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June 17, 2021 4:00 am
Having protected is helpful, but it's only helpful if you have it. That's why believers need to know how to put on each piece of the spiritual armor that God provides. Today on Truth for Life. I was bed continues a message in Ephesians chapter 6 teaches us how God equips us for spiritual battle with his entire arm for just a week away from the celebration of Memorial Day weekend when we give thanks and remember those who serve the cause of our nation in the giving of their life's and some of those who gave their lives were involved in the landing of the Allied forces in June 1944 I landing which in the history of the second world war ensured victory for the Allied forces history also records that, although victory particularly than on the Western front was absolutely assured the Allied forces continued to fight the Germans all the way to Berlin until they finally surrendered on 5 May 1945 so that, although victory was absolutely assured. Almost a year before the vide the final triumph and declaration came a year later, and in many ways. That is a very helpful picture for us of what it means when we turn to a consideration of the battleground.
That is the experience of the genuine believer and as we began this this morning.
I'm not sure that I articulated this important point, which is why I begin with it now and it is this that in the cross of Christ has defeated Satan summarily, there is no question about his defeat but nevertheless Christ has left us here and the battle continues against the world and the flash and the devil, until finally, on the day that Christ returns. We will move as it were from the D-Day landing to the vide of the triumph and victory that is then established and made clear in Jesus. I say that so that we might be very very clear that we are operating in Jesus then from a position of victory. With that said, however, we recognize too that we are up against. As we said this morning stiff opposition. It is no surprise in the Paul moves very very quickly in this section to the armor, which has been provided for us in Christ and which we are to make sure that we put on.
You will notice that this is an imperative.
Here in verse 11. Put it on is not going to be put on for it is something that we then in turn must do and when he mentions this in 11 and then again in verse 13, you will notice that he says put on the whole armor of God.
In other words, it is not mix and match.
It's not pick and choose the soldiers of Christ are to make sure that they avail themselves of the provision that is been made for us in order to do battle against this most evil and powerful for and so in the spirit of this morning I want to move more swiftly than we might do later on and just notice what we are provided with year in terms of this armor. First of all uprooting on the belt of truth were done in verse 13.
Taking up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth. Others belt was absolutely crucial because other pieces attached to it. For example, the breastplate with attached to that belt. The sword would be hanging from that belt.
Therefore, if you like the belt is foundational to the armor and when you read the commentators as you may choose to do, you will discover that there is a great debate that really needn't take place about whether this belt of truth is all objective or whether it is subjective.
In other words, are we are we dealing here with verse 13 of chapter 1 in him you also, when you heard the word of truth that this word of truth, which is outside of eyes and objective to us which is of course a reality for us, for it is by the same word of truth that having inherited and believed it, we have been changed by, or is he referring to it in a subjective sense in which would be verse 25 of Ephesians 4.
Therefore, having put away falsehood. Let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor. My inclination is that we need not choose between that is belt of truth is the truth of the gospel objective to us and the truthfulness of our relationships with one another are foundational to our engaging in the warfare and then without the breastplate of righteousness there in verse 14. Now again we can see this objectively and subjectively, objectively, considering it in the terms that we have just signed behold him there.
The risen Lamb my perfect spotless righteousness. So it is objective tools that we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Therefore, the breastplate of righteousness in a subjective die mention is in. Indeed, in that's in that spirit notes the subject development is is absolutely crucial as well because it is true objectively in that there is a righteousness which is ours in Christ.
What is true objectively will then be revealed subjectively. That's why the Bible says there is examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith, whether that public profession is then matched by a righteous life know the breastplate obviously cover the chest covered vital organs.
The heart and the lungs and a very strong reminder to us of how the completeness of the pardon of the Lord Jesus for our sins are combined with the integrity of his work within our lives in terms of our character. These two things are then as one old commentator says woven together in an impenetrable mail and AIL i.e. chain mail so that the objective righteousness of Christ and the subjective experience of our growing in our understanding and profession of that then is core last in order to provide the protection for the very center of our being and then along with that in verse 15 shoes for your feet.
The readiness given by the gospel of peace. Josephus, the Jewish historian writes of how it was that Caesar's military success had a tremendous amount to do with the footwear that he provided for his troops. Apparently he used to give them or what essentially were like hobnailed boots and they had starts in the bottom of allowing the man to make progress over long distances and with significant speed and so that in doing so, they would then be able to catch the enemy off guard, or they would be unable to put themselves in a position where they could withstand the enemy without it even got to imagine I think you perhaps imagine along with me that Paul is not reaching for illustrative material deleting Laura to a book you know. That said, I need an illustration about the work of the Christian life. In the battle and so on. Now easy he is.
