Battle Ready: Session 3- Gear Up (Part 2 of 3)
Battle Ready: Gear Up (Part 2)
Scripture: Ephesians 6:14-17
Central Theme: Standing against Satan
Objective Statement: We can be ready to make a stand by putting on the armor of God. Here are three more pieces of armor that we must put on.
Keyword: Pieces of Armor.
The Belt of Truth. (v.14)
The Breastplate of Righteousness. (v.14)
The Gospel Fitted Feet (v.15)
The Shield of Faith (v.16)
The Helmet of Salvation (v.17)
There was a time in our lives where that you had to convince people that there is such a thing as spiritual battle.
Life was basically peaceful.
There has been a creeping evil growing in our country. There has been a growing divisiveness between people and ideologies.
The time to convince people that things are “not normal” as some have even said this week is gone. People understand things are not right.
We’re on the wrong track as a nation.
Repentance is needed.
But you need to know that what you are experiencing in the country is a spiritual battle.
Things are not right because there is a spiritual battle going on.
Even this week I had several conversations with people trying to reach them, and I have found that the general sentiment of “things are bad right now” is the one thing that unifies the nation. We all agree that something is happening.
We’ve been studying the book of Ephesians- a letter written to the Ephesians to tell them that they are “in-Christ” and all that it means.
He gets to the end of the letter and tells them that they are in a battle.
The enemy is not flesh and blood- it is Satan and satanic forces at work in the world.
What is the answer?
Those of us in Christ must see ourselves as in a battle, and we must consistently live in a way that is battle ready. How do we do that?
We can be ready to make a stand by putting on the armor of God. Here are three more pieces of armor that we must put on.
1. The Belt of Truth. (v.14)
2. The Breastplate of Righteousness. (v.14)
(13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
(14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
3. The Gospel Fitted Feet (v.15)
(15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Roman soldiers over the years wore two kinds of footware- Caligae and Calcei. The Caligae were a sandal.
The Calcei were more of a closed toed and provided more protection in wet and winter climates.
As shown in these pictures they were often cleated. This gave them the ability to stand against the enemy.
"The underside of the caligae was fitted with studs that the soldier had to buy himself, they were not supplied by the army. Not only would they protect his feet over rough ground, but they also enabled him to use them in battle to stamp on fallen enemy warriors as his unit advanced into the opponent hordes." Romans in Britain - The Roman Soldier's Footwear - Caligae and Calcei (romanobritain.org)
Here the Apostle Paul says that we should put on these boots with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.
I think it is appropriate that the boots are on the feet, because the Gospel has to be advanced. The Gospel must be taken somewhere. Jesus told us in Mark 16:15:
(15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
What is the Gospel?
The word is εὐαγγέλιον (yoo-ang-ghel'-ee-on) and literally means "a good message" or "good news".
It is defined by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.
1 Corinthians 15:1-8
(1) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
(2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
(3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
(4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
(5) And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
(6) After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
(7) After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
(8) And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
How is this gospel the gospel of peace?
Because we were the enemies of God, and yet God has made peace by the blood of His Son.
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
1 John 2:2
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 4:10
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
(10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
(11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
When we go with the Gospel, sharing it with the lost, we are sharing that peace is possible for the enemies of God.
We cannot keep this good news to ourselves. We must put on these boots to stand against the schemes of Satan who hates the advancement of the Gospel.
We must take the Gospel to every place that it needs to be proclaimed.
Lord God, help me to be able to share the Gospel with someone today.
(15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
The idea that the Gospel of peace would be connected to these battle boots, these cleated sandals, is not surprising.
Good news getting places is connected with the feet in scripture. Romans 10:15 quotes Isaiah 52:7.
It's a beautiful verse:
(7) How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Our God does reign!
The good news is that our God condescended. He became flesh and dwelt among us.
He became obedient unto death, even death on the cross.
Why did he do it?
That's the rest of the good news.
He did it so that all that call on him would be saved.
To call on him to be saved they must believe on him.
To believe on him they must hear about Him.
To hear about Him they must be told about Him.
To be told about Him the soldier must be sent.
In sending there will be a fight.
Why? Because Satan wants to hinder our service.
There is no message that he hates more than that God reigns, and desires that all men repent and come to the knowledge of the truth.
Satan hates the Gospel. He's going down and he wants to take everyone he can with him.
People that carry the Gospel to those who need it have beautiful feet.
Those feet need every advantage they can get as they are sent.
Those feet that carry the good news need to be attached to bodies with helmets, swords, breastplates, and shields.
Sharing the Gospel of peace with God is a big deal. It's the main thing. We must do it
We can be ready to make a stand by putting on the armor of God. Here is the fourth piece of armor that we must put on.
4. The Shield of Faith.
(16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The Roman soldiers shield was an important tool at his disposal during battles. Much has been written on what these shields were like.
