2009 Spiritual Warfare Series, Part 6

Ephesians 6:16

The Essential Shield of Faith


INTRO: He was a professional thief - His name stirred fear in the hearts of men, like desert wind stirred tumble weeds.


A) Even the most rugged frontiersmen were scared of him


For 13 years starting in 1875 - he held up 29 Wells Fargo Stage coaches successfully Amazing thing:  Never fired a shot


B) Weapons: fear, intimidation and Deception


Ride up to a stage and the driver of the stage see this man Dressed in black sitting on horse - identity never described - black hood


C) Newspapers - San Fran - New York - Black Bart!

One of the most notorious outlaws of all time!


D) Finally caught up with him - 13 years - wasn't wicked outlaw,          crazed killer - Death Valley.... very smart, file clerk - from Decatur, Illinois


This man, Black Bart, in black hood, reminds me of another one who has been terrorizing and haunting our society - humanity globally

A) Weapons - like Black Bart - fear and intimidation/ Deception     - SATAN

B) Satan tries to get into your mind - cause you to fear, be intimidated listen to lies - stumble, compromise


C)  But like with Black Bart - when they found out he was just a         smart file clerk (our reaction when we see our foe)

1) Don’t get me wrong - I believe the devil has power - no doubt


D) But when we see him in light of our Hero - Our King we are going to say "this is he who held the world captive"


E) Not because of his lack of power - but because doesn't compare with our Lord - Our King!


Eph 6 is about seeing Him who is our King - It is about laying hold of the provision He has given

A) It is about standing:  standing strong - not in our strength but in His!


As we come now to discuss the 2nd set of armor, remind you of division

A) First three - having - past tense - focus is on who you are in Christ!


B) Set free by the truth!   Now living in that truth!


You are covered in the righteousness of Christ & So you are standing in that reality!


C) You are at peace w/ God - which results in that you can experience the peace of God in your Lives & Walk

          1.)     You're walking in & enjoying that blessing!


D) So the first 3 pieces of armor focus on who you are in Christ!

1)  And the Key to standing strong in victory is   knowing your position         knowing where stand! /    Enjoying that!



The 2nd three pieces of armor SPEAK OF who Christ is in you!

A) Their reference is in the present tense!  Daily take up our shield; our helmet and our sword- Praying Always


B) Daily applying these pieces of armor in the battle that we find ourselves in!


C) We pick up in V.16 …..Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.


D) Remember as Paul writes this he is in a Roman Prison – Chained to a Solider

1) Under the inspiration of the HS Paul will use each piece of the Soldiers armor to describe an aspect of our Spiritual Armor.


E) The Shield is Chosen by the HS to illustrate Faith - Above all taking …. Shield of faith

Now the First question we want to tackle tonight is what is the faith that Paul is referring to here?

A) It is not historical faith- I believe all the major doctrines of the Bible


B) Not saving faith – but it is practical faith / everyday faith.


C) One commentator used this analogy to explain this faith:


When missionary John Paton was translating the Scriptures for South Sea islanders, he was unable to find a word on their vocabulary for the concept of believing, trusting, or having faith. He had no idea how he would convey it.


One day while he was working in his hut, a native came running into Paton’s study & flopped into a chair, exhausted. He said, “It feels so good to rest my whole weight in this chair.”


Instantly John Paton knew he had his definition: Faith is resting your whole weight on God. That meaning helped bring a whole civilization to Christ.


So How is faith like a Shield?  4 ways

#1 FAITH IS LIKE A SHEILD – because it protects us against ATTACK!!!


A) There were Two shields used by Roman soldiers in Paul's day! One small          round, light, Attached to wrist - hand to hand combat


C) The other shield was large  - 2 1/2 feet wide and 4to5 feet tall- It was made of  Solid wood - covered with leather /    

1) It is this Larger Shield Paul is referring to Here


D) These shields were sometimes referred to as Doors because they   covered the Whole man!!!!

1) Crotch behind        


In those days one of the finest weapons of the enemy was the arrow!  Shoot from distance - any angle

A)   Consequently - take their shield and squat behind it and be completely protected!


B) The enemy would often take these arrows and rap the tip with    cloth - covered w/ pitch

Light on fire - become flaming missiles! / Hit target not only -    puncture but burn


C) Too combat this the Romans would often soak the leather on the front of their Shield in water – before going into battle – so that when these flaming arrows would hit the shield the dampness would cause the flame to go out.


D) All of which is pregnant with meaning: Paul says our Shield is to quench all the fiery darts or flaming missiles of the wicked one!


Romans 10:17 - "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God"

A) Just like the leather that covered the shield was soaked in water – to extinguish the fiery darts


B) As our lives are soaked in the water of the Word of God – Our faith grows and those flaming missiles of the enemy are quenched.



Paul tells us to above all take the shield of faith that you might be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked …..ONE

A)   As this Shield covered the entire SOLIDER  against the flaming arrows of his enemy –


B)    The Shield of Faith covers us entirely against the fiery darts……



Understand that all the other aspects of the Armor – are covered by the shield which is also why Paul says above all taking the Shield of faith

A)    Takes faith to Believe the FACTS – concerning the truth Christ has made us free


B)    It takes Faith – to Understand the FACT THAT we are covered in the Righteousness of Christ!!!!


