All the Armor of God
By Bobby Blakey on December 9, 2018
All the Armor of God
By Bobby Blakey on December 9, 2018
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:47] I invite you to open up your Bible and turn with me to Ephesians 6. Chapter six is where we're going to see how you and I can live a life of real power. As we talked today about putting on all the armor of God. And so this is Ephesians 6x. We're studying through this book. If you're just joining us today, we're on page 979. If you got one of our books here, you can even read the text on the handout you got in your bulletin. And you're going to see that there is an armor we can put on as Christian people, as believers. And this armor is the very armor of God, and it will make us strong in the way that we live our lives. We will really have an example and a legacy to give to those around us here in Effusions, Chapter six, verse 13. It says, therefore, take up the whole armor of God, all the weapons of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand firm.
[00:01:54] And we get a group of kids up here like this and we see them in their bright faces and the potential that they have. What, what, what what kind of future could be here?
[00:02:04] Future doctors, future lawyers, pastors, worship leaders. I mean, what is God going to do with these kids? But then I talked to a lot of parents, a lot of grandparents, and they're concerned about the world that their kids are growing up in these days. What kind of a time is this to be raising children in the world?
[00:02:22] And it talks here about the evil day. How are we going to stand? How are we going to resist the evil day and stand firm? And people are like, well, what is the evil day? That's what we're living in right now. It's the day where everything is trending towards immorality. We're not just moving away from God. We're now seeing more and more anti God sentiment in the culture around us. And this is an evil time. How can people really stand up, stand firm in their faith in the evil day that we're living in while it says we've got to put on?
[00:02:58] We've got to take up the whole armor of God. Now, here, starting in verse 14, it's going to describe this armor for us. Six different weapons that we have. That's the way you could translate it in the Greek language. Six different weapons that make up what we refer to as the armor of gods. I'm going to read versus 14 to 17. Please follow along here as I read stand.
[00:03:21] Therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the Gospel of peace in all circumstances, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.
[00:03:51] Now it doesn't stop there. Verse 18. It talks about praying at all times and it's going to go on and we're going to get into that next week about praying and opening our mouth to speak the gospel boldly. But today we just want to focus on all the armor of God that is given to us here. And we just want to encourage everybody who's a believer in Jesus. All of us who are brothers and sisters here in the church family that you can really put on the armor of God. And it can make a difference in the way you live your life.
[00:04:23] This is not something that's true. This is this is a real concept. And this has been a theme throughout effusions. Go back to chapter one, verse 17 here where he was praying for these people. There's something that Paul really wants the effusions to get in this letter. I would say it's one of the distinctives of this letter to the Ephesians. And he says and here in the chapter one, verse 17, he wants the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory, to give you the spirit of wisdom and a revelation in the knowledge of him having the eyes of your heart enlightened. He wants to open the eyes of our heart to see that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you. What are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the Saints? And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe according to the working of his great mind? Hey, we want you to really know God, we want God to give you his spirit of wisdom, and we want your eyes to be open to see one of the things that he's praying they would be able to see is you have power as a believer in Jesus Christ, and we all can relate to weakness. We all know what it's like to be a human being. We all know what it's like to have temptations that we give into that are sin.
[00:05:45] So that's something everybody in the room can relate to, is our fall in sinful nature and the weakness that we feel in our own bodies, in our own lives and how it causes us to get caught up in the world around us. But what he is saying is, I want you to see that in Christ you have power, you have strength. So your human weakness is overcome by his divine power. I want that to be something that you're aware of and then he wants them to really experience it. Look at chapter three. Chapter three. Verse 14. He's praying for them again. And he says, for this reason, I bowed my knees before the father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory, he may grant you.
[00:06:32] Here's what he's praying that God will give to you, that you will be strengthened with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And he goes on from there. I want you to be strengthened on the inside. I want you to know the life of Jesus dwelling in you through your faith. So he's praying, first of all, that they'll see it. But here he's praying that they would actually be strengthened by it. See, this is what he's defining a Christian person to be, not somebody who goes to church, not just somebody who reads their Bible, not somebody who believes the truth and keeps the traditions. No, he's saying, hey, this person that really has Christ in them. They are going to be strengthened by his power. That's the issue. We've talked about it several times as it keeps coming up.
[00:07:24] Do you really have the power of God in your life? And that's why I think he designed this whole analogy of the arm or why he's making this big point about a spiritual war at the end of the book, as he wants to drive his point home, he wants to say, look, it's like putting on armor and feeling strengthen and getting ready to go into a battle. That's what it's like to take the power of God and live it out in your life.
[00:07:51] It can make a real difference in your temptations and your trials and your relationships. It could change the way that you live this week.
[00:08:01] And so he says, put on the armor of God. Now, if you go back to Chapter six, two different times, verse eleven and verse 13, he gives us his command here to put on the armor of God or take up the armor of God. Now, I grew up as one of the kids in the choir going to church, and I remember singing some of these kind of songs and doing things like we did here today. And I remember being taught about the spiritual armor as a kid, and I remember it being compared to a Roman soldier.
