ARMOR OF GOD – PART 2

Ephesians 6:10-18

Today we will be continuing our previous study on the Armor of God.  We trust that you will review the previous study and continue that study with today’s information of the Armor of God.

As we think about the Armor of God, let’s remember that God is helping us, not hindering our spiritual growth.  Let’s also remember that pleasing Christ through commitment is pretty easy with help of the Spirit.

NOTE:  Some people today have a strange idea of commitment. However, the commitment expected by Christ of His followers can be seen in Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.

FACT:  Christ’s concern for the lost and our obedience are connected.  Further, Jesus made it clear that He expected complete obedience to His commands.

NOTE:  Jesus declared that the Christian should demonstrate a love for Him by keeping His commandments (John 14:15). So a good question at this point is: “Are we really dedicated to doing His will because we love Him?”

If we are keeping His commandments then we will need the Armor of God to protect us on a daily, obedient walk. Galatians 5:16 helps us—but remember that “walk” means to live under the control of the Spirit.  Why?  Because:

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:17-18).

Jesus gave us the Great Commission where we are told to do three basic things: go, baptize, and teach.  Throughout the New Testament, we see a recurring theme that a true follower of Jesus Christ will…

  • be using his or her spiritual gifts to honor God.
  • be loving the Father as Christ did.
  • be totally committed to Jesus.
  • be walking in the footsteps of Jesus.
  • be thinking as Jesus thought.
  • be doing what Jesus did.
  • be producing what Jesus produced.
  • be living as a revived, new creature of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

NOTE:  God’s will for His people today is found in commands and appeals of the New Testament (the Dispensation of Grace) and in those of the Old Testament passages that are in harmony with these New Testament commands.

FACT:  Certainly it is God’s desire that we learn and do His will for us (Colossians 1:9; Ephesians 5:17).  Let us first consider how to learn God’s will for us personally, and then how we are to do, or carry out, His will in our every day lives.

 NOTE:  LEARNING GOD’S WILL FOR OUR LIVES IS PERSONAL AND COULD BE DIFFERENT FROM ANYONE ELSE

Learning God’s will and applying it to our lives requires our preparing our hearts and using spiritual discernment.

HEART PREPARATION:

Discovering God’s will for us requires heart preparation (2 Chronicles 19:3) as follows:

1. We must be wholly yielded to God (Proverbs 23:26; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 12:1).

God teaches us ONLY as we are submissive to the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit, our Divine Teacher and are properly motivated to obey and glorify Him (Proverbs 3:5-6; I Corinthians 10:31).

2. We must be willing to do His will, whatever this may be (Romans 12:2).

This requires our confidence (faith) in the truth that God’s will is best for us  (Hebrews 11:6).

3. We must deal with any known sin in our lives (Revelation 2:5; I John 1:9).

God does not acknowledge us when we are displeasing Him (Psalm 66:18, sin in our life; God will not hear us).

4. We must ask God to show us His will (James 4:2).

We can do this with the confidence that He desires to make known His will for us. His making known His will comes after we have confessed and repented of known sin (Colossians 1:9; I John 1:9, 5:14-15) and we are walking [living] in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25) and the power and strength of the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 6:10).

FACT:  When we have prepared our hearts for learning God’s will for us, we can depend on the Holy Spirit to show us what this is (Romans 8:14; Psalm 119:9-16).   Remember, the Holy Spirit is our divine teacher (John 14:26-27).

Also, remember that a revived Christian always has God’s commands and His help in view:

  • He or she has staying power (John 15:7).
  • He or she obeys God (Matthew 7:21).
  • He or she is an encourager (Hebrews 13:3; Acts 20:31).
  • He or she is accountable (John 15:10).
  • He or she produces results (John 15:5).
  • He or she glorifies God (John 15:7,8).
  • He or she has the fruit of the Spirit active in their lives (Galatians 5:22-26).
  • He or she brings glory to God (Isaiah 43:7).
  • He or she will bring pleasure to God (Revelation 4:11).

