This month at C3 Church Curitiba, we are doing a sermon series called Real Men: Superheroes. The reality is that there is a superhero inside of all of us wanting to get out. I will be posting a few of the things that I have preached on and some of the insights that have come out of this series.
Tony Stark is a fascinating character. In a heated exchange with Tony, Captain America said, “You are a big man in that suit of armor. Take that away and what are you?”
Stark replied, “A genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.”
While this sounds like boasting, Stark is telling the truth. He is a brilliant scientist. He has made billions of dollars through his company, Stark Industries. He gives away millions of dollars to charity and he enjoys the lifestyle that his fame and fortune have brought him.
Tony Stark is also one bad day away from death. He has a special electromagnetic reactor that he has implanted in his chest to keep him alive. An explosion left some tiny bits of shrapnel precariously close to his heart. The reactor keeps the shrapnel out of Tony’s heart, keeps him alive, and powers the Iron Man armor.
And speaking of his armor, that really is what sets him apart from the rest of us and makes him a superhero. His armor protects him from attacks, allows him to defend himself, as well as go on the offensive. Someone else understood the importance of armor:
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Notice that the central piece of this armor is the breastplate. Just as Tony Stark has to take special precautions to protect his heart, so do we. The writer of Proverbs challenges the reader to, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
In the same way that Iron Man’s armor equips and protects him, so our spiritual armor protects us. We may not be fighting the same kinds of foes that Iron Man and the Avengers are fighting, but we are in a real fight. In many ways, the enemies that we are fighting are more dangerous. There are eternal consequences to the battles that we are fighting.
Just as Iron Man would never thinking about going into a fight with his armor, so we should make sure that we are clothed in our spiritual armor. Let’s make sure we know how to use the weapons that God has given us so that we can win the battles that we will find ourselves in. Paul’s command to Timothy also apply to us: “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
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