[00:08:30] And they had the picture and they would show me all the armor pieces of the Roman soldier. And then it was like, you have this armor. And it was like you could put it on. But the way it was told to me when they got to the Belt of Truth, they said, so that's why little kids, you should tell the truth and not lie. Or when it got to the breastplate of righteousness, it was like, all right, children, that's why you need to try to do what is right and not do what is wrong. And it felt this armor, as they described it and compared it to this Roman soldier. It felt like a lot of things that I was supposed to be and things I was supposed to do and the armor of God as a kid as it was taught to me. It just came across as something very heavy and burdensome. That's not what this passage is saying at all. In fact, I don't think it's even comparing it to a Roman soldier. I don't even think that's accurate with what Paul is trying to do. The Roman soldiers who are often in the New Testament, they're they're the bad guys doing they're doing the wrong things. I don't think he's comparing it to a Roman soldier. Here's what he's actually telling us. God is a mighty warrior is what he's referring to.
[00:09:32] Jesus Christ. He's the king. He's the Lord. He has come. And he has won a great spiritual victory. He is now the name that is above every name as the conquering hero, reigning supreme at the right hand of God. And you can put on the armor of God.
[00:09:50] That's what he's saying. It's not your armor. It's not the Christian's armor. It's not like some soldiers armor. No. Think about this. You are putting on God saying you're going to go to battle. But here, put on my armor if you're putting on God's armor. Now, how do you feel? You feel invincible. You feel empowered. You feel like, wow, maybe now I could actually live this way. I could actually talk this way.
[00:10:14] I could actually do these things because I have the very armor of God. Quipping me for the battle. That's whose armor this is. It's not some soldier's armor. This is the armor of God that you can put on as one of his people.
[00:10:27] In fact, turn with me to Isaiah. Eleven. I need everybody to go back to the book of Isaiah with me here in the middle of the Old Testament. One of the great prophets. And I need you to go to Isaiah, Chapter 11. Page five hundred and seventy five. If you got one of our books, because what he's quoting here when he says things like the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, helmet of salvation, these are all quotes from Isaiah's prophecy about a warrior who was going to come and fight for his people. So this is where Paul's getting the idea of the armor of God. He's getting it from the Bible, from the Old Testament. So if you've heard some idea that this is some Roman soldier armor, I don't think that's what it's talking about. It's quoting Isaiah Eleven.
[00:11:14] It's quoting the fact that God is the one who comes and fights a battle and wins a victory. Look at Isaiah 11, verse one. It says, there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jessie. This is from the line of King David here. And a branch from his roots shall bear fruit and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him. The spirit of wisdom and understanding. The spirit of council and might. The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord and his. This one that's going to come forth. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord, and he shall not judge by what his eyes see or decide, disputes by what his ears here. But with righteousness he shall judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. He shall strike the Earth with the rod of his mouth just by speaking and with the breath of his lips. He shall kill the wicked. Now here it is, verse five. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist. Faithfulness or truth. You could translate the Hebrew word, the belt of his loins.
[00:12:19] So there's going to come one. Who's going to comedy? He's going to rain. And he's going to be a judge. But he's not just gonna do it based on what seems right to him. Now he's gonna bring real justice, real righteousness. He's gonna lift up the poor and the meek. He's gonna shut down the wicked of the earth. No, this guy, he is wrapped in righteousness and truth and he is coming to reign.
[00:12:41] Go over to Isaiah 59 and you'll see this same idea mentioned again of one who is gonna come. Maybe you've heard of some of the prophecies in Isaiah before Isaiah wrote his his his prophetic writings 600 to 700 years before the time of Jesus Christ. So way before. And yet he talks about a virgin giving birth. He talks about a king who's gonna be born, a wonderful counselor, a mighty God. And here he talks about a warrior in Isaiah. Fifty nine, verse 14. This is page six hundred and nineteen. If you got one of our books, A Liquid, he says here, there's hope there's a bad thing happening among the people. Same thing that's happening today in America. And he says justice is turned back. Righteousness stands far away. Truth has stumbled in the public squares. That sounds like us living in a land of fake news here. Truth has stumbled in the public squares.
[00:13:40] Uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking. And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The person who actually wants to turn from evil and repent and do what is right and follow God. Well, they're actually now going to face hostility and be in a position where people are going to try to take advantage of them if you actually want to do what is right. You're going to fall behind in the culture where the truth is lacking. And the Lord saw it and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man and wondered that there was no one to intercede. Then his own arm brought him salvation and his righteousness upheld him. He put on righteousness as a breastplate and a helmet of salvation on his head. He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak according to their deeds. So will he repay wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies to the coast? Lance. He will render repayment. So they shall fear. The name of the Lord from the West and his glory from the rising of the sun. For he will come like a rushing stream which the wind of the Lord drives, and a redeemer a savior will come to Zion. To those in Jacob who turn from transgression, who repent of sin, declares the Lord. Look at verse 21. As for me, this is my covenant with them, says the Lord. My spirit that is upon you. My words that I have put in your mouth shall not depart out of your mouth or out of the mouth of your office. Ring or out of the mouth of your children's offspring? Says the Lord, from this time forth and forevermore. Truth is lacking. Everything is not right. And so there's going to come one. Who's going to put on a breastplate of righteousness? Who's going to wrap himself? In truth, a helmet of salvation. And he by his own mighty power of his arm. He will make things right. That's what it's saying here. And if you know him, if you know what he says, oh, it'll pass down. It'll be in your mouth. The truth of his word. The power of his spirit. It'll be in your mouth. And it'll be passed to your kids and even to your grandkids. There is a warrior who is coming to make things right. And we can put on his strength. That's what Isaiah's saying. And now Paul saying, hey, Ephesians Jesus is the warrior, Jesus has one. He has armor of truth and righteousness and salvation. And you can put on the very armor of Jesus. You can hold up the shield of faith. You can wield the sword of the spirit. And it's like the spirit will guide the sword. Where to go? It's God's armor. You're just putting it on and it's light and it fits and you can wear it and it will empower you beyond what you have thought possible in the past. That's what we're trying to here. That's what he's saying. This is God's armor and you get to put it on. Look at how it says it in second, Peter. Chapter one. Turn with me. The New Testament. And look at how it just flat out says it here with no analogy. Straightforward. Here's something that I would encourage every Christian person. If you're a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is a verse that you should memorize, that you should identify with, that you should say, yeah, I was born in sin.
