Summary: To go onto the battlefield for the Lord, all believers need to be properly outfitted and equipped with the FULL armor of God. The Shield of Faith is an important and vital part of that armor!
Date Written: October 6, 2008
Date Preached: October 12, 2008
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Sermon Series: Preparing to do Battle
Sermon Title: Screen Doors on a Submarine
Sermon Text: Ephesians 2:4-10
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Over the past several weeks we have spoken about the importance of putting on the Armor of God as we serve God in this world where the enemy is constantly trying to harm and destroy us.
We have looked at the Sword of the Spirit…the Word of God and how we cannot survive outside of God’s Word.
We have looked at the Helmet of Salvation and how it identifies us, protects us and brings honor and glory to God…
We have looked at the shoes we need to wear to protect and assist those ‘beautiful feet’ who are proclaiming the Gospel…
Today I want us to look at yet another part of our Spiritual Armor…!
Now as many of you know, you cannot go into battle unprepared! You cannot go into battle without proper equipment or protection! Just like a soldier going into battle without protection… the believer going out into the world without their spiritual armor… is not smart and will get you hurt, maimed or it could even KILL your witness for good!
We must enter into the world fully prepared to meet the enemy. He is prepared for us… He has done his homework and knows our weak points… We must be prepared to both do battle and protect ourselves!
As the ancient soldier knew very well… a soldier’s shield was vital to his survival on the battlefield. In today’s army, the soldier does not carry his shield with him but wears it around him in the form of a flak jacket or bullet proof vest… he wear’s body armor!
Likewise the believer needs to wear his spiritual armor as he/she goes forth in this world. As we go forward serving God we need God’s Armor to protect us and assist us as we go on the offensive for Christ!
So as believers we have to understand that our battlefield is not a physical battlefield… Scripture tells us our battle is not against flesh or blood, but our battle is a spiritual one! And even though it is a spiritual battle, WE STILL need armor, we still must have protection.
When we go out into the world and when we begin to take on the enemy…whether it is sharing our faith in a public forum or taking on corruption [battling evil] of any form… we are going to need protection!
Protection from the attacks that come our way when we are open and share our faith in public… The accusations will come… the lies about our character will come rolling in… WE need protection! Anytime you take on injustice, you need armor. Anytime you fight FOR righteousness, you are going to need protection!
With that protection, the believer receives boldness to continue on in their mission for Christ. With that protection, the believer can move from a defensive posture to an offensive force!
I want to set the stage for our passage of Scripture this morning… Paul wanted the believer at Ephesus to know and understand that the faith they received from God brought about salvation of their souls, but it also brought to them a sense of doing Good Works for those around them and a sense of fellowship and togetherness that is needed to effectively serve God!
Living our life in such a manner is what we are called to do… we are saved by faith in Christ and we reveal the love of God thru the faith we REVEAL to the world around us… we reveal that faith thru the acts of service we do in the name of Christ!
That faith that is our salvation must also the driving force behind the acts of service we do… like James says in James 2:18, “…I’ll show you my faith BY my works!” In other words… James was saying that we need to live out our faith!