Now we come to the second half of our sermon.
In verse 15:
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 the stylish and just look good? Having our feet shod indicates a readiness to advance into the spiritual realm. (Romans 10:15)
In verse 16:
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, fruit of faith. (Psalms 3:3)
When our lives turn to despair, the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17, Romans 10:17). We are to put on faith (1 Thessalonians 5:8) and look to the author of faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Faith is the thing that deters the assaults of the foe. Different pieces of the 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 flaring 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 devils.
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.
In verse 17:
These verses indicate things we are to do in the present. The helmet protects our minds, a regenerated mind, a transformed and a 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)
Helmets are fundamental in fighting. 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).
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. Or 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 on 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 post.
It ought to likewise be noticed that swords are liable to be misused. An appropriately used blade, utilized as the soldier has been instructed, is a fit device. 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, Word of God. Hebrews 4:12
In verses 11, 13, 14:
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.
In verse 18:
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 the directions of 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 pray 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. We do not need to disengage from others and from 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 accommodation to God.
Thirdly, we are to watch or keep alert. While we may not be in a real sense asking each waking second, there will never be a decent and ideal opportunity to save supplication. It is a device we need to have in steady use (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Fourth, prayer is something to do 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 it 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.
You cannot stand against the enemy without your battle rattle. You must be wearing the whole armor of God. The battle is not a natural one, therefore natural weapons are ineffective. Spiritual battles are fought with spiritual weapons. The armor has a purpose, our responsibility is to put it on.
In the Christian life we fight against "principalities and powers", the incredible fiendish powers of fallen heavenly messengers headed by Satan (1 Peter 5:8). To withstand their assaults, we should rely upon God's strength and utilize each piece of his defensive armor. Paul is not just giving his advice to the church, yet to everyone inside the church. The entire body should be equipped. As we fight against "the rulers of the darkness of this world", battle in the strength of the church, whose force comes from the Holy Spirit.
In verse 10:
Here we have the two angles united: human undertaking coincided with the Lord's movement. We are to be strong, however in the Lord’s strength. The strength of the Lord's obviously alludes to his Spirit. Not by your own strength for man is weak and frail. Sometimes we tend to give in spiritually, but by God’s strength we can overcome.
This verse presents the general inspiration for Paul's directions. Particularly, the strength and power through and of the Lord. Paul opened his letter with a supplication for the Ephesian Christians to gain insight and information (Ephesians 1:15-23). After talking about the use of wisdom, Paul noticed that the believer does not depend on their own strength, however on God’s power to be victorious in life's battles.
The accompanying verses will offer a framework of each piece of the allegorical defensive layer (armor) of God. Each piece associates with a territory of spiritual life significant for dependence upon God's strength. Paul's portrayal of these parts will finish with an emphasis on supplication and prayer (Ephesians 6:18–20), again asking God for strength and victory in the fight. Simply by depending on God through these spiritual devices, would we be able to beat the evil spirits and prevail by God's will.
In verse 11:
‘Put on’ indicates an action we must take. It is not like an athletic uniform we put on for the game. We must have all our issued gear, if we forget one piece, we will be vulnerable to the enemy. As soldiers always do, we should periodically check our gear. The enemy uses underhanded tactics to slip us up and can use our goodness against us.
To start with, believers should plan to use all instruments accessible to them. A couple of pieces are not adequate, particularly considering the subsequent capability, which are the plans of Satan. Just with each piece of the armor of God can a believer sufficiently stand against the plans of the Devil. Similarly, as a Roman officer could not sensibly enter a fight with a fractional suit of defensive layer, or with just a portion of his weapons, a believer will not be as effective in spiritual war except if all aspects of God's armor is incorporated.