He lives in the middle of this as he writes to Timothy remember he says it is important that you would be prepared in season and out of season.
When you feel like it when you don't feel like or as Peter writes ready in first Peter three ready with an answer for those who ask the reason for the hope you have, or where is that to be found well is to be found in the fact that we have been given these shoes if you like gospel shoes are lovely on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, and in order to facilitate our ability to do that we are kitted out at that level and then immediately in verse 16 he says in all circumstances take up the shield of faith, it's interesting actually.
How categorical he is in these things is use of the equivalent of the little word all in all circumstances to extinguish all the flaming darts all circumstances, all the flaming darts. Now what is the shield of faith, while the picture here is not all the little shield that you sometimes see when you watch the old movies of the Roman Empire where the fellow had like a little heart-shaped gizmo and that he was using a dagger this there is a word for that. That is not the word that is used here the word that is used here is for a shield that would have been at least 4 feet in length and 2 1/2 feet in width. There was enough that you could get behind it. Or you could hold it up like this. You see, and remember the corporate die mention in this.
This is not being written to an individual is being written to a church so we can of people showing up, not in their uniforms is why we say to one another one for all and all for one, that's why we matter together. That's why gathering together matters because as we are together and together we can hold up the shield.
When the enemy warfare is coming against us. When the flaming darts are coming against us. When a brother or sister is overwhelmed by stuff and has found that there shield has fallen on the dust of the battle.
All they are longing for her to her three brothers or sisters to come around them and take their shields and protect them from further onslaughts.
That's the picture that is. Here's a wonderful picture in the warfare of the time the flaming arrows would have been dipped in pitch than satellite and because of the construction of the shield of the shield was capable of absorbing and in turn extinguishing, these flaming darts know what wonderful picture that is. I hope you get it in again with song about that heavenly when Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the Guild within what I do I take the shield of faith, I hold out my door. What is is a on the door says Christ is my perfect righteousness it when when someone comes and says you don't possibly believe that Bible do you I hold up the door and on.
It is inscribed. I am the way the truth and the life. See the picture when I am buffeted by anxiety and by panic some of you have panic attacks. I know when I am confronted. All of a sudden, out of the blue with memories of sin in the past when bad thoughts invade my mind. When doubts and fears arise when crushing disappointment seeks to take hold of me.
What we do we do what Paul says to do in all circumstances take up the shield of faith taken up to Put it on. Take it up here again is the importance of reminding ourselves of what is true of us. I'm not saved on account of anything done by me. I'm not saved on the basis of anything done in me, and saved on the basis of what is being done for me so that I don't look into myself.
Then water how well I've been doing but I look to Christ because the piece which God has made through the cross of Christ does not come with an exemption from the battle. It is actually only experienced in the midst of the battle you get that piece which is ours through the cross of Christ does not come with an exemption from the battle. It is only experienced in the midst of the back again I say to you, do not give much interest to those who want to suggest to you that if you really work a good and a successful Christian, you were not any notion of these battles, a tall words like doubt and disappointment and fear. Rebellion and mistrust, and anxiety, and so on.
Would all be nothing of the past while your sensible people. You can read your Bibles.
You see how important it is that he comes in verse 17 and says you better get your helmet on the helmet of salvation, the helmet of salvation. What I helmet this must've been the more I consider the armor I realized I could with. I can wear this armor I can hold my head up because this helmet was made of bronze or of iron. It had a lining that was constructed by either felt or by sponge which would lessen the weight and make it more bearable. It was so reinforced many of them as you've seen in movies again had had a hinged visor that closed out of the front row was like a motorcycle helmet and nothing short of an acts or a hammer could pierce the helmet.
Nothing short of it. The helmet of salvation protection for the head protection for the mind. Perhaps we should think in terms of Paul when he writes in first Thessalonians. When we take this picture. First Thessalonians 5 a. Those who sleep, sleep at night, those who get drunk are drunk at night.
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation again when he uses that word hope he's talking about a reality that is only experienced in part by the ultimate reality of it still awaits us. That's why I've never really got much beyond my Sunday school class and that great day when whichever teacher was explained to us the three tenses of salvation. I have been saved from sin's penalty that is justification. I am being saved from sin's power. That is sanctification. I will be saved from sin's presence that is glorification and again I suggest to you the vital importance of learning to talk to ourselves because our minds are need to be transformed constantly only be transformed by the renewing of your minds.
