"THE SHIELD OF FAITH"
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
I. THE NATURE OF THE WARFARE IS SPIRITUAL.
A. We are not wrestling against flesh and blood. Against spiritual powers of darkness that are highly placed in this world.
1. Because it is a spiritual war, fleshly weapons are of no avail.
(For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2. There is nothing that Satan enjoys more than to draw you into a physical conflict with him.
3. It is sad how slow the church is to learn that the battle is a spiritual battle.
4. People are always seeking to mobilize us for political action groups.
5. They are trying to develop strategies by which we might draw attention to our cause.
6. Satan who controls the media loves to draw us into his arena, where he can hold us up to ridicule and scorn by the world.
B. We are not going to start to win this battle until we recognize it as spiritual warfare, and begin to use the weapons that the Lord has made available to us.
II. HERE IS CHAPTER 6 HE TELLS US OF THE SPIRITUAL ARMAMENT THAT WE NEED TO DON TO DO BATTLE AGAINST THESE FORCES OF EVIL.
A. It is a continual argument as to which is the most important, a good defence, or a good offence. We need them both, and God has provided both for us.
B. As Paul is having us put on our defensive armor he tells us "Above all, put on the shield of faith." This is perhaps one of the most important of all the defensive armaments that we possess.
1. Peter tells us to:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Whom resist stedfast in the faith.
2. John writes in his first epistle,
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith.
C. It is by means of the shield of faith that we are able to quench all the fiery darts of the devil.
1. It seems that Satan is constantly throwing his fiery darts of doubt at us.
2. He seeks to get us to doubt the word of God.
a. He said to Eve, "Hath God said?" Is this really God's word.
b. Many have been destroyed by this fiery dart.
c. God has given to us many rich and precious promises, by which we can become partakers of the diving nature.
d. Satan tries to get you to doubt your salvation. Many come to me tormented by these thoughts.
e. You must make up your mind whether to believe the word of God or the lies of Satan.
3. He seeks to attack the deity of Jesus Christ, and his being the only way to God.
a. He is willing to acknowledge Jesus as a good teacher providing you properly understand what Jesus was trying to say.
b. He will declare that Jesus was an interesting philosopher who taught principles for living.
c. He will acknowledge that Jesus was a good man.
d. Jesus Christ was either the Son of God and the only way to the Father or He was a liar and a fraud. Because Jesus claimed to be both, if His claims were false, He was a lunatic at best, and a liar and deceiver at worst.
4. He seeks to attack the work of the Holy Spirit. He knows that this is where the power for the believer lies, so he tries deny the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer today so that he can keep you in weakness, struggling in your own strength rather than relying on the power of the Holy Spirit.
5. There are fiery darts of temptation.
a. Look how Moses was tempted. All the treasures and glory of the throne of Egypt.
b. By faith he choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
c. Joseph had the fiery dart of temptation thrown at him when the wife of Potiphar tried to seduce him. "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?"
6. What is my defense against all of these fiery darts? The shield of faith. Faith in the word of God, faith in the promises of God.
III. WHENEVER WE COME TO THE SUBJECT OF FAITH IN THE SCRIPTURES, WE ARE LED TO A MAN NAMED ABRAHAM WHO IS KNOWN AS THE FATHER OF ALL WHO BELIEVE IN THE PROMISES OF GOD.
A. In Romans 4
as Paul points to the faith of Abraham he gives us the keys of keys of faith. God had for years promised Abraham a son through which the blessings of God might come to the world.
1. Considered not his own body now dead, being a hundred years old. Nor the deadness of Sarah's womb. This could mean that he was perhaps impotent, and Sarah had gone through the menopause.
a. He did not consider the human impossibilities. What is the first thing we usually consider, the difficulties.
b. I have three general categories, simple; possible, though difficult; impossible.
c. Difficulty must always be measured by the capacity of the agent doing the work. When God is the agent doing the work, and talk of difficulty is absurd.
d. Abraham looked at the power of God rather than the impossibility of the situation.
e. The angel had said to him, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
2. He staggered not at the promises of God through unbelief.
a. Unbelief often staggers at the promises of God.
b. In II Kings 6
the story is told of a man that staggered at the promises of God.
c. Why did he stagger? Because he was trying to visualize how God might do it.
3. Being strong in the faith, he gave glory to God.
a. He was praising God for the glorious promise of a son.
b. Let us get in the time machine. Let us set the date for 1898 B.C.
4. He was fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
a. Can God do it?
b. Is it too hard for God? We are in a warfare not against flesh and blood but against the spirit forces of evil. The only way we will ever be able to stand, is in the full protection of the armament that God has given to us. If you will put on the whole armor of God, you will not only stand against the wiles of the devil, but you will rise in victory over the enemy and see the power of the Spirit to rout the powers of darkness. After the good defence comes the powerful offence, where we with all prayer and suplication in the Spirit put to flight the forces of evil. We want to more than just defend ourselves, we want to take the offensive against Satan. Faith is the victory, O glorious victory that overcomes the world.