Read Ephesians Chapter 6: 10-18
The apostle Paul compares seven principles of spiritual protection with putting on the armor of a soldier being ready to stand against evil.
7 different pieces of armor are needed are imperative if we are to ‘fight the good fight’
He identifies our enemy: the devil in vs 12
He tells us it’s a spiritual battle: we wrestle not against flesh and blood vs.12 Our flesh and desires are our weaknesses.
He tells us: we are against an enemy who is well organized, powerful, in our world, fallen angels and demons, influential (for example they control the media…the air waves no wonder he’s called the prince of the power of the air) : we fight against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness in this world, and against spiritual wickedness in high places. vs.12
To withstand and defend: we have to take on or put on the whole Armor. Seven simple principles. And most importantly do not remove them and expose ourselves to attack. ‘take unto you the whole amour’
Listen to Jesus’s words about the evil one, the father of murder and lies, and those who follow him..
“44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” John 8:44
we have all at one time or another collaborated with the devil: “Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of the world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” Eph 2:2
but then Jesus says:“33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 Only Jesus has overcome the world.
Here’s how Paul compares the principles to armor:
1. Truth compared to ‘battle readiness’ (girt your loins about with truth) means tie up the tunic, run into battle (surprise attack) with truth (6 Jesus said….. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.) John 14:6
a. the way: follow him as a way to make it through this life to ‘real life’
b. the truth: Jesus is our ONLY way to live fully here on this rock now and later on when we die
c. the life: we are dead spiritually until we ‘confess’ Jesus is Lord and place our trust in Him and receive ‘new life’ life with, in, and through the power of the Holy Spirit
2. Righteousness is a breastplate. The breastplate protected the vital organs in the front of the body especially the heart. The heart is the seat of the emotions and without righteousness our heart is subject only to our desires ungoverned.
Paul quoting King David in Roman’s 3:10-18 describes the people of his time, a lot like our time, he says: “There is none righteous, no, not one” He goes on to say and I paraphrase: unprofitable…none that do good…tongues used for deceit…lips like poison asps (snakes)…mouths full of curses and bitterness…feet swift to shed blood…misery and destruction in their ways..
Compare the qualities of righteousness by faith that Jesus obtained for us: the law of Moses and the prophets manifested in Jesus, justification, free gift of grace, redemption through His blood, remission of past sins, we are justified by faith through Jesus Christ…
Compare the beautiful qualities of the fruits of a heart protected by righteousness that we read in our meeting Wednesday: Galatians 6:22-24 “but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, faith, meekness, temperance: against which there is no law. Who would want to argue against those virtues….but every day the evil one does though his reps and we buy into it.
So the strength of righteousness through Jesus Christ protects our hearts where we love our families: our wives, children, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers.
3. Gospel of Peace compared with the soldiers feet being ‘shod’ with the preparation of the gospel. Ready to run and having a heart ready to speak the truth in love. Literally ready to battle by running toward the unsaved full out without fear. A soldiers sandal was a substantial piece of leather… tied up high on the ankle designed to add a sure grip during battle in all terrain.. We should not be afraid to introduce the fundamentals of our faith: Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will return. Paul asks us to stand…stand firm with the Gospel ready.
Back to Ephesians 2: 2-3 Paul says, “….children of disobedience, among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling he desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.. But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in our sins has made us alive together with Christ (by Grace you are saved)” We must hurry to bring the Gospel to the world…and with preparation…we can be confidently sure footed.
4 Faith is a shield. In Psalm 3: 3. When others think that his help from God is removed David proclaims “thou Oh Lord are a shield for me the glory and the lifter of my head” . So true, only faith in the Lord is a shield. Not only would soldiers use the shield to ward off sword blows and thrusts but would cover up under the shield from the rain of arrows, often their tips dipped in pitch and on fire. Troops would couch under the shields, locking arms together to form one giant in penetrable shield against the torrents of the archers. So our fellowship in faith is a powerful protection against assaults on our Faith. Who do we fellowship with; those who strengthen, locking arms with us or those who weaken us breaking ranks exposing us to danger?
