Choosing the Right Weapons 5/22/20

“And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods.” (Acts 19:26)

In the ancient city of Ephesus, there was a great temple to the goddess Artemis. In fact, this temple was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Crowds of people came to Ephesus to see the temple, to worship Artemis, and to purchase idols of Artemis. Demetrius, a silversmith, and many others earned a good living making and selling shrines and idols to the tourists and other worshipers.

Something happened that hurt Demetrius and the other idol makers in the pocketbook. Paul came preaching Jesus, telling people that idols made with hands are not gods, and people believed the gospel and were converted. As a result, there was a huge drop in the purchase of idols. It was so bad that Demetrius led something of a riot against Paul and the gospel.

Notice that Paul did not organize a boycott of the silversmiths. He didn’t put up anti-Artemis posters. He didn’t run for political office. He preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ changed the hearts of people. When people changed, their values and behavior changed. When their values and behavior changed, their city began to change.

Don’t get me wrong. We live in a republic, and, as citizens, we should be participating in the political process to try to make a difference in our country. We must remember, though, that real change, enduring change only comes when a person is born again. Only Christ can change a sinner’s heart. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but is against the spiritual forces of evil. Paul tells us that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

Sometimes we get enamored with weapons of the flesh. They have their use, but where we should be focusing is on the spiritual weapons that are ours in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Our power is in prayer, in living a godly life in Christ Jesus, and remembering that Christ sits at the right hand of the Father, raised above all rule and authority. All things have been placed under His feet. Amen.

Pastor Mike

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