[00:17:09] I am a weak human being. But now that I have been born again in Jesus Christ, here's now what I have, what I can put on an experience in my life. Second, Peter, chapter one, verse three. His divine power is page 1018. If he got one of our books here, his divine power, the power of God has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him, through knowing God who called us to his own glory and excellence. We want to talk about gifts that God has given out well in God's divine power. He has given to you everything you need. You come fully equipped for this life, even to live godly two lives set apart from the world and to do what is right in God's sight. You have everything you need. You've been granted all things that pertain to life and godliness. Is that something that you think about? Is that something that gets you up in the morning, something that empowers you through the day in your darkest of moments, in the dark of night? Something that you can hold on to is. I have the divine power of God to equip me for this moment in my life. He's given me weapons, armor that he wants me to use, that he tells me to take up and put on the quote it says in verse four by which he has granted to us. This is all a gift. This is all what God has given to us. He has granted to us his precious and very great promises so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
[00:19:00] You can put on now and become a partaker of the divine nature.
[00:19:07] This is an amazing truth that we're celebrating here today, that Paul's using this analogy of armor to try to drive his point home, that you can wrap yourself in God's power. Let's get that down for point number one. If you're taking notes here today, you can wrap yourself in God's power when we think about giving out gifts and wrapping those gifts and hopefully bring in joy to our loved ones as we give them things that we've picked out that we know they want or we hope will really lift them up, be useful to them, bring them pleasure. We give out gifts, we wrap them up. Hey. God has given you gifts. He has given you his armor.
[00:19:46] And you can wrap yourself in the very power of God to the people that know you, the ones that you love. Do they see that you have a divine power working in you? That's what we're saying is possible here, that they would know you're a Christian, not because you do the Christian things, but because of the way that you do them as as if the power of God is working through you, because it really is.
[00:20:16] And so we're gonna go through now, if you go back to a physician's chapter six, we're gonna go through all six different weapons or pieces of armor, and we're gonna go through them here real quick. And here's what I want you to do to try to really experience the power that you have from God in your life as a believer. I want you to take one of these every day this week. We've got six different pieces of armor. So every day you pick one, you can go in order. You can mix it up however you want to do it. But just try to think about that piece of armor that entire day. You wake up. You think about it. Try to keep that thought through your head the whole day and then go to sleep. Still thinking about it at night and start to, in just practical ways, really experience the power of God working in you. You're putting them on one by one, these six different pieces of armor. And the first one here is the belt of truth that says you can see it there. And in verse 14, it says, having fastened on or having put on the belt of truth. And if we think about people at this time, they're wearing long flowing robes. And if you want to be ready to move, if you want to be dressed for action, you can't be tripping over your own robe. And so you would wrap it up, you would pull it up and kind of wrap it up there. The Bible uses this phrase, gird up your loins. Maybe you've heard that one before. And so you tie it all together with the belt and the things that's going to tie it all together for you to really be able to live out the power of God.
[00:21:44] Is the belt of truth. Now, don't overthink. What does that mean? The belt of truth. Let's just remember what Jesus Christ himself said. Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life. No one gets to the father except through me. Can I get any man from anybody on that? That's what Jesus said. He is the truth.
[00:22:05] And that's really the core ingredient of the truth, is that you believe that Jesus is Lord, that he has come, that he won a victory when he died and rose again. And he's going to return and reign and establish an eternal kingdom. That's the truth of what's really happening. And the story of the world and the world doesn't believe it.
[00:22:25] The world's deceive. The world's in the dark. And they think we're crazy because we believe in Jesus. And we hold to the scripture that reveals the plan of God and Jesus Christ. They think, what are they doing? They don't know what they're talking about. Those Christians, they're out of their mind. They're crazy.
[00:22:42] But really, we're the ones who know the truth. And God desires that everybody would know this. First, Timothy, two four says God desires all people to be saved. Then what does that mean? To be safe and to come to the knowledge of the true. See, the truth is in Jesus Christ, it's in the revelation of who he is that he really is the only one who can save us from our sins. And when we get that truth, it has this powerful effect in our life.
[00:23:12] Turn with me to John. Chapter eight. John, Chapter eight. Let's all turn over there to John. Chapter eight, verse 31.
[00:23:19] And let's just hear what Jesus says about the truth that we can put on as a belt, the truth that ties it all together. And so for every one of these pieces of armor, I'm going to give you a verse that you can write down that on that day that you're meditating on that piece of armor. Here's the passage of scripture to go along with that armor to get you thinking about it. And so we've got six dashes there if you're taking notes on your hand. You want to write down the belt of truth for the first dash and the verse Johnny, 31 and 32. And look what it says right here. Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him. If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set. You were free. You might want to, if you're taking notes, write that down. There is freedom that comes from the belt of truth, right? Yet even that idea of tying up the rope. So you're free to move. Now you're free to run.
