Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Armor of God - Part 1

 




How do we fight against the devil and his schemes?


~~ Watch the Video ~~


Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Traits of Wholeness
  • The Battle
  • Two Categories of Armor
  • Belt of Truth
  • Breastplate of Righteousness
  • Gospel of Peace
  • Shield of Faith
  • The Helmet of Salvation

Scriptures:

  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
  • Ephesians 6: 10 - 19
  • Isaiah 59:16-17
  • Ephesians 1:18-22
  • Isaiah 52:7
  • Romans 10:14-15
  • Proverbs 3:6
  • Ecclesiasticus 4:12
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:7-8

Introduction

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage battle according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

We’ve been talking about ways to take control of your thoughts.

Your thoughts can come from

  • your flesh
  • the enemy

We’ve looked at some methods to take your thoughts captive.   So today we will look at how to protect yourself against the enemy.

The warfare relates to

  • Our thoughts
  • Our memories
  • Our mindsets
  • Our beliefs

Our enemy

When do you think doctors started the practice of washing their hands before surgery?

physician Ignaz Semmelweis

Fatal childhood fever occurred more from medical students than midwives

He discovered that medical students who assisted in childbirth often did so after performing autopsies on patients who had died from sepsis (of bacterial origin).

After insisting that the students wash their hands mortality rates dropped from 7.8% to 1.8% within 3 months

The other doctors thought he’d gone crazy

Washing hands in 1870s -19th century

1800s by Louis Pasteur

They discovered

  • Microbes
  • Germs
  • There are living organisms that we can’t see smell or taste that can be impacting our health
  • They impact our thoughts

Similarly Paul tells us that we have enemies in an unseen realm that we are figthing

Not fighting flesh and blood

Dr Strange

  • That’s not how we fight

We will discuss the proper way for a Christian to fight our enemy


Traits of Wholeness

We are in our series called Seeking Wholeness

How can we be:

  • Spiritually healthy
  • Emotionally healthy
  • Mentally healthy

Dealing with life’s current stresses and also being healed from experiences/wounds of the past

We’re not just supposed to have eternal life

  • We’re supposed to have: joy, peace, patience, and self control here on earth

Learning not just what The Word instructs us to do, but learning how to implement it in our lives

Traits of Wholeness

  • Authenticity
  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Not seeking external approval / validation
  • Living by values and principles
  • Setting Boundaries
  • Taking ownership of your responsibilities
  • Living with purpose and passion
  • Optimism
  • Confidence
  • Healthy relationships with others
  • Not losing control of your emotions
  • Free from addictions
  • Addressing Conflict with truth and love
  • Vulnerability
  • Not critical or Judgemental
  • Not jealous
  • Genuinely applaud the success of others
  • Forgive those who have wronged you in the past
  • Know that you’re worthy of receiving love
  • Not afraid to fail
  • Able to manage irrational fear, worry, and anxiety
  • Selfless encounters with others
  • Not manipulating others trying to control their actions/reactions
  • You care about how others feel
  • Patient
  • Don’t give into peer/social pressure
  • Can communicate directly
  • Don’t take responsibility for other people's emotions
  • Take responsibility for your own emotions
  • Slow to anger
  • Ability to maturely express your wants, needs and desires
  • Being led by the Spirit

We want to become aware of our issues and empowered to manage/fix them.

The Battle

Has anyone ever showed up somewhere wearing the wrong thing?

Story: Surprise party


You don’t want to go into war wearing the wrong thing

Ephesians 6: 10 - 19

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against [f]flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18[h]With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be alert with all perseverance and every request for all the [k]saints, 19and pray in my behalf, that speech may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,

Roman Armor

https://youtu.be/wKUa8uCIN5M

Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

It is not your might

“in the name of Jesus”

God’s Armor

Full armor of God

Story: Saul's Armor

Isaiah 59:16-17

16 And He saw that there was no one, And was amazed that there was not one to intercede; Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him. 17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a cloak.

  • Salvation
  • Righteousness
  • Vengeance
  • Zeal

There was none to intercede

This is in reference to the coming Messiah

The statement that he was clad in the garments of vengeance means that He would go forth to vindicate his people, and to take vengeance on his foes.

The Enemy Is Defined

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

Paul doesn’t say if:

  • The enemy attacks
  • The evil day comes
  • You face a spiritual struggle

He says “when“

Unless you put on the armor, you cannot stand during the battle you will definitely face

Knowing the Enemy

Story: basketball - opponent standing on sideline

  • Basketball game in gym
  • Guy stands out of bounds nonchalantly

Jose Alvarado

https://youtu.be/Ptlj8i1N9Dk

Hiding in plain sight

  • You need to know who the enemy is
  • You need to know the enemies tactics

The enemy attacks when you’re

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired
  • Vulnerable
  • Weak
  • Anxious

The one