From the Pulpit of a Holiness Preacher
An email newsletter ministry of Richard D. Swift, publishing the sermons of Rev Reed A Swift (1899-1973), a holiness preacher
The following sermon was preached in the Free Methodist Churches in Yale, Ball, and Buel (circuit), Michigan; Smith Creek Camp, Port Huron, Midland, and Caro, Michigan; Glendale, California; Cottage Grove, Oregon; W.Hollywood, California; Winsboro (seekers at the altar), Jonesville, Summerville, Martha's Chapel, Pinegrove, Acme (2 seekers for holiness), New Hope, and Antioch (4 seekers for holiness), Louisiana; Grand Bay, Alabama; Holum, Louisiana; Erie and Maple Dale, Pennsylvania; Lakeland and Miami (altar service), Florida; W.Monroe (March '43), New Orleans (3 sanctified- April '43), and Provencal (3 seeking holiness), Louisiana; Rockwall, Texas; Lismore and Jena ('44), Loisiana; Pomona, California ('45) and Mira Loma, California ('50); and in the Bible Missionary Churches of Cucamonga ('60) and Pomona (Sept '64 & July 11 '65), California.
Ephesians 6 and II Timothy 2:4
First of all, there is not much life in the church today. "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life."- II Timothy 2:4 A man going to war bids his loved ones farewell and leaves all his trinkets behind and takes on him the uniform and armor of the country he is fighting for. And if it be for Uncle Sam, he does just what Uncle Sam tells him to.
So in fighting the good fight of faith for Jehovah God, we must "lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us and run with patience the race that is set before, looking unto Jesus, the Author and finisher of our faith". And "Take on the whole armour of God", the leader of the country we are fighting for. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places(as churches going in with Catholics)". But, thank God, "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty to the tearing down of strongholds of sin". Glory Hallelujah!
We need the armour on as satan comes as an angel of light or sometimes as a roaring lion with seven devils with him.
1. He comes to the young, whom if he hears singing, "Jesus lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly, while the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high", then the devils flee! Praise God!
2. He comes to the middle aged, and if he hears them praying to God, "Thy yoke is easy and thy burden is light, I find it so, I find it so. He leadeth me by day and by night where living waters flow", the devils fear and flee!
3. He comes to the old aged, and if he hears them quoting "Rock of ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee", the devils fear and flee!
God does not train His soldiers in tents of ease and luxury, but on forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford streams, swim rivers, climb mountains, and walk many weary miles with a heavy knapsack on your back. A man climbing mountains has to leave uneccessary weights behind.
V. 14 (1)"Stand with loins girt" (to serve) "with truth and
(2)breastplate of righteousness". To guard your heart and keep your affections in Christ and Christ in your affections.
V. 15 (3)"And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace" (for the journey of life). Have your feet going in paths of peace and to make peace.
V.16 (4)"Above all, taking the shield of faith' (For defensive warfare). "Wherewith ye shall be able quench the fiery darts of the wicked." And he shoots too! Sometimes we have to stand still and just keep guard.
V.17 (5)"And take the helmit of salvation" (protection for your head). Do you know we need protection for our heads quite often/ When the devil trys to shoot some foolish notion into our head or give us the big head or something like that or some crazy notion thinking we can do things better than someone else.
(6)"And the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God" (this is for offensive warfare). We can go right after the devil and his crowd with the Sword of the Spirit and come off victorious. Lots of church members don't liker to get hit in the heart with the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
V.18 & 19- Then pray for directions from the Captain of our salvation. Lots of people use a sword but it isn't in the Spirit of Christ, nor is it the Word of God. But Paul prayed that God would direct him in using the sword. Hallelujah!
V.20- "For which I am an ambassador in bonds" (or a true representative of Christ still with his country's uniform on). Glory to God! Paul is an ambassador in bonds or a true representative of Jesus Christ. What is an ambassador?
(1) A person sent from one sovereign power to another to represent his own country and is sent by the king or ruling power.
(2) He should be a true representative of that country who sent him.
(3) He is governed by the laws of the country who sends him and not by those of the country to which he goes.
(4) But if he offends, he may be brought to trial and sent back.
(5) His own personal thoughts should not be pressed. He is just an oracle to say what his country told him to.
Now: (1) As Christian ambassadors, we should represent the Person of Christ.
(2) As citizens of Heaven, "Let your light so shine that others seeing your good works may glorify Him", your King in Heaven.
(3) In your person, you should attire yourself as to conform to the customs of the country from which you are sent. Are you here to help people get to Heaven? Then act like it and look like it. A Chinaman comes to this country and he acts like a Chinaman and he looks like a Chinaman.
(4) Speak words given you to speak even if it causes war, as it did with Paul. They may put you in prison, but you may get whaled worse than Jonah if you don't.
(5) Take impressions of the people back; tell the conditions.
(6) Christ sends you to His enemies.
(7) You are sent with entreaties- not how many I have gotten saved, but have I done my duty?
(8) If we donot faithfully represent Christ we will be dissappointed.
(9) Christ promises success. Don't get discouraged. Obey and then you will succeed. Give Christ a chance and just obey. "He that winneth souls is wise".
Doing a small part spreading Scriptural Holiness,
Richard D. Swift