Second, Paul calls the Devil's work toward believers as "wiles" or schemes. This shows a planned assault against believers. It is clear Paul does not have as a primary concern actual violence, yet a spiritual fight (Ephesians 6:12). Furthermore, the Devil appears to explicitly look to obliterate the work of all believers. Fortunately, his force is no counterpart for the power accessible through God. Believers should implore and completely depend on God's assets to stand firm (Ephesians 6:13) against the Devil’s assaults. Utilizing God’s armor completely and totally, is critical to enduring this spiritual battle.
In verse 12:
We are not fighting natural physical forces but demonic forces. These who are not "flesh and blood" are demons over whom Satan has control. they are not simple dreams; they are genuine. We face a ground-breaking armed force whose objective is to crush Christ's church. At the point when we trust in Christ and join his congregation, these creatures become our adversaries, and they attempt with everything to dismiss us from Christ and back to sin. Although we are guaranteed of triumph, we should take part in the battle until Christ comes, since Satan is continually engaging against all who are on the Lord's side.
The enemy uses evil troops in different areas of our lives (non-believers in government, music, movies, and etc). He could be using someone in the congregation right now, (who is this guy, I wish he would hurry up, what is for lunch, wonder what the score is). We need spiritual power to overcome Satan, and God has given that in his Holy Spirit inside us and his armor encompassing us. If we feel debilitate, we are to recall Jesus' words to Peter: “Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
In verse 13:
Christians need all the battle rattle gear (whole armor). It is not like choosing what shirt to wear with what pants, should I wear this with that, do I wear a tie, or what shoes go with that outfit. We cannot select what part of gear we will take for the day. It takes all the gear, all the armor. You will not see a firefighter running into a burning building without full protective gear. You will not see a medical team heading into surgery without their PPE (personal protective equipment). All means all. “Having done all to stand” is from a military term meaning to hold a watch-post or hold a critical position. how can we stand our ground if we have not done everything we are to do?
In verse 14:
In ancient times, the girdle around the loins held the other parts of the uniform in place. If the girdle were lost, the rest of the armor could be lost. If people do not know Jesus, they have already lost everything.
These next two verses indicate something we should have already done as a believer (having). The initial two pieces of God's reinforcement are noted in this verse. Paul portrays these pieces of a Roman soldier’s attire in the request they would have been put on. To begin with, Paul refers to the "belt of truth." In that time, a belt was tied around the midriff instead of clasped. It was subsequently "girt" or attached as Paul notes. These were not flimsy segments of material. A soldier’s belt was thick and solid. The remainder of a soldier’s armor was attached to this belt. For the Christian, truth is to be safely associated with us for our prosperity. Truth incorporated the precise information with respect to God and the uplifting news of Jesus (Ephesians 1:13; 4:15, 21, 25). Truth "ties together" all the other things we accept. Without bringing together truth, we simply have incoherent, separated pieces.
Second is the "breastplate of righteousness." This belt would hold the breastplate set up, just as the scabbard holds a sword (Ephesians 6:17). A Roman's breastplate would commonly be produced using bronze or networking chainmail and would cover the fundamental vital organs (heart, lungs, stomach). Righteousness is fundamental for securing the existence of the believer through spiritual fighting. Additionally, the breastplate is an essential method for knowing who the ally is; this is one of the clearer ways for soldiers to perceive each other in a battle. Moreover, a Christian's conduct is intended to distinguish them to the world, and different believers, as a supporter of Christ.
We should cover the heart. The righteousness of Christ protects your spiritual vital organs from Satan’s attacks. His commandments are truth (Psalms 119:151), we will know the truth (John 8:32), Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), the Holy Spirit is of truth (John 14:17), God is truth (Romans 3:4), and the Gospel is truth (Colossians 1:5). One sinned then judgment came, and righteousness was given by God (Romans 5:18: Philippians 3:9).
Stay tuned for part two of What Does It Mean to Grab Your Battle Rattle?
God called me into the ministry over 20 years ago and I have had the blessed opportunity to preach for a church radio broadcast, served as a Sunday School teacher, served as a youth director along with my wife, as a music director, as an Associate Pastor, and as an Interim Pastor.
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