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The Believer's Armor, Part 4: The Shield of Faith

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
October 18, 2021 4:00 am

The Believer's Armor, Part 4: The Shield of Faith

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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October 18, 2021 4:00 am

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When the battle gets furious and the arrow starts flying, he takes the shield of faith know what is it for verse 16 with which you shall be able to quench not some not most, but all the fiery darts of the wicked. So I tell you whatever it is he'll do the job right the shield of faith, is it so not. You might even say that this is the only piece of armor you knew all it takes to protect your loved ones from harm will it's also true that your heavenly father cares deeply for you and will protect you from spiritual harm today on grace to you, you're going to learn how to use a piece of armor that can protect you against even Satan's fiercest attacks. It's called the shield of faith. So how do you take hold of this shield and use it for all it's worth. Find out now. As John MacArthur continues his inventory of the believers armor. Here we have the great text in the book of Ephesians that delineates for us the warfare of the Christian.

Our manner of life in this world will be conflict. We are set against the enemy, but as we been seeing from this passage. There's no reason for us to fear that there's no reason for us to get under the weather, as it were to become fatalistic because the victory is ours and to express that I like you look at Romans chapter 8 verse 31 for just a moment. Romans 831 what shall we then say to these things. If God be for us, who can be against us, he that spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things. In other words, who could defeat one God who gave us Christ give us any resource we needed to win the battle and who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect show God that justifies in other words, who's going to hold anything against us. If God is the highest court and God says we are just who is an accuser.

Verse 34 who is he that condemns shall Christ died a rather that is risen again.

In other words, if he rose again for our justification would he condemn the point as if God is the highest court. If Christ is the greatest judge, and they have declared us just and righteous, who should condemn us, who would possibly bring any accusation against answer, obviously, is no one verse 35 what shall separate us from the love of Christ shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword, as it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter may you know all these things, what things tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword killed all day long counter sheep for the slaughter. In all these things we are super conquerors through him that loved us, and so I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are hyper conquerors, super conquerors. That is what Paul met in first Corinthians 1557, when he said thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, and in second Corinthians 214 where he said thanks be on the God who always causes us to triumph in Christ and what John met in first John 55 what he said who is he that overcomes the world. But he that believe it.

But Jesus is the son of God. We are over conquerors. We are triumphing we are 15 various in Christ. And so you see my very definition. Romans eight first Corinthians 15 second Corinthians 2. First John five. We are victors we are invincible we are super conquerors but that is speaking about the total picture.

The positional picture the ultimate war.

The fact is, in order to win the battle. Every day we have to come to Ephesians chapter 6 because there we appropriate the armor that God is made available, and in appropriating this armor we can be super conquerors on a day-to-day basis.

We can be more than conquerors. We can go beyond just winning the battle. We can take the spoil we can go beyond just claiming victory, we can inherit all the possessions of the vanquished photo and second Chronicles chapter 20.

Jehoshaphat leads Israel and a great celebration of victory and II think it might fit our thoughts as an illustration second Chronicles 2022. Israel is coming to battle, and that is spoken of in verse 22 when they began to sing and to praise. It's interesting the Lord set an ambush against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Cyr who were come against Judah, and they were smitten for the children Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Cyr utterly display and destroy them and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Syria.

Everyone help to destroy each other and what the Lord did he just put all the enemies kill each other off. While Israel stood there and praise God and never even fired a shot and when Judy came toward the watchtower in the wilderness and looked out of the multitude, and behold, there were dead bodies falling to the earth, and none escaped and went Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil from them. They found among them in abundance riches with the dead bodies and precious jewels which they stripped off for themselves more than they could carry away and they were three days and gathering the spoil. It was so much and on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the Valley of baraka for their they bless the Lord, therefore the name of the same place was called the Valley of baraka under this day and then they returned every man of Judah and Jerusalem and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them to go again to Jerusalem with joy for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies and they came to Jerusalem was psalteries, and harps and trumpets under the house of the Lord and the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the Lord fought against the enemies of Israel. And here's a picture of super conquering.

