This morning we’ll try live blogging Ramez and Rebecca Atallah on Ephesians 6:10-24. Internet has been a bit inconsistent so apologies if it drops out, and as usual apologies for spelling etc.
Worship starts with As we pray.
Now reading the whole of Ephesians!
The theme is “therefore stand …” so we’re going to pray for those Christians in China.
Now into a time of worship – King of Kings and Lords of Lords – along with a collection and introducing the band.
Onto another video on bible poverty, with a young man giving testimony on how he came to faith in his school in 1992, and now helping to pastor.
Michel Kenmonge: the UN adapted the millenium goals, the church needs to play its part in these goals, but Bible poverty is both temporal and eternal is more important. The UN won’t take responsbility for biblical poverty – we’re God’s people, it is our responsibility to share the treasure of scripture. We need a commitment to bible use, preventing the gospel in a relevant way. We’re now going to look at five ways to end bible poverty:
- Scripture in church
- Scripture in evangelism
- Scripture in society
- Scripture access
- Scripture and the next generation
David is now on stage, asking us to do our observation on Ephesians 6 in our Table Groups.
Ramez and Rebecca Atallah could speak in French or Arabic but have agreed English. They’ve prepared together but due to constraints on time Ramez will mainly lead.
In the late 1970s Lindsey Brown was at an all-night prayer meeting for Operation Mobilisation, with the need for another ship. YWAM had been about to buy a ship but the deal fell through, the leadership decided to give it to OM instead! This morning we’re looking at partnership.
Today we’re going to look at spiritual warfare, too often however in response to spiritual attack we use the world’s weapons rather than God’s. This passage helps us to identify our true enemies and how we deal with them.
10-13 Our responsibility
Whilst these powers are from God, the initative is ours. If you’re sleeping just listen to this: Be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ, I don’t want you to be weaklings, so put on the whole armour of God to stand against the devil.
Phil. 1:15 Paul saw people all across Asia who abandoned him, the armour of God is the only thing we can use to stand firm. Many Christians struggle with this and either lose the wonder of the cross or completely give up on faith. We’re going to take two minutes in silent prayer to remember those.
v. 12 we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but we need to remember that the church of God includes many more than those we include as evangelical. We have seen a number of spiritual attacks this week but none have succeeded.
In 1982 in a village in Cairo everyone lived on the same level – animals, sleeping, cooking, living. No facilities in communites except drugs and alcohol. Nominally Christian but see themselves as garbage. Now a very different place with schools, community centres, churches. How did this change happen in under 30 years. The Holy Spirit used one simple lay man who told them “God loved them”. Soon there were enough believers, and the Coptic church built a church. As the people continued to change they were turned inside out by the Holy Spirit, not focussed on booze and drugs but community. Changes included building a school, developing great recycling projects. They then discovered caves under the village which is now one of the best church’s in the Middle East seatign 20,000. Father Simon’s favourite verse is 1 Cor 1:27. Continuing to build community across generations.
14-20 God’s weapons
If we’re not convinced about truth we can’t fight. Righteousness as we spoke about last night, and shoes of peace – grace. The congress is an example of walking the talk – watching stewards etc. work.
Execrising faith is our part, faith that trusts in God, faith that gives us vision, faith that gives us courage to risk. We receive God’s offer of helmet of salvation.
Resources to keep us on our way: word and prayer. Making the Bible accessible has been key in Egypt, but it’s not just the word. It’s about praying:
- in all occassions
- for all people
- in different kinds of prayer
Paul askes us to pray for him, he asks us to pray for him to be bold. Paul’s passion to the last day was God’s calling from him to declare the gospel. Is it your passion?
(They finished bang on time – very impressive!)
Special time of prayer as a table group – Alexis one of our team has just left.