Summary: The 4th message in a series on spiritual warfare focusing on our arsenal to fight the enemy.
The Battle is the Lord’s
Our Arsenal – Part 2
Review: We’ve been examining the reality of spiritual conflict – we’ve become aware of the battle, our adversary in the battle, and today we’ll continue study on our arsenal for the battle.
Trans: We’ve looked at the first 3 pieces of the armor – but let me remind you the armor of God isn’t something you put on everyday like a pair of jeans. It is something you possess as a part of your virtue.
Truth: Each piece is a characteristic and quality reflected in one’s daily life. They are lifestyle characteristics of a sincere faith. They aren’t articles of Christian clothing to be leisurely put on and worn, but convictions and beliefs that are to be lived and maintained as a regular pattern of our lives.
The Belt of Truth – we need to be completely immersed and founded on the truth of God so that we can stand firm against the lies of the devil.
Breastplate of Righteousness – we need to live a righteous and obedient life so that when Satan hurls his accusations at us we are found blameless.
Shoes of Peace – God’s peace provides us w/ the ability to stand against doubt and guilt in our knowledge of God’s power and presence in our lives.
I The Shield of Faith
Insert: Roman soldiers used 2 kinds of shields – one was employed in hand-to-hand combat. The other called a scutum was about 4½ ft tall and 2½ wd.
These shields were made of laminated wood covered w/ hardened leather and lined around the edges w/ metal. These shields were capable of interlocking w/ other shields to create a tortoise shield or moving wall.
Trans: The Bible tells us that our shield is FAITH.
Note: This is not a reference to saving faith or to the body of Christian beliefs – rather it is a reference to living or practical faith – our daily confidence and reliance upon God for guidance, direction, and protection – a daily trust.
Insert: James Paton, missionary to the South Sea, developed the best definition of faith – one day while translating the word “faith” in the native language he was stumped until a native walked into his hut and collapsed in a chair saying, “It is good to rest my whole weight on this chair. Paton immediately heard the statement and rightly translated faith as putting one’s whole weight upon God.
Trans: We all execute a practical faith daily when we drive in our cars, cross over bridges, eat in restaurants – but we don’t all execute spiritual faith or trust in God daily – and this is Paul’s point. Faith in God is far different from faith in things or people. Truth is, faith is only as reliable is the person or thing you are trusting. And there is only one who never fails – Jesus!
Trans: The shield of faith works to extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one as we practice confidence in God, courage in standing, and community in caring.
A A Shield of Confidence
Question: What do you have confidence in? What do you place all of your weight?
Truth: Our shield against the devil’s attack is our daily living faith that God will keep His promises as we trust and obey His leading.
Note: Our shield is not in living the way we want in the hope that God will bail us out when we get into trouble. It is not found in living continually in a perpetual state of sin. It is in placing all our trust in Him (putting all our weight on the truth of His Word and character through obedience).
Insert: Faith and obedience go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one w/out the other.
But faith must be put in the right place – in God.
Verse: As for God, His way is perfect; The Word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. 2 Sm. 22:31
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your Word. Ps. 119:114.
Every word of God is pure; He’s a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Pr. 30:5
Point: The best way to extinguish the darts of the devil is to believe and obey God. We must have complete confidence in who He is and in His power.
B A Shield of Courage
Trans: Notice why we need the shield of faith – the enemy is shooting arrows at us to defeat us and we need to shield to quench all his fiery darts. Our faith gives us the courage to stand in times of temptation.
Insert: In Paul’s day, archers wrapped the tips of their arrows w/ cloth and dip them in a pitch or tar-like substance, then set them on fire. On impact, the pitch would spatter and burn anything that was not flame retardant.