The Shield of Faith Lesson 5
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore 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. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And 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.
Ephesians 6: 10-18First a Review
In the first segment we discussed how our battle was not against human beings but rather against spiritual forces of evil and that our ability to fight in this battle had to be waged on a spiritual level.
2 Corinthians 10: 3-4
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
In the Belt of Truth we looked at what it means to buckle (or gird) the belt of truth about our waist. That it allows us to wrap ourselves in God and his word so that we do not stumble on Satanís distortions, deceptions, and compromises in our daily lives.
The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
In the Breastplate of Righteousness we learned that righteousness is ďthe condition acceptable to GodĒ or perhaps better said ďa right relationship with both God and our fellow human beings.Ē And that living out the word of God and faith in Jesus Christ makes sure that our hearts are in agreement with God. We also discussed that Jesusí blood cleanses us and atones for our sins and covers us with righteousness (our spiritual nakedness is finally covered continually) and allows us to approach God without fear of punishment.
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: "This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more." And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
In Shoes of peacewe reconfirmed that our spiritual foundation must center on Godís promises to us, his commandments and teachings, and that we must have confidence in his ability to defend and protect us. Above all we must remember that Jesus won the battle with the principalities of darkness at the Cross of Calvary and that as a believer in Christ Jesus must be prepared to spread the Gospel where ever our feet take us.
8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Shield of Faith
The Roman shield was so large that a soldier could crouch behind it so that they were completely covered and protected from on coming fire.
Ephesians 6: 16
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Thought to Ponder:
What are the flaming arrows of the evil one?
Sickness, suffering, loss, betrayal, controversy, disloyalty of others, false doctrine, desires of the things of this world Ė prestige, money, possessions.
This verse talks about faith being the shield to protect us from these things. The Greek word used in this verse is Pistis from the word Peith.
New Testament Greek Lexicon (3983)
- conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it
- relating to God
- the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
- relating to Christ
- a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God
- the religious beliefs of Christians
- belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same
- fidelity, faithfulness
- the character of one who can be relied on
What is Faith by the above definition?
- Godís word is truth.
- Trust that God will protect us from Satan.
- Trust that God will provide all our needs.
- Belief that Jesusí crucifixion atoned for our sins and reconciled us to God.
- Believe that through faith we have Christís authority over evil powers.
- Belief that God is with us and lives in us through the Holy Spirit even though we might not see him.
1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Godís word is truth:
Joshua 22:5 ď
But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul."
God will protect us:
1 I love you, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
Christís atonement for our sins and new life:
21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
I Peter 1:3-5
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fadeókept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
Through faith we have Christís authority:
11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
Holy Spirit resides within:
Romans 8: 11-17
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. 12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation Ė but it is not to the sinful nature to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our sprit that we are Godís children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs Ė heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Thought to Ponder:
Will standing on and living by Godís word shield us from the flaming arrows? Yes
Can we deactivate our shield?
Yes, once we believe lies that distort or deceive us we allow the enemy access.
Decision to be made:
Continual trust in God, His word, and His promises.
Trust in self, inner wisdom, and worldly wisdom.