Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 December 2020 Ephesians 6:13.

Ephesians 6:13.    ​Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Another Sunday…and another day of virtual worship! But the important thing is that there’s worship! And all God’s children shouted loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Amen!’ Yeh friends, it doesn’t really matter how we communicate and/or worship, once we communicate and worship, and give thanks and praise to our wonderful heavenly Father. (smile) And with the severe turbulence that’s currently surrounding our lives I thought it necessary to open today’s proceedings with a song that brings our true purpose to mind and also offers oodles of encouragement. The song is aptly tittle ‘Stand up, Stand up for Jesus!’ 

Now that’s exactly what believers ought to be doing in troubled times like these. But before we get into the song, there’s an interesting story behind it. The song was written by clergyman George Duffield, Jr. (b. Carlisle, PA, 1818; d. Bloomfield, NJ, 1888). ‘It’s reputed that he was inspired to write this text after hearing the dying words of a Presbyterian colleague, Dudley A. Tyng. Ousted from his own congregation for his strong anti-slavery stance, Tyng preached to large crowds in weekday meetings sponsored by the YMCA. 

His work spearheaded an evangelical revival in Philadelphia early in 1858. At Tyng’s deathbed, caused by a farm accident in which he lost an arm, Duffield and others asked if he had any final message. Tyng replied, ‘Tell them to stand up for Jesus!” At Tyng’s memorial service on April 25, 1858, Duffield preached on Ephesians 6:14 and concluded his sermon by reading his new hymn text, “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.” Several lines in that original text referred to Tyng’s words and ministry.’ 

So it’s not only appropriate for us taking a stand for Jesus, but also for the racial injustice that’s still so prevalent in our world. And today we’re going to do an easy rocking reggae version, a la Jamaican gospel singer Carlene Davis, but with plenty riddim and plenty soul. (smile) So let’s get to raising our sweet voices to heaven in perfect harmony nuh: ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus ye soldiers of the cross; lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss: from vict’ry unto vict’ry his army he shall lead, ’til ev’ry foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey; forth to the mighty conflict in this his glorious day: ye that are men now serve him against unnumbered foes; let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose. (Chorus: Stand up, stand up, Stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, Stand up for Jesus children stand up. Yes we are standing on Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, Stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, Stand up for Jesus children stand up.) 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own: put on the gospel armor, each piece put on with pray’r; where duty calls, or danger, be never wanting there. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song: to him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally. 

(Chorus: Stand up, stand up, Stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, Stand up for Jesus children stand up. Yes we are standing on Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, Stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, Stand up for Jesus children stand up.) 

Oh mih bredrin, the airwaves were jumping…and heaven was jiving too! And I like that about heaven; anytime the music’s pumping, heaven is always involved, cause they LOVE good, praiseful music, just like us. Yuh know that if the music is good, you just can’t keep your feet from dancing. (smile)Anyway my people, there’s no getting away from the fact that as believers in Christ, we need to stand up strong and steadfast, like good soldiers for Him in this evil world. And I won’t preach at you today, (smile) just share some scripture on which they say the verses of the hymn are built and they seem reasonable to me. 

The first verse, they say comes from 2 Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim. 2:3-4) As to the second verse, it’s supposedly built on exhortations from 1 Corinthians. ‘Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men (be brave), be strong. Let all your things be done with charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 16:13-14) The third verse obviously comes from that famous chapter in Ephesians re the whole armour of God (Eph. 6:10-17) And I’m going to share it all, regardless of time and space. (smile) 

‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual wickedness (spiritual hosts) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth (your waist girded with truth), and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ (Eph. 6:10-17) 

Yes friends, that’s the basic armour of God, and if you don’t have it on, it doesn’t make sense going out to fight. But yuh know what, even with all of that armour on, yuh still missing one thing; the most important thing. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) Well my fellow believers, as the scholars tell us: ‘Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable.’ So please pay serious attention to that. 

And as per the fourth verse, just listen to the wonderfully encouraging scriptures. From Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto them also thatLOVEhis appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:6-8) 

And from Jesus to the church at Smyrna: ‘Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison. That ye may be tried (tested); and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.’ (Rev. 2:10) Ah mih people those two crowns – of righteousness and life – are certainly worth having, but it’s not easy. Both Bruh Paul and Jesus faced many hardships and fought and stood strong like real soldiers. And if we’re serious about our life with Christ, we can do it too. 

Anyway, we’ll end with this pertinent bit of advice: ‘The challenge of “Stand Up for Jesus” is proclaimed through the military metaphors Paul uses in Ephesians 6:10-18. Although some decry the warlike imagery, the spiritual battle that Christians must fight is very real. Christ’s victory is assured even if we do not always move “from victory unto victory” in our earthly lives.’ And that’s the gospel truth friends, so please, let’s stand as best we can! That’s all Christ asks.Much LOVE!

…the enemy will not give up…neither should we believers… 

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