[00:24:19] The truth sets you free. Here's what Jesus is saying. Stay in my word. Remain in in what I have said in the scripture. Keep fill in your mind and have it renewed with the truth and the truth. It's gonna do this thing in your life. It's gonna have power, it's gonna have effect, and it's gonna set you free.
[00:24:39] Now, the people here, they're like, well, we're not slaves. We're offspring of Abraham. We're okay. What do you mean we're gonna be free? Look at verse 34. Jesus answered them. Truly, truly. I say to you.
[00:24:51] Everyone who practices sin is a slave to sit. He's talking about the spiritual realm if you keep on continuing in that sin. Over and over while that. That's because you're a slave to it. It actually has the power over you. Verse 35. The slave does not remain in the house forever. The sun remains forever. So if the sun sets you free, you will be free. In deed, the truth is that everyone who is in Jesus Christ can really say no to their temptations. They can stop doing that sin and they can walk in newness of life. What are we talking about? Being set free from free from sin and its power in our lives? That's what he's saying. This is the truth. Keep the truth in your mind and watch the truth work in your life. And you'll see yourself being free from the sins that want to enslave you or they used to have power over.
[00:25:45] You know, the truth sets you free from that. And they some of them continue to argue here and they continue to say we're fine because we're descendants of Abraham and we're fine. Liquid Jesus says them in verse 42. Jesus said to them, If God were your father, you would love me. For I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say it is? Because you cannot bear to hear my word. Now look what he says. Verse 44. You are of your father, the devil and your will is to do your father's desires.
[00:26:19] He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. So here's the contrast of the spiritual battle. Here's what's happening in the world around us. The devil right now has done a masterful job of deceiving the world into thinking that Jesus is not the only way.
[00:26:46] And there's lies. And many people are believing those lies. Even calls out people here who are liars, just like their father, the devil. And those of us who can see the glory of the gospel of Jesus.
[00:26:59] And we see that really the whole center of the universe is our Lord Jesus Christ. And he's the only way that we can be saved. We're the ones who have the truth. And the truth sets us free. And you can take this truth. You can wrap it around yourself and you can it will tie everything together.
[00:27:19] That's what it's saying here. You have a belt of truth that you can put on and you will be freed from the lies of the devil. And from slavery to sin. This is a piece of armor that you can walk with throughout the day. Now, go back to a fusions and let's see our next piece of armor here.
[00:27:37] If you go back to a fusions and all of these pieces of armor that we're getting to here in Chapter six, all of them have been referred to some way already in the book of Ephesians. So this is the analogy that he has designed to drive his point home. And when we talk about the truth, the belt of truth, or now we're going to look at the breastplate of righteousness that we need to put that on. Look what it says in a Fijians for 20. See, it's already said these things. Now it's just telling you to apply them, to put them on a Fenians for 20, it says. But this is not the way you learned Christ. This old way of sin. This old way of being deceived. Now you've learned something new in Christ, verse 21, assuming that you have heard about him and we're taught in him as the truth is in Jesus. There's the belt of truth. That's the truth of Jesus Christ. And now you put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds. And you put on the new self created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. So you learn the truth of Jesus. It sets you free. And when you meet the truth of Jesus, you now have a new life. And in that new life, you are remade with his righteousness. So let's just make it very clear what we're trying to say. We're not trying to tell everybody, hey, go try harder to put the armor on. Go do a better job. Live in the Christian life. You need to keep trying to do what's right until you get there. That is not the Christian message. The Christian message is you have already been made. Right. In Jesus Christ. Now you can just live out how you already are. So we're gonna put on the breastplate of righteousness.
[00:29:31] And the verse is Second Corinthians five, 21, Second Corinthians five, 21, if you want to write that down, if you want to turn there. This is one of the more beautiful statements of the gospel in one verse in all of the Bible, Second Corinthians, chapter five, verse 21. You want to talk about a great gift exchange? You got to look at this verse with me here. It's on page 966. If you got one of our books, The Breastplate of Righteousness. This isn't telling us, hey, hey, children and Sunday School, go try to do what is right. That's what I heard. Maybe that's what they said. Maybe it's just how I took it in my own desire to make myself right and be self-righteous in my pride. But no, that's not how it works. None of us are going to be righteous in and of ourselves. Righteousness is something that has to be given to us. It says here in St. Corinthians five. Twenty one for our sake.
[00:30:29] He made him to be sin. Who knew no sin. So that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Jesus Christ. He comes down. He is born as a baby, and he, for 33 years, lives a perfect life where he never gives into temptation. He never disobeys the commands. He's always obeying the father in heaven, establishing a track record of one hundred percent righteousness that perfection holiness that none of us have that track record in our own lives. And now here's the great exchange here. Here's where the idea of gift giving even comes from. Jesus is ready to give you his perfect righteousness. And what's the exchange? He will pay for all of your sin when he died for it and paid for it in full on the cross. There is no better deal that has ever been offered to human beings than described right here in Second Corinthians five 21. We God treated his own son who knew no sin, as if he had done all of your sin. And he gives you the perfect track record of righteousness of his son. Jesus Christ, someone's ready to pay for all of your debt and give you an unlimited bank account of righteousness. Why would we not take that great exchange? That's the greatest deal ever right there. And then we can take that righteousness. One hundred percent perfection and we can put it on and we can. Right. Walk around with it on our chest and we can wear it as a piece of armor that we have been made right in Jesus. Can I get a man from anybody on this day, the moment that you believe? Jesus, the moment that you hear this deal and you think, wow, what am I doing with my life? Why am I trying to be a good person when I have imperfection, when I have sinned, when I continue to fall short? Why am I trusting in myself? I should transfer my trust to Jesus who died for me, who already paid for all of my sins. I need to believe in him. The moment that you put your faith in Jesus Christ, you receive all of the righteousness of Jesus Christ into your account. It is you are declared in heaven, in the presence of God. You are declared justified, made right for all of eternity. You get the righteousness of Jesus. So that Christian life is not about trying to do what is right. The Christian life means God made you right. He gave you the righteousness of Jesus.
