Sermons

Summary: 12th in a series on spiritual warfare. Now on the armor shield of faith

Chico Alliance Church

October 15, 2006

Pastor David Welch

"Spiritually Aware, Alert, Armed and Aggressive" Pt 12

“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

The Biblical concept of peace describes a state of calm, wholeness, health, prosperity, completion, confidence, rest, assurance, tranquility

Peace on the inside = the inner state of calm assurance and rest based on the firm belief that through Christ everything will ultimately work out for glory and my growth.

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12

Peace with the outside world = the state of calm and rest based on based on restoration to the way God designed it to function.

Until things get restored to the point of functioning as God designed, there is no peace. Restoration of relationship with Him. Restoration of relationship with each other. Restoration of relationship with our environment.

God has not promised we will find peace with the outside world in this life. In fact, He promised tribulation in this world with the hope of triumph when He returns. He has promised that we can experience an inward peace in spite of outward chaos through faith in Him.

4. Stand firm shielded by FAITH

Today we examine a most powerful defense. It is a most indispensable element for the health of the family today.

Without it there is no salvation. (Gal 3, John 1:9)

Without it there is no spiritual growth. (Gal 3)

Without it you cannot please God and actually stir His wrath. (Heb 11)

Without it there is no rest. (Heb 3-4)

Without it there is no life. (Gal 2:20)

Without it there is no victory. (1 John 5:4)

Without it there is no endurance. (Heb 11)

Without it there is no answered prayer. (James 2)

Whatever we do without it counted as sin. (Rom 14:23)

Without it there is no hope, joy or peace. (Rom 15:13)

Without it there we are unprotected and vulnerable (1 Pet 1:5; 2 Tim 1:12; Eph 6)

in addition to all, 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

This verse presents an ominous picture; standing on the battlefield facing a barrage of flaming arrows. The literal translation should be “in or with all these things”. What things? God’s truth, Christ’s righteousness, and the peace of God. “with all these things” would indicate that faith should be taken up along with all the other things.

“In all these things” would indicate that faith is a necessary element vitally connected to the previous pieces.

The normal translation of the Greek word, by far, is “in” (1,902 times) as opposed to “with” (140 times)

Given the intricate connection between all of these armor pieces I would opt for idea that faith is a critical element which supports the others. Truth without faith is fruitless. Righteousness comes by faith in Christ.

Peace is the result of faith in God and His 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.

Paul changed the verb here. He so far he has instructed us to stand “having put on.” That verb indicates something we fasten on permanently. Here he tells us to “take up” with reference to something we employ as necessary. These are the basic concepts that not only provide protection against attack but enable us to demolish the enemy’s strongholds as well.

The truth, received, spoken and lived, demolish the enemy’s fortresses of deception.

Righteousness deflects the enemy’s condemnation and accusation

Peace diverts the enemy’s distraction.

Faith douses the enemy’s fiery arrows of doubt and unbelief which he launches from a distance.

These deadly arrows come out of nowhere aimed at the soul. If the initial arrow does not penetrate it sets fire to our defenses and causes us to drop our protection making us vulnerable to a subsequent attack. God provides a shield against the enemy’s fiery darts of doubt that not only stops the dart but extinguishes the flame.

It (the shield) was made of two layers of wood, covered with canvas, and with a leather covering on the outside; this, when soaked with water before the battle, would effectively serve to extinguish the incendiary missiles of the enemy (Barth).

Unless our shield is covered with noncombustible material we are in trouble. Self confidence and pride easily catch on fire and open us up to the spreading of Satan’s subsequent attack. Only genuine faith in Christ who is our shield enables us to escape the attack unscathed. Faith brings the victory.

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