The word for shield here is "thureos". The word comes from a root word "thura" which means " a portal or entrance (the opening or the closure, literally or figuratively): - door, gate."
It is connected with the word door because there were different kinds of shields. This "thureos" was a large door shaped shield that could cover the whole body.
One commentator wrote this about the shields:
"Before a battle in which flaming arrows might be shot at them, the soldiers wet the leather covering with water to extinguish the arrows. The Roman legionaries could close ranks with these shields, the first row holding theirs edge to edge in front, and the rows behind holding the shields above their heads. In this formation they were practically invulnerable to arrows, rocks, and even spears."
How is faith a shield?
Is it faith or trust in God or faithfulness to God that is the focus of the shield of faith?
We do trust in God as our shield. Certain psalms refer to God as our shield:
(3) But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
Interestingly, like a shield, there is protection when we trust in it.
(11) For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
(12) O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
If you do not put your trust in the shield by getting behind it, then it will do you know good.
Do you see that in verses 11 and 12. "The Lord God is a shield... Blessed is the man that trusteth in thee."
Obedience brought about by faith protects us all the time.
Isn't the obedient child protected because of his trust in his parents? He may not understand why he should stay out of the road when playing, but when he obeys, he's protected from the traffic.
We must learn to understand that when God says "Do not" it is for our good.
He does not want us to hurt ourselves or others. We must trust His Word. We must trust his law. We must trust Him implicitly.
When we do not trust in God, and when we disobey, we will find our selves in battle without protection. Flaming arrows are headed our way.
These arrows are the "methodias", or wiles, or strategies, or our enemy. We must depend on the Lord to protect us by trusting in Him.
Check out this verse on overcoming the world system:
1 John 5:1-5
(4) For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
(5) Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
We find this reality about winning the battle in 1 John 5:4-5. How do we "overcome the world"?
First, we must understand what constitutes this "world" that John is referring to in verses 4-5. John already defined what he means by the word "world" in chapter 2.
1 John 2:15-17
(15) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
(16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
(17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Satan knows how to tempt us. He tempts us with things in the world system that already appeal to our flesh.
This constitutes the believers three enemies- The world system, the flesh, and satanic forces.
How do we overcome the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life? Ultimately we will not do it apart from saving faith in Jesus Christ that leads to a practical faith in Christ as well.
When we trust in Christ we are made into new creatures. We receive the indwelling Spirit. He saves us. He changes us. He begins to help us to depend on Him, know His Word, and overcome the lust of the flesh, eyes, and pride of life.
Our victory is not in ourselves. It's not in the latest fad. It's not in some self-help book. It's not in sheer will power. You can't white knuckle your way to victory.
It is only through trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation and sanctification that we can overcome and be victorious.
It isn't our victory unless we let Him be victorious in us and through us. To put it another way let's look at one last verse:
(4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
(5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
You are in Christ. Act like it.
We can be ready to make a stand by putting on the armor of God. Here are the fifth piece of armor that we must put on.
5. The Helmet of Salvation (v.17)
(17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
The reference here is to the helmet of salvation. In what way is the helmet like salvation?
It is important in Biblical interpretation to think about the audience that is being spoken to in the verse. In these verses the person who is "in Christ" is being addressed. The Christian is told to "put on the whole armor of God", which means that it is possible to live life without the armor being worn.
If someone is "in Christ" can they stop being "in Christ"? Everything in Ephesians points to the fact that you cannot lose your salvation.
We are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption.
We are told not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God whereby we are sealed until the day of redemption. He is grieved when we do wrong because He cannot leave the believer.
What is being expressed here as the Helmet of Salvation is the assurance of our salvation.
1 Thessalonians 5:8
(8) But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
To further prove this interpretation as proper, Paul may have had in mind Isaiah 59:17 as he used the term "helmet of salvation" here.
(17) For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.
In this verse it is the LORD that is wearing the helmet of salvation. He is not the one in need of salvation, but the one bringing salvation.
In bringing salvation He is victorious. He wins. It's this confident assurance that he saves.
In the same way, a believer that fights can where the helmet of salvation, knowing that he will not suffer the ultimate blow. There is nothing that can happen in spiritual battle that will make it so that He will not spend eternity with Christ.
There is a confidence that we can have in the fight that we are victorious.
Satan wants us to doubt whether we are in Christ, unless we are not. He wants us to be assured of our salvation if we are not truly saved.
If we are saved, he wants us to live in doubt, without confidence in the Lord as we battle.
Here is the truth: Our confidence is not in ourselves. Our confidence is in the Lord. We are not conquerors through us. We are not saved on our own. Our confidence is in Christ because we are in Christ.
(31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
(32) 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?
(33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
(34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
(35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
(36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
(37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
(38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
(39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You did not earn your salvation.
You couldn't keep your salvation.
God gave you salvation when you put your faith and trust in him.
We are sealed until the day of redemption and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.