[00:32:58] Now you just put it on and you just start living it out. But you already have it. It's not something you're a goal you're trying to get to. Jesus already gave it to you. Put it on. Look at the power that you have. You are righteous. You're a brother or sister in Christ. And you were to die today. And you were to end up in the presence of God in the holy splendor of his glory. There in heaven. You would be welcomed in and you would be shocked and amazed to find that in heaven you are considered righteous because they have declared you that way. And Jesus Christ.
[00:33:30] That's the truth. That's the truth. You are already righteous.
[00:33:35] Put it on. Wear it. You have the power of God, the righteousness of Christ. The next one here is the shoes of the gospel. Romans 10. 14 to 17. The shoes of the gospel here.
[00:33:50] It says you got to put on shoes for your feet. The readiness of the Gospel of peace. That's what it talks about here in verse. Fifteen Shoes for your feet. The readiness given by the Gospel of Peace. And again, this is a picture that Paul isn't making up the idea of gospel shoes. And, oh, that's all the way back from Isaiah. It's all the way back from old times. Isaiah, 52, talks about how beautiful it is, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.
[00:34:19] How beautiful are the feet of the messenger when they come and tell us we have peace when they come and tell us we have victory, you back in the day, your strategy for a four receiving messages or giving gifts was an Amazon.com, right? That that's a strategy we like to use these days. Right. We want to give somebody a message. Maybe we'll just call them on our cell phone. Maybe we'll send them an e-mail, a back in the day. You wanted to get a message from one place to another. Here, here's how you did it. You ran. That's how you did it, right? You sent a messenger.
[00:34:53] And so when when the army went out to battle and they're out there and we're not sure what's gonna happen because they're far away fighting some battle. And if our army loses way out there, then that victorious army that's defeated us, they're going to come on down here to our city and they're going to wipe us all out. And so and so we're waiting to hear. We're hanging on this message that's going to come and are they going to give us the good news? And so people are up on the wall and they're looking off into a far distance and they're trying to they're looking for that pile of dust. They're just waiting to see somebody who's hall and who's moving quickly across the earth, kicking up dust behind them.
[00:35:28] And they're like, oh, look at that. Look at those beautiful feet coming with a message. I hope it's good news. I hope we have peace with our enemies. I hope we have victory over our foes. And they're hanging on the message. That's the idea here of the gospel shoes, how beautiful it is when people when they can stand in the peace they have with God and they can share the good news of great joy. That's for everybody when they really know the gospel. That's what it's talking about. That's the foundation that we're going to stand on, that we're going to be able to move around with as we got to have the gospel on our shoes. Turn with me to Romans Chapter 10 if you haven't turn there already. Romans 10 14. It takes this Old Testament picture and it brings it into the New Testament context here. And it says that the gospel is something everybody needs to hear. It's not just for Christian people. The gospel is the power of God to save those who don't believe. That's why everybody needs to read the gospel of John with us. Everybody needs to hear the gospel preach. They need to hear it from you. Because if they don't hear it, then they won't believe it. And if they don't believe it, they can't be saved by it says that here in Romans 10 14. How then will they call on him and whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
[00:36:46] How are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? So the person needs to hear so they can believe, but they can't hear and believe unless someone comes and preaches and no one's going to go and preach unless they're sent.
[00:37:01] So here it is put on the shoes of the gospel as it is written. How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news? And we need to be the messengers of God's good news to those around us. And that means we're gonna share with other people. We've got to be standing firm in the gospel to ask to be our foundation that we really have believed that Jesus is the son of God who became a man. He died on the cross for our sins. He rose again. And now that defines us. That's our life right there. That's what we're standing on. It's not just something that happened 2000 years ago. That gospel has now happened to me. I've died to my sin. I have a new life in Jesus that's now my foundation. And I can run and I can share it with other people. Says they have not all believed here in verse 16. They've not all obeyed the gospel for Isaiah, says Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us.
[00:37:53] Well, here's how people believe. Verse 17. Faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.
[00:38:02] And so with the shoes that this word here of shoes, it was the idea of the sandal of that day that they would that they would attach it, that they would put it on, it would become a part of their feet and they could now move around because they have the gospel shoes on their feet. Do you ever preach to the gospel to yourself? Give a wake up and just remind yourself that Jesus left heaven and came to earth to save your soul. That kid you fired up in the morning, does that keep you going throughout the day? I'm standing on the gospel. I really have been saved. In fact, not only am I saved by the Gospel. It's the power to save everybody. And how will they believe it if they don't hear it? And I've got to be one of those people with beautiful feet out there sharing the good news. That's what it's saying, put on three things we're supposed to attach to ourselves here, it says. We attach this belt of truth. This breastplate of righteousness. These shoes of the gospel.
