Monday, March 29, 2010

Peace - Security & Protection

Ephesians 6:10-20
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Last time we talked about Peace of Mind.

This week is the end of the series on peace. Next week, We'll begin a new series for April using a new word from my word list: Longsuffering (enduring persecution).

Today's lesson is gleaned from the above scripture in Ephesians. The Whole Armor of God (spiritual armor against the enemies of their souls). I'll show how we can be fit for battle against the evil enemy. You'll see how each piece of the armor will protect you and keep you secure.

How many times have you come up in battle unprepared wishing you had your suit of armor on? I'm pretty sure at least once. I know I have! So, come along with me as we suit up for battle. Don't be afraid. The Holy Spirit will guide you along and keep you safe. That is if you will let Him. Because all too often we take the sword and rush into battle with this attitude of "I can beat you. I can win." What happens? We get knocked on our bums. Just because we are too proud to allow God to lead us. He does know what He's doing, I promise.

In v.12 it says:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
So then, everything else is a result of this spiritual warfare. The Whole Armor of God is symbolic to what we need to prepare for in a spiritual battle with the devil. Because, he pulls a lot of punches. He does not hold back. Satan is a slick fighter. So, with that in mind let's look at our Armor of God.
  • Belt of truth - This piece holds up the rest of the armor. [Like a belt to hold up one's pants.] You need truth/sincerity to go on. Being truthful/sincere is what binds your faith.
  • Breast-plate of righteousness - Protects us from the fiery arrows of the enemy's wrath.
    Note: righteousness/holiness: (Heb. kedushah). A religious quality or value invested in special objects, places, times, and persons. The root meaning of kedushah and its derivatives is "to be set apart" or "distinguished." The source of all holiness is the holiness of God, "the Holy One, blessed be He." Several times in the Bible, the people of Israel is exhorted to be holy because God is holy (e.g., Lev. 19:2). To describe God as holy in this context means to say that He is totally transcendent. He is the great Other, over and above the universe and all things in it. When the attribute of holiness is ascribed to God, it also embraces His awesomeness. [All that to say be Christ-like, an example to others. Set apart.]
  • Shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace - We must be ready to march into the battle field. We must go in peace with the knowledge of the Gospel.
  • Shield of faith - Knowing that, with [Faith, as relying on unseen objects, receiving Christ and the benefits of redemption, and so deriving grace from him, is like a shield, a defense every way. -by Matthew Henry]. God will bring us through to the other side. Having that faith quenches the fiery darts shot at us from the enemy.
  • Helmet of salvation - [A good hope of salvation, a Scriptural expectation of victory, will purify the soul, and keep it from being defiled by Satan. -by Matthew Henry] Protecting our minds.
  • Sword of the Spirit - The Word of God [A single text, well understood, and rightly applied, at once destroys a temptation or an objection, and subdues the most formidable adversary. -by Matthew Henry].
  • Prayer, witness & testimony of Jesus - Prayer is the fastener that holds all these pieces together. [A vain heart will be vain in prayer. We must pray with all kinds of prayer, public, private, and secret; social and solitary; solemn and sudden: with all the parts of prayer; confession of sin, petition for mercy, and thanksgiving for favors received. And we must do it by the grace of God the Holy Spirit, in dependence on, and according to, his teaching. We must preserve in particular requests, notwithstanding discouragements. We must pray, not for ourselves only, but for all saints. Our enemies are mighty, and we are without strength, but our Redeemer is almighty, and in the power of his mighty we may overcome. Wherefore we must stir up ourselves. Have not we, when God has called, often neglected to answer? Let us think upon these things, and continue our prayers with patience. -by Matthew Henry].
I like Matthew Henry so my post is laced with his wisdom. You'll most likely see many quotes from him in this blog. Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas. I'm open to them. We're all entitled to our opinions. A collective work of God's will tell HIS story and reach many. Let's get out there in full suited armor and be ready for battle in God's Army.

As I put this together I couldn't help but think about a scene from the movie "300" when the warriors banded together as one to create one big shield to fend off the enemy.

Join the Army of God! Stand firm! We can do it with God as the leader. The enemy doesn't have a chance. As God's Word says, "It is finished". John 19:30 - So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Satan has no hold on us. When he hears the name of Jesus he falls to ground paralyzed. Let's claim victory in Jesus' name, amen!

Prayer: Thank You Father God for standing with us and giving us Your full armor to fight against the enemy. Thank You for our salvation, and forgiveness of our sins. I pray that we hold up our end of the deal. In Jesus' name, amen.