Summary: A sermon on the shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (Illustrations from Betty Lukens, opening illustration from John Gillmartin)
Sermon for 10/25/2009
The Armor of God #2
Go over pieces of football protection- just mention a few
A. From John Gillmartin- Somehow, the young man found himself standing directly in the path of an oncoming car. The driver hit her brakes. Before either of them could do anything it seemed the 10 year old was shoulder deep in the windshield of the automobile. “Are you alright,” asked the driver. From inside the football helmet a squeaky voice responded, “I think so!” The boy (try to get name from internet), a participant in Pop Warner Football, was on the way home from practice, in full uniform. The driver saw the boy too late to stop. The boy saw the car too late to get out of the way. From this story we see that it is necessary to have on the proper protective equipment. The devil is out there on the highway of life trying to plow through the children of God walking on the King’s Highway.
B. Read Ephesians 6:14-17
C. Dismiss Children’s Church
D. As Paul talked about standing firm against the devil and his schemes, he looked up at the Roman soldier. What a perfect illustration of how we are to stand and what the Lord has given us to protect us from the devil.
Thesis: Let’s examine the next 3 pieces of the armor of God.
1. The shield of faith (vs. 16)
A. In those days, there were no cannon or bombs from the sky. One of the few long range weapons was the arrow. Sometimes the archers would aim at an enemy army and let the arrows fly. The Romans protected themselves from these long range attacks with shields that each soldier carried with them. They would knell down and cover themselves with their shields and the arrows most of the time would harmlessly bounce off of them. Sometimes the enemy would dip their arrows in pitch and set them ablaze. This would wreck havoc on their supplies but the soldiers were protected by their shields. The Roman shield was made of wood covered with many layers of ox hide and because of this it did not easily burn.
B. The Roman shields were large, rectangular ones that covered the whole soldier like a door. The shield was as wide as a man’s body and up to four feet in length. When the Roman army advanced against the enemy, the shields formed a “portable wall” for the protection of the whole army, when the soldiers stood side by side.
D. The Christian soldier has a shield, his faith. What is faith? (Heb 11:1 NIV) Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
E. Good example is Abraham- (Rom 4:18-20) Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead--since he was about a hundred years old--and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
G. (2 Ki 6:15 NIV) When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked. (2 Ki 6:16 NIV) "Don’t be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."(2 Ki 6:17 NIV) And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
H. (Rom 8:31 NIV) If God is for us, who can be against us?
2. The helmet of salvation (Vs. 17)
A. The helmet was made of bronze, often with two hinged cheek pieces fastened by a chin band. It protected the head, the brain. The breastplate protected the lungs and the heart, the helmet protected the brain. Without the brain the soldier is useless. On marches the helmet was not worn. Putting on the helmet marked the beginning of battle.
B. Without an assurance of salvation, the Christian soldier is useless. If a soldier is unsure of what happens if he were to die, he will not fight effectively. Throw caution to the wind and give ones all is dependent upon one’s salvation. Even if we are killed in the battle, we have a great reward, and that is eternal life in heaven.