Standing FirmRev. Philip Miller | August 6, 2023
Selected highlights from this sermon
Supernatural evil does exist, and Satan’s operations are far more subtle than we might expect. Therefore, the apostle Paul tells us to put on the “whole armor of God.” But what is the “armor of God”?
In this message, Pastor Miller walks us through the reason for the armor, the function of the armor, and the source of the armor. He also encourages us to stand firm in our Gospel identity because the “whole armor of God” is already ours in Christ—we have what we need to fight off Satan’s attacks.
Today we come to our final message in a letter to the Ephesians in a series we’ve been going through. And in case you have forgotten it is, in fact, a letter. And like a lot of correspondence, it closes with words of warmth and pragmatics. Paul wants to make sure the Ephesian church knows that he’s all right, that the people with him are doing well, even though he is in prison. He encourages them to direct their questions to the courier of the letter, a guy named Tychicus who is well-informed and up to date. And then Paul closes out with a brief but meaningful benediction, signing off with a prayer in his customary style.
But before Paul wraps everything up in this letter, he gives one final charge to the Ephesian believers to stand firm in the faith, and to do so, he uses the imagery of a Roman soldier armed for battle as an analogy of the spiritual protection that is ours in Jesus Christ. In verse 11 he says, “Put on the whole armor of God.”
Now growing up in church, this was one of my all-time favorite Bible lessons because this was flannelgraph gold. How many of you remember those flannelgraphs? How many have no idea what a flannelgraph is? Oh, you are missing out. This was a technological breakthrough like you cannot even imagine. A felt board with felt pieces on it. You had all the layers with the different armor that was stacked on top, and you could visualize the whole thing.
When I was in middle school, one of our youth leaders even dressed up in the full armament of God, you know like a Roman centurion in total cosplay glory, and it was amazing. But this passage isn’t just for kids. It’s for all of us. And so, let’s jump in and discover what the armor of God is all about.
Grab your Bibles. We’re going to be in Ephesians, chapter 6, looking at verses 10 down to 24 as we finish out the book this morning. This is page 979 in the pew Bible if you want to grab that and join us. Ephesians, chapter 6, verses 10 down to 24.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
“So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.
“Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.”
Thanks be to the Lord for the reading of His Word.
So, this morning I want to zero in on this armor of God and we’re going to see the reason for the armor, why we need it; the function of the armor, how it works; and the source of the armor, where it’s from. Okay? The reason, function, and source of the armor in this passage.
So, first of all, the reason for the armor. Before we jump in would you bow your heads? Let’s pray. Let’s give our time to the Lord.
Father, we are vulnerable and weak, and we need more than anything to know that you fight for us. We need your strength. We need your protection. And so, Father, as we consider all that you have done for us in Jesus Christ to arm us against the enemy, help us to rest in and stand firm in what you’ve given us. We pray this in Christ’s name. And all of God’s people said? Amen. Amen.
So, the reason for the armor, why we need it. The reason for the armor. Verse 10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” So, Paul’s final charge here is, “Be strong.” Not in yourself, not in the strength of your own might, but in the Lord, in the strength of His might. He’s saying, “I want you to get ready.” Brace yourselves! Courage! He’s readying us for battle.
Now you’ll recall from our earlier studies in Ephesians, chapter 2, that there are three deadly enemies that are coming against our souls: the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world, the flesh, and the devil, and these three are conspiring always against us, against God’s people. So, the world is exerting pressure to make us go with the flow of ungodliness in the culture. The flesh is our own sinful desires that are enslaving us. And the devil and his minions are supernatural powers hellbent on destroying God’s children.
And in Ephesians, chapter 2, Paul told us that when we were dead in our transgressions and sins, we were at the mercy of those three enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil. But now that we are alive in Christ, we’ve been set free. We’re liberated. Instead of the world, we’re now part of the family of God, the church. We’ve been brought into a new shaping environment. Instead of the flesh, we now have the Spirit alive and dwelling within us, filling us. We have new inner desires, spiritual desires, from Him. We’re under the influence of the Spirit.
So that takes care of the world and the flesh, but what about the devil? What about the devil, Paul? How does Christ set us free from the influence and oppression of the devil? Verse 11, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
So here you have the devil, the evil one, Satan himself, who is scheming, who is prowling, who is menacing and plotting against us. If you think the world you can see is full of peril, [chuckles] the dangers of the unseen world are legion.
Verse 12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heaven places.”
