Staff and Sword

Resist [the devil], firm in your faith….
1 Peter 5:9

It’s not easy being a Christian.

People can laugh at you.

Worse, people look at and think of you in derision.

Worst of all, the devil incites hatred of Christians in world leaders and groups of people.

I suppose it should be comforting for a Christian that there is such opposition. It must mean Christians are relevant and powerful. Otherwise, why oppose us so vehemently?

When St. Peter wrote his first epistle, the Roman Emperor Nero was turning more and more paranoid putting down revolts, especially Jewish revolts in Palestine.

Nero would blame Christians for some of his problems and both Peter and Paul were imprisoned at this time, soon to be executed.

Being a Christian today in Syria and other parts of the Middle East and Northern Africa is no less dangerous.

The devil still prowls around like a lion.

Which means that we Christians are still relevant, powerful, and a threat to him!

Of course, he’s already defeated. He was defeated by Christ on the cross when our sins were forgiven through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

But defeat doesn’t mean the war is over. It just means its won. The battles still are waged.

And we need to be ready!

We need to resist the devil.

Our weapon is the Word of God. We resist by reading, meditating on, and studying the Bible.

When Martin Luther wrote “one little word can fell” the devil, he meant God’s Holy Word that is incarnated in Jesus.

We remain firm in our faith when it is strengthened through the Means of Grace.

The Means of Grace are God’s Word and the Sacraments. The Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion get their power from the Word of God.

And we are to remain in our baptismal grace daily through contrition and repentance. And we are to partake of the Lord’s Supper often. We do that by worshipping regularly with brothers and sisters in Christ.

This is true for you and for me. As a pastor I am not exempt from daily contrition, repentance and reading God’s Word, study and meditation. In fact, I not only have to do that but I do it in order to encourage and help others to do it.

Remaining firm in the faith is what I do and encourage others to do. God’s Word is my sword that I use to resist the devil. The Lutheran Confessions are my staff to guide others to do the same.

Please pray that we will continue to be strengthened in our faith to resist the devil and his minions in this world until that day that Jesus returns to take us to paradise forever.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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