Stone's Hill Community Church
Letters from Prison - Ephesians
Our series is called "Letters from Prison" - which is a study of Paul's prison epistles or letters. We've covered Philippians and Philemon. Now, we look at Ephesians! Even though Paul is chained up in prison (Ephesians 6:20), he feels incredibly blessed—and he wants his Christian readers, then and now, to realize how incredibly privileged we are as well. This letter to the Ephesians is really nothing more than a description of the riches that we have in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul emphasized these riches a great deal: Ephesians 1:7 talks about the riches of His grace, at the end of the verse. Chapter 3:8 talks about the unsearchable riches of Christ. Chapter 3:16—the riches of His glory. So you have the riches of His grace, the riches of His glory and the riches of His Son. In other words, God is unloading all of His riches in the book of Ephesians. The vault is open! The word grace is used 12 times in this book. There are enough resources in heaven to… cover all past debts, present liabilities and future needs and still not diminish your account. That’s God’s plan. This letter is about that... and it's about us...Welcome to "Ephesians". And welcome to Stones Hill Community Church and Online Notes!
Locations & Times
  • Stone's Hill Community Church - Ligonier Main Campus
    151 W Stones Hill Rd, Ligonier, IN 46767, USA
    Saturday 12:05 PM
We welcome you to Stone's Hill today!

A typical Stone's Hill service has music (feel free to sing out); some announcements (things that are upcoming that you can be a part of); a message out of the Bible (God speaks to us through his Word); and an opportunity for you to respond to the message (either immediately in the case of a decision that needs to be made OR in the future as you live out the message in your life.)

So relax and enjoy your morning! We're so glad you are here!
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 6:10-20
How can we claim the reality of Christ’s victory over the darkness? How can we live in His authority? By understanding THREE things…

Three Things that Lead to Living in Christ's Authority
The Nature of Our Weapons
they’re spiritual and powerful

The Need for Our Weapons –
we have an enemy and an evil day to face

The Names of Our Weapons –
the weapons cover the whole body.


Four Things that Prepare You For Spiritual Warfare
There are FOUR things we need to do when we are facing spiritual warfare in our lives; four things to consider if you intend to activate your Christ-provided authority.

1. Acknowledge the adversary. Remember: There is an enemy. Satan is real (1 Peter 5:8-9). Why would God send his Son to fight what does not exist? The Bible says in 1 John 3:8, “ (NLT). When you’re being attacked, it’s proof that you’re a believer. The more you make an impact for God, the more the Devil is going to fight you. You never outgrow it; it just gets more intense.

2. Accept God-given authority. Remember: The victory has already been won. Most believers don’t understand about the authority they have against the Devil. Matthew 28:18-19 says we have all authority in Heaven and on Earth. Then Jesus says, “ (NIV). He transfers the authority to you and me. He does that because he’s given us a specific mission: sharing the message of Jesus as his ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).

3. Put on God’s armor. Remember: The enemy is not people. When Paul wrote about the whole armor of God in Ephesians 6:11-17, he was in prison chained to a Roman guard. Paul used the Roman centurion as a model for spiritual armor. Paul says that just as the Roman soldier was properly dressed to do battle, we also need to be dressed for battle. What is that battle? Prayer.

4. Aim the artillery at your thoughts. Remember: You yourself will be your own worst enemy. The battlefield for spiritual warfare is primarily in your thought life (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). The weapons God gives you to demolish arguments are truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and Holy Spirit. Take every thought captive!

The Devil's Subtle Strategy
Ephesians 6:11" can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (strategies)"

There are several self-protective strategies and coping mechanisms that we use (and that Satan uses) to deceive us:

Denial: I’m going to refuse to believe that this has happened or that this is really a problem.

Repression: A form of denial is repression – just not thinking about it and burying it.

Compartmentalize: I’ll be this way under these conditions; but I’ll morph back to a better me under other conditions. It results in a double life.

Displacement: You direct strong emotions and frustrations toward a person that doesn’t feel threatening.

Impulsive: Act-out on the fly without really thinking things through very well.

Isolation: I’ll stay home all the time even though I know being around others would be good for me.

Rationalization: I’m going to do something I probably shouldn’t do, but here’s how I’m going to justify it.

Distraction: I’ll just bury myself in work or self-soothe in some other thing: hours on a video game or social media; or binge watch TV; or eat tons of my favorite foods.

Hypersexuality: We convince ourselves that hypersexuality is actually just being in control of our own body and embracing who we are when sometimes it’s a negative coping skill and it leaves us empty and lonely and feeling unfulfilled.

Numbing: Bring on the drugs and alcohol and dope. Turning to substances is a common “numbing” strategy when coping with intense emotions. Drown out the pain and despair; anything for relief.

Control: Everything else feels out of control. I’ll find something I can control, like food or compulsive exercise, to give me a sense of stability. It doesn’t really deal with actual problems, but it feels better for a time.

Self-harm: Behind this is a very sneaky strategy of the devil – to get you to hate yourself, for what you’ve done, or that’s been done to you.

