God’s armor helps Christians survive spiritual warfare
Peachtree Baptist Church members spent time on Sunday praying for the four local teens killed in a fatal wreck outside Greenville on Thursday.
The teens were John (J.T.) Winstead, grandson of Scottie and Ann Winstead of Momeyer, Abby Foster, Devin Wilson and Madison Wilson. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of these young people.
We also prayed for Marta Whitehouse, Pastor Gene’s wife, in her struggle with cancer. Our prayers also go out to all those in need in this difficult time.
Special music: Jane May performed a piano solo. Sunday’s special music was a video presentation of The Hoppers singing “God’s Grace Will Always Be Greater Than Sin.”
The sanctuary flower arrangement Sunday was loving presented to glorify God by Jane May in loving memory of her husband, Perry.
Bible verse for the month of June: Ephesians 3: 17-19.
THE ARMOR OF GOD
Guest speaker Lawrence Edwards’ message, “Suit Up,” included Scripture from Ephesians 6:10-18.
“Lawrence is a local and member of Peachtree. He played football while in high school, college and some pro. When Lawrence retired from the game, he became a coach. He always told his players it was time to ‘suit up’ before they played. They needed be ready to protect themselves while playing, going out to do battle.
“It is similar when you become a Christian. You became part of a spiritual battle the day you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Like in any other battle, in spiritual warfare also, it’s very important that every Christian knows how to hold his ground. We learn what steps we must take in order to secure our territory.
“We must tap the source of strength because battles are exhausting. An exhausted soldier needs to restore his strength or he becomes an easy target for the enemy.
“This indicates that the source of our energy is not found within ourselves, but within the Lord Jesus Christ. I place my faith in God in order to tap into this source of strength. Then the Lord’s power becomes my power.
“We must identify the enemy in warfare. Gathering intelligence is key. It’s used to identify and assess the enemy. The entire offensive depends on it.
“In spiritual warfare, the Bible, our source of intelligence, identifies the devil and his hosts as our enemy.
“The weaponry used depends on the kind of enemy you will engage. Pistols are useless in a situation that requires the heavy artillery. Our enemy is spiritual, and therefore, we need spiritual weapons.
“We must put on the Belt of Truth. The belt held the rest of the armor together. From it hangs the scabbard in which the sword was sheathed.
“The interpretation is twofold. First, it means the word of God. We must know the word by heart. Secondly, our integrity and character. We should be doers of the word. You can’t fight an evil that is already in you.
“We must wear The Breastplate of Righteousness. The breastplate of soldiers was made of bronze and covered the body from the neck to the thighs. It protected the soldier’s heart. For the believer, this means to guard his heart above all else because it’s the source of life as well as evil.
“Paul also refers to the ‘righteousness of Christ,’ that ‘justification’ found only in Him that protects us from the accusations of Satan.
“The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace are like the specially designed shoes that enabled the Roman soldier to remain well-grounded even in the heat of the battle and to move fast over any terrain.
“The interpretation is twofold. First, we have already been reconciled to God through the gospel. This is our foundation. Secondly, we need to be ready with the same gospel to proclaim war against the devil and peace to the world.
“The Shield of Faith is like the Roman soldier’s shield. It is made to protect us from evil. Theirs was to protect them in battle.
“Faith means faith to obey God’s word. The fifth weapon is an act of obedient faith. Faith not supposed to shield us from physical suffering or guarantee ease, but strengthen and comfort us in every situation.
“The Helmet of Salvation. Illustration: Pvt. Leon Wilson escaped a bullet fired by a sniper by only 2 millimeters thanks to the helmet he was wearing.
“Our mind is Satan’s battlefield. He brings fear, hopelessness, frustrations and despair into it. We overcome these through the renewal of our hope in the salvation that flows from Christ.
“The Sword of the Spirit compared to Roman soldiers carrying short, straight swords. Very effective in hand-to-hand combat and was essential for individual survival.
“God’s word is our sword. The only weapon of offense. We must use it regularly in order to become proficient users. Knowing the word (logos) is insufficient. Must know how to use it.
“Praying in the Spirit is all of the above and is just preparation. We have not stepped into the battlefield until we start praying in the Spirit.
“The most powerful position Christians assume is when they kneel in prayer. And it should be the prayer of perseverance and intercession.
“The Bible gives assurance that we can stand firm and resist anything that Satan throws our way, only if we put on the whole armor of God.”
• A decaons’ meeting is planned for 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 8.
• Peachtree Baptist will hold a church conference at noon Sunday, June 13.
• A county blood drive will be held from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, at the Spring Hope Community Building, 104 Community St.
• Floods Chapel Original Free Will Baptist Church is collecting donations for the St. Vincent’s Island volcano victims. Please contact the church for a list of needs.
• Nikki Scott’s son, Zach, graduated from Southern Nash High School on Saturday. Congratulations, Zach.
• Destiny King, granddaughter of Joann Blankenship, visited Dollywood along with some friends from UNC Greensboro this past weekend. They enjoyed riding the rides and eating Dollywood’s famous cinnamon bread. They also performed in the Eastern District Collegiate concert held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday.
• Janice Sykes, Jane May and Diane Bunn traveled to Smithfield, Virginia, last week to visit Janice’s granddaughter, daughter and other family. The ladies had a great time.
PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS
• To all those sick and in need. Please keep them all in your prayers.
• Caregivers: Maxine Whitley, Dorothy Nelson, Nikki Scott, Bill Wakefield and Gail Brantley.
• Recovering at home: Ronnie Matthews, Audrey Farmer, Delcie Wakefield, Norman Whitley, Joan Eason, Amy and Robert Sykes and Jeannie Bennett.
• Undergoing treatment: Marta Whitehouse, Janie Joyner, Bill Nelson and Joyce Brinkley.
• Under doctors’ care: Melba and Jerry Hobgood.
• In the hospital: Sharron Wester, Burt Eason and Marta Whitehouse.
• Birthday blessings to Jamie May (June 6), Chase Gupton (June 19), Doug Hayes (June 23), Destiny King (June 23), Abigail Edwards (June 24), Bart Wood (June 25), Faye Vick (June 27), Cecil Wilson (June 28) and Glen Wood (June 29).
Area churches: If you have events coming up, please let me know at least two weeks before the events. I will need your news no later than 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Fran Bunn is a member of Peachtree Baptist Church.
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