You don't even have to fight the battle to start with, that's amazing. Secondly, when the battle is over everyone on the enemy forces dead next all the spoil is yours undivided and then they returned to Jerusalem, singing and praising God and ultimately verse 30 says God gave them rest from further battles super conquering a fall absolutely liberated not one remaining spoil totally collected taking three days to girder returning with joy, never having fired a shot. Never having engaged in a fight the whole victory given by the Lord. That's a super conquering and that's what is in the Christian life. God is all the fighting gives us the victory lets us collect all the spoils and enter into his presence with joy. That's a supertanker.

That's the way God expects you live your life. Day-to-day with that kind of victorious living with that kind of approach to life. Now, in order to experience that positional reality and practical living. You must apply the armor of the Christian on a day-to-day basis and that's why were looking Ephesians 610 to 17.

How does a Christian make all of us available daily. Finally enter into the joy and rejoicing.

How do we enter into this kind of experiences they had in those times when Israel won the great victory.

How do we know that same joy that same exhilaration that same blessedness of having the battle be fought by the Lord.

How can we stand fully enriched by the spoils gain well. The key is right here.

Let's go back in Ephesians 6 and find out we see your six pieces of armor for the Christian. As long as we have the mind will know the victory in the spoil it comes to super conquerors first in verse 14. Have your loins girded about with truthfulness. This we call the belt of truthfulness and we told you this means commitment means readiness means preparation.

In other words, if are going to fight Satan for going to the war.

We have to realize we have a formidable fall when the real enemy, we gotta be ready after gird up our loins a symbol of preparation we see it in many of the illustrations of Hebrew culture and history where they would gird up their loins to move on a journey and so a soldier must be ready for the fight guarding up his lines preparing for battle. Secondly, verse 14 tells us of the breastplate of righteousness, the breastplate of righteousness is that which indicates personal holiness, righteous living. And when sin enters our lives. We confess and repent and turn from it, and thus we keep a breastplate of righteousness covering our vital areas covering our heart and our bowels as the Hebrew would see at the heart the seat of the thoughts and the bowels the seat of the emotion so that our thinking and feeling is guarded by holiness and righteousness. So as Christians we are ready to fight. Everything is together. We are totally and absolutely and 100% committed, and we were living a righteous holy life. Third thing we are to have on the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace are feeder to be covered with the gospel of peace told the Romans had boots or semi boots, sandal affair that had a hard nail sticking out of the bottom series like cleats or spikes, and they would stand their ground firmly and we see that the shoes that cause us to stand against Satan are really made of the gospel of peace. That is the good news that we are at peace with God and he's on our side and we can stand in his resource. The same thing that allowed Peter to take a sword and start the fight the whole Roman army in the garden because he knew Jesus was beside him and if he got in trouble with the word Jesus could not come all over. So as Christians we stand our ground confident God is on our side. Now that how we when was Satan's army how we defeat his host of demons that we stop the antagonism that attacks us from the kingdom of darkness. We do it by commitment, we do it by holiness and we do it. My confidence that God's power and resource is sufficient. I want us to move on to the next piece of armor were just going to talk about one the shield of faith, but in verse 16. The shield of faith, and above all, taking the shield of faith with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one now. Whatever the shield of faith is folks, it is sufficient because it quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked will that is a pretty broad statement is sufficient for the total of the need and are several kinds of shields used by different parts of the Army in Roman times, depending upon the kind of thing you are doing and what your involvement to stand out.

The first is a rather small round shield sort of like a giant Frisbee shaped and that kind of fashion curled at the edges it was strapped with two straps normally to the forearm. The left arm of the soldier it was to be very light so that it could be carried about when a soldier was a mobile footsoldier and he would use it to pairing the blows of hand-to-hand combat in the right hand was was a sword, and according to verse 17, the sword is a Makyla which is a Greek word meaning dagger.

It's a short sword and they would get into hand and combat in the one hand, would be this little sword. It would be fighting with and in the other would be that which they parried the blows of the opponent with and that would be the shield that is not the word used here word used here is the rayon. It refers to a completely different shield durian is a shield that was foreign 0.5' x 2.5'. It was a great big thick plank of wood was covered on the outside with metal and sometimes with even leather very thick so that when arrows were shot fiery arrows they would hit that metal and deflect or they would hit the leather and the leather would be boiled or treated so that they would extinguish the fiery pitch as it hit but was a massive piece of wood really foreign 0.5 x 2.5 and if you remember in those days, people were much smaller than they are today.

