Sermon Detail

Strength for the Journey The Gospel: Supreme and Foundational (Living with Convictional Courage)

July 09, 2023 | Buster Brown

“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,"  Ephesians 6:10-17

Some well meaning believers advocate for a monastic/Mennonite model of cultural disengagement (the abandonment of culture) but the biblical model is one of informed cultural engagement.

To be a person of Christ-honoring courage, we must be grounded in the gospel of grace. The understanding of the "non meritorious good news" instills in the child of God a sense of acceptance by the Lord, joy in daily living, joyful obedience and grateful/courageous living.

That therefore we must intentionally embrace the biblical model of spiritualilty as we live with intentionality in our present historical context.

Without an understanding of the gospel of imputed righteousness/grace alone through the work of Christ alone, we can fall into an external performance model which can lead to pride and arrogance or a defeatist model of guilt and despair.

Salvation by ‘imputed righteousness’, means that Christ’s perfect righteousness is put to my account, imputed to me, put upon me by God. And, looking at me, clothed in the righteousness of Christ, God pronounces me to be just a man, a righteous man; and the law cannot touch me. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1). The law has nothing to say against me because I am covered by this perfect, spotless righteousness of the Son of God Himself, and have on ‘the breastplate of righteousness.'”  D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Christian Soldier - An Exposition of Ephesians 6:10-20

“I am this day seventy years old, a monument of Divine mercy and goodness, though on a review of my life I find much, very much, for which I ought to be humbled in the dust; my direct and positive sins are innumerable, my negligence in the Lord’s work has been great, I have not promoted his cause, nor sought his glory and honour as I ought, not with-standing all this, I am spared till now, and am still retained in his Work, and I trust I am received into the divine favour through him.”  William Carey, (1761-1834), The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness


1. Every piece of the Christian armor in Ephesians 6:10 and following, involved the gospel.

2. In our daily walk, we must be constantly nourished by feeding on the gospel of grace. The gospel is the foundation of all of our beliefs and efforts. The gospel is the most important message we can hear because it alone provides both a proper motive and the only enduring motivation to respond to the Lord’s call to ongoing discipleship


“It is forgiveness that sets a man working for God. He does not work in order to be forgiven, but because he has been forgiven, and the consciousness of his sin being pardoned make hims long more for his entire removal than ever he did before…he can, he will, he must work for God. He has come into contact with that part of God’s character which warms his cold heart, forgiving love constrains him. He cannot but work for him who has removed his sins from him as far as the east is from the west. Forgiveness has made him a free man, and given him a new and most loving Master. Forgiveness, received freely from the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, acts as a spring, an impulse, a stimulus of divine potency. It is more irresistible than law, or terror or threat.”  Horatius Bonar, (1808-1889), God’s Way of Holiness (p. 51-52)

3. The gospel gives joy for the journey and strength in daily living. 

4. I must constantly build my life on my eternal acceptance and standing in my union with the living God through the blood of the cross.

Run, John, run, the law commands
But gives us neither feet nor hands,
Far better news the gospel brings:
It bids me fly and gives me wings
Attributed to John Bunyan, (1628-1688)

5. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

“The great difficulty with many Christians is that they cannot persuade themselves that Christ loves them; and the reason why they cannot feel confident of the love of God is, that they know they do not deserve his love, on the contrary, that they are in the highest degree unlovely. How can the infinitely pure God love those who are defiled with sin, who are proud, selfish, discontented, ungrateful, disobedient? This, indeed, is hard to believe.”  Charles Hodge, (1797-1878), Princeton Seminary

We must remember that our worst days are never so bad that they are beyond the reach of God’s grace found in Christ. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace found in the reality of Christ.

6. “Herd mentality” is reality. “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”  Proverbs 13:20

Verse for meditation: "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”  2 Corinthians 5:21