It is in our minds that the attacks come. That's why were supposed to gird up the loins of our minds, as Peter puts it, took an old-fashioned notion gather these thoughts under the rubric of God's power because it is in my mind that I'm attacked by guilt is in my mind that I'm attacked by doubt it's in my mind that I'm attacked by fear.
So what are we to do, don't leave home without the helmet. Don't get caught somewhere saying I don't need to wear my helmet.
You know I have a scooter. It was very fast. About 12 miles and are flat out there in tells me why you must wear your helmet. I said good is a lie fell off I would do more damage to the tarmac than it would do to me. No know they said put the thing on and so I do most of the time it would be foolish not to. So when I have on the helmet of salvation and the attack comes, I'm going to say what the lady said to me, I resist, I will not be overcome by this, then we have to get theological UC that we say out loud for driving the car. Jesus. Jesus save sinners. I know that I have asked him to save me. I know that the whole shooting match is not finished yet because I am in process. It's not yet complete.
And I know that but one day he will complete what he is begun, the promise of Philippians 1 and I know that to. That's all part of wearing the helmet.
What that really brings us to the end of the armor. I know that people include the sword with the arm above the sword is really a weapon is not and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. In other words, do what Jesus did when he was confronted in the wilderness do what the psalmist says we should do hides God's word in our hearts because here's the deal if we don't know it, we can use it if you don't know the formula in your in your math class. There's no way you can pull it out when the test comes, you have to know therefore we have to know the Bible there.
If we are not Bible men and women if were not young Bible people then we we we we were out there were no window weaponry in Bell Canada with the armor.
Why would you why would you want without resort. I have stored up your word in my heart says the psalmist that I might not sin against you.
I stored it up so that on the day when the evil one comes I will to respond to them in December that Jesus responded with the word of God to the attacks of the evil one. I will never forget your precepts. For by them.
You have given me life and the other part of the weaponry twitch will conduct is the prayer and praying at all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication exactly what Paul has done in this letter. Following the pattern of all that Jesus did in his earthly ministry, but let me end. In this way, and going through this day I found myself saying. But what about the person and it may be you may be me.
We come to the end of the day and we come to the end of the day more conscious of having been defeated rather than having triumphed. What are we, what are we to do well. Let me encourage you to if. If you're tempted to be always taking your spiritual pulse just stopped. Okay, getting up in the morning. I wonder if I'm I wonder if I'm alive today and my alive today my spiritually alive today. How many chapters in the Bible of I read today how much witnessing. Have I done today going should not even out of your bed. What's wrong with you. You see that how easy this is to do what is our answer to the accuser. He accused us in the night we awaken at 3 o'clock we had a dreadful time to get back to sleep now is 6:30 and we must get up by the remnants of the accusation remain. Don't get up to take our pulse we get up to declare you take this up with the captain of my salvation.
Remind yourself that you're in a war said this was going to be easy see your strength in the Lord Jesus, identify the enemy put on the armor.
Take your weapons quick March. That's it. Those times when we feel personally. We have to remind ourselves of God's listing to Truth for Life with Alister back finding out that none of us is exempt from spiritual battles. This struggle against evil will continue until Christ returns to help you in the battle we want to recommend a book that supplements our current study. The book is titled the whole armor of God, how Christ's victory strengthens us for spiritual warfare in each chapter of this book you will learn how to apply each piece of God's armor for maximum protection will also be encouraged as you discover how Jesus has already successfully utilized each piece of armor requester copy of the book today.
When you make a generous one-time donation to our app or online at truthforlife.org/donate today were also excited to offer you the classic book the Christian in complete Armour's famous work on spiritual warfare from the Puritan era has been treasured for generations and right now you can buy the three volume abridged collection from Truth for Life for just $10 and the shipping is free. That low price is made possible because of the generous giving comes from truth partners. If you have not yet joined this important group of your fellow listeners whose giving makes Truth for Life possible. We want to urge you to sign up today. It's quick and easy to do online Truth for Life.org/partner or you can call 888588788 by Bob Lapine. Thanks for listing. Join us tomorrow as we discover how our friendship with God puts us at odds with a significant enemy. The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by truth for line with the Learning is for Living