Even in the times of the history of England and Scotland and we were there not long ago looking at some suits of armor if you ever been to the Tower of London. You see the same thing you look at the armor that they warn you, wonder who could've gotten in that what your high school or junior high kids are so small they were very small people, and in the time of the Lord as far as we know it was the same situation. People were very small and a 4.5 x 2.5 which shield would give you total protection just to get on the ground to get behind. That's what it was used for.

It was designed for full protection. Now, when the Roman army would fight. Usually this would be kind of the battle strategy for was a major battle there would be a long line of these soldiers in the front of the troops with the shield behind would be all of the soldiers with arrows and swords and everything else in and of as they moved along they would come to the enemy. They would plant those shield side-by-side, creating a huge wall of protection behind that wall, the archers would send their arrows flying little by little, inching the wall closer and closer and finally entering into the hand-to-hand combat frequent, but that's what would be happening and the guys in the front would provide the line the wall that really was the front line of the Army and it would shield those soldiers against the arrows. It would fly. And of course, once the barrage of arrows came those would be the guys who had the greatest protection.

Now it's true also that even in the troops behind there would be those with these also to protect himself, but you can imagine, if he didn't have a shield like that. All of a sudden a barrage of arrows came from behind the enemy. Phalanx. You could never possibly fight him up, but you could get behind your shield and be protected so this is a double protection a double protection.

Now listen to your notice. It begins in verse 60 with the words above all, it does not mean it's the most important. That is not the emphasis not talking about the issue of importance that is not an issue dealt with in this section of the armor of the Christian sect I told you before, is nothing said here about which is most important. They're all essential and even overlap, but he saying on top of everything else. In addition to everything else you have your belt, your breastplate, your shoes now. In addition to that, above all that. And by the way, the above all refers not just to the shield, but the last three pieces of armor. Above all, it says, taking the shield of faith and then verse 17 and take the helmet of salvation of the sword of the Spirit. Now notice in Austria very important thought the above all, introduces all three remaining elements.

And there's even a distinction in the verbs to show there is a difference you have in verse 14 to have being.

It is the verb having your loins having your feet and having on the breastplate, and the idea of the verb having verb is that this is something that is permanent. This is what you have on this is a permanent kind of thing a long-range preparation. For example, there would be a lull in the battle and alone. The battle, a soldier would go over and he would rest, but he would not take off his breastplate, he wouldn't take off his belt and shoes that was just always there, he would have that on at all times. But when the battle got hot.

Verse 16 he would take his shield were 70 would take his helmet and his sort so the first three are long-range preparation, the second three are for immediate readiness. This is grasping that which really is necessary in the heat of the battle not granted.

If you have commitment. Your belt is on and you have absolute holiness in your life, your breastplate is on and you have confidence in God's power you're standing with your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

That would seem to be sufficient and really hit it. It's just that the rest of this is kind of a double protection and is useful for when the battle really gets furious.

The rest of it, you keep on all the time.

A believer shouldn't have to get committed. I remember growing up in so many times going to conferences they say were going to have a rededication watch all rededicate you what I want to a school where they used to do that all the time. We have meetings month after month after month summary come and speak to the Christian students and call for a recommitment to rededication a re-consecration and the same people would go to the same thing.

Always doing it or the point is, they were simply going back to the three basics they were going back to commitment to righteousness and to confidence in God's power which is something that sure All the Time. See. But When the Arrows Start Flying, and in Mass Force, Then You Must Have the Shield of Faith, Then You Pull on the Helmet of Salvation and Then You Grab the Sword of the Spirit Is Kind like Watching a Baseball Player Sits on the Bench and When He Goes to Sit on the Bench.