So, Satan and his minions are hellbent on destroying all that God holds dear, and most of all, that means God’s children. They wield their power in this present darkness, and it is against them that we are wrestling. The idea here is that we’re actually under attack. Did you know that? Did you know there’s a war on? And Paul’s call is to hold our ground, to stand firm, to defend our position.
Now lest we think this is only a defensive stance, look down at verse 18b down to 20: “Keep alert with all perseverance,” Paul writes, “making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Paul concludes this paragraph, and he’s on the offense. Do you see this? He’s on the offense. The Gospel is going forth and it’s taking ground, and Paul says, “Pray, that I might be bold to proclaim the good news, even while I am in chains. I may be in chains, but Satan is in tremors because the Gospel is going forth with power. Christ will build His church as He promised, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
So, it’s both defense and offense, but the bottom line here is that the reason for the Armor is that we are embroiled in a spiritual battle. We are embroiled in a spiritual battle. In fact, that’s why we need it. That’s why we need the armor. We are embroiled in a spiritual battle.
Now at this point, we ought to take some advice from our good friend, C.S. Lewis, in the Screwtape Letters. Listen to what he writes. It’s a bit of a warning.
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race, humans, can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased with both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”
Do you see the wisdom in Lewis’ warning? There’s real danger in seeing the demonic everywhere and being overwrought about it. And there’s equal danger in seeing it nowhere and being underprepared for it. And the Bible tells us that supernatural evil does exist, and its operations are far more subtle than sometimes we think.
I mean, just look at the words that are used for Satan, the devil here. It’s the word diabolos. It’s the noun form of a verb which means to lie or to slander. Satan, another word for “satan (sah-tahn).” It means the accuser. Jesus calls him the “father of lies” in John, chapter 8. In Revelation 12 he’s called the deceiver.
Think back to when Satan took down Adam and Eve when the serpent tempted them in the garden. How did he do it? With lies. He lied to them: “You won’t surely die. You’ll be like God. God’s withholding from you. Just give into your desires. It’s good for you. Be happy!” And all these years later, he really hasn’t changed his tactics. He’s a liar. He deals in lies. He attacks with lies, lies, and more lies. Those are the flaming darts that he is hurling at us. He’s hurling lies.
As Tim Keller once said, “Satan doesn’t leave fang marks on the flesh, but lies in the heart.” Satan doesn’t leave fang marks on the flesh, he leaves lies in the heart.
And there are two basic lies that Satan attacks us with. The first one is he lies to us to overinflate us. He strokes our pride and our ego. He tries to puff us up and make us arrogant and think the rules don’t apply to us, to give into sin. And after all, we deserve to be happy, to live life on our own. He’s tempting us, you see. There are lies of temptation.
The other set of lies he comes at us with are lies to deflate us, not to overinflate us, but to deflate us. He stokes our fears and our shame. He tells us we’re worthless and trash so that we try to cope and soothe ourselves and fall into sin and addiction. And he accuses us. You see that.
He accuses us; he tempts us. He accuses us; he over inflates us, and he deflates us. And both sets of lies are serving the same common purpose. They serve to drive us away from God, because pride makes us feel like we don’t need God, and fear makes us feel like we have to hide from God. And either way, we run away. And Satan’s lies drive a wedge between us and our Father.
And that’s what Satan’s after. He can’t defeat God in a head-to-head combat, so he’s a terrorist. He hijacks God’s kids, holds them ransom, and torments his soul as he destroys us. And what could be more effective than destroying God’s kids by turning them against God? It’s the ultimate play.
Do you recognize Satan’s tactics in your own life as you feel the temptations, the slander, the accusations, the lies that berate you? Do you sense this? On the one hand, Satan’s always trying to overinflate us, so we come crashing down. And on the other hand, he tries to deflate us so we can’t get up off the floor. And either way, he’s driving a wedge between us and God. That’s his plan of attack on your life.
So, what defenses do we have? What do we have in Christ that would shield us and protect us and defend us against such effective lies, such penetrating lies? How can we be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might? How do we stand firm? Well, that’s the reason for the armor. That’s the reason for the armor. We are embroiled in a spiritual battle. That’s why we need it.
Now let’s talk about the function of the armor, the function of the armor, how it works. Verse 13: “Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
In the bloody, hand-to-hand combat of the Roman world, you had to keep your feet in battle. You had to stand. If you go down, you’re dead. Right? You’re a goner. So standing firm in the heat of the battle amidst the onslaught was vital. Life or death. And in that kind of a combat, every piece of armor you were wearing mattered.
Now remember, Paul’s under house arrest, and so there are Roman guards everywhere. And so, he sees their armor up close and in person, and it reminds him of all the spiritual protections that God has furnished for His children that are ours in Christ Jesus, and so he’s going to walk through piece by piece, six pieces of armor in total. Let’s look at them.
