Sunday, November 26, 2023

Full Armor of God Part 7 – The Shield of Faith Rev. Bruce A. Shields

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Full Armor of God

Part 7 – The Shield of Faith

Rev. Bruce A. Shields

 

This document is a Sermon Outline. You may hear the full audio of the sermon by following the link Online Audio Files located above for this and other Full Sermon Audios. For a complete list of Sermon Outlines, visit TruthDigest.org or Truth Digest on Facebook; for our Official Church website, visit PS127.org, or find us on Facebook at House of Faith Church. #worship #godheals #newtestament #jesuslovesyou #churchfamily #godsword #loveoneanother #holy #godislove #church #jesus #god #bible #christian #love #faith #worship #jesuschrist #gospel #prayer #christ #christianity #pray #holyspirit #godisgood #hope #blessed #armorofgod

 


 

SERMON TIMELINE

1.     Introduction

2.    Strength of the Lord

3.    Put on the Armor

4.   Belt of Truth

5.    The Breastplate of Righteousness

6.   The Gospel of Peace

7.    The Shield of Faith

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Today is Sunday. November 19th, 2023

 

          We began looking at the responsibilities of a follower of Christ a few months ago, discussing what we should be doing in this life. Too often, we see those who claim to belong to the Lord but live like they do not know Him.

 

          We spoke about the differences between a new believer and a seasoned one and how what is expected of you changes as you grow in the Lord. It is as it would be with our children in many respects.

 

          If your seven-year-old learns to ride a bike without training wheels, you are excited about their accomplishment. However, if they never learned out of sheer laziness, though given many opportunities, and thirty years later learn, you may be happy they finally did it. Still, your excitement over the accomplishment would be significantly diminished, if it exists at all.

          God's expectations change as we grow in the  Lord as well. Like a father watching over us, the Lord desires us to search His word, discover His Will and desire, and fulfill them in due time.

 

          Jesus showed this to us in Luke 5 by choosing Simon Peter as the first disciple and giving him simple tasks he was already proficient at to aid Jesus in sharing the message with others.

 

          Over the years, as the disciple grew, Jesus tasked Peter with other assignments until Peter had matured into an "adult" disciple, ready to take on the challenges of Matthew 28 and the great commission.

 

          I cover this in my latest book, Drowning in Milk: A Guide to Spiritual Maturity.

 

          So we covered the church's mission, sharing the Gospel, and then began looking at how the Lord empowers us to fulfill His call on our lives by giving us the Holy Spirit.

 

          It is through the Holy Spirit that we are endowed with the Fruits of the Spirit. Attributes of God are presented by the Holy Spirit through us in our lives to draw others to God through our ministry.

 

          After examining the Fruits, we began the series we are looking at now, seeing how the Holy Spirit empowers us to face the spiritual battles we must overcome to fulfill our calling.

         

By doing everything in the Strength of the Lord and putting on the Full Armor of God, we can accomplish all the Lord sends us out to do in His name.

 


SCRIPTURE READING

Ephesians 6:10-18 (Legacy Standard Bible)

10 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the might of His strength.

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will 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 authorities, 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, so that you will 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, having taken up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one,

17 also receive the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

 

18 praying at all times with all prayer and petition in the Spirit,

and to this end, being on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints

 

 

 

Today's Topic: the Full Armor of God – The Shield of Faith


TODAY'S MESSAGE

I.               FAITH IS NEITHER A FEELING NOR UNWARRANTEDLY BLIND

a.    We do not live by sight. However, our faith is not "blind."

                                         i.     2 Corinthians 5:1-8 "For we know that if [LIT: earthly house]the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a [LIT: down payment]pledge. 6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by [LIT: appearance]sight— 8 we are of good courage and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord."

1.     "We walk by faith, not by sight."

2.    This is where the term "blind faith" comes from. However, blind faith is NOT taught in the word of God.

                                       ii.     Matthew 22:36-40 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37 And He said to him, " 'You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And the second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets."

1.     Jesus was citing Deuteronomy 6:5

2.    What did Jesus say was the great and first command?

3.    Loving God with ALL YOUR MIND

4.   Christians are supposed to engage their minds as part of loving God. Jesus is saying, do not "turn off your brain."

 

                                    iii.     In Acts 17:1-4, we're told that the apostle Paul would regularly visit the Jewish synagogues in the towns he passed through during his missionary journeys.

1.     Why? Because he "went in, as was his custom," and "reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, 'This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ'”

 

b.    Faith in the unseen, but believed because of reason.

                                         i.     Reasonable faith is faith in things because of the truth and reasoning of the word of God. Our faith increases as we study and learn more about God’s word because this is where our reason comes from.

                                       ii.     Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

                                    iii.     The more God’s word we hear (or read and study), the more our thinking changes to be more “Christ-like,” as we are commanded in Ephesians 5, to be imitators of God as beloved children.

1.     Which, in turn, unlocks Ephesians 6, the Full armor of God.

                                     iv.     We are commanded in the Word to think like Jesus

1.     1 Corinthians 2:5-12

2.    Which is given to us through the Spirit of God.

 

c.    God’s faithfulness is what allows us to have faith in the unseen

                                         i.     Not only do we have the word to grow us in faith and change our minds to be more Christ-like, but we also have the faithfulness of God!

                                       ii.     If someone tells you they will pick you up at 5 PM, then never show up, and the next day say the same thing, but never show up, how many times does this have to happen before you stop having faith in their word?

