Thursday, July 31, 2014

Spiritual Warfare - Ephesians 6:14-17

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 
Ephesians 6:14-17
In the past post, we looked at the desired outcome of a battle with Satan. Paul reminds us again in verse 14, that our goal is to stand. Remember, this is not a casual standing to watch something go by. Paul is  emphasizing the need for immovable steadfastness in the face of a relentless, ruthless foe.
He uses a key phrase to introduce the Armor of God: "Therefore, having".
  • therefore - because of everything Paul has told us thus far
  • having - assuming we have sense enough to do what he is about to tell us to do
Lets look at the Armor...
"Girded your waist with TRUTH"
Since Satan is a liar, we must oppose him with God’s truth. In Paul's day the people wore belts or girdles to bind up their flowing garments and hold everything together. It is God’s truth that must hold everything together in our lives. As Christians, we must love truth and live truth.
Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS
Righteousness is not what I do for God. Righteousness is a result of my surrender to Him and my adherence to His truth. It is the deeds that come from that surrender to the Spirit Who then fills and controls me. Adhering to truth affects the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate was used by a Roman soldier to cover him from the shoulders to the loins covering the vital organs. Paul is saying, "It is like that Roman soldier. He wouldn’t go into battle without his loins girded. But secondly, he wouldn’t go into battle without that breastplate on, because that breastplate is what protects the vital things of his life."
"Shod your feet with the preparation of the GOSPEL OF PEACE"
The Roman sandal was furnished with nails that gripped the ground firmly, even when it was sloping or slippery; so the good news of peace keeps us upright and firm.
Shield of FAITH
So far  there is no moveable equipment. In other words, these are immoveable pieces that we have put on. Now we come to something that can be moved. It is a weapon, but it is a defensive weapon. In ancient warfare, the enemy would wrap the arrows with flammable material, dip it in pitch, set it on fire and shoot these flaming arrows at the enemy. Now here is the picture Paul is drawing for us. First, I am to obey God. Then when the devil throws his flaming missiles at me, because I have purposed to obey the Lord Jesus at all costs in everything, that obedience becomes like a shield to ward off the flaming missiles coming in, even extinguishing those flaming missiles.
Roman soldier would be foolish to enter a battle without his helmet. He knew that the helmet would protect his head from arrows, but that it's primary function was to ward off blows from the enemy's broadsword, which was from three to four-feet long with a massive handle that was held with both hands like a baseball bat.The helmet on one's head was the only way to deflect it. 
Satan’s broadsword has two sides to it: discouragement and doubt.  Many people suffer from doubt and discouragement, but the helmet of salvation is our protection.  A good hope of salvation, a Scriptural expectation of victory, will purify the soul, and keep it from being defiled by Satan.
Sword of the SPIRIT
To the Christian armed for defense in battle, the apostle recommends only one weapon of attack; but it is enough, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. It subdues and mortifies evil desires and blasphemous thoughts as they rise within; and answers unbelief and error as they assault from without.
A single text, well understood, and rightly applied, at once destroys a temptation or an objection, and subdues the most formidable adversary.

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