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Spiritual Warfare (SW-12)

Ephesians 6:16

Shield of Faith

"Whatever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith." (1 John 5:4)

Are you born of God?

Because if you are born of God you are a world overcomer.

There are two groups - those who are overcome - and those who overcome.

What do you over come if you are an overcomer? The world.

Somebody say, "I am a world overcomer."

Anything that comes against you in this world you have the power to overcome. Anything in the world - physical, financial, relational, family - you overcome. Why? Because you are an overcomer.

"This is the victory that overcomes the world - even our faith." I get excited just reading that.

So what is the key that makes you an overcomer? Your faith.

In Mark 5, a woman came to Jesus with an affliction, an issue of blood. She was a woman of faith believing that if she touched Jesus garments she would be made whole. And she reached out in faith - and she was made whole. And Jesus turned around and said some very powerful words to her. He said, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction." He did not say, the power of God has made you well, or my miraculous touch has made you well, or the will of God has made you well. He said very simply, "Your faith has made you well."

Why? Because this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith.

I hear a lot of discussion about why people are not healed - and I can understand it theologically and biblically. But here is what I also understand - your faith is the key to your healing. As a matter of faith - your faith is the key to every part of victory that God has for you.

It is not love!

It is not prayer!

It is not living right!

Some would tell you that the key is the power of God.

Other would tell you that the key is the Word of God.

I don’t know about that - but here is what I do know.

"This is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith." (1 John 5:4)

Say ‘this is the victory’ ‘that overcomes the world’ ‘my faith.’

Watch this - ‘Your faith the key to your victory’

Your faith is not the key to my victory and my faith is not the key to your victory.

Your faith will not override my doubt and your unbelief will not override my faith.

Now I don’t know about you - but when I heard God say in His Word, ‘This is the victory that overcomes the world . . ." and am ready - I want to hear it - I have my pen in my hand and I am saying, ‘Yes Lord - tell me."

And here is the big answer to that big question - YOUR FAITH.

Please open your Bibles with me to the book of Ephesians and the 6th chapter - Ephesians 6 - and we will read from verse 13 to 18.

While you are turning there may I remind you that like the Spartans, every Christian is born a warrior. It is his destiny to be assaulted, his duty to attack. It is his privilege to overcome. He must stand against the constant attack of Satan.

He must wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. He must have weapons for his warfare - not carnal - but "mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." (2 Cor. 10:4) Weapons of incredible strength are at his disposal - and he must live with them in the right hand and the left.

Ephesians 6:13-18

This morning - the shield of faith - let me tell you about it if I may.

The shield that Paul had in mind here is not the small, round buckler, that the soldier used in close combat, but the oblong, door-like shield, measuring about 4’ x 2 ½ and that had a slight curvature to it. This shield was made from a base of wood with toughened layers of leather woven together to form an extremely tough yet light material. The edges were bound with rawhide stitched through the wood (or sometimes bronze binding was used.) It could be soaked in water prior to a battle and then it would be relatively invulnerable to the fiery darts which would be aimed at it.

One of the provocative aspects in the exploitation of the Roman shields was their use in a combination which was called the testudo ("tortoise") formation. Soldiers would combine together and form an almost impervious tortoise shell. The soldiers on the outside edge would interlock their shields vertically and those on the inside would form a roof with theirs. The composite was virtually impregnable as a sort of walking tank. I am told that they would test their skills in training by driving chariots over it.

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