Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

Bible Book: Ephesians  6 : 10-20
Subject: Commitment; Spiritual Warfare; Christian Living

Stand up, stand up for Jesus!  “‘Stand Up for Jesus’ was the dying message of the Reverend Dudley A. Tyng [1825-1858] to the Young Men’s Christian Association.”1 Dr. George Duffield Jr., (1818-1888) exhorts in the first stanza of his great hymn: “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross; Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.”2

Rev. Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) explains, “A soldier is a practical man, a man who has work to do, and hard, stern work. He may sometimes, when he is at his ease, wear the fineries of war, but when he comes to real warfare he cares little enough for them; the dust and the smoke, and the garments rolled in blood, these are for those who go a soldiering; and swords all hacked, and dented armour, and bruised shields, these are the things that mark the good, the practical soldier. Truly to serve God, really to exhibit Christian graces, fully to achieve a life-work for Christ, actually to win souls, this is to bear fruit worthy of a Christian. A soldier is a man of deeds, and not of words. He has to contend and fight. In war times his life knows little of luxurious ease. In the dead of night perhaps the trumpet sounds to boot and saddle, just at the time when he is most weary, and he must away to the attack just when he would best prefer to take his rest in sleep. The Christian is a soldier in an enemy’s country, always needing to stand on his watchtower, constantly to be contending, though not with flesh and blood, with far worse foes, namely, with spiritual wickednesses in high places.”3

Dr. Lehman Strauss (1911-1997) laments, “We are contending with the wiles of the devil, and against all of this we must stand. There is a soft, smooth, pleasant kind of preaching today with words too hard for the average hearer to understand. It is the hushed-up message of Modernism which is silent on the subject of a personal devil and the exceeding sinfulness of sin. The holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, and the wiles of the devil are not sounded forth, so that there is no fear of God before the eyes. One liberal was heard to say: ‘God is good, and God is over all, therefore all is good.’”4

To stand up for Jesus remember these things. 

I. Remember our strength is not in flesh and blood. 

Ephesians 6:10 reads, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”  Dr. Handley C. G. Moule (1841-1920) explains, “In conclusion, strengthen yourselves always in the Lord, your one possible Sphere and Magazine of inexhaustible resource, to be drawn upon by obedient trust, and in the energy of His might, sure so to be put forth on your behalf; a ‘strength made perfect in the weakness’ (2 Cor. 12:9) which gives it room by its reliance.”5

Dr. George Duffield Jr., exhorts, “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. . . . Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey; Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day. Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes; Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.”6

II. Remember our struggle is not against flesh and blood. 

Ephesians 6:11-12 reads, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” 

Dr. Ivor Powell (1910-1998) writes, “The apostle had no illusions about the differences of the Christian warfare against evil.  He realized that Satan would resist every effort to extend the kingdom of Christ.  As the evil one harassed the Savior, so would he oppose every believer who endeavored to obey the commandments of God.  The crusade to overcome evil would become increasingly difficult, the Christian warriors should not expect tranquil days as they follow their Lord.  They should remember they have been recruited into God’s army, and their task is to expel the enemy from occupied territory.  There would be attacks and counterattacks. The real victory has been won at Calvary, but the enemy would never willingly retreat.  Satan would have to be driven from the lives of sinful people.  Paul emphasized the need to be able ‘to stand against the wiles of the devil.’”7

Dr. Craig S. Keener explains, “‘Flesh and blood’ was a typical Jewish phrase for ‘human being(s).’”8  Stated another way, Dr. Keener explains, “‘Flesh and blood’ was a common figure of speech for mortals.”9

Dr. Andrew Telford (1895-1997) pastor of Berachah Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, explains, “It is this force of evil that is described here.

We have Principalities—In Greek it means ‘Firsts’ head officers.

We have Powers—These are authorities, ‘Staff Officers.’

We have Rulers—Divisional commanders of infernal forces.

We have the Rank and File—‘Spiritual hosts of wickedness’

These are the ordinary soldiers in Satan’s army.

These are manifold—Luke 8:30, Matt. 12:43-45.”10

Rev. Michael Boyland shares the following: “Aqaba in 1917 seemed impregnable. Any enemy vessel approaching the port would have to face the battery of huge naval guns above the town. Behind Aqaba in every direction lay barren, waterless, inhospitable desert. To the east lay the deadly ‘anvil of the sun.’ The Turks believed Aqaba to be safe from any attack. But they were wrong.

Lawrence of Arabia led a force of irregular Arab cavalry across the ‘anvil of the sun.’ Together, they rallied support among the local people. On July 6, 1917, the Arab forces swept into Aqaba from the north, from the blind side. A climactic moment of the magnificent film Lawrence of Arabia is the long, panning shot of the Arabs on their camels and horses, with Lawrence at their head, galloping past the gigantic naval guns that are completely powerless to stop them. The guns were facing in the wrong direction. Aqaba fell, and the Turkish hold on Palestine was broken, to be replaced by the British mandate and eventually by the State of Israel.