So, the goal is to recognize these strategies and to wean ourselves off of them AND to put on Christ as the ultimate protection against all fear. The Gospel is such an identity shaping message that it invites us to abandon our old attempts at self-protection. As we learn to rest in the love, acceptance and protection of our Father who loves us more than we love ourselves, we can abandon our weak attempts at self-protection. He has promised to make all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28). As we open up our souls, we will feel pain and know what it is to weep, but the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1) will be sharing our pain with us. We will also rejoice in new ways at new heights as we embrace the love of our Father and accept our divine calling to love God and others with a selfless love.
Praying The Warrior's Prayer
Lord God, I stand in your strength and in the power of your might. I recognize the devil’s schemes and I put on your full armor so that I can stand firm against all of his attacks.

The Belt of Truth
I stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around my waist. Lord, you said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) As I take my stand, I know that your love and your truth will always protect me (Psalm 40:11) and that your light and truth will guide me. ({Psalm 43:3) I ask you Holy Spirit, to guide me into all truth as Jesus promised. (John 16:13) I thank you that your word is truth. (John 17:17) I reject the lies, self-protective strategies and coping mechanisms in my life that the devil has hijacked to use for his nefarious purposes. The devil is a liar and the father of lies and there is no truth in him. (John 8:44) I will speak according to the truth, with weapons of righteousness in my right hand and my left. (2 Cor. 6:7)

The Breastplate of Righteousness
I stand with the breastplate of righteousness in place, not having a righteousness of my own, but the righteousness that comes from god and is by faith, (Philippians 3:8-9) for He who had no sin was made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21) I thank you that you are Jehovah Tsidkenu, The Lord our Righteousness. (Jeremiah 23:6) I will not let sin reign in my body, but I offer my body to you as an instrument of righteousness. (Romans 6:12-13) And I know that if I do sin, I have one who speaks to the father in my defense – Jesus Christ, the righteous one. (1 John 2:1) Satan, though you accuse me day and night, (Revelation 12:10) there is no condemnation for me (Romans 8:1) because the blood of Jesus purifies me from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

Readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace
My feet are fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. I praise you, Jehovah Shalom (Judges 6:24) that you bless your people with peace. (Psalm 29:11) Your gospel is of peace on earth, good will toward men (Luke 2:14 KJV) and I receive the peace that you offer me. (John 14:27) Lord, I trust in you and I will keep my mind steadfast on you (Isaiah 26:3) and in your peace I will lie down and no one will make me afraid. (Leviticus 26:6) Your peace rules in my heart, (Colossians 3:15) for you are not a God of disorder, but a God of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. (Romans 1:16) I am prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks me to give the reason for the hope that I have. (1 Peter 3:15) My feet will bring good news and proclaim peace. (Isaiah 52:7) Every place where I set my foot will be mine and no man will be able to stand against me. (Deuteronomy 11:24-25).

The Shield of Faith
I take up the shield of faith with which I can extinguish all of the flaming arrows of the evil one. O Lord, you are my shield, (Genesis 15:1) and through faith, I am shielded by your power (1 Peter 1:5) as I fight the good fight of faith. (1 Timothy 6:12) I will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. You will save me from the Fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. Your faithfulness will be my shield. A thousand may fall at my side, ten thousand at my right hand, but it will not come near me. I will trample the great lion and the serpent. (adapted from Psalm 91) I stand in the victory that has overcome the world, even my faith. (1 John 5:4)

The Helmet of salvation
Lord, I thank you that you are my salvation. (Psalm 35:3) May your salvation, O God, protect me. (Psalm 69:29) I put on the hope of salvation as a helmet (1 Thessalonians 5:8) I take on the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and I demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. I take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) I take my stand in the hope in which I am saved. (Romans 8:24) I abstain from sinful desires which war against my soul, (1 Peter 2:11) having this hope as an anchor for my soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19) I resist the increase of wickedness which makes the love of most grow cold, and I stand firm to the end and am saved. (Matthew 24:12-13)

The Sword of the Spirit
I take the sword of the spirit, which is the rhema word of God. Lord, your word will not return to you empty, but will accomplish what you desire and achieve the purpose for which you sent it. (Isaiah 55:11) Teach me to correctly handle the word of God. (2 Timothy 2:15) Lord, you have said that the tongue has the power of life and death. (Proverbs 18:21) Help me not to stumble in what I say, so that I can keep my whole body in check. (James 3:2) Your word is in my mouth and in my heart (Deuteronomy 30:14) and I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. (Psalm 17:3) Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord. (Psalm 141:3) Jesus, you fight your enemies with the sword that comes out of your mouth (Revelation 19:21) and you said that anyone who has faith in you will do what you do and even greater things. (John 14:12) Satan, you have been hurled down and we overcome you by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. (Revelation 12:10-11)

Dismissal Song

Chris Tomlin - Who You Are To Me (Lyric Video) ft. Lady A

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