OceanSide church of Christ
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THE ARMOR OF GOD
The Shield of Faith
Victor M. Eskew
A. This is our fifth lesson in a series entitled: “The Armor of God.”
1. Our battle is a spiritual battle against Satan.
2. Our armor is spiritual in nature. If worn properly, it can prevent us from ever being harmed by all of Satan’s attacks against us.
B. As Paul sets forth the piece of armor for our study, he begins with these three words: Above all, taking…
1. Above all
a. Some see this as an indication that this piece of the armor is more important than the other pieces.
b. It is certainly man’s first line of protection against the enemy.
2. It is also something that we must take with us.
a. The other pieces of the armor one puts on: the belt, the breastplate, and the shoes.
b. This piece one must pick up and wield in the fight.
C. This piece of armor is the shield of faith (Eph. 6:16).
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
I. BACKGROUND OF THE ROMAN SHIELD
A. There were several different types of shields used by the Roman military.
B. This shield is called the “scutum,” from a word meaning “door.”
1. It was a very large shield: 3-1/2’ to 4’ tall and 2’ – to 3’ wide.
2. It was slightly curved.
3. On the front was a large metal knob called a “boss.”
4. It was composed of three layers of wooden strips that were covered with leather.
C. The soldier’s entire body could be hidden behind the shield.
D. The shield was not stationery. It could be moved up and down, side to side, and in and out. It was moved at the will of the soldier.
E. A group of soldiers could use their shields to make a “testudo” formation.
1. Those on the outside of the formation would put their shields side by side to form a protective wall around the whole group.
2. Those on the inside would raise their shields to form a ceiling.
3. One man referred to this formation as a “formidable human tank.” (The movie, Gladiator)
II. FIERY DARTS OF THE WICKED
A. Darts missiles or arrows
B. Fiery darts: darts dipped in tar set on fire
1. One strike could do great harm to the soldier.
2. Sometimes tens or hundreds of arrows would be fired at the same time.
C. Satan and his allies were constantly shooting fiery darts at the people of God.
1. The fiery dart of lust pierced the heart of David.
2. The fiery dart of pride penetrated the heart of Saul.
3. Covetousness was the arrow used against Judas.
4. Envy was the fiery dart that hit the Jewish leaders who had Jesus crucified.
5. Revenge was the missile the immobilized the wicked Haman.
6. The arrow of indifference had a devastating effect upon the church at Laodicea.
7. Hymenaeus and Philetus were hit with the arrow of false doctrine concerning the resurrection.
8. The “power dart” overcame Diotrphese.
9. The arrows of doubt and confuse were shot at the noble patriarch Job.
D. We, too, can be hit with the same fiery darts. Thus, the Bible warns about them.
1. Lust (I Pet. 2:11)
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
2. Pride (Prov. 16:18)
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
3. Covetousness (Luke 12:15)
And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
4. False doctrine (I John 4:1)
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
III. THE SHIELD CAN QUENCH THE FIERY DARTS
1. Strong (4570): to extinguish
2. Thayer: to extinguish, quench, to suppress
B. The Roman soldier’s shield would be soaked in water. Any arrow that hit it would be put out.
C. If we truly take the shield of faith with us, we, too, can quench all the fiery darts of Satan.
1. If they are quenched, they cannot harm.
2. The verse tells us that ALL the fiery darts can be quenched. Not one arrow can penetrate this shield.
A. What is faith?
1. One lady described faith as: “Taking God at His Word.”
2. A missionary worked among the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands. There was not a good word for faith in their language. One day, one of his co-workers came in and started to sit in a lounger. He said: “I’m going to rest my full weight in this chair.” The missionary found his definition for faith, “resting your full weight in God.”
3. Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
a. Faith is substance.
1) It is real.
2) It is tangible.
b. Faith involves evidence, testimony, facts, records, documents, or objects.
4. Faith involves belief, trust, reliance, and obedience.
B. Faith must be executed.
1. The shield was not tied to the soldier’s body. The shield had to be picked up. Once it was in the hands of the soldier, he moved and manipulated the shield for his protection.
2. We must “take up” faith. Our faith can originate from two sources.
a. Partial faith comes from God’s creation.
1) Faith is the evidence of things not seen.
2) The world declares the existence and power of God.
a) Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.
b) Romans 1:20
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
b. Full faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17).
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
3. Each of us must wield our faith so that it can protect us from the darts of Satan.
a. Two verses:
1) James 2:14
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?
2) James 2:18
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
b. Just take God at His Word.
1) We must study and rightly divide the Word (II Tim. 2:15).
2) Example: the blind man (John 9:6-7)
When he had spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with clay. And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent). He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
a) He could have gotten an attitude.
- Spit is nasty.
- Clay cannot heal.
- I’ve washed my face in the pool of Siloam before and nothing happened.
- He could heal me another way if He were who He says He is.
b) The man took Jesus as His word: “He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”
3) We must act the same way.
a) Flee youthful lusts (I Tim. 2:22).
b) Don’t worry (Phil. 4:6).
c) Don’t fear (II Tim. 1:7).
d) Do the will of God (Matt. 7:24).
e) Try the spirits (I John 4:1).
f) Don’t lean upon your own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6).
g) Don’t trust in man, but trust in God (Ps. 118:8).
A. The shield of faith protects us from the direct blows to the body.
B. It can be moved and positioned to every situation in life.
C. I John 5:4
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.