Paul says: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen” Hebrews 11:1
“Substance of things hoped for”. This substance is vital for our existence for our protection we see this love of God in creation of a world for us: We live within 12 degrees of life and death 98.6 is our normal body temperature.. but if we are 6 degrees above or 6 degrees below we soon expire. In creation we see the substance of a loving God who we know will not let us die because he sent his only son Jesus Christ into the world not to condemn for “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) and we recognize that the substance of the world its complexity and design whose workings are beyond our full understanding but leads us to praise our creator.
“Evidence of things unseen”: We know in our hearts being made in His image and likeness that there is a heaven but more so because of faithful men who have handed down without error the biographies of He who loves us. We can’t see reruns of history but through language and men who were willing even eager to give their lives for the truth we have the Bible’s 66 books in its totality all about Jesus Christ.
So when the doubts, persecutions, temptations come raining down we can say like Luke, “It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theohilus, that you might know the certainty of those things, of which you have been instructed.” Lk 1:3-4
5. Salvation is a helmet of protection. The helmet is a fundamental piece of armor. Without our senses of sight, hearing, smell and sensation we cannot assess our enemy and fight the good fight. If we are struck on the head unprotected our senses are impaired through and our fight is weakened. Salvation is fundamental to our life in Christ. Without it we are empty vessels, clanging symbols. We must also fundamentally understand the sacrifice and love of the Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross and change our ways, repent.
In Romans 10: 8-10 Paul says: “ But what saith it? The Word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is , the word of faith, which we preach; That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto Salvation….. 10: 13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lore shall be saved”
So now once we have given over our will to the Lord and have been saved we have this precious knowledge. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13-14 New King James Version (NKJV)13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[a] is the [b]guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
The guarantee of our inheritance eternal life. Salvation eliminates or lessons the fear of death and a host of other fears mainly that we will not achieve or be satisfied with the prestige of the world. John says: ‘love not the world: the pride of life the lust of the eyes” with fear there is torment and there can be no love …but Love (christ’s love) perfect Love castsout fear.
6. The Word of God is the sword… No question here that the words with which Holy men by inspiration of God passed down to us the truths that are absolutely life for us is described by Paul as sword. I think of the often times deleted verse by liberal churches in the song Be Thou My vision: “be thou my battle shield, sword for the fight …be thou my dignity be my delight.”
Paul absolutely defines God’s Word as a double aged sword of the Spirit in Hebrew 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Have not our hearts been pierced?!
God’s word is a sword that strikes right to the marrow of the bone, deep in the heart, convicting the sinner and saving the repentant, healing and imparting wisdom and understanding to the hard of heart, giving knowledge, understanding and discernment to the believer. God’s word is our sword and when wearing the armor of God and wielding the sword of God’s word “we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Romans 8:37
Jesus brother James says: “Where fore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls.” James 1: 21-22
Jesus says in John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it will be done unto you.”
Talk about the power or God’s word…
John says: 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
1:14 And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,(and we beheld his glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and Truth.
7. Praying and Watching. Soldiers would pray and watch while keeping vigilant for night raids or spies. Paul tells us that we should do this with perseverance and we should pray for all the saints in other words for each other.
In Ephesian 4 1-3 Paul beseeches the Ephesians to: walk worthy of the vocation where with you were called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing on another in love. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond, of peace.” If we care for each other and want to preserve the bond of unity in the Holy spirit…we should pray for one another.
In psalm 63 from the wilderness David prays and rejoices in the power and glory of the Lord. In prayer and communion with our Lord, David’s soul is fortified (the root word ‘fort’) 5: My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips; 6.When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the nigh watches.
The night watches are always times of vulnerability, sleeplessness, worry but can be times of fortification and strengthening by and through praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit..
Seven major Lies of the world:
1. There is no God
2. There is no Soul
3. Men are good on their own
4. All Religions are the same
5. Men are descended from apes
6. Men are evolving
7. Our life is what we make it.