[00:39:00] And then verse 16 of a fish six. You can see it there on your hand out or if you want to turn back there. It says, hey, this isn't going to be easy. We have to be ready for the enemy. He's going to come after us. Verse 16 says in all circumstances. And that means they're not all going to be good circumstances. No, it's the evil day. Things are gonna go bad in all circumstances. Take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.
[00:39:32] So the holidays are not a happy time for everybody.
[00:39:35] In fact, the holidays sometimes highlight those who are going through hard times. Those who are missing loved ones, those who have gone through a strange relationships or someone that they know and love has has died. Or maybe they're having a financial difficulty. Maybe they've just received a death, just a devastating physical diagnosis of some real health problem going on. And it seems like the holidays can be a happy time.
[00:40:01] But I mean, a lot of people who it's the hardest time of the year, not the most wonderful time of the year, because it just seems to highlight all the things that are wrong and all the things that are evil. And we will all encounter evil in this life.
[00:40:15] In fact, there are forces of evil. They're going to shoot flaming darts at us. They want to kill you. They want to destroy you. They want to burn you up and take you down. And they have fiery darts that they are going to shoot right at your heart designed to destroy you. And you're going to have to pick up and hold that shield of faith. You're going to have to keep on believing even when the circumstances are bad. Are you going to keep believing that God is good? That's the question that's going to come to every one of us. Now, this reference here of kind of this shooting of the flaming darts by the enemy. It's really fascinating because Paul's writing to the Ephesians in there in emphasis was the great temple of Artemus. Maybe you remember that from the Book of Acts, how there was a riot. There was a mob saying, hey, great is Artemus of the Ephesians. Because when Paul came in and he started preaching the gospel, so many people repented and believed in the gospel. It was changing the whole city of emphasis, like the whole economy was going through a turn because people were burning their magic books and they weren't worshiping in the temple, the goddess Artemus as much. They weren't buying as many of the things that they built there and worshiping in those ways. And so they had a riot against Paul and the spreading of the gospel because they wanted people to worship Artemus and not turn away, because that was how they made their business, how they made their livelihood. And so they said, great is Artemus of the Ephesians. Now, there's some really fascinating findings in archeology that we can read from this same time here in the city of FSS where this goddess, Artemus, and maybe you heard of the the temple of Artemus there in emphasis, which became one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. And that Artemus is depicted in that temple as the goddess has a bow and arrow and was known in some of the writings for fiery darts. And so is this referring to the persecution that some of these people were experiencing as they stopped worshiping through their magic books, as they stopped going to the temple to worship the goddess Artemus? And they repented of those idols and they came over here and worship Jesus. They were now finding themselves in a hostile environment where people are mad at them for what they were doing. People were now coming against them. They were experiencing hostility from spiritual forces, from the world around them, even specific individuals that were angry at them for turning to believe in Jesus Christ. And so he's bringing up that hate. When you try to have faith and you try to follow Jesus. There are enemies who come against you. And they could feel.
[00:43:04] They knew what that tension was like.
[00:43:06] You stand up at your Christmas gathering with your extended family and you say, I'm so glad that we're gathered together because I want to make a real point here at this family gathering that Jesus Christ, he is the lord of heaven and earth. And he was born as a baby. And every one of us should be now on our knees and worship him and confess with our tongues that Jesus is Lord. You go stand say that at your family gathering.
[00:43:28] Right. Why went went. Maybe not. Why? Because there's so much tension. Because there's so much hostility. Family members tried to destroy the faith of people at this church.
[00:43:39] That's true. They don't want you to believe in Jesus. They don't want you to talk about it. They don't want you wearing gospel shoes and always being ready to share the good news. They're they're they're bah humbug to all of that.
[00:43:49] They don't want to hear. And are you going to keep on believing, are you going to keep on trusting?
[00:43:55] Are you going to endure with the shield of faith when fiery darts are being shot at your face because they're common? Every one of us who has faith in Jesus Christ here on Earth, that faith will be tested. And so our verse for The Shield of Faith is James chapter one versus two to four. James Chapter one versus two to four.
[00:44:18] You want to write that down? You want to turn there with me? This is for all of us who are going through trials right now. For all of us who this holiday season, Christmas 2018, if this is a hard season in your life. This is a real time of challenge and difficulty. And you feel like there's opposition coming against you. You need to you need to hold up here this shield of faith. It says, take it up. Hold it up. This is something you got to grab on to some of these pieces of armor we attached to ourselves. But the shield of faith, we hold that in our hand. We got to hang on to the shield of faith. And it says here in James chapter one verse, to count it all, Joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith. If you have faith in Jesus Christ. Let me just tell you right now, there is going to be a pop quiz. There will be a test. All right. And then all these things we're talking about, all these things that we learn here together at church. They are preparing you for something that is actually going to happen in your life, that is going to try to shake you up and cause you to doubt and get you to stop believing that God is good and that Jesus Christ is your way of salvation and turn you away from that. Your faith will be tested. And you've got to keep paying it on to that shield of faith when you undergo the attack of the enemy.
[00:45:42] It says when you when you pass this test to faith, it produces steadfastness and steadfastness.
[00:45:48] You've got to let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in. What does it say? They're lacking in one. Now, don't be deceived. You're going to have everything you need. You come well equipped. You can put on the very armor of God. Whatever foe is arrayed against you, you can be victorious in Jesus. Nothing can separate you from his love. And if Jesus Christ is for you, then who dare stand against you. That's what we're supposed to be thinking. I don't lack anything. My circumstances right now. They're trying to tell me that I lack what I need.
