Ephesians 6:13-17; Take up the shield of faith.
length: 69:57 - taught on May, 5 2022
Thursday May 5, 2022
The first three pieces of the full armor of God were truth, righteousness, and the readiness of the gospel of peace. Truth must be known and lived and then we have girded our loins with it. Righteousness is God’s righteousness received and lived and then we will wear it like a breastplate. Truth and righteousness experienced will give us a love for the gospel that we come to realize gave us heaven itself without cost. Hence we will love the gospel and we will love the people of the world who have, as of yet, failed to believe it - then we will be ready with the gospel of peace, having shod our feet with it.
We have seen some of the various schemes against these gifts from God and their realization in our lives. Lies and false doctrines are involved in practically every scheme. Personal attacks against us, to shame us, ruin our reputation, threaten us physically and materially, and many others. I’m sure that all of us could write an extensive list of Satan’s schemes from our own experience. I think it is a safe bet that if we know the truth, we will recognize a satanic scheme soon enough.
Now we turn to the shield - the application of faith to the Lord’s faithfulness.
“Behold, as for the proud one,
His soul is not right within him;
But the righteous will live by his faith.”
First, a short introduction. The shield of faith is to be taken up (using Paul’s choice of verb) and initially shows us that God has not chosen to take the fiery missiles from the evil one away, but intends for them to hit us. He’s not causing the missiles but He is intending them to come at us. He also wants us protected from them, meaning our spiritual lives - the health of our souls.
David ran to the battle line. The only visible weapon he held was a sling and a few stones. His enemy, more than three feet taller, fully clad in armor of bronze, had a huge spear slung between his shoulders, a massive sword in his hand, and a shield carrier at his side. The giant heartily laughed at the rugged little boy who ran up to face him like an ignorant child who has no idea what he was getting into. Goliath would have never seen anything like this in his life. The weapon and shield that David possessed was invisible to the arrogant champion of the Philistines. But to David, they covered his soul with an impenetrable defense as if he stood safely behind a wall of granite.
Psa 3 A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
O Lord, how my adversaries have increased!
Many are rising up against me.
2 Many are saying of my soul,
"There is no deliverance for him in God."
3 But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
4 I was crying to the Lord with my voice,
And He answered me from His holy mountain.
5 I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me round about.
7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God!
For Thou hast smitten all my enemies on the cheek;
Thou hast shattered the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord;
Thy blessing be upon Thy people!
David and his mighty men were geriatric when he wrote this. They were qualified for retirement. Many years had passed from when he faced Goliath, but his faith and his shield do not age.
The shield of faith does not weather or age, but becomes stronger for those who have walked many years with the Lord.
My shield is with God,
Who saves the upright in heart.
I love Thee, O Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.
The image of God as a shield to the faithful is found several more times in the psalms.
“With his body girt and fenced and his feet clad with the gospel shoes, the soldier reaches out his left hand to “take up with all the shield,” while his right hand grasps first the helmet which he places on his head, and then the sword that is offered to him in the word of God.” [G.G. Findlay, The Epistle to the Ephesians, p. 417]
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Vs. 16 “in addition to all” is better translated “in everything” (en pasin).
Pasin is the dative plural of pas which means all and since it is neuter it points to “in all things.” This helps us not to make the error that the shield, the helmet, and the sword are somehow “in addition” (separate from the belt, etc.), or somehow “above” (KJV) the belt, breastplate, and shoes. All of the armor is the full armor. It is one.
Taking up the shield of faith - our faith in the Lord’s truth, way, and life, and His faithfulness to do all that He promises.
Unlike the peace that Christ brings, the devil’s M.O. is shooting flaming missiles designed to inflict wounds on our spiritual lives. I think we can safely assume that he never tires of trying to find a weak spot that he can hit, and that he rejoices in our failings. He proves here that as a creature, a wonderful creation of God, that he has lost all substance. If a person’s goal in life, their seeming fulfillment, is the destruction of another person then they have no self-purpose and possess nothing of any value.
The shield of faith repels the flaming missiles; therefore, we need not fear them.
The believer must not be moved from love, joy, and peace by life’s problems (any of them).