Sermons

Summary: 13th in a series on spiritual warfare. Dealing with the armor -Shield of faith

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Chico Alliance Church

October 22, 2006

Pastor David Welch

"Spiritually Aware, Alert, Armed and Aggressive" Pt 13

“Shielded by Faith”

I.Be Aware

II.Be Alert

III.Be armed & aggressive

A.Be fully empowered

B.Be fully armed

C. Stand firm – engage the enemy

1. Stand firm having girded your loins with TRUTH

2. Stand firm armed with RIGHTEOUSNESS

3. Stand firm prepared with PEACE

4. Stand firm shielded by FAITH

Truth enables an accurate overall perspective on life.

Truth protects us and demolishes Satan’s lies which derail our life.

Righteousness enables godly thinking and living.

Righteousness protects us against Satan’s condemnation and motivates godly living.

Peace guards our relationships with our inner and outer world.

Christ’s peace protects us against Satan’s confusion and chaos.

Paul then instructs all believers to take up a protective shield.

in all these things, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16

THE CONCEPT OF FAITH

Both Old and New Testament terms translate similarly. Our English words "faith, trust, belief, believe, entrust, rely, persuade” all come from the same Greek root word.

We are called to personally “take up” faith which is a shield against Satan’s attacks. God provides the weapons, we must appropriate them. The shield is the first line of defense in our aggressive advance against the enemy’s fortresses.

What is it?

The core concept of Biblical faith has to do with trust.

Faith is the reasoned decision to trust God

based on the firm conviction or belief that God knows what is best

and always does what He says.

Genuine belief or faith engages the whole person. (Immaterial) Mind, emotion, will

(Material) action. Satan works two sides of this issue. He tries to keep us from trusting God by his fiery arrows of doubt and fear. He encourages us to put our trust in anything but God. His main goal is to keep us from submitting to God’s work in our life. He continually encourages us to do our own thing; follow our own selfish agenda.

Every day we make decisions to act based on whom we trust. Faith is not a foreign concept. We exercise faith every day. We cannot survive without some level of trust in someone. Life in this world requires trust. We trust the surgeon. We entrust our life in the pilot’s ability to fly the plane and the mechanics ability to maintain the plane. We trust the food that we buy is safe for human consumption. We trust the medicine we buy is what it says it is. We trust the mechanic did what he said he would do. All of us exercise trust at a certain level. We have all also had our trust violated from time to time.

THE PROCESS OF FAITH

The process of trust is the same. We may not always think it through, but all the elements are there.

•The need for help outside of ourselves (Struggle)

•The research for who might fill that need. (Enlightenment)

•The point of belief based on our research (Decision)

•The point of motivation to act. (Energizing)

•The point of action (Obedience)

•The Results (Reinforcement)

ILLUS:

•I need to get to Australia

•I research the airlines that might take me there

•I decide to go with Qantas

•I am energized to actually book the flight.

•I board the plane

•I arrive in Australia safe and sound reinforcing my trust in the airline.

The crucial point of faith is the object of my trust who do I trust? Faith is only as good as the object of our trust. It is not the amount of faith but the fact of trust that count. I either trust or not. I either board the plane or not. The fact of trust is demonstrated the moment I board the plane. I may still have a certain level of fear or anxiety. (weak faith) I may not even give it a second thought. (Strong faith). The verification of my trust happens the moment I board the plane or act on my belief. If we are to measure faith, it would be measured not by amount but intensity. Weak or strong not more or less.

The father who came to Jesus for help with his demonized son cried out, “I believe! Help my unbelief.” Our decision to trust God applies to every aspect of our life and Satan launches his destructive arrows at every turn. His scheme is to discourage trust in God or encourage trust in anything else but God. He knows that trust in anything but God breaks relationship with God (for without faith it is impossible to please Him) and ultimately brings disillusion with people and life (for people will eventually let us down.)

Faith is the key that accesses God’s help in every area of life. The process is the same for each.

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