THE CHRISTIAN’S ARMOR
Ephesians 6:16, Hebrews 11:6
#5 - THE SHIELD OF FAITH
Faith is essential!
There is no person in this whole world that is going to Heaven without faith in Christ alone for salvation! (John 14:6)
We are sinners.
Jesus Christ, God's Son in the flesh, died on the cross for our sins.
He paid the price on the cross! (2 Corinthians 5:21)
He rose from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
The price is paid for our sins so we can go to Heaven.
We simply have to accept it by faith!
Ephesians 2:8-10 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
God in his grace has provided the way to Heaven, free of charge.
But it is totally a matter of faith, not of works.
It's not good works that get you to Heaven.
It's not faith and good works that get you into Heaven.
It's faith plus nothing that gets you into Heaven.
If you have not trusted Christ alone, place faith in Him for eternal life.
God is offering a free gift!
Accept it by faith!
Faith is essential for eternal life.
Faith is also an essential ingredient in the Christian's Armor.
Ephesians - "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
THE PRIORITY OF FAITH
The words "above all" carry the idea of adding to what has already been said.
Besides the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, and the boots of peace, the Christian soldier is to take the shield of faith. The Roman soldier had two shields that he could use. The first shield was a small shield held in one hand while a sword could be held in the other. The second shield that was used, and referred to in our text, was much larger. It was 4 1/2 feet tall and 2 1/2 feet wide and covered with metal or leather. This shield was sufficient to protect a soldier's whole body. Soldiers often stood next to each other, shield next to shield, and moved forward against an enemy.
How important is the shield of faith?
Hebrews 11:6 - But without faith it is impossible to please him:"
Another word for "faith" is trust.
Is trust an important part of a friendship?
Friendships are ruined by a lack of trust.
Is trust an important part of marriage?
I have seen marriages ruined by a lack of trust.
When trust is violated, it takes a long time for a marriage to be restored, if it's ever restored.
Is trust important between parents and children?
Yes! When a child can't trust the parent, and/or the parent can't trust the child, the whole relationship is strained and often destroyed.
And what's even sadder is when the other person in the relationship does not trust a trustworthy person.
If a wife is trustworthy and not trusted by her husband, it's sad.
If a child is trustworthy and not trusted by her daughter, it's sad.
If a friend is trustworthy and not trusted by his or her friend, it's sad!
Can God be trusted? Of course He can!
How sad it is when we do not trust God!
How can we tell we are not trusting God.
When we worry.
When we fear.
When we allow temptation to conquer us.
It is obvious in these situations that we are simply not trusting, not using the shield of faith!
Have you ever stopped to think why we trust people?
We trust them because they are family.
We trust them because they are friends.
We trust them because we know they care.
We trust them because they have proven themselves trustworthy.
We trust them because they have the power and ability to help us.
Why should we trust God?
We should trust Him because He is family - Our loving Heavenly Father.
We should trust Him because He is our friend.
We should trust Him because we know He cares.
We should trust Him because He has the power and ability to help us.
We should trust Him because He has proven Himself trustworthy.
As someone has said, "You can trust the one who died for you." (Romans 8:32)
When we are not trusting God, we are not pleasing God.
THE PROCEDURE OF FAITH
We are to "take" the shield of faith. How do we do that?
Hebrews 11:6 - "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Notice there are two things mentioned here which we must do to use the shield of faith.
First we must believe that God is!
And you might be thinking, "Why pastor we all believe in the existence of God."
I think we all believe in our heads, but we don't always practice belief in God in our hearts.
We don't act like we believe in God!
You say you believe in God, but do you trust Him in tight jams?
You say you believe in God, but do care about His opinion of your behavior?
You say you believe in God, but are you ever concerned about hurting His feelings.
You say you believe in God, but do you worry as if He didn't exist?
You can say you believe in God, but if you don't act like there's a God, you don't really believe in Him.
By taking the shield of faith, you believe in God's existence as part of your every day life.
But there's more. Not only do you believe in God's existence, but also you believe that He rewards those that diligently seek Him.
How can you tell if you believe that He rewards those who diligently seek Him? You believe that He rewards those who diligently seek Him, if you diligently seek Him.
Millions of people say they believe that God answers prayer.
The ones, who truly believe that God answers prayer, pray diligently!
And after they have prayed, they simply believe that God will answer. That's faith! (Psalm 37:5 Psalm 91:2, Proverbs 3:5-6)
THE PROFIT OF FAITH
According to Ephesians 6:16, the shield of faith quenches all the fire darts of the wicked.
A Roman soldier's shield covered with leather would not only stop the darts of the enemy, but if they were fiery darts, the fire would be put out.
Our enemy sends his fiery darts of temptation. The shield of faith quenches them.
There is even more profit for the one who uses the shield of faith. God rewards him according to Hebrews 11:6. God gives direction to him according to Proverbs 3:5-6. And God protects him according to Psalm 91:1.