Verse 14(a): “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth.” Now this belt was not like a belt that you would use to hold your pants up. Okay? This is not a thin leather strap. It is a leather sheathe that covers the midriff and the thighs, a big piece of leather that is wrapped around the core of your being. It is the base layer of protection that is foundational to all the other pieces of armor that are strapped on top.
He says that truth is the base layer of protection that you have against the lies of the evil one. Truth is your base layer protection. Remember the TRUTH of the Gospel, friends, that you are far more sinful than you ever dared realize, and yet, in Jesus Christ you are far more loved than you ever dared hope. Amen? Do you realize that that Gospel truth gives you humility and confidence at once because we are humble, because we know we’re sinners, and yet, we are confident because we know we are loved. And that base layer of humble confidence is precisely what we need to ward off the attacks of Satan’s lies.
When Satan tries to overinflate us to stroke our pride, he says, “You’re a good person, you’re better than most people. You don’t need a Savior like those people. You’re pretty good on your own. I bet God’s impressed with who you are.”
The truth of the Gospel comes in and says, “No, no, no, you’re far more sinful than you ever dared realize.” It humbles you down. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Our righteousness is but filthy rags before the holiness of God. And our only hope is salvation by grace through faith in Christ. Right? So when Satan comes in and tries to deflate you and stoke your fears, and says, “You’re a bad person, you’re beyond forgiveness, you’ve got to run and hide, God would never love you,” the truth of the Gospel comes in and reminds us, “No, no, no, in Jesus Christ you are far more loved than you ever dared hope,” because “This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins,” and “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
And don’t you see? The truth of the Gospel is a base layer of humble courage, an identity that is foundational to the protection against Satan’s lies. When the devil says you’re special, and entitled, and above the law, the truth says, “No, I’m a humble sinner whose only hope lies in the finished work of Jesus Christ.” And when the devil says you’re nobody, you’re worthless and a failure, the truth says you are loved, and accepted and treasured by the One person whose opinion matters in the end of the universe. That is the belt of truth. It is the base layer of your Gospel protection. Do you see that?
How about the breastplate of righteousness? Verse 14(b), “and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.” The breastplate was there to protect your vital organs, the core of your being. And Paul is saying, “At your core, you are covered by the righteousness of Christ.” At your core, you are covered by the righteousness of Christ. When the devil says, “You know, you’re better off than most people. You are more moral, more upstanding. You deserve some credit. Surely that will impress God. A little self-righteousness doesn’t hurt anybody,” true righteousness says, “There is only one who is righteous, Jesus Christ, and I am covered by the righteousness that only His grace can provide.” And when the devil says, “You’re a dirty rotten sinner; surely God won’t forgive you now,” righteousness says, “God made Him, who knew no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God, and I stand in Christ and Christ alone.”
That’s the breastplate of righteousness. At the core, we are protected and covered by the righteousness of Christ.
Verse 15: “And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” The Gospel of peace! What are these shoes? These are spiked cleats for grip and nimbleness in battle. Remember, if you go down, you’re dead. You’ve got to keep your feet, your stance, and the Gospel of peace helps us keep our grip and keep moving forward. The Gospel of peace helps us keep our grip and keep moving forward. When the devil says, “Peace is circumstantial. Happiness means getting your own way. Just look how hard the way of Jesus is. Don’t you want to follow your heart and find a little peace and happiness on your own terms in this life?” The Gospel of peace says, “No, the Prince of Peace denied Himself and picked up His cross and in love gave Himself up so that I might have peace with God, so I will take up my cross and I will follow Him. I will follow my Prince of Peace into the peace that passes all understanding, for in my darkest moments His presence is mine.”
And when the devil says, “You’ve blown it again; God will never forgive you; you’ve forfeited peace for the last time,” the Gospel of peace says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and if we will confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The Gospel of peace reminds us that “Jesus paid it all,” and that our sins are covered past, present, and future. They are as far as the east is from the west so far have then been removed from us. And He himself is our peace now and forever. [applause]
You see, the Gospel of peace helps us keep our grip and keep moving forward. Verse 16: “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” So, this shield (You’ve seen the Roman shield, the big ones with the curved surfaces so that they lock together in tortoise formations, and all that stuff? That’s the shield here. It was wood, covered with leather stretched over the surface. They soaked it in water because enemies would fire flaming arrows and darts at them, and the water would extinguish those flaming missiles.