FACT:  Being a new creature in Christ, a revived disciple of Jesus Christ, is about following His example:

  • Jesus will never ask you to do anything He has not done.
  • Jesus will never ask you to go through anything he has not already endured [experienced).
  • Jesus will never require anything of you that He has not already demanded of Himself.

NOTE:  There are about 650 commands, or precepts, given in the New Testament to ALL SAVED PEOPLE.  For example, one of these that we Christians often have problems with is our expressing Christian love toward others by ministering to their needs with a truly caring heart (John 13:34-35; I John 3:16-18).

Others are given by the Lord Jesus in His addresses to His disciples, like His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and His Upper Room Discourse (John 14-16), and by the writers of Acts and the Epistles.

c. Now let’s think about the Sandals of Preparation (Ephesians 6:15; 2 Corinthians 5:20) 

These sandals represent a willingness of heart (Romans 1:14-16) and the promptness of actions (Acts 16:30-31) to share the gospel with the unsaved people when the opportunity arises.

FACT:  Satan wants us to remain silent.  But we do not need to be ashamed of the gospel, for it is true and effective (Romans 1:16-17).

When we put on these sandals we are prepared to bear witness to the good news of God’s offer of salvation through faith in Jesus and His atoning work (see John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13; Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-20; Hebrews 11:6).

NOTE:  The soldier’s sandals were heavy, hobnailed ones that protected his feet from road bruises.   The Christian is protected by following Christ (Matthew 4:18-22; Isaiah 41:16).

d. The Shield of Faith (Ephesians 6:16; Hebrews 13:6)

This refers to biblical practical faith, which rests upon God and His promises.  Satan shoots at us flaming arrows of FEAR, BITTERNESS and DOUBT.  But by FAITH in such promises as in Isaiah 41:10; Romans 8:28; and Hebrews 10:23, we can quench these arrows and experience PEACE, PRAISE, AND CONFIDENCE in God’s Word.

FACT:  Satan wants us to rely upon ourselves and our ineffective human resources rather than upon God, His Word, and His all-sufficient resources.

FACT:  When we use this shield by relying on God’s promises, we quench the flaming arrows of the adversary and allow God to do what He says.

The apostle speaks of the large Roman shield, which was semi-cylindrical and measured four-by-two-and-a-half feet. It was made of boards, covered with coarse cloth under an outer layer of rawhide.  The arrows were tipped with pitch and were set on fire before they were discharged.

e. the Helmet of Salvation (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 13:6)

  • Our Lord wants us to know the biblical teaching of the plan, components, and assurance of salvation.
  • He also wants us to experience His deliverance over our spiritual enemies in daily life and His vitality in our daily behavior.  Moreover, He wants us to be assured of our salvation if we have trusted in the Lord Jesus as our Savior from sin (I John 5:13; John 3:16).

NOTE:  Satan wants us to be ignorant of these things so that we remain in doubt of our salvation and continue in bondage to sin’s power.

NOTE:  The Roman helmet was made of leather or metal.  Protecting vulnerable parts of the body, the helmet covered the head, brows, cheeks, and neck.

f. The Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)

The sword is the Word of God, wielded in the power of the Holy Spirit.  To use God’s Word effectively against the enemy, we must learn…

  • its content.
  • to obey its commands.
  • to depend upon the Holy Spirit to teach us its truths and to help us apply these to our spiritual needs.

Since the Scriptures give us God’s complete instructions for our spiritual lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17),

  • Satan wants us to ignore them and to follow his evil suggestions;
  • his second choice, if we are not following his suggestions, would be for us to follow the world’s misguided advice to satisfy our spiritual needs or to solve our spiritual problems (2 Corinthians 10:1-5; Colossians 2:8); but
  • we must respond to the adversary as Jesus did—with the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4:1-10).

NOTE:  The Roman sword was a short, two-edged pointed one that the soldier carried as a sidearm and used in close combat.