[00:46:25] That is the lie of the devil. And I've got to hang on to that shield of faith. I've got to cling to it. Hold to it. Don't lose your faith no matter what happens to you.
[00:46:36] Hang on to your shield and you will it says you will be able with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts. You don't have to get burned by one of them that shield. It can block them all. If you hang on to your faith in the Lord.
[00:46:55] So what are you going through that's hard?
[00:46:57] Well, just remind yourself that you have a shield of faith designed to block all of the tests, all of the trials that the enemy will bring against you. Then it says very simply here, the helmet of salvation in our verse for the helmet of salvation is First Thessalonians, chapter five versus eight and nine doesn't say much about the helmet of salvation in our passage. Just says take take it up. Just says put it on here. Take the helmet of salvation. But if you turn to First Thessalonians, Chapter five versus eight nine, he describes it with a little more detail here. He uses this same picture of a helmet of salvation. And I if I'm going to a sword fight, if I'm going to battle, I've watched enough movies at this point in my life that I definitely want to wear a helmet. Right. Because it seems like every movie, if there's a sword movie that's come out since the year 2000, I guarantee you somebody is getting decapitated in that movie. You know what I'm talking about? Have you guys seen those movies? You know what I'm talking about. Like, we get we get the broadswords out. We get people running at each other with weapons that they're going to swing around and fight each other with. And I want something strong on my head because I've seen what happens when that head gets exposed out there. Right. And that's the helmet of salvation. And it says here, look at first this Lorient, chapter five, verse eight at the bottom here of 97. If you got one of our books, he says. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober. Having put on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet here, put this on for a helmet. The hope of salvation for God has not destined us for wrath. But to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. So next to the helmet of salvation, you might want to write down their hope. And one of the ways that the Bible will talk about salvation is that there is future salvation.
[00:48:54] Yes. The minute that we believe in Jesus, we are declared righteous and we are saved from our sins. But there are aspects of our salvation that we have yet to experience. We're still here in this fallen world. We're still here in these physical, frail bodies that are going to die because of sin. We have not experienced yet the presence and the glory of God. We have not yet been made like Jesus Christ. We have not yet been delivered from this body and this world of sin, even out of the presence of this world. So the Bible says you have hope, you have a hope that no one can cut off, that you can't be separated from. You put on the helmet of salvation. You have a hope that does not disappoint. That nothing in this world can take away if you're a brother or sister in Christ. Let me tell your future. You will stand righteous in the presence of our Lord Jesus and you will worship in your best days. Your best Christmases are yet to come. That's the hope that everybody here has. And it's not this. I hope so. It's this confident expectation. It is for sure. Your future is secure. You can put on the helmet of salvation. And look what it says in verse nine. You are going to obtain salvation. You don't even have the fullness of it yet. Then what if you could put on the helmet of salvation? And for a whole day from morning, noon and night, you just walked around and you just reminded yourself all day long, my best moments are ahead of me. The greatest experiences of my life are yet to come. The moment that I'm going to get to see Jesus and all of his glory, the moment that I get my new body, the moment that I get to leave this sinful world and the presence of the evil one behind forever, the moment I get to be reunited with all of God's people in his presence. Singing his praises at the top of our lungs.
[00:50:50] That's all yet to come. It's gonna get so much better than it is right now. That's the promise of scripture. And when you put that helmet of salvation on, you remind yourself of the hope that you have of heaven, a hope that is sure. And your best moments that you will experience the best feelings, the best sensations of love and all and worship. It is all in the future from where you sit right now.
[00:51:15] No one in heaven will be thinking about the good old days on planet Earth.
[00:51:20] Can you just imagine what it would be like to go through multiple, multiple days of life, endless days of life where no one around you cusses? Where no one around you gets mad because you're in their lane on the freeway where you don't get mad at anybody because there is no traffic. OK.
[00:51:38] Can you imagine that being in a perfect environment, surrounded by perfect people, all praising the Lord Jesus Christ. Ready to do whatever he says. Never run. Never getting tired of loving and serving our Lord Jesus Christ.
[00:51:53] That's your helmet. Put that on. Wear that as a crown. You know where you're going when you die. And it's going to get better than it is right now.
[00:52:03] Last one, it says you got the sort of the spirit, which is the word of God. Have you handed me a broad sword right now like they do and all those dramatic scenes in the movies, the soundtrack reaching its glissando.
[00:52:16] And here it is. The sword has been remade. Here it is. We hand it to you, right. I would have no idea what to do with a broad sword. Right. But it's the sword of the spirit. The spirit is the one who will be guiding and directing the sword where it needs to go. And the spirit works, it says, through the word of God. We have the sharpest sword ever. Imagine. Turn would be to Hebrews Chapter four. Hebrews four 12. This is our verse that we want to use for the Sword of the Spirit, which is the very word of God. You have what you need. And for any wisdom, for any decision, somebody challenges you.
[00:53:00] They ask you a question. You have the answer through the spirit, working in the word of God. And this isn't the only place that the word of God is compared to as a sword. It's here in Hebrews, chapter four, verse twelve. And it says that this word, this scripture, through the power of the spirit, who moved men to write it through the power of the spirit that works in our hearts when we hear it in a sermon like this, when we read it by ourselves, when we get together in small groups and talk about the word together, the Holy Spirit. He works through the word and it says here that the word of God is living and active. It is sharper than any two edged sword. It is a blade that will cut you if you touch it. It's piercing to the division of soul and a spirit of joints and of marrow. And it discerns the thoughts and intense of the heart. So you don't even know who you really are until the spirit tells you from this book. You can't see the Jesus and all of his glory and really believe in him until the spirit reveals him to you. Bears witness of him through this book to spirit. Does this work? We refer to it as conviction. And he's here to convict the entire world of sin and righteousness and judgment and to turn them from their sin to Jesus Christ who can give them life and righteousness.