He Doesn't Take His Uniform. A Uniform Stays on His Gut Sliding Pads on Target Kneepads to Get His His Baseball Spikes on When It Comes Time to Bat a Puts a Helmet on and He Gets a Bat in His Hand. Why, Because He Has Been Prepared, but Now He Takes the Weapons of His Warfare in Hand for the Battle You See It Happen in a Football Game. The Guy Sits on the Bench. Off Comes a Helmet and so Forth. And When He Goes into the Gate. He Pulls Not to Take Stuff and That's Essentially the Distinction That the Apostle Was Showing Here. There Are Some Long-Range Elements of Preparation and Some for Immediate Readiness As the Battle Ensues, and so on Top of the First Three Which Are Clamped Clasped Tied Sort of Buckled Locked in Place Immovable Come These Three, Which Are Grabbed by the Hand for the Immediacy of the Battle. It's a Wonderful Thing. Beloved to Think about This You Know God Is in the Business of Doubly Protecting His Children and Whether Enough to Have Confidence in God's Power. The Right Shoes Enough to Have a Breastplate of Righteousness Enough to Have a Belt of Commitment. But God Gives Us a Double Protection Which Is so Great It's like Him. I Was Thinking of John 10 Where It Says That Our Lives Are in Christ Hand, We Are His Sheep and He Has Put Us in the Father's Hand and Nobody Can Take Us out. So You Have God in Christ, Both Holding onto the Believer, Both Securing the Believer Hiding Us Together and Saw This Double Sense of Protection Is Not Uncommon to God's Way of Thinking so the Christian Soldier Also Has a Double Kind of Protection from the Enemy When the Battle Gets Furious and the Arrow Start Flying.

He Takes the Shield of Faith Know What Is It for Verse 16 with Which You Shall Be Able to Quench the Means to Put out an Extinguish, Not Some Not Most, but All the Fiery Darts of the Wicked. So I Tell You Whatever It Is, Ill Do the Job Right. Whatever the Shield of Faith Is It's Enough.

You Might Even Say That This Is the Only Piece of Armor You Needed All Bets Are Comprehensive. But It's a Double Protection.

All the Fiery Darts Are Quench Now Where They Come from the End of Verse 16 You See in the Authorize the Wicked Greek Is the Wicked One, the Wicked One Who Is Satan, the Evil One Literally Planner Us Means the Bad One. The File One the Wretched One. Satan Is Firing and Using His Demons to Fire All of These Fiery Darts and We Are Clenching Them by the Shield of Faith. Now I Want You to Notice That the Term the Evil One, or the Wicked One, or the Bad One Reminds Us That This Battle Is Not against the Philosophy It's against the Personal Being the Evil One in Verse 11. The Devil Is Mentioned.

There's No Question about This. He Is the Source We Are Not Fighting an Abstract Impersonal Think We Are Fighting against the Devil and His Demons Who Are Actively Involved in an Aggressive Attack on the Truth of God and the Character of God and His People so That's What Paul Sees Here This Thing Clenches the Fiery Darts of the Evil One. No Need to Ask Ourselves What Are the Fiery Darts.

What Is It Were, Try to Stop When the Battle of Those Days the Archers Would Get Their Arrows and They Would Put Some Material, Some Some Ball of Cotton or Something like That on the Tip and It Would Be Soaked in Pitch, Which Would Burn Rather Slowly, but Rather Hotly and Then They Would Have That Dipped in before They Would Shoot the Arrow.

They Were Delighted Fire and When It Hit Its Target Would Splatter the Pitch and It Would Start Little Fires on the Clothing of the Soldier or Whatever and Burn It or Burn up.

Perhaps Whatever Target They Had in View. It Was Made of Wood and so This Was What Was in Paul's Mind, and with the Deflection of a Metal Face on the Shield or the Leather That Would Extinguish These There Could Be Protection. Now What Are Satan's Fiery Darts. Well, It's Simple, Isn't There Seducing Temptations. That's All. He Simply Referring to Temptation Satan Fires Shafts of Impurity, Shafts of Selfishness, Doubt, Fear, Disappointment, Lust, Greed, Vanity Covetousness, It All Comes down to the Lust of the Flesh, Lust of the Eyes and the Pride of Life. He Literally Bombards the Believer with the Arrows. The Fiery Darts of Seductive Temptation to Elicit Out Of Us Ungodly Non-Christlike Evil Response and the Only Defense We Have at This Point Bosses the Shield of Faith Because Sometimes It Just Rains Temptation. We Live in a World Where It Really Does It Really Does All around Us. We Must Have the Shield of Faith and This Is Grace to You with John MacArthur Thanks for Tuning in Today. John Is Showing You How to Fend off Satan's Attacks with the Powerful Protection of the Believers Armor.

