Spiritual Armor: The Shield of Faith

I. The Christian soldier must be spiritually armed.

A. The Truth Belt is the initial piece.

1. It involves, of course, a knowledge of the Word of God (John 17:17)

2. It involves “doing” the Truth (1 John 1:6-7)

B. The Breastplate of Righteousness must be put on.

1. It is the “new man” of holiness (Ephesians 4:24)

2. It is the “abiding” in God that secures righteousness (1 John 3:5-10)

3. It is “yielding” to being an “instrument” of righteousness (Romans 6:13-22)

4. It is actively refraining from evil (1 Corinthians 15:33-34)

C. The “Preparation” of the shoes is stressed for the spiritual soldier.

1. Preparation requires “cleansing” of relationships (2 Timothy 2:20-21)

2. Preparation requires being “ready always” (1 Peter 3:15)

3. Preparation focuses on the “Gospel of peace”

a. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 is the definition passage for the Gospel
b. Matthew 4:23 records the first occurrence wherein Jesus came “preaching the gospel of the kingdom.”
c. Revelation 14:6 is the last occurrence and speaks of “the everlasting gospel” which focuses on the Creator.
1) Neglect the creation – there is no foundation or ability
2) Neglect the Cross – there is no power or authority
3) Neglect the coming Kingdom – there is no hope or joy

II. The Christian Soldier needs protection from the “fiery darts” of Satan (Ephesians 6:16).

A. The imagery speaks of arrows, dipped in a flammable substance, and set on fire prior to launching.

1. They were designed to bring fear to the soldier.

2. They were designed to set the surrounding area on fire, thus driving the soldier away from the battle zone.

B. The “fiery darts” of the enemy are spiritual and mental attacks that bring fear and flight from the battle.

1. We can be “plundered” by false teachings (Colossians 2:8)

2. We can be “beguiled” by good sounding words (Colossians 2:4)

3. We can be “tossed to and fro” by crafty and deceptive men (Ephesians 4:14)

4. We can “depart form the faith” after listening to “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1)

5. We are not given the spirit of fear from God (2 Timothy 1:7)

6. We are not to flee, but to “stand” (Ephesians 6:13)

C. The Enemy can be understood by his “battlefield” tactics.

1. He uses “wiles” (trickery, cleverness) against us (Ephesians 6:11)

a. This often appears “good” (Colossians 2:4)
b. This often appears “religious” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

2. He uses pressure to “give in” (Ephesians 4:27)

a. This is a pressure to give or take more honor than is due (Luke 14:9-10)
b. This a pressure to compromise on truth (1 Timothy 4:12)

3. He tries to bring about a destruction of our Christian testimony (1 Timothy 3:6-7)

a. We may fall into Satan’s “condemnation” trap (1 Timothy 3:6)
b. We may fall into Satan’s “reproach” trap (1 Peter 4:14)

4. He makes every effort to “entangle” us in evil (2 Timothy 2:26)

a. The idea is often connected with clever speech (Matthew 22:15)
b. The consequences of “listening” to the “entanglement” are deadly (2 Timothy 2:17-18)
c. The common “entanglement” for many Christians is the desire for wealth (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
d. The “entanglement” of “the cares of this world” render us ineffective (Luke 8:14)

D. The Enemy cannot resist the faith of the Christian soldier.

1. He will flee from us if we “resist” (James 4:7)

2. He must be resisted “in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9)

3. He cannot “touch” us if we are steadfast (1 John 5:18)

III. The Christian Soldier must have a strong “Shield of Faith.”

A. The “shield of faith” is of utmost importance.

1. It is “above all” the other pieces of armor.

2. It is the one mobile piece of defense.

3. It is impossible to please God unless we are using “faith” (Hebrews 11:6)

B. The Shield of Faith is personal.

1. It is the means by which we are saved (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 1:16)

a. We are received by faith (John 1:12)
b. We are justified by faith (Romans 5:1)
c. We are sealed by faith (Ephesians 1:13)

2. It is the means by which we live (Galatians 3:11; Philippians 3:9)

a. We walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7)
b. We make spiritual warfare by faith (Ephesians 6:10-20)

C. The Shield of Faith is “the Gift” of God (Ephesians 2:8)

1. Faith is NOT a “work” -- we do not “do” it

2. Faith is God’s Grace Gift: we merely “use” it

D. The Shield of Faith is a total trust in the ability of God to take care of us (2 Timothy 1:12)

1. It is a “confidence” in things that we yet hope for (Hebrews 3:14; contrast Philippians 3:3).

a. It is confidence IN God - not ourselves
1) Hebrews 11:6 -- MUST believe in God
2) Acts 16:31 -- MUST believe in Jesus Christ
b. It is confidence IN God’s Word
1) Acts 4:4 -- as many as believed . . .
2) Romans 10:17 -- Faith comes by hearing . . .
3) Hebrews 2:1-3 -- how shall we escape . . .?
c. It is confidence IN God’s Truth
1) 2 Thessalonians 2:11-13 -- lie versus truth
2) John 8:42-47 -- God versus the Devil

2. It is a “conviction” about things that we do not yet see (Romans 8:24-25).

3. It is a “reliance” on God and not ourselves (2 Corinthians 1:9; Luke 18:9)

4. It is a “persuasion” that the message of God is true (Acts 26:25-28).

E. The Shield of Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17)

1. A strong view of Scripture is necessary.

a. Every word of God is pure (Proverbs 30:5-6)
b. Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35)
c. All Scripture is inspired (2 Timothy 3:16)
d. Do not refuse Him who speaks (Hebrews 12:25)

2. Doubt is very subtle.

a. The “doubtful” things condemn (Romans 14:23)
b. The “doubtful” things produce instability (James 1:8; 4:8)

3. Doubt must be fought.

a. We are not to doubt about ordinary things (Luke 12:29)
b. We are to worship without doubting (1 Timothy 2:8)
c. We do not doubt when praying (Mark 11:23)

IV. The Christian Soldier is given both warnings and promises about faith.

A. There are many warnings regarding faith.

1. The Christian can be plundered (Colossians 2:8)

2. The Christian can fall from steadfastness (2 Peter 3:17)

3. The Christian can be shipwrecked (1 Timothy 1:19)

4. The Christian can cast off the first faith (1 Timothy 5:12)

5. The Christian can have faith overthrown (2 Timothy 2:18)

B. There is preservation and protection.

1. God preserves and rewards (Psalm 31:23)

2. God secures forever (John 5:24)

C. There are blessings and knowledge.

1. Blessings abound (Proverbs 28:20)

2. Hope abounds (Romans 15:13)

D. There is an effective prayer life.

1. Faith is basic (Matthew 21:22)

2. Faith is fruitful (John 15:16)

Series: 
Identity
Lesson: 
#19
Book: 
Ephesians
Verses: 
6:16

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