The Turks failed to defend Aqaba because they made two mistakes. They did not know their enemy, and they did not have the right weapons.  We must be careful not to make the same mistakes. Ephesians 6:12 makes it very clear who our enemy is: ‘Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world.’”11

Dr. George Duffield Jr., exhorts, “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long;

This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song.”12

III. Remember our strategy is not from flesh and blood.

Ephesians 6:13-20 reads, “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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will 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; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Emphasis mine)

On the word translated “withstand,” Dr. D. Stuart Briscoe explains, “When Paul was concerned about Peter’s ambivalence in the matter of Gentile converts adhering to Jewish practices, Paul ‘withstood him to [his] face’ (Gal. 2:11).  This, of course, shows that there is a place for the believer to adopt an aggressive stance and take the fight to the strongholds of Satan as Paul did to Peter. This we expect missionaries to do in far-off lands, but the strongholds are waiting to be stormed in every land and this is part of the engagement.”13

Dr. George Duffield Jr., exhorts, “Stand up, stand up for Jesus. . . Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer; Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.”14

Our strategy is not from flesh and blood, it is from God.  Here are two passages that use the phrase “flesh and blood” in this way.  Matthew 16:13-17 reads, “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’  Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.’”  Rev. John G. Butler explains, “Christ spoke two important truths about this confession by Peter, which Christ said was a result of Divine revelation. First, the favor in the revelation. . . . Second, the Father in the revelation.”15

Galatians 1:11-17 reads, “But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.  For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.  And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.” (Emphasis mine) Dr. Stephen F. Olford (1918-2004) explains, “When God revealed Christ in him and his eyes were opened, he did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, but went exactly where God led him. Surely, here lay the great power of the apostle. He was not dependent on the support of others, but was entirely dependent on God from the very beginning of his ministry. He was not one to pander to the flesh or popularity of others. He took all his orders from God.”16

A spiritual war requires spiritual weapons.  2 Corinthians 10:1-6 reads, “Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” (Emphasis mine)

Dr. Lehman Strauss explains, “Last, but not least, the child of God must have recourse to prayer: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints’ (6:18). Some teachers do not regard prayer as a part of the equipment but, rather, that exercise of soul that takes us into the realm of the believer’s resource where the whole armor is rendered effective. Such an interpretation may be right. However, the important truth for us to learn is the absolute necessity of earnest, constant prayer if we are to live triumphantly as Christians. It is not the possession of the armor and the weapons that makes a great warrior. No resource of strength or strategy lies within ourselves. Rather do we need to look to the One who is superior to the enemy’s greatest strength and who can outwit his every maneuver. It is by prayer that we come boldly to God’s throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Every conquering Christian in every generation has been a prayer warrior. The one necessity of every good soldier of Jesus Christ is to keep in constant touch with his great Captain and Commander.”17


Stand up, stand up for Jesus.

1 Corinthians 10:12 reads, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”  James 4:6 reads, “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”  Jude 1:24-25 reads, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.”

While God’s truth is certainly humbling,

trusting in Jesus will keep you from stumbling!

Dr. George Duffield, Jr., exhorts in the last stanza of his great hymn: “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross; Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.”18

1George Duffield, Jr., “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” (1858) Accessed: 08/25/16 .

2Duffield, “Stand”. 

3Charles H. Spurgeon, Flashes of Thought, “The Christian Soldier” #844, 432. Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp.

4Lehman Strauss, Certainties for Today: Comforting Truths for Dark Days (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1956), 174. Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.

5Handley C. G. Moule, Ephesian Studies: Expository Readings on the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1900), 323.

6Duffield, “Stand”. 

7Ivor Powell, The Exciting Epistle to the Ephesians (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1989), 265.

8Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament: Second Edition (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2014), 86. 

9Keener, Commentary, 495.

10Andrew Telford, Studies in Ephesians: Bible Studies Related to The Church-His Body, 135. Database © 2011 WORDsearch Corp.

111001 Quotes, Illustrations, and Humorous Stories: For Preachers, Teachers, and Writers, comp. Edward K. Rowell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008), 268. Database © 2008 WORDsearch Corp.

12Duffield, “Stand”. 

13D. Stuart Briscoe, Let’s Get Moving: A Bible Commentary for Laymen (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1978), 157.

14Duffield, “Stand”. 

15John G. Butler, Analytical Bible Expositor – Matthew, (Clinton, IA: LBC Publications, 2008), 280.  Database © 2013 WORDsearch Corp.

16Stephen F. Olford, According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament, (Nashville, TN: B&H, 2008), 157. Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp.

17Lehman Strauss, Devotional Studies on Paul's Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1957), 238-239. Database © 2008 WORDsearch Corp.

18Duffield, “Stand”.

Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on in hardcover, paperback and eBook] & /   / (251) 626-6210

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