Now we come to the second half of our series.
Shoes are needed for conflict and for traversing treacherous ground. These shoes are designed for warfare. Without a pair of shoes, you can only walk or run so far. Your feet are exposed to the elements.
Are our shoes for running or walking? Are they stylish and just look good? Having our feet shoed indicates a readiness to advance into the spiritual realm (Romans 10:15).
1. The Shield of Faith
A shield is for defense, it is for protection. In some cultures, a shield covered soldiers from head to foot. The shield would be held in front of the soldier to stop or block a frontal attack.
The Shield of faith — there are several types of faith, saving faith, gift of faith, and the fruit of faith (Psalms 3:3).
Faith is the thing that deters the assaults of the foe. Different pieces of armor protect the soldier if the shield is circumvented. The most grounded guard is the shield: it protects the remainder of the armor.
Note that the relationship of a "shield of faith" additionally counters the incessant analysis of religion as "visually impaired (blind) faith." Shields are deliberate instruments, not dividers to take cover behind. Shields are intended to be utilized with awareness, cooperation, and strategy.
The excellence of a Roman shield was its capacity to oppose almost any sort of assault. In this unique circumstance, Paul noticed that the shield of faith can quench all the flaming darts of the wicked.
The assault he specifies is flaming arrows, a typical strategy in old-time war. Even a Roman breastplate could be penetrated by an arrow. Shields inclined to burst into flames were powerless.
Roman shields were fixed with cowhide and typically doused with water before a fight. The One giving the shield gives his soldiers armor completely fit to enduring the adversary invasion.
Notice that the assault is from the evil one, Satan. Jesus previously instructed to petition God for assurance against Satan as the evil one (Matthew 6:13). Satan cannot be everywhere immediately since he is not God.
Yet Paul demonstrates that Satan endeavors to assault each believer he can. Like a military soldier, he can assault Christians in a roundabout way through his demons.
Curiously, the shield is the solitary defensive piece of armor, which can likewise secure others. Soldiers during biblical times would normally go to battle in a formation, interlocking their shields. This implied each man secured both himself, as well as the others with his shield.
In the body of believers, collaboration, holiness, and unity are pivotal. At the point when we work "in formation," we structure a mass of faith, which makes the whole church more secure and more grounded.
These verses indicate things we are to do in the present. The helmet protects our minds, a regenerated mind, a transformed and renewed mind. An undisciplined mind makes the Christian warrior easy prey to sinful deceptions.
Satan will try to make us doubt God’s saving work. Salvation represents the past, the present, and the future.
We have been saved from guilt and the penalty of past sin. We are being saved from the power of sin in the present. The hope of salvation refers to salvation in the future tense (1 Thessalonians 5:8; 1 Peter 1:13).
2. The Helmet of Salvation
Helmets are fundamental in battle. A helmet can protect against stones, handheld weapons, shots from guns, hand-to-hand combat, impacts with the ground or different assaults focused on the head.
Soldiers realized one hit to the head could mean catastrophe in a fight. Therefore, hardly any bits of armor make a soldier more secure than a protective helmet.
Paul relates the helmet in the armor of God with salvation. Salvation is eventually the best assurance against Satan since nothing can isolate us from the affection for God in Christ (Romans 8:37–39).
3. The Sword of the Spirit
Paul also refers to “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” This is the main hostile weapon referenced. The sword was utilized to execute and crush foes during an assault.
The commonplace Roman sword was not a long, lumbering weapon. They were short-bladed, simple to draw, and brisk in battle. Similarly, God's Word assists with defeating our adversaries during spiritual assaults.
During the temptations of Jesus by Satan, Jesus utilized Scripture in each of the three events to defeat temptation (Matthew 4:1-11). The individuals who study Scripture can best strike back against temptation and keep the devil from thumping them from their posts.
It ought to likewise be noticed that swords are liable to be misused. An appropriately used blade, utilized by the soldier has been instructed for proper use.
Yet, a soldier who swings a sword carelessly or wildly will do harm to themselves or others. The equivalent is valid for the Bible, the sword of the Spirit. Improper, reckless, or insubordinate utilization of the Bible can cause torment, mischief, and spiritual harm.
We are to be prepared, live with self-control, and set our hope on Christ’s return.
The sword is the offensive weapon — the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12).
Notice how these verses all point to standing still. We are not to waiver, we are not to run, we are not to hide, and we are to turn our backs. We are to stand facing the enemy.
After portraying the bits of the armor of God, Paul adds another significant piece of spiritual fighting, and that is prayer. This is not a piece of spiritual armor, yet it is vital for winning spiritual fights. Why?
Prayer interfaces us to the power of God, which is important to thwart spiritual foes. Correspondence during a fight is regularly the distinction between triumph and defeat. This is particularly obvious when alluding to soldiers hearing directions from their Commander.
Paul then points out some uses of prayer in this section and the following. In the first place, believers are to pray without ceasing. How would anyone be able to pray constantly?
One approach to praying continually is to make snappy, brief petitions our constant reaction to each circumstance we meet for the duration of the day. Another path is to put our lives around God's directions and lessons with the goal that our life turns into a supplication, a prayer.
First, we do not need to disengage from others, but day-by-day work to pray continually. We can make prayer our everyday routine and our life a prayer while experiencing in a world that needs God's impact.
Second, believers are to implore the Spirit. Our petitions are not just our musings or about our longings but are to be done in the desires of God.
Third, we are to watch or keep alert. While we may not be in a real sense asking for things each waking second, there are times for supplication. It is a time we should regularly be in (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Fourth, prayer is something done with all perseverance or diligence. We do not supplicate once every day and afterward stop. We are to converse with God industriously and regarding all issues. Nothing is too enormous or too little to even think about bringing to the Lord.
Finally, Paul features the significance of appealing to God for the requirements of different believers. We give God praise in prayer, appeal to God for our own requirements, and furthermore petition God for the necessities of others. Every one of these regions is significant.
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Chris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. He is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service. You can check out his work here.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
These verses serve as a source of renewal for the mind and restoration for the heart by reinforcing the notion that, while human weakness is inevitable, God's strength is always available to uplift, guide, and empower us.
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