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Summary: A message on the great power and quality of the shield.

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Ephesians 6:16 KJV Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Ephesians 6:10-19 WEYMOUTH In conclusion, strengthen yourselves in the Lord and in the power which His supreme might imparts. [11] Put on the complete armour of God, so as to be able to stand firm against all the stratagems of the Devil. [12] For ours is not a conflict with mere flesh and blood, but with the despotisms, the empires, the forces that control and govern this dark world--the spiritual hosts of evil arrayed against us in the heavenly warfare. [13] Therefore put on the complete armour of God, so that you may be able to stand your ground on the day of battle, and, having fought to the end, to remain victors on the field. [14] Stand therefore, first fastening round you the girdle of truth and putting on the breastplate of uprightness [15] as well as the shoes of the Good News of peace-- a firm foundation for your feet. [16] And besides all these take the great shield of faith, on which you will be able to quench all the flaming darts of the Wicked one; [17] and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. [18] Pray with unceasing prayer and entreaty on every fitting occasion in the Spirit, and be always on the alert to seize opportunities for doing so, with unwearied persistence and entreaty on behalf of all God's people, [19] and ask on my behalf that words may be given to me so that, outspoken and fearless, I may make known the truths (hitherto kept secret) of the Good News—

I. INTRODUCTION—PERSISTENCE IS A MUST!

Robert the Bruce was king of Scotland from 1306 to 1329. Early in his reign, King Edward I of England invaded his nation, defeated his army, and forced him into hiding. While on the run, Robert the Bruce took refuge in a cave.

Completely disheartened, the Scottish king lay by a fire in the cave, ready to resign himself to complete defeat and the loss of his kingdom. But then, in the flickering firelight, he noticed a spider on the cave wall, spinning a web. The spider repeatedly attempted to secure the web, then failed, attempted again, then failed. Finally, the spider was able to anchor the web, making it strong and secure.

In the persistence of the spider, the Scottish king saw a metaphor of his own struggle against the English invader. He decided he would not allow himself to be defeated by past failures he had to continue the fight for Scottish freedom. Robert the Bruce left his cave, led his troops across the field of battle, and defeated the English invaders at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. He continued to persevere for the next fourteen years until he finally won Scottish independence in 1328. (From Ray Steadman, Spiritual Warfare)

-Being a spiritual and godly man in this generation is a war that is unceasing.

Thomas Manton—A Christian’s life is a warfare and we cannot discharge the duties of it without a battle or conflict. . . we must fight for the good that we would do; they that think this unnecessary scarcely know what Christianity is.

-There are three primary battlegrounds that will require our vigilance:

• The World

• The Flesh

• The Devil

-Our faith is crucial in the battle that we carry out on a daily basis. Temptations arise in the path of every man who is called to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

• Temptations can drive us to our knees in prayer so that we may gain comfort from the Lord in the midst of those battles.

• Temptations are necessary to us because it tempers the edge of pride from us in being proud of what we have or conceited of more that we have.

• Temptations help conform us to the image of Jesus because as He was tempted, we will be tempted. No disciple is above his Lord.

• Temptations bring patience to us. We can be fierce and severe on the failings of others but when we are brought to mind that those same temptations could capsize our own soul it fosters compassion in us.

-There is great value and strength that comes from being in the battle! You may not enjoy it when it bears down on you but after the fact we may understand that God was working out things in our own life.

II. EPHESUS 6

-Four times in this passage Paul uses the word “stand/withstand” which has the same root in the Greek. He uses it in Ephesians 6:11, 13, and 14. He used it in a way that helps us to know that spiritual warring is a great resistance.

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