1.     In the same way, God’s faithfulness and His doing what He says He will do, again and again, proves He is trustworthy and that faith in Him is well-placed and reliable!

                                    iii.     Romans 1:17 “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed by faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous will live by faith.”

 

God is faithful and, therefore, trustworthy, and you can place your faith in Him.

 

II.            THE SHIELD OF FAITH OFFERS PROTECTION

a.    “Take up the shield of faith.”

                                         i.     Like other verses we have examined in Ephesians, we have a duty or a charge and instruction to “obtain.”

                                       ii.     “Take up the Shield of Faith”

                                    iii.     Why a command to take up?

1.     As we discussed earlier, Faith comes by hearing, reading, and studying the word of God.

2.    To have faith (as a shield of protection), you must have faith.

3.    To have faith, you must actively obtain the word of God.

                                     iv.     That is YOUR responsibility!

                                        v.     You MUST be a DOER of the word!

                                     vi.     Choose to listen, read, and study so that you may obtain faith through those actions and, in turn, change your thinking to have a mind like Christ, and your faith will grow.

                                   vii.     Through that faith, you have a shield that WILL PROTECT YOU!

 

b.    Extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one

                                         i.     Your obtained faith will protect you from a satanic attack

                                       ii.     What are satanic attacks? What are these flaming arrows?

1.     Twisting the word of God, “You surely will not die!” Genesis 3:3

2.    Disguises himself as an angel of light 2 Corinthians 11:14

3.    He imitates Exodus 7; Revelation 13

4.   He steals, kills, and destroys

5.    He afflicts and oppresses

6.   He accuses

 

c.    A shield defends against all attacks.

                                         i.     Hearing, reading, and studying the word of God would;

1.     Stop twisting the word with knowledge of the word

2.    Reveal the wolf's identity through the sheep’s covering

3.    Reveal the imitation by understanding the real thing

4.   Prevent the loss of peace, joy, and happiness through theft

5.    Prevent untimely death outside of God’s Kingdom and Will

6.   Prevent destruction because you are outside of the Kingdom

7.    Prevent satanic afflictions and oppression

8.   Guard you against wrongful accusations

                                       ii.     All because you have heard, read, and studied God’s word, and changed how you think to be more like Christ and live as an imitator of God as His beloved children.

                                    iii.     Living a spiritually fruitful life in the Lord and His kingdom offers protection from most of what Satan can throw at you, and the Full Armor of God protects you from the rest.

 

Attacks still come, whether inside or outside the Kingdom, but God is our protector.

 

Psalm 18:2 “Yahweh 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.”

Psalm 91:2 “I will say to Yahweh, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”

 

III.         HOW THE SHIELD WORKS IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM

a.    What is a flaming arrow?

                                         i.     Shot from a distance

                                       ii.     Sometimes, shot at an individual soldier.

                                    iii.     Sometimes, blindly into a crowd or camp

                                     iv.     Flame spreads to everything around the target, causing collateral damage

1.     A lie or gossip you believe

2.    False teaching you share

3.    Misunderstanding you hold against someone

4.   Unforgiveness

5.    Lie or gossip you share

6.   Sin you allow in your life

                                        v.     These things first affect you, the target, and then, the fire spreads to those around you, causing more damage.

                                     vi.     All because you were not walking in faith (Ephesians 5; 6)

                                   vii.     Your lack of faith led to you not only receiving the striking blow but also allowing the flame to spread through your participation.

 

b.    Faith protects you, as well as others, from the flame

                                         i.     Not just protecting you from the attack, but through healthy faith, you prevent spreading the fire and flames to others.

                                       ii.     Regardless of modern words of wisdom, such as “do what you want as long as it doesn’t hurt others,” the truth is, EVERYTHING we say and do DOES affect others.

 

1.     Our friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, spouse, and sometimes even those we do not know.

                                    iii.     If you think your life and walk do not affect people you do not know, think again.

 

c.    Protection, not from “some” or “most,” but ALL the flaming arrows

                                         i.     God’s protection is complete if you are entirely invested in Him

This does not mean attacks won’t come at all. The storms do. This also does not mean bad things will never happen; they do, and as Jesus pointed out to the disciples, not everything wrong that happens to you in this world is because you were sinning. We live in a fallen and imperfect world where you sometimes receive fire from a sinful world at no fault of your own.

          But scripture promises that when we walk by faith, God is our mighty fortress, our foundation is a strong rock (Christ,) and we can “withstand” the storms. Simply put, no matter what comes against us in this life, we will come out on the other side with our faith intact (if not stronger), knowing that the worst thing that can befall us in this life is to have this tent (our body) taken from us, which in turn sends us to be with the Lord in our new body.

 

CONCLUSION

Romans 8:31 “If God is for us, who is against us?”

 

Hebrews 13:6 “Yahweh is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”

 

Luke 12:4-5 “But I say to you, My friends, do not fear those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, fear Him!”

 

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the [LIT: substance] assurance of things [LIT: expected] hoped for, the [LIT: evidence] conviction of things not seen.”

 

 

So, we have reasonable faith because of God’s trustworthiness. We read and study God’s word, increasing our faith and thus making our shield greater!

 

With the shield of faith, we are protected against satanic attacks and the spreading of evil flames of deceit.

 

 

Next week:

The Full Armor of God Part 8: THE HELM OF SALVATION

 

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