C)    It takes Faith – to Embrace that Reality that we IN CHRIST are at Peace w/ God that enables us to EXPERIENCE THE Peace of God in our Lives


D)    It takes Faith – Wear the Helmet of Salvation – Assurance that Saved

1)    it takes Faith to Wield the Sword of the Spirit – to stand on & Use the Word of God – BELIEVING  it will not RETURN VOID


E)     And we are told that the prayer of faith – the Lord Honors


So Faith is Like a Shield First of all Because it Covers the Whole Man – Everything is covered by Faith!!!!!


Martyn Lloyd-Jones (The Christian Soldier [Baker], p. 305) says, “Faith here means the ability to apply quickly what we believe so as to repel everything the devil does or attempts to do to us.”


Peter gives similar counsel to a suffering church. After warning them that their adversary, the devil, was prowling after them, to devour them,


Peter adds (1 Pet. 5:9), “But resist him, firm in your faith….”


Stay behind the shield of faith and you will be safe. Move out from behind it and you will be a casualty.

#2 Faith is like a Shield because FAITH BEARS THE BLOWS FOR THE MAN Himself!!!!!

Eph. 6: 16  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.


A) What are these fiery darts or flaming missiles!


Aa) Thoughts that Satan will seek to throw into your mind! Come at   anytime and in all shapes and sizes/ Attacks our Faith


B) In fact interesting come most often when doing something spiritual


C) Reading Bible: praying, in worship - here comes the missiles 

          "Seeking God again - fire - attack - light arrows"

Suddenly thoughts of temptation - where that come from


D) Crazy thoughts – fear /doubt/ lust Anger/ …..


Key is to identify where these thoughts are coming from

A) McCheyne: plagued by evil thoughts and imaginations - Father       asked - do you enjoy them?  No, hate them!    Realize - not yours!


B) Faith is Like a shield in that it takes the Blows – in Public and in Private

C) One of Satan’s biggest Missiles is the Missile of Fear – Alan Redpath “Fear is the greatest enemy of our faith.”


#3 Faith is like a Shield in that it needs to be well handled.

A) Notice - apostle says to take the shield of faith... He doesn't say to take the shield of belief!   Difference


B) We have already reminded ourselves of our belief when we put on the girdle of truth - breastplate ... shoes of peace!


C) that is our belief in what Christ is to us - who we are in Him. But faith is more than that ... Faith is acting on belief!


D) Actively trusting God involves looking at your circumstances and at the promises of God and deciding to rely on God.

1) Faith looks away from oneself and to God alone for Help! {Oregon days


C) Fear not going to make it!

          He who began ... complete it!


D) Tempted to focus on temporal life.

1) Inheritance in Heaven - 1 Peter 1:3-4

Not corrupted / stolen / fade



When the enemy comes and attacks me during prayer saying - He doesn't hear you!

A) It is w/ the shield of faith that I remind myself of Psalm 34:15-18   


 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. 


The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.


B) When He comes trying to discourage me not to worship - you sound horrible - you are in sin

1) With the shield of faith I am reminded that God is looking for worshipers


That He inhabits the praises of his people


When the enemy shoots that arrow that says - you can't do anything - you are too weak

With the shield of faith - I respond you are right - but His   grace is sufficient ... boast in my weakness


When the enemy comes and whispers - your sin is great!  Respond:   yes, but He is able to save to the uttermost!

One last thing about This Shield of Faith!

A) Often times in battle the soldiers would ban together w/ their shields standing side by side shields up & over head


B) Make a human tank / march on their enemy / united & bound together / covered by their shields / very effective


C) To me this is a perfect picture of what the Lord can do when His people are bound in faith!  


The Bible declares that 2 Chron. 16: 9 the eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the earth seeking to show Himself strong on behalf of those who heart is perfect           toward Him!


D) The Lord says I am looking for those who will in faith make a stand / who will thru faith step out in ministry

1) Type of faith that Led Jonathan & His armor barrier to say lets see what the Lord might want to do!


E) Type of faith that Elijah stood against prophets of Baal / Gideon

1)  And 300 men stood against army that # like the sand!


F) Apostles preached so boldly / Phillip to Samaria


Maybe you are thinking but I struggle in Faith

First, recognize that your lack of faith in God constitutes a relational problem with God.

If someone is completely trustworthy and you tell him, “I don’t trust you,” you’re calling him a liar and creating distance in your relationship with him. Not to trust God is to say,

“Your promises are not true. You’re a liar.” That’s a terrible sin!


Second, confess your unbelief as sin and ask God for forgiveness.

 He will forgive if we acknowledge our sin and return to Him (1 John 1:9).



Third, ask God to give you faith to trust Him fully.

Remember the man who begged Jesus to heal his son, saying (Mark 9:22-24), “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” Jesus replied, “If you can? All things are possible to him who believes.” The man cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”


Fourth, dont try to work up faith; rather, look to the Lord Himself.

 He is trustworthy. He has never failed anyone, including the martyrs.

Read your Bible to see who He is.


Fifth, do not trust in how you feel, but trust in the sure Word of God.

Faith must often stand against feelings. God’s Word is the compass to guide you when you’re lost in the fog of trials.


The world’s counsel may seem right, but the counsel of God’s Word is always faithful and true.


Follow Him, not your feelings!