That's the Title John Study You Know John Listening to You Teach Here Reminds Me How Much I Love the Book of Ephesians so Many Key Turning Points in My Life and My Theological Thinking of Been Shaped from This Book. It's Not the Longest Epistle Paul Ever Wrote Is Less Than Half the Size of First Corinthians, and yet It Covers Everything from the Believers Armor to the Riches of Life in Christ. Is It Any Wonder John That This Book Ephesians Has Been Referred to As the Believers Bank. It's a Great Title for It.

You Know the Practical Part of Ephesians. In One Sense Doesn't Start until Chapter 4 When It Says Therefore This Is How You Are to Walk in.

This Is How You Are to Live the First Three Chapters Are Perhaps the Most Rich Condensed Understanding of Foundational Theology of the Sovereignty of God in Salvation and the Essence of the Gospel Chapter 1 Actually Uses the Word Predestination. Some People so I Don't Believe in Predestination. Well You Do If You Read the Book of Ephesians Because That's What's There, and It Describes It. Chapter 1 Basically Goes through the Entire Redemptive Purpose of God and Keeps Repeating for His Glory for His Glory for the Glory of His Grace, so the Heights of the Opening Chapter of Ephesians Are Almost Unparalleled in Any Single Chapter in the Bible Maybe the Closest Thing to That Will Be Romans Eight and Then You Can You Go from There into the Gospel and the Magnificent Statement of Chapter 2 the Were Saved by Grace through Faith Not of Works Lest Any Man Should Boast. And Then That Great Statement on Sanctification That We Been Ordained for Good Works, Which God Has Pre-Determined We Would Walk in Them. So Yeah, the Book of Ephesians. This Is Rich beyond Measure.

This Leads Me to Say, Look, You Need to Know All the Riches of Ephesians and I Don't Know If You Have Done This in the past, but Have Written Commentaries on Every Book of the New Testament Including Ephesians If You Haven't Any of Those Commentaries for Your Own If You Haven't Ordered or Purchased Any of the Commenters Is 33 Volumes of Them a Wonderful Place to Start Would Be with Ephesians. This Is Not Just for Pastors, Not Just for Sunday School Teachers or Bible Study Leaders, but Anyone Who Wants to Know about the Riches of Grace That Have Been Deposited in the Believer's Life.

Start Reading the Commentary Series with the Book of Ephesians the Whole Series Is Available, Obviously from Grace to You Can Order All of It.

If You Wanted, but You Can Certainly Start with One Volume on Ephesians That Would Be a Great Beginning and I Think Once You Have Experience That You'll Want More When You're Not Sure How to Apply a Particular Verse When You're Teaching the Bible to Your Kids When You Just Want to Know God's Word with Greater Depth. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Can Help Pick up the Ephesians, Volume When You Contact Us Today Our Toll-Free Number 855 Grace and Our Website Jide TY.org Individual Volumes of the MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series Are Available for $19 Each. Shipping Is Free Again to Order Call Toll-Free 855 Grace or Visit Our Website Jide TY.org and Keep in Mind You'll Enjoy a Significant Discount If You Purchase All 34 Volumes at Once Again to Order Either a Single Volume or the Entire Series Called 855 Grace or Shop online@jidety.org in this important reminder of John's teaching has helped you better understand what it means to follow Christ.

If these broadcasts have encouraged and equipped you to tell others. The gospel were of someone you know is come to Christ because of grace to you.

We love to hear your story. Email us at letters@tty.org once more that's letters@TTY.or send your letter to box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 now for John MacArthur.

I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to be here tomorrow when John shows you how to fight off, doubt and discouragement with the spiritual weapons God provides. Join us for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace to you

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