[00:54:26] And the spirit maybe is working in your heart right now, as you hear, and maybe some of my brothers and sisters, as the word comes to you and you hear about this arm or all six pieces that you could be putting on, and then you think about your temptations and your trials and how you've been walking in weakness. Maybe you feel challenged here this morning. Maybe you feel encouraged that you really can put this armor on and you really can live out the power of God in your life. That is the spirit working in you right now. And he wants you to do more than you can do. He wants you to put on this divine nature and really believe in this divine power and believe that God has already gifted you everything you need for life and godliness and that this week God will be working in you put it on.
[00:55:14] But maybe there's some here. And, you know, you don't have this power at all. And you're convicted about your sin. I just encourage you don't don't push that feeling away.
[00:55:24] I encourage, you know, read more about Jesus Christ. Find out more about this new life that we can have when we transfer our trust to Jesus, when we stop thinking that we can do it. And we believe in what he has already done. It actually changes us. It's not like we become a religion or we start going through some motions. No, there's a power that now works inside of.
[00:55:48] And that's what our kids need to see from us. That's what our loved ones need to see from us.
[00:55:53] Can they see that you have the power of God that you are putting on his armor? And it is God working in you.
[00:56:01] That is something people will never forget about you. That is something they will always remember. Is if you have the power of God term with me to soar one hundred and twenty seven, just to think as we had those cute kids up here, we think about those kids growing up in our evil day and the wicked world that we're living in right now.
[00:56:22] Specifically, even our culture where immorality is becoming the thing to do and worshiping God, we're so concerned about our kids being bullied, our kids being lied to.
[00:56:34] How can we give our kids this strength to stand? How can we blazed a trail for them to follow? How can we show them a way of powerful living where we can stand firm even in the evil day?
[00:56:45] Well, it says here in Seoul, one hundred and twenty seven.
[00:56:49] That children.
[00:56:51] Saw one hundred and twenty seven, verse three, page 518. It uses the analogy here of a warrior. It says Behold.
[00:57:00] And you see it. Could you see it here on the stage today? Could you see it in Dean when he was Rimon out the gospel for us?
[00:57:06] Behold. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Hey, can we all say that children are a blessing from God? Have we seen that? Can we say men to that? How much joy they bring us around this time of year? The fruit of the womb is a reward. God's blessed you with kids. Praise the Lord. They're like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.
[00:57:28] Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them. This man, this warrior, he shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. See, how are we supposed to think about our kids standing in the evil day? Well, we're supposed to be warriors.
[00:57:44] That's who we're supposed to be as soldiers. People who have put on the armor of God and we've shown them a way to live away of power, a way that is not swayed by the thoughts and opinions by the forces of evil of our day.
[00:57:58] No. One, we stand with our enemies in the gate. We stand strong because we stand in the power of God. And then it's not like we're hoping our kids will survive. And the evil day. No, our kids are like arrows and we're launching them out into the world, ready to see them make the name of Jesus Christ glorious because we've shown them how to do it and the way that we live.
[00:58:19] We're not afraid of the enemy. We're not afraid of the evil day because we know how to stand firm and we've shown our kids the way. And so we shoot him out into the world and we trust that they will make a difference because the same power of God that works in us can work in them, too. Don't let the evil day hold sway in your thinking. Let the power of God determine how you live your life, how you run your family. Let that be the legacy that you leave to your loved ones, that you really have God's power in you. Let me pray. Father, we need your help. God, we are so weak. We are so weak and so used to weakness that it might even be hard for us to believe that we can live the life of power that is described here, that we can really put your arm or on that we can use these weapons to experiencing things like victory and overcoming and freedom and hope and peace.
[00:59:20] God, I pray that we will take your word as true and that we will do what it's telling us to do.
[00:59:27] And then all my brothers and sisters who have really believed in Jesus Christ, that we will arise from this service here this morning and we will put the armor that you have given us on God, convince us that it's your armor that you have invincible, omnipotent.
[00:59:43] See, and we can put that on in our lives so we can become partakers of the divine nature and that you have given us because you love us as our father, the gifts that you have given us. We can wrap ourselves in these gifts and they will equip us with everything we need for this life for godliness.
[01:00:04] And God, I'm so thankful that we could gather here in this way today.
[01:00:08] I'm so thankful that we can hear this word for all of us. And God, I just want to lift up those who right now maybe know that they don't believe in Jesus Christ, that they have not experienced his powerful work to transform their life. And God, I pray that they would realize that by hearing the word of Christ, that's where the power comes from, to believe in Jesus Christ. Let them really take this message to heart. Let them ask you for that power, let them grab the gospel of John as they go out, let them really read.
[01:00:40] Of Jesus, who promised to set them free. If they come to his words and believe.
[01:00:47] Suka, we need you to make us a powerful people guy. We can't do it. We can't try to be right. We need to live out the righteousness we have in your son, Jesus Christ, who got build up your church lived high, the name of your son Jesus, and use us to glorify the name of our Lord. We pray this in Jesus name and everybody said Amen.
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