is the word of
God.?Can you imagine a fellow going off to fight and not having a sword? He is to have it in his
heart, in his life and in his mind. But the average Christian does not use the weapon of the Word
of God.


When the Devil came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, three times from one Old Testament book,
Jesus said, 밒t is written.?It is written.꿌t is written.?And when Jesus met the Devil, He
unsheathed His sword and fought the Devil with the Word of God.


There is no other way for the Christian to fight. That is why I have said all these years that a
Christian who does not have the habit of daily reading the Word of God for his own benefit is not
going to be a strong Christian

Years ago I learned what I believe to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, lessons I have
ever learned. I was reading my Bible the first day of January many years ago in the old building
that used to stand here. I was reading the First Psalm:


밄lessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of
sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

밄ut his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

밃nd he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.뀛뾙ss. 1?.


Listen! A tree planted by a river is an evergreen. It reaches its roots down into the moist soil,
draws food from that soil, and stands strong by the riverbank.


뱟that bringeth forth his fruit in his season [he is a fruit-bearing Christian]; his leaf also
shall not wither [He doesn뭪 turn one color one day and another color the next. Now listen to
this]; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.?


I almost said to myself, Am I reading it right? God said, 멦he Christian who delights himself in
this Book, whatsoever he doeth뾵hatsoever he doeth뾱hall prosper.?


If you will make this Bible the Book of your life, 몏hatsoever you do shall prosper.?


I made a covenant with God. In that crucial, glorious hour in my life, locked in that little room,
I said, 밢 God, if You will help me, I will make the Bible the Book of my life. I will read it
every day of my life until I hear from Heaven.?And by God뭩 grace and help, I have done it.


Listen! God has given you the weapon of His Word. Get out that old Bible, open it up every day, and
read it for yourself. If you don뭪 do it, you are a soldier without a sword. 멦he weapons of our
warfare are not physical, but are mighty through God.?


What else has He given us?


We have the Holy Spirit as a weapon in this spiritual warfare.


Think of the power of the Holy Spirit. And every Christian has the Holy Spirit. We are so scared
that someone is going to think we are a little bit Pentecostal. I am scared to death that they are
not going to think that we are! I don뭪 like to see anyone give vent to the flesh and act the
fool, and I want it to be real. But, friend, if you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit of
God in you. Paul, writing to the church at Corinth, said:


밯hat? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have
of God, and ye are not your own?


밊or ye are bought with a price.뵕I Cor. 6:19,20.


You are the dwelling place of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of God dwells not in temples made with
hands. He dwells in saved people. And think how powerful He is!


I would like to read Acts 2:2: 밪uddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty
wind.?


You know, nothing in the world will destroy as much as a rushing wind. It will lick the face of the
earth up. That is what we need in our church, the power of the Holy Ghost. That is what we need in
our lives, the power of the Holy Ghost.


We have the weapons, and they are mighty.


III. These Weapons Are Mighty Through God



The Word of God says, 밊inally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his
might.?Notice it is in 밾is might,?not our strength but His, thank God. Notice again, 밡ot by
might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts?(Zech. 4:6).


These are not ordinary days. Our enemy is not an ordinary foe. Just ordinary human weapons will
never win the victory. We have the same powerful weapons and the same mighty God today that Moses
had when he won the victory from the whole Egyptian nation. David slew Goliath with a slingshot and
a smooth pebble from the brook, but God뭩 power was in it all. I had rather have a slingshot and
God than the mighty sword of Goliath and have to depend on the power of the flesh.


God뭩 weapons in this warfare are sufficient for every test. The mighty power of God can melt the
hardest hearts of men. His power can overcome the awful Goliath of liberalism abroad in the land
today. We need not quake and fear in the presence of the enemy. God뭩 Word says, 밡ay, in all
these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us?(Rom. 8:37).


Dear friends, we are 뱈ore than conquerors.?No foe can stand against the church of Jesus Christ
if the church is appareled in the armor of the Lord and fighting with His weapons.


IV. We Have Guaranteed Victory



This is what I really love about our text this morning. 밫he weapons of our warfare are not
carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.?


God is guaranteeing that if you use His weapons, you will win. They are 뱈ighty through God to the
pulling down of strong holds.?Use them, and things will fall before you, is what He is saying.
They are mighty through God. I am so glad that victory is guaranteed.


We read in Revelation 12:11, 밫hey overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their
testimony.?All through the Bible you see that guarantee. Before Jesus died, He said He would rise
again. He guaranteed He would come forth in victory. God guarantees victory if you will use
spiritual weapons.


I talked with a man yesterday who told me a tragic story of his life. He is separated from his
family, and the story of his life has been one of drink and alcoholism. He looked at me and with
trembling lips said, 밒 heard about your ministry, and I wanted to talk to you.?(He had called
me, and I had gone to see him). Then he said to me, 밣reacher, is there any way? Is there any
hope? Is there any way out??


I said, 밳es, thank God, I can tell you a way out. I can tell you of a hope that fits any human
being in this world.?

We bowed our heads and went to God in prayer and talked about the Gospel and how to believe. That
dear man said, 밃s best as I know how, I am going to turn my life over to God, trust Him and be
saved.?


My friends, I don뭪 care what the circumstances are. You might have made an attempt at being a
Christian before. You may be what we call a backslider. Or you might never have been saved. But I
say to you, in Jesus Christ there is victory for you.


밫he weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong
holds.뵕II Cor. 10:4.


















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