And so, as the evil one sends his flaming lies at us, a fire with a blaze of hell, that the shield of faith blocks and extinguishes those lies. It is faith. So, when the devil says, “Be your own person; you’re enough, you do you,” faith says, “My only hope lies in Christ alone. My faith is in the Faithful One and He alone is enough.”
And when the devil says, “Your faith is weak, you don’t really believe, you’re a fraud, a fake,” faith says, “It’s not the amount of faith that matters, but the object of faith that counts.” Jesus saves, not because I am trusting Him completely but because He is completely trustworthy.
He is faithful when I am faithless. It is the shield of faith, blocking and extinguishing Satan’s fiery and far-flung lies.
17(a): “And take up the helmet of salvation.” Helmets protect the head and the face. Paul is saying, “It is Christ’s salvation that will enable you to keep your head.” [chuckles] It is Christ’s salvation that will enable you to keep your head. When the devil says, “Save yourself,” salvation says, “Christ alone is my saving grace.” When the devil says, “You’re beyond saving,” salvation says, “Christ alone is my saving grace.” It is the helmet of salvation that enables you to keep your head.
17(b): “And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” This is not the longsword but the short-handled, double-sided sword that they used in close combat, tucked in the tunic. It is the sword of the Spirit, the sword of the Spirit.
So, the first thing we know about the sword is that it is empowered by the Holy Spirit. The second thing he says is, “The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.” The Word of God! So, the spiritual sword, the Spirit-empowered sword is the Word of God. So, we have Word and Spirit, and then we have prayer also.
Prayer! Look at how the sentence flows into verse 18. Think past the parenthesis when he says, “which is the word of God.” Just take that out for a second. “Take up the sword of the Spirit, praying at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and supplication.” So, the sword of the Spirit is Spirit-empowered prayer. So, you put all this together. The sword is essentially Spirit-empowered praying of the Word of God. Spirit-empowered praying of the Word of God. The Word of God on your lips, in your heart, being offered in prayer so that you come to believe it and you know that it is true. So, when the devil lies and says— You know, he attacks you, you are to parry those blows, those jabs by Spirit-empowered prayers of the promises and truths of the Word of God, because the Word of God, friends, tells you who you are in Christ. And the Spirit of God is reminding you who you are in Christ. And in prayer, you’re confessing out loud who you are in Christ.
So, when Satan’s lies stab in your direction, overinflating you or deflating you, it is the Spirit-empowered prayers of the Word of God who answer with the truths of who we are. That though we are far more sinful than we ever dared realize, in Jesus Christ, we are far more loved than we ever dared hope, humble and courageous at once. Buried in the dust and yet raised to the skies!
Friends, don’t you see we are armored with a Gospel identity? We are armored with a Gospel identity. That’s what all of these pieces of armor are about. That’s what all of these pieces of armor are all about. We are in Christ, utterly and completely. He is our truth! He is our righteousness! He is our peace! He is the Faithful One in whom our faith is placed. He is our salvation. He has sealed us with His Spirit. He has given us His Word and promises. He invites us to pray in His name.
We are armored with a Gospel identity of being in Christ! That is the function of the armor, you see. It’s how it works. You are in Christ.
So, we’ve seen the reason for the armor and why we need it. We are embroiled in a spiritual battle. We’ve seen the function of the armor, how it works. Our souls are armored with a Gospel identity.
And now let’s talk about the source of the armor, where it’s from. The source of the armor! Twice in this passage Paul tells us exactly where this armor is from in verses 11 and 13. He says, “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Verse 13: “Take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand firm.” So, this is the armor of God. It’s God’s armor. Did you know that God has armor? God has armor. He does.
If you go to the Old Testament, in a number of places, God is depicted as what is called “the Divine Warrior,” the Divine Warrior who fights, who goes into battle on behalf of His people. For example, in Exodus when the Hebrew people are coming out of Egypt, they go through the Red Sea. Remember that big scene as the waters come and flood out Pharaoh’s chariots, and there’s a song that Miriam, Moses’s sister, sings to the Lord on behalf of the people, and she celebrates God, the Divine Warrior who has strode out into battle, and has been invincible, and defeated Pharoah and his armies, and rescued the people of God, and brought them to safety on the other side. The Divine Warrior has won our battle.
We see it again in a number of places, but in Isaiah— Isaiah picks up this theme of the Divine Warrior who strides out as Israel needs God to once again go into battle against their enemies. They are looking forward to this.
Listen to how Isaiah describes God as the Divine Warrior.
Isaiah 11, verses 4 and 5: “Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist and faithfulness the belt of his loins.”
