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The Armor of God Part 4

The Full Armor of God Part 4  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Exposition of Ephesians 6:16

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Ephesians 6:10–20 ESV
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Quick Review of the Final Message Paul is giving. Be Strong in the Lord, Put on the Full Armor of God
Belt of Truth- Jesus/Word of God
Breastplate of Righteousness- Possible ONLY through Jesus Christ.
Prepared with your feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace (Christ’s death, burial and resurrection makes our Salvation possible. Gives us a firm foundation to stand on and enables us to stand against the devil.

The Shield of Faith

The various manuscripts we have vary slightly, but the message is essentially the same.

In Every Circumstance, take up the shield of Faith

Above all. . . Take up the Shield of Faith

In addition to. . . the other parts, take up the shield of Faith

It is quite clear in any version of the text, that the shield of faith is a vital tool in the Armor of God, which Paul tells the Ephesians to utilize in the battle against Satan.

Take Up

A. “Take Up” means to carry away, to pick up and bring with you.
B. This is a different word than the one mentioned in verse 17 concerning the helmet of salvation. It is also different than the previous descriptions of putting on, tying on etc. . . concerning the other parts of armor.
i. MacArthur suggests this distinction is made to clarify the shield is something taken up when the battle is imminent. Though I highly respect John MacArthur’s theology and knowledge of the Scriptures, I disagree with him on this point because, I don’t know that we are ever able to let our guard down, when it comes to the battle. Nor can we ever set aside our faith. This leads me to the next point.

The Shield

A. Shield- google dictionary defines it as: a broad piece of metal or another suitable material, held by straps or a handle attached on one side, used as a protection against blows or missiles.
B. Something that blocks the enemy’s offensive weapons.
iii. Soldiers during the time Paul was writing this letter would have used a piece of wood measuring approximately 2 ½ by 4 ½ feet. Often it would have been covered with either metal or leather. The leather would have often been soaked in water to be able to extinguish flaming arrows/projectiles.
iv. When soldiers worked together to form a larger shield they could form a wall of sorts that could stand firm against the enemy, and even advance as one unit.

Faith

Hebrews 11:1–6 ESV
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Assurance, Reliance, Trust, Belief

Putting your entire weight on something

Resting completely upon

Gurnall describes this particular faith as “justifying faith” as opposed to belief in existence or merely a verbal expression of belief.
Even the demons believe in the existence of God, and they tremble at the name of Jesus- But they are not justified
The Pharisees acknowledged God with their lips but their hearts were far from Him- Christ called them white-washed tombs. Outwardly they claimed to be children of God but their hearts were dead.

Truth, Righteousness, The Gospel of Peace

“Jesus Christ, the Son of God who died and rose again, to pay one’s penalty for sin, gives eternal life to those who trust Him and Him alone.” JB Hixson- Getting the Gospel Wrong

Purpose-

Overemphasizes self and the present by promising to fulfill one’s deep inner longings, give them purpose and meaning, without explaining the reality of the seriousness of sin and spiritual death.

Puzzling-

“A mist in the pulpit is a fog in the pew.” Unclear, fuzzy, foggy explanation of the basic tenets of the One True Gospel. Saying things like, You must come to Jesus or You need to ask Jesus into your heart.

Prosperity-

Inaccurately Connects the Gospel with earthly blessings and a pleasant life here on earth. (good health, Financial wealth, stress-free job) - Contrary to this line of thinking, God straight up tells us we will have trials, for our own good and for His glory.
In a prominent Theological Academic Journal- Ken Sarles points out that the prosperity gospel robs “faith” of its true form and converts it into a positive force, to be wielded by the user. I like to call this the “Genie in a Bottle” Gospel.

Pluralistic-

Pluralism says that all major world religions provide independent ways to salvation or various ways to the “Divine Reality.”

Performance-

This is a false gospel, which at some level makes one’s salvation based upon a varying degree of his own good behavior.
Are you trusting in the Gospel of Peace?
Are you placing your eternal life upon Christ’s grace and forgiveness? Have you somehow bought into one of the “false gospels” I mentioned? Purpose, Puzzling, Prosperity, Pluralistic or Performance.

The Benefits

Extinguishing Satan’s darts

Overcoming the world

1 John 5:4 ESV
4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Useful for every part of the body part

Just as a shield in battle protects every part of a soldiers body, the shield of Faith protects our bodies from the fiery darts of the evil one.

Forgiveness of Sin and Eternal Life

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