The Armor of God
Our time with this study is nearly over, just one more verse to go after this! I hope that you have gained some better insight to what the Armor of God really is. I have enjoyed this time with you all during this study.
V.16 “…in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one…”
• Up 353 (Greek dictionary of the NT) analepsis: receive up, take (in, unto, up)
• Up 353 (Hebrew and Chaldee dictionary) Eyal: strength
• Faith 4102 (Lexicon) pistis: implies such a knowledge of, assent to, and confidence in certain divine truths, especially those of the gospel, as produces good works.
• Evil one 4190 (Lexicon) Poneros: (we saw this same word in part 4, but it had a different meaning then) is Satan as the 1st author of all the mischief in the world.
Paul tells us that in addition to all, all what? To all that he has told you so far concerning the putting on and taking up of the Armor of God. So in addition to being strong with the strength of God, in addition to standing against the false reality of the evil spirits, in addition to seeing what our struggles are really against (spirits not people), in addition to resisting with all our efforts, in addition to keeping ourselves pure sexually according to God’s laws, in addition to keeping our heart righteous, in addition to being prepared to bring the good news of Jesus salvation to the world in a proper manner, in addition to all these things Paul tells us to take up the shield of faith.
The word up here is meant to tell us to receive, to take into, and strength, so we are once again being told to take up strength. This time however we are told that this strength comes from our faith. The word faith here means being confident in God’s promises to us, in addition to this confidence we are not afraid to do good works. This type of good works is for the glory of the Father, and not a means for us to “make it to heaven”. Jesus died so we could have eternal life in heaven with Him, so no amount of our good works here on earth will more secure our place in heaven. It is already been secured with the blood of Jesus. We are to focus the strength of our faith in good works so that the world will see how Jesus changes us.
And the purpose of this shield is to give us the ability to extinguish the flaming missiles of the evil one. The word Poneros here is the same word that we saw in part 4 of this study. However, this time the word has a different meaning, this time it means Satan; as the original author of all the mischief in the world. Why do you think it was important to tell us this time that the evil Paul is referring to is Satan and not just his evil spirits? I think Paul is trying to tell us, that the evil spirits are there to distract us, but it is Satan’s job to destroy us.
I think this is why Paul tries to tell us that our faith is so important. When we do good works for God it means you are trampling on Satan’s ground. In other words, we are trying to take back for God what the devil has stolen away. This is going to cause you to be attacked. Jesus warned us of this in Philippians 3:10, Luke 14:27, James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5, Romans 8:18, 1 Peter 5:10, 2 Cor. 4:8-10, Rev. 21:4, 1 Peter 4:12-19, John 16:33 and last, but to me the crowning jewel for this warning; 2 Tim. 3:12 “And indeed, all you who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” there are many more verses about this subject, but these should be enough to get the point across.
Using our faith like a shield will help us to be strong in our convictions to do what is right despite the attacks THAT WILL COME OUR WAY. Remember in V.15 Paul tells us to be prepared with the gospel? Well this is why, so that our shield will be strong enough to defend us. It’s hard to use our faith like a shield during an attack if it is full of holes. So it will be with our faith if we are not prepared. So many Christians fall and fail in this area, we are not living our lives the way God wants us to, then when the missiles start flying in our whole lives catch on fire. The shield is there to distinguish those flames. We have all sinned and fallen short of what God wants for us, but that does not mean that we can continue to live that way. 1 John 3 talks about this, John talks about what it means to be a believer. He tells us what to look for in a true believer, the fruits of their faith if you will. Good works therefore, is also a way for the world to see that we are God’s children. As I said above, our good works is for the glory of God, not to “earn” our way into heaven.
So let us take up that shield and be sure that we are prepared to use it in the day of calamity when Satan attacks us. Be sure that our lives are above reproach (I am not speaking of your past because God has already forgiven it, I am not speaking of your future, because we are not guaranteed tomorrow) I am talking about the life that you live today. Make it above reproach, be sure that you stand out as a child of God in all that you say and do. Let your actions be so that the world can look at you and say, “There is something different about him/her; I want to know what it is.” Is that your life? Can people look at you and see that you are living differently from the world? Can they tell by your actions that you live for Jesus, or do you look like the world, living to satisfy your own desires?
Join me tomorrow as I wrap up this study with V. 17 “And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (NAS)
As always, God Bless you till we meet again.