Isaiah 59:17: “He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head.”
Now, isn’t that fascinating? Isn’t that fascinating? When God strides out into battle to go against the forces of darkness to defend and to rescue His people, how does He array Himself? What does He arm Himself with? Righteousness, faithfulness, salvation! And what makes this Divine Warrior invincible on the battlefield is the imperviousness of His own divine character. Satan cannot find a chink in God’s flawless character. There are no gaps to exploit. That’s why God wins all His battles.
And now, now (Watch this.) Paul says, “God has given you His own armor. He has clad you— ” We are clad in the armament of God’s own character. We are clad in the armament of God’s own character, which means the forces of darkness cannot touch you. They cannot touch you. You are covered by the flawless character of God Himself. The Divine Warrior has clad His own people in His very own armor, which means Satan has no dominion over you. He cannot pierce you. He cannot stab you. He cannot kill you [applause] because, as Jesus said, “Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.” Friends, you are perfectly safe, now, and forever in Christ alone. Your life is hidden in Him.
And now just think with me for a moment. Think what it cost Christ to clothe you with this armor. If this armor is so impenetrable, how come Christ got pierced and stabbed and died on the cross? He wasn’t wearing it. He was not wearing the armor on that day. Rather than keeping that armor for Himself, so that evil couldn’t touch Him, Jesus shed his armor. He hung naked on the cross, and He allowed evil to pierce Him through so that you and I might be clothed in the armor of God.
He became vulnerable and pierceable and stab-able and killable so that you and I might be forever protected by His own flawless character and righteousness so that the schemes of lies of the evil one might never penetrate us. Christ disarms Himself before the enemy so that He might arm us forever against the enemy. [applause]
“He who knew no sin became sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus hung naked so that you might wear His armor. He became vulnerable so that you might become invulnerable. He died so that you might live.
You see, He’s your substitute in every way, so stand firm in your Gospel identity, friend. Stand firm in your Gospel identity. Friends, all this armor— It’s already yours in Jesus Christ. He’s your truth, He’s your righteousness. He’s your peace. He’s your faithfulness. He’s your salvation. He’s your Spirit. He’s your word. But you have to step into it. You’ve got to put it on. It’s all yours. And yet it’s another thing to step out into it, to embrace it, to make it your own.
Paul is saying, “Stand firm in the Gospel identity that is already yours in Jesus Christ. Step out into who you are already in Jesus Christ. I want you to walk in a manner that is worthy of the calling that you’ve been called to. I want you to be imitators of God because you are beloved children of God. I want you to walk in love as Christ loved you and gave Himself up for you, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to the Lord. I want you to put off your old ways, your old self. I want you to be renewed by the Spirit in your minds. I want you to put on your new self in Jesus Christ. I want you to be filled with the Holy Spirit, under His control and mastery. I want you to put on the armor of God. Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.”
Do you realize all those statements, they are all just different ways of saying the same thing? I want you to act like yourself, the person you really are in Jesus Christ, not your old self, your new self. And you have everything you need for life and godliness. Jesus has given it all to you. The Spirit indwells you. Your Father is showing you the way. You are in Christ, and Christ is in you. Don’t you dare let the world tell you who you are. Don’t you dare let your flesh tell you who you are. Don’t you dare let the devil tell you who you are. Let Christ, and Christ alone, tell you who you are. [applause]
The divine life of God has fallen like a seed into the old decaying stump of our former lives, and it is rooted there, and it’s sprouted and growing, and it is slowly taking over everything.
And so, Paul says let that be your new life. Act like yourself. Stand firm in your Gospel identity, this new life that has come to life in you. Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. You are alive in Christ. Now live like it. Live like it.
And then Paul says, “Peace be to you, brothers and sisters, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. Amen.”
Let’s pray. [applause]
Oh Father, what you have done to secure us, to reinforce us, to protect us, is amazing. That Christ would lay down His life to give us life is beyond our imagination. Who would have ever thought? And yet it is so, for the Good News is that Jesus died in our place and for our sake, that He bore all of our sin and shame, that He rose again to make us right with you forever.
And so, Father, we admit that we are sinners far from you. We believe that Christ has done everything to make us right with God, that if we respond to Him in faith, we can be made alive in Him forever, and we commit our lives to Him, saying, “Here we are. Be our Savior, be our Lord, be our King, be our Armor, be our everything. We stand in Christ and Christ alone. He is our only hope.” And so, we stand firm in who we are in Jesus Christ. Help us to act like ourselves.
We pray this for Jesus’ sake. And all of God’s people said, “Amen.” Amen.