The Shield of Faith
By Nick Bibile
Eph Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
We are on a series on Spiritual
Warfare. Our naked eye cannot see but
the Bible the truth of God’s word reveals to us of a spiritual warfare where
the Christian is battling in this life. That is why the church is called
militant on earth until we become triumphant in heaven. It does not mean we are like the terrorists
Apostle Paul uses the imagery of a Roman soldier in those days they wore great military equipment to tear down and defense the enemy. We went through the belt of the soldier as Paul compares this belt to the truth of Christian doctrine, the truth of the gospel. We saw before, today we are living in a day where there are many religions in the world and many are saying they have the truth but how do you know which is right or which is wrong? Then we saw the breastplate compared to righteousness. Our righteousness was a filthy rag to the Lord; we were in the camp of the enemy, lost but how Christ clothed us with his righteousness. Then we saw the shoes, where Paul compares them to the active solder prepared to take the gospel to place to place, always ready for action, yet have peace of mind in the midst of the battle. And today we are going to see the shield of the Roman soldier where Paul compares the shield to Christian faith.
Roman soldiers had two kinds of shields. A small round one for hand to hand combat and a large shield that covered most of the body, about 4 ½ feet long and 2 feet wide. Paul is referring to the large shield here.
Once you are born again by the spirit of God, you become a soldier for the Lord Jesus Christ. We change sides. Before we were on the enemy’s side but now we are on God’s side, the enemy is upset, mad, and furious and he will attack and we are called to defend, resist the enemy. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.
Paul said, “above all taking the shield of faith.” It means preceding, pre-eminent, importance. But in 1 Cor 13:13 the same apostle said,
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Love remains but faith will cease. Why is it then here in spiritual combat Paul says, “above all.” He gives great importance to faith.
In the present state while we are on this earth, we are militant and it is faith not love which can conquer our enemy.
1Jo 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
But Love is the greatest where it will be triumphant in heaven.
Now let us see this shield carefully.
The shield protects the whole man against enemy’s arrows. It guards the head. In the head we know the doctrines of Christianity. Enemy will fire his fiery darts at the Christian; he will use the shield of faith to protect himself. Some are aimed to the head as the enemy will try to deceive us from what we have learned and will tempt us with false doctrines, fall into heresies. Many have been taken captive by false doctrines as they fall into the enemies arrows, they did not have the shield of faith.
Now there are some who understand the word of God, they know the word of God in the head, yet they are not saved. They are the worse than the unbelievers as they can camouflage and blend so well with the other true Christians but in reality they are no different than Judas. Satan knows scriptures well and he quoted scriptures to our Lord.
Mat 4:6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
Also there are many so called Christians and they will believe in one God, my friend so does the demons believe in one God.
James You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
There are some confess Jesus as the Son of God but that does not make themselves Christians as the demons did confess Jesus as the Son of God.
Mat And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”
Beloved, the devil, demons and the hypocrites understand the word of God. But it is the shield of faith that protects you from the arrows of the enemy. What kind of faith is this? This is called the justifying faith. It is the saving faith. The saving faith is not only the head knowledge but clinging and embracing that knowledge, loving the truth and living by it. Not only you confess with the mouth but truly believe in the heart.
Ro For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
This is an objective faith fixed on the person of Jesus Christ, his work on the cross for a believing sinners and believing that Christ is alive and because he is alive we can have a relationship not with a dead religious leader but someone who has risen from the dead.
1 Cor And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
The subjective faith is seated in my heart and soul and I will love my beloved Lord will follow him in truth, this faith is compared to a shield and this shield will protect me against heresies of the enemy and being a hypocrite in the church.
This shield will protect my heart as the enemy will aim his fiery arrows to the heart. Heart has to do with my feelings, love, emotions. There are some who say they are Christians but have no feelings, emotions or love to the Lord at all.
Jesus said, if you love me you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
1 Cor If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.
Yes, many say in the mouth they love the Lord but their behavior contradicts their belief. Many love the things of this world than the Lord, they get excited and very emotional of the material things of this perishing world but not for the spiritual things. They trust in their savings account and meditate on their wealth, riches and comforts.
Mat For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The enemy will send his arrows of temptations to the heart, so you will not the lord but the world. Again the shield of faith protects us and we see Christ’s riches in heaven is greater than all the riches of this earth. We look to heavenly riches which God has prepared for the pilgrim. Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh he choose to serve God and go through suffering with the people of God in the wilderness than to enjoy the worldly pleasures of sin.
The greatest commandment is:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matt )
Jesus also said, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Mat )
Do you love your husband more than Christ? Do you love your wife more than Christ? Do you love your father and mother more than Christ? Do you love your children more than Christ? Answer these questions honestly; your actions speak louder than your words.
It is Christ Jesus who gave me life, it is Christ Jesus who loved me before the foundations of the world, it is Christ Jesus who pulled me out from the miry clay when I was sinking to the fires of hell, it was Christ Jesus who took the punishment for my sins on the cross as he represented on my behalf, it is Christ Jesus who forgave all my sins as he dumped all my sins in the depth of the ocean, it is Christ Jesus who gave his righteousness that I can go to heaven not in my good works of righteousness but in his righteousness and it is Christ Jesus who rose from the dead and said, because I live you live also! As he conquered death and sin I too will rise again to heaven.
Satan will aim his arrows to the belly; tempt you into the importance of physical foods than spiritual foods. People get excited of potlucks, going to dinner at restaurants, talking of all kinds of physical foods but have no desire for the word of God. Their mind is thinking of food to the stomach than the eternal word of God.
Job I have not departed from the
commandment of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
Jesus said, a man cannot live by bread alone but by every word that comes out of the mouth God.
The enemy will shoot his arrows to the arms and legs to become disabled. Many have no desire to serve God, serving God becomes a duty than a joy, becomes a load of pressure than a pleasure of serving God.
Some Christians believe faith will bring peace and calmness. They will ride to heaven softly and tenderly as they sing all the way to heaven.
Oh, beloved on the other hand the shield of the soldier gets hammered and battered by the enemy’s arrows that come every single day without a rest for the pilgrim.
Satan will not shoot his arrows if he is not offended and mad, he will not come as a roaring lion, may be you are on his side without your knowledge. These are the ones who are ashamed of Christ, they will not witness and proclaim the gospel, and they will not defend our Lord. In the church they will act like the saints and in the world they will act like the world. They have professed Christ but ashamed of their profession. They will compromise with the unbelievers, conform to the world. Satan is not mad at them and they don’t even feel they are in a battle as everything is going out fine, they cannot say, “I am fighting a battle.” Oh, how many are professing to know Christ and yet on their way to hell.
Lastly the shield of faith not only quenches the fiery darts but it breaks the arrows. It is a powerful shield and this shield is not mine but Christ Jesus the protector of my soul, the captain of my salvation. It is the all powerful shield of Christ and his cross. The splendor of this shield blinds even the prince of darkness.
It is the faith that lives under pressure, mountains may be piled upon it yet it will not give up. It defies the powers of hell’s fiery darts; it lives in the midst of death, swallowing death in victory. Satan will throw all of of accusations in our pathway but it dies at the feet of our great Advocate Christ Jesus.