Stand Firm

Stand Firm

Oct 28, 2015

The second in the sermon series by

Pastor Nathan Crandall,

Senior Pastor, Milton SDB Church, WI


Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm

against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against

flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities

of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world,

and against evil spirits in heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so

you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of

evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the

body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the

peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be

fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the

shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.

Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of

the Spirit, which is the word of God.

— Ephesians 6:11-17 NLT


Last month we looked at the need to put on God’s armor to stand firm against the wicked schemes that the evil one has planned against us. You can’t use worldly weapons to fight a spiritual battle. The Bible says, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Cor. 10:4) The reason they are powerful is because they are, in fact, God’s nature and character. When we reflect the image of God it is because we are becoming more like Him in our nature and character. What is the armor that we have been commanded to wear? It is Christ Jesus Himself. When we put on Christ, we truly can stand against every strategy of the devil.

It has been taught that the apostle Paul was using the equipment of a Roman soldier as his model to talk about God’s armor. However, Isaiah the prophet, who wrote hundreds of years before the Roman empire was born, uses almost all of the same words for the full armor when talking about God. “He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head…and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. (full armor)” (Isaiah 59:17)

There are many parts to the armor of God. This month we take a look at the first three — truth, righteousness, and the good news of peace. The only way to be able to stand firm entirely is to have been fully equipped with God’s armor in place. Without these firmly in place, the evil one has options available to push us off our devotion to God and dedication to His will being done in our lives.

Truth, Righteousness, and Peace. Where do these come from? They come from God.

All truth comes from God because God is truth. That doesn’t mean that a person who does not know God is incapable of understanding things that are true as opposed to false. What it does mean is that truth is not an abstract concept. Truth is a person. We know what is true because Jesus Christ is truth. He said that He is “the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)

Righteousness comes from God because God is righteous. “He is holy.” We know what is right because God is right. He is the standard by which we understand righteousness. Peace comes from God because God is peace. Peace is not the absence of war. Peace is in the presence of God.

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having tightly wrapped your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having perfectly fitted your feet with the preparedness of the good news of peace;” (Ephesians 6:13-15, NCAV)

illustration of a Golden armor High resolution 3d


The waist area which especially needs strength is the lumbar area up until the 5th vertebrae. A belt was wrapped tightly around the lower waist in order to give the ability to exert maximum pressure. When lifters are moving heavy furniture they have a belt that they wrap tightly around themselves in order to keep safe and to do the heavy lifting. The lumbar region is especially vulnerable to injury when a large force is exerted.

Figuratively, this phrase means “to be ready for anything.” To be ready for the attacks of the evil one, we must have truth firmly wrapped around our areas of vulnerability. We cannot have a casual approach to the study and application of God’s word and still be prepared for the evil assaults which come our way. We must tightly wrap the word of truth around us.

The phrase “having tightly wrapped your waist with truth” is actually an imperative command. Too often we treat the learning and application of God’s word passively. In order to be ready we cannot be passive. There are two ways in which we can be actively prepared. The first is to be an active listener during Sabbath morning messages. An active listener recognizes this truth — that the Lord has something that He wants us to apply to our lives through His word. As it says in James, “Do not merely listen to the word; do what it says.” We should be asking the Lord each Sabbath morning for at least one action step that He wants us to put into practice. The Lord is our shepherd. He has a plan to lead us to green pastures and still waters. We should anticipate His leadership and be ready to apply what He gives us.

The second way we can be actively prepared is to talk with others about God’s word. There is a large difference between the listening that goes on during a sermon and the conversation about the Bible that takes place in a small group study. We cannot expect to be prepared with truth to the same level if we are not talking about it and studying it and applying it with others. When we are challenged to put God’s word into our own words the impact is huge. It is a joy to worship with others in a large group. This is an important part of being a part of God’s body of believers. However, from the beginning God’s people have met in homes or smaller groups to learn, to fellowship, to worship, to pray, and to be led by the Spirit. When we are missing out on these smaller gatherings it impacts our ability to be prepared with truth.


Just like body armor which protects a soldier’s vital organs, righteousness protects our heart or the core of who we are in Jesus. Righteousness has a two-part meaning. The first is the righteousness of Christ which is given by faith to those who trust Christ alone for salvation from sin and its consequences. This righteousness is absolute. It is 100% purity due to the fact that Jesus was without sin. Some don’t believe that it is possible to impart righteousness, but the Bible is clear in its teaching. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21) God’s righteousness cannot be reached through human effort. In fact, “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.” (Is. 64:6) In order to be protected from the attacks of evil, we need to be given God’s righteousness, and this comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)

The second meaning of righteousness is doing what is right. Although we in our human ability cannot be 100% righteous, we know that there are right things to do and wrong things. It is right to tell the truth. It is right to honor our father and mother. It is right to keep the Sabbath holy. When we value and honor God’s standard of righteousness, we understand what is the right thing to do.

We live in a spiritual battlefield. Our heart, which is the central core of what guides our life, is constantly under attack. Proverbs gives this wise advice, “Guard your heart, it is the wellspring of your life.” The evil one seeks to move us toward accepting and living by a human standard of righteousness instead of God’s timeless standard. We are prone to slide into using the world’s definition of right and wrong. We need to keep God’s righteousness firmly in place so that our hearts can be kept from gravitating toward human standards of righteousness.

The Good News of Peace

The footwear of a soldier provides a solid foundation on which to fight. Firm footing is essential to standing firm in the middle of a struggle. In the same way the good news which leads us to a relationship with God is the foundation upon which our new life is founded. True peace can only be found through Christ who is the Prince of Peace. The fruit of the Spirit of peace is the overflow of peace that comes from the presence of the source of peace, God himself. The Bible says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)

We can only stand firm when the foundation upon which we stand is secure. Is your foundation secure? Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you were to die today that you would be with Jesus forever? Are you 100% sure? The good news is that you can be sure. You don’t have to wonder about it. You don’t have to try and guess whether or not you measure up to God’s standard. You don’t! But you don’t have to be 100% righteous and holy in order to know your relationship with God is secure now and into eternity. Jesus can be your righteousness. You can have peace of mind today by knowing that you have been made righteous or justified by faith in Jesus. Your peace of mind comes from being at peace with God when the Prince of Peace enters your life. 1 John 5:11-12 states, “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.”

This is a paradox. The gospel of peace brings preparedness to stand firm in our struggle against the evil one. “It is the appropriation of the gospel of peace which makes one ready for war.” (p.449, WBC, Lincoln) The peace of God is powerful. “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20)

Stand Firm

How can we stand firm against the work of the evil one in our lives and in our time? We must actively clothe ourselves with truth, righteousness, and the good news

of peace. We cannot stand firm by using the tactics of the evil one but instead must learn to resist according to the weapons of God’s fighting. In Him we are strong. In Him we overcome all of the strategies of the evil one.

Clip to Evernote