Pastor Barry Robinson

Letters to the Camberwell Congregation from Pastor Barry Robinson

Be Strong In The Lord


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January 2011

Dear Church Family,

According to John Stott, William Girnall, a Puritan minister, wrote a treatise explaining Ephesians 6:10-20 in 1655, which he called:

“The Christian in Complete Armour”.

It had a sub-title which went like this:

“The saint's war against the Devil, wherein a discovery is made of that grand enemy of God and his people in his policies, power, seat of his empire, wickedness and chief design he hath against the saints, a magazine opened from whence the Christian is furnished with spiritual arms for the battle, helped on with his armour, and taught the use of his weapon, together with the happy issue of the whole war.”

And that's just the sub-title!

In his dedication of the book to his parishioners, he modestly refers to himself as their “poor and unworthy minister”, and to his treatise as “but a mite, and a little present” to them.

This “mite and little present” ran to 3 volumes, 261 chapters, and 1,472 pages, and it only explained 11 verses!

Well, we'll be looking at these 11 verses over the next few weeks, but I think I can confidently promise you that it will be a lot shorter!

Prison shrivels some people. They can be corrupted, broken, and even destroyed by the experience. But occasionally others, like Nelson Mandela, seem to grow in stature and vision while in prison.

Paul seems to fit into the latter category.

The breadth of the vision of his letter to the Ephesians, which was written in some kind of prison cell, is staggering.

He is able to look up into the heavenly realms to see things from that perspective, he looks back into history to see how God's purposes are worked out through time, and he can still look out on the ordinary practicalities of life - He has not lost touch.

In the build-up to the verses we are going to look at together you will notice in the NIV that the section headings are about everyday things:

  • “Wives and Husbands”
  • “Children and Parents”
  • “Slaves and Masters”

It’s about the home and the workplace, everyday living, leading to these urgent commands for the everyday Christian:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on that full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10-12).

There is no hint in this writing that this spiritual warfare is for the few, for the elite troops, for “SAS Christians”. It's for each and every Christian: Wives and husbands, children and parents, bosses and employees.

We are all in a spiritual warfare we can't duck.

So in this upcoming series of sermons entitled “Be strong in the Lord” let’s get to our battle stations and prepare to engage the enemy.

With love in Jesus’ name,

Barry Robinson

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“Be Strong In The Lord”

Sermon Series: Ephesians 6:10–20

Christ centred, Bible based, Holy Spirit enabled teaching, to the glory of God the Father.

When the sermon is online the title will become a link to the audio.

  1. Know your Enemy (Ephesians 6:10-12)
    Saturday 8th January 2011
  2. Know your Armour (Ephesians 6:11-17)
    Saturday 15th January 2011
  3. Know your Weapons (Ephesians 6:13-17)
    Saturday 22nd January 2011
  4. Know how to put on your armour and how to use your weapons (Ephesians 6:18-20)
    Saturday 29th January 2011

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