Shield of Faith

6 May 2018 PM – Ephesians 6:16 – Armour18 – Scott Childs

Introduction: A shield is a thin, flat, hard, object that blocks intruders. A car’s windscreen is a shield that blocks the wind, rain, cold, and bugs, that fly at the car when travelling. A raincoat is a shield that blocks rain. Safety glasses shield the eyes from flying particles.

Far more important than any other shield is God’s shield of faith that protects those who trust him during temptations. In Proverbs 30:5, we read, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” (Read text)

Transition: To help us take up this shield of faith there are three questions that we ought to first answer.

The first question we must answer is …

1.        Of what Significance was the Soldier’s Shield?
a.         The shield was the largest piece of armour
1)         The typical Roman shield was 1.2m high and .8m wide
2)         Shields often consisted of a wooden frame curved from side to side and covered by leather or thin metal.
a)         Shields were usually strapped to the left arm and held firmly by the left hand.
b)         This enabled him to resist the mighty blows of the enemy’s sword without dropping his shield.
b.         Shields were designed to deflect darts, and arrows
1)         Being large, the soldier could hide behind the shield to deflect darts, arrows and spears.
2)         At times enemies used fiery darts.
a)         These were arrows dipped in pitch, ignited and then shot at the enemy.
b)         Soldiers would often dip their shields in water or cover them with alum to quench fiery darts. Gill
3)         Often shields of each army bore the name of their king or were decorated in a way to help soldiers identify their on comrades.
The second question we must answer is …

2.        How Does God Apply the Shield to Spiritual Warfare?
a.         Faith is to be our shield
1)         Again this is God’s armour not ours, but we must have faith in God’s ability. Faith is depending upon the Faithful One who alone is able to protect us.
2)         Faith is acting upon trusted information (Eph 6:10)
a)         Faith is not a leap in the dark. It is not acting irrationally based on hope. Faith is not acting upon a gut feeling. It is not sincerely wishing. It is not fate.
b)         Faith is acting upon trusted information.
c)         The trusted information on which we base our faith is the Person, power, and promises of the Lord as revealed in His Word. Nothing is too hard for God (Jer 32:17). God’s might is limitless and superior to all (Eph 6:10). The Bible reveals many promises that God gives to Christians.
d)         The action we must take is to hide behind the FAITHFUL ONE, trust Him to quench the fiery darts of the devil, and claim His promises for victory.
3)         “Above all” does not mean most important but “over all”.
a)         Faith is God’s protection for our entire being. It adds to the protection of all our armour. We need faith to trust God’s Truth. We need faith to trust God’s Righteousness. Without faith, we cannot rest in God’s Peace.
b)         Like a shield, faith in God and His Word will deflect all the darts of the devil.
b.         Faith will quench all the fiery darts of the wicked
1)         “The wicked” refers to “the evil one” – Satan (v.12)
a)         Review again Ephesians 6:12.
b)         Our foe is not a mere human. We must not forget this!
2)         Faith will quench (i.e., extinguish) Satan’s fiery darts. Faith in the Person of God, power of God, and promises of God will extinguish these darts.
a)         These fiery darts may be in the form of doubt. Satan wants us to doubt God’s love, care, goodness, and promises.
b)         Fiery darts may bring discouragement. The devil wants us to think God’s will is too hard, that witnessing is a waste of time, and that we are the only ones serving God.
c)         Another form of fiery dart is wrong desires. Lustful desires appeal strongly to our flesh.  Selfish desires rebel against God’s will.
3)         Faith will quench ALL the fiery darts (none is so powerful that faith in God cannot quench it).
The third question we must answer is …

3.        How Can We Take Up the Shield of Faith?
a.         We take up faith in God by knowing His Word
1)         Faith begins by hearing about God’s person.
a)         God did not say that faith comes by dreams, revelations, or visions.
b)         Faith comes by hearing the Bible. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Ro 10:17) The foundation for faith is not feeling but the recorded character and promises of God himself. God causes faith to grow in our hearts as we hear his Word.
2)         Faith increases by getting to know God’s character.
a)         Spend quality time with the Lord daily. Psalm 73:28 “But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.”
b)         Learn to fear the Lord’s power and dependability. Psalm 115:11 “Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.”
b.         We take up faith by trusting God’s protection
1)         We must have complete confidence in God’s promises and power.
a)         (Romans 8:37) “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
b)         (1 John 4:4) “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
c)         (1 John 5:4) “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
2)         We must put that confidence into action.
a)         Have a flourishing relationship with the Lord. (Psalm 91:1) “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (1 John 1:6-7) “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
b)         Trust God fully when Satan’s fiery darts are flying.  (Proverbs 3:5-6) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
c)         Submit to the Lord and seek his aid. (James 4:7) “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
d)         Claim his promises.  (1 Corinthians 10:13) “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Conclusion: Have you been taking up the shield of faith? Do not wait until Satan attacks. Take it up now. Get into the Bible and let God build your faith in Him. Know His power. Mark His promises. When Satan shoots his fiery darts of doubt, discouragement, and wrong desires at you, hide behind your faith in God.

If Satan has been shooting fiery darts at you this week and you have not held up the shield of faith in God, confess your sin and begin placing your trust in Him for protection. Memorise 1John 4:4.

Song: Victory in Jesus – 496