Ephesians 6:16, 17a Faith That Protects And Propels

by | Jun 22, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

I. An Interesting Comparison

A. 1st Three Pieces Of Armor Are Spoken Of In Past Tense. “Having Taken…”
B. The Next 4 Pieces Are That Which One Is “Taking Up”- Situational Usage

II. The Armor We “Take Up” Vs. 16-18

A. The Shield Of Faith V. 16

1. Above all– in addition to this
2. 16above all, taking the shield of faith- analambanō- to take up a thing in order to use it.
3. The shield– the word shield is taken from the Greek word door.

a. Roman shield (Scutum-skyoo-tum) resembled a door. Rectangle, 2 ½ feet x 4 feet.
b. Made of wood or wicker work, but covered w/canvas and then calf skin.
c. The shield curved out & caused the arrows to glance away w/o strong impact.
d. The large size of the shields allowed the soldiers to form a tustudo (Latin for “tortoise”) or shield wall that could protect them as a group.

4. Shield of faith– speaks of faith in the clearly declared Word of God, His promises.
5. The shield protects from the fiery darts of Satan, who seeks to undermine faith in God.

a. In any way that God would ask us to have faith, Satan wants to attack our faith.
b. Faith about salvation, holiness, God’s love, provision, the Word, leading of the Spirit.

6. Satan can’t read our minds, but he puts thoughts, doubts, questions into our heads.
7. There are three ways that Satan shoots fiery darts into the mind of the Believer.

a. “Did God really say that”? Causes doubt what he/she heard. See Genesis 3:1
b. “God isn’t telling the truth” Seeks to invalidate what God said. See Genesis 3:2-4
c. “If God said…then why…”? Seeks to misuse God’s Word. See Matthew 4:5-7

i. “If God loves you, then why are you suffering”?
ii. “God doesn’t understand your situation. His word doesn’t apply to you.

8. When Christians doubt the promises of God, what is that questioning based on?

a. Misunderstanding the promises of God re. salvation. “Did God really say that”?
b. Causing the Christian to doubt the promises of God. “God isn’t telling the truth.”
c. Causing doubt regarding salvation because of sins, etc. “If God said…then why…”?

9. Stedman- Doubt is always an attack on faith. The fact that you have doubts proves that you have faith. They are not opposites at all. Doubt is the proof of the reality of faith.
10. In ancient battle, enemies used flaming arrows, causing some shields to catch fire. That shield would become a liability, not an asset. The soldier would have to discard it, thus exposing himself to great danger.
11. When challenges in life come, we try to protect ourselves & others with shields.

a. The shield of emotions will catch fire and will not protect us. Emotions fluctuate.
b. The shield of self reliance will catch fire, for we vacillate between ability & inability.
c. We need the shield that doesn’t depend upon us but is strong because of God.
d. Psalm 91:4 He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

12. The great struggle: What we see, feel, imagine versus the promises & character of God.
13. The Christian needs to takes the shield of faith which extinguishes the fiery darts, they need to ignore emotions, & choose to believe the promises & character of God.
14. James 4:7 Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (Resist him by faith)

B. The Helmet Of Salvation V. 17a

1. 17aAnd take the helmet of salvationdechomai- to receive. Different than verse 16.
2. Literally- The helmet which is salvation.
3. The salvation that Paul speaks of could mean many things, but part of what is called salvation is God’s redemption of His people, taking us to be with Him.
4. The helmet of salvation includes having a sober mind based upon the fact that God will judge evil reward those who have faith in His Son & receive His people unto Himself.
5. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope (expectation) of salvation.
6. Romans 13:1-14 Speaks of obeying the government, loving your neighbor, and doing this all because (Vs. 11-14)
11And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
12The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.13Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
7. When life on a local/national/international level goes bad, people throw off constraint.
8. People get desperate. Christians are tempted to compromise during such times as these.
9. Satan would tempt the Christian to resort to dishonesty, etc., during trying times of life.
10. The helmet of salvation reminds the Christian that…

a. Jesus will return for His own, or we go to be with Him through death.
b. Every wrongdoing will be judged, and perfect justice will prevail.
c. Our good deeds done in faith will be rewarded.
d. Satan and his demons will finally suffer their full and utter defeat.
e. God will create a new heaven and a new earth and will dwell with His people.

11. So what does this mean to us?

a. As we see the world progress in immorality & insanity, we are stabilized by the helmet of the hope of our salvation.

i. We are reminded that Jesus said things would get increasingly worse.
ii. We are reminded to not be surprised at increasing evil & godlessness.
iii. We are reminded that our hope isn’t in politics, military power, or science.
iv. Our hope is in Jesus Christ, our hope of glory, who will return for His Church.

b. We are reminded that our hope is in Jesus, that he would have us share that hope with others living in this insane world.

i. For those whose hope has been destroyed by the uncertainly of money
ii. For those who are cynical because of the failures & inabilities of government.
iii. For those who have grown hopeless through failed attempts at self reform
iv. While many around us become hopeless, our helmet of the hope of salvation changes the way we live. We live above and beyond the insanity.

c. The Christian realizes the importance of “being in the world, but not of the world.”

i. The Christian knows not to expect the efforts of man to usher in world peace, justice, righteousness, or a greedless society.
ii. Yet, as God leads us, we are involved on all levels and in all areas of society.
iii. We don’t hide in our churches and wait for Jesus’ return.
iv. We live as salt & light in our communities.
v. We seek to do good and share with others our hope of salvation– Jesus Christ