Like putting on a garment, we put these pieces on as a unit when we give ourselves DAILY to the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14).  However, when the enemy assails us in these various areas of our spiritual lives, we can submit ourselves to the Lord, to the appropriate piece of armor that we need, and use it to ward off the Devil’s attack.

NOTE:  For further help, study Jesus’ use of the Scriptures in Matthew 4:1-10.

FACT:  We must pray CONSTANTLY for ourselves and others (Ephesians 6:18a).

By prayer, we not only ask God for things and share with Him all that concerns us.   We also focus our attention on God, and the necessary resources that He has provided for us (Hebrews 12:2; 2 Peter 1:3; Matthew 6:9-10).

We must always be alert for the enemy (Ephesians 6:18a). The enemy is ever searching for the unwary prey (I Peter 5:8).  By his “roaring,” he deceitfully conveys the idea that he, like a satisfied animal, is harmless; but this is not true.

FACT:  We know that the adversary is near when he raises doubts about God the Father, His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, His Word, or the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Also, we need to be on the lookout when we find him attempting to defeat us by suggesting:

  • behavior not pleasing to God;
  • steps that are not in keeping with God’s will for us;
  • we hurry in making some important decision without our seeking God’s will;
  • we get worked up about some issue without trusting God;
  • things that can get us inflated with pride;
  • fear, when he casts over us unfounded fear or depression; and
  • when in our thinking he pushes things to an extreme so that they are out of balance with other related matters.

NOTE:  By our following God’s suggestions daily, we prepare ourselves for the battle with this powerful enemy before he attacks us. Are you ready to do battle with the adversary?  Remember, you can’t win unless you are properly equipped by God.

In our next study we will continue preparing for the battle by considering God approved actions on our part when attacked by the adversary.

If you do not know Christ as your personal Savior, please read John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13.

If you are truly saved but are experiencing troubles in your life that are spiritually concerning, please remember that God loves you and wants you to let Him help (Philippians 4:13).  Also, call upon God with your problems and He will help (Philippians 4:19).

In tough times when the challenges we are facing ourselves, or those we love, we might fear the situation won’t change and we may be tempted to believe that the Lord will not act.

  • We should never underestimate the power of prayer, for our loving God hears our pleas.
  • We don’t know how He will move in response to our petitions, but we do know that as our Father He longs for us to embrace His love and to trust in His faithfulness.

“…Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us…” (I Samuel 7:7-14, NIV). 

SOME THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT LEARNING AND DOING GOD’S WILL:

  • Our obedience to God is not merely the fulfillment of duty.
  • It is the means of our experiencing personal happiness (John 13:17).
  • It is the means of our pleasing God (I John 3:22).
  • Following God’s will is our expressing our love for Him (John 14:15, 21, 23).

Remember, simply telling God that we love Him may be only an expression of sentimentalism or wishful thinking.  God searches our hearts and lives as well as listening to our words for true expressions of our affection for Him.

NOTE:  Despite Satan’s lies to the contrary, obedience to God is not grievous (I John 5:3) but good for us, suitable to our renewed personhoods and human natures, and perfect for us (Romans 12:2).

Although we have an inner desire to obey God (Philippians 2:13), we experience resistance to God’s will from the inner sin force (Romans 7:15-18; 8:7).   Also, we experience resistance from Satan and the world without (I Peter 2:11; 5:8).

NOTE:  Our obedience to God requires that we learn His will for us in everything, and that we do it in His way and time.  It is noteworthy that God’s commands and appeals are directed to our will, not to our emotions.  He never relieves us of our duty, because we do not feel like doing it or do not want to do it.

As a revived Christian we should be aware of God’s blessings in our lives.  We should also learn to cultivate a heart that acknowledges the source of all the joys we experience each day, but especially the ones we often take for granted.   How much has God blessed you today?  Because He has.  Opening our eyes to those daily blessings will help us to develop grateful hearts which are desperately needed today.ow

“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Romans 11:36). 

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