Usually when we do messages on these verses the message is about the “Armor of God”…and of course this is one of those subjects that we should know about. Still today we read that above all of the pieces of armor one stands out…and that’s taking up the shield of faith. Why? With it we can quench the fiery darts of the wicked.
Using the translation from the Amplified we read verse 16 this way: “Lift up over all the [covering] shield of faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].”
You know what? I find it interesting that Paul talks about the shield of faith, and then he talks about the helmet of salvation, the sword of the word, and prayer. Of all the weapons of spiritual warfare…above the sword of the word (which is our only offensive weapon), above the helmet of salvation (which is accessed by grace through faith), the belt of truth, the breatplate of righteousness (which is a bi-product of salvation by grace through faith..because you receive righteousness by grace through faith also), the Gospel (that can is taught so that we can receive salvation by grace through faith), but above all we’re told to take up the shield of faith.
Have I told you yet that faith is how everything we need, have, and desire from God is accessed? We certainly won’t pray without faith. We receive salvation and righteousness by grace through faith. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, but the gospel is preached, then we believe it in our hearts, and than by faith confess Christ as Lord. Truth is known through reading the Sword of the Word of God, but everything in the Word of God requires faith to believe. It takes faith to believe that out of all the other “gods”…the only ONE that is alive, living, and well…is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Do you realize that you can’t even believe that Jesus is alive without faith? There isn’t a body is there? We cannot physically see Jesus, but by faith if you look around you can see Jesus everywhere. You cannot see the wind, but you can feel the effects of the wind. Do you ever walk around saying…”I just don’t believe in the wind.”? Of course not, but why do we do that to Jesus? Especially when He made the wind.
Without faith it’s not possible to have the Armor of God at all…because without faith we don’t have any armor to wear. If we don’t have faith…then we haven’t received the gospel of peace. If we haven’t received the gospel of peace, then we don’t proclaim by faith the helmet of salvation. We have no weapons to use because when your fighting an enemy you cannot see…it takes faith to fight them. I just told you that if you don’t have faith…praying isn’t going to do anything but have you talking to no body.
So…above all…faith really is the most important thing a believer has. Like we read the other day it’s the most precious thing we have. It’s more precious that gold. It’s the only thing in the Christian life that grows, and as our faith grows we grow.
Do you realize that we can’t even grow up in the things of God without faith? 2 Corinthians 3:18 we read that we are transformed from glory to glory. Romans 1:17 says that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.
Let’s look a little closer at Romans 1:17…”For the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, the just shall live by faith.”
The just shall live by what? Faith. Righteousness is revealed how? Faith. Salvation is receive by grace through what? Faith. It is impossible to please God without what? Faith. Jesus marveled over people’s what? Faith.
Oh goody…would you like to take a side journey? Would you like to see just how much is accessed by faith? Let’s see what we can come up with. Ready?
Acts 15:9: our hearts are being purified how? By faith. It kind of makes all this striving to be purified seem foolish doesn’t it? I mean if our hearts are being purified by faith…then that means everything we’re trying to do in order to purify our hearts is fruitless.
Acts 26:18: they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified. How? By faith in Me. So…we are sanctified by what…faith in Jesus…that’s what the Bible says right? I’m not preaching…I’m letting the Bible preach this for me.
- Romans 3:28: man is justified how…by faith.
- Romans 3:30: God will justify the circumcised and uncircumsised by and through what…faith.
- Romans 5:1 & 2: justified by…faith. access to this comes by…faith.
- Romans 9:32: the reason that Israel couldn’t receive righteousness is because why? They didn’t seek it by what? Faith.
I could keep going, but I hope by now the understanding has come that everything we have, are, and receive is by faith. If you’d like to know more…go to any online Bible resource and type in the words “By Faith”…and see how many times you read about what we have is accessed either through or by faith.
Then, after you’ve done that come back to the Armor of God, and ask again why the shield of faith is the one piece of the armor that’s needed above all.
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.” (1 Corinthians 16:23-24)
Blessing & Grace to you
Bryan J. Kizer