Put It On and Pack It OnDecember 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Posted in I Corinthians, Uncategorized | 5 Comments
Tags: 2 Timothy 2, Apostle Paul, armor of God, Biblical manhood, Ephesians 5, Ephesians 6, Genesis 3, I Corinthians 15, spiritual warfare
When you think of the Apostles who comes to mind? Paul? Peter? James? John? Which one of these was the “greatest” Apostle?
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
I Corinthians 15:9
We sometimes think of Paul as the greatest of the Apostles, but he thought of himself as the least. He didn’t even think he deserved the name “Apostle.” Before Jesus saved him, he had been a relentless bounty hunter of Christians.
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
I Corinthians 15:10
God intervened in his life, and this intervention was what made the difference. Paul, on his own, would never have turned to Christ. He attributed his changed life solely to the grace of God, even though he sounds a little like Popeye the Sailor when we read, “I am what I am.” He recognized that he owed everything to God, and that he was no more and no less than what God had made him. God’s grace motivated Paul to outwork all the other Apostles, but God got all the credit and glory for it.
Becoming a Christian is not a pass to get out of hard work. Christian men, especially, ought to be the hardest workers in the world. God created men to work, and work is not sinful. It was sin that brought a curse upon work.
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Sin took the joy out of hard work, but in the Gospel we find redemption, and we remember that God made us to work hard, so we can work hard and find joy and fulfillment in it once again because we are in Christ – we have been made right with God.
I want to look at a few principles that remind us – as Christian men – how we are supposed to think about work:
I. Put It On
When a man goes into battle, what should he wear? Armor.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Don’t be a spiritual wimp. Get in the battle.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
The armor of spiritual warfare is God’s armor – that He’s provided for us. Our enemy is not an army of Godless sinners. He is not the person who has wronged you, and he is certainly not the person you were close to when he let you down. No, this is a spiritual war, and our spiritual enemy is Satan.
For 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Ephesians 6:12-13 (emphasis added)
“Take unto you” the armor. Put it on. Get in the battle and give it everything you’ve got.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
The belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace and the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation are all defensive weapons. We need to think about the Gospel and our salvation every day. But the sword of the spirit is an offensive weapon. Here is where we get our “payback” against the devil for attacking us, but we had better be reading the Bible and doing what it says more than once or twice a week. We had better be practicing with our swords and not going around without them.
II. Pack It On
As men, we can never have too much spiritual ammunition, and we must not whine and say it’s too heavy or too hard to carry.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15
As a Christian man I am called to be a workman that will not get outworked. I am called to force some Bible knowledge into my head – to “pack it on.”
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
I must not be lazy, packing on a bunch of indulgent, childish junk. I must not be “packing it on” with with video games and gadgets and a bunch of time-sucking hobbies. I need to be emptying the garbage out of my life so that I can pack on the Holy Spirit – so that I can be filled with Him. I can’t be filled with garbage or vanity and the Spirit at the same time. A real man isn’t afraid to say no childishness, nor to say yes to the Lord.
Next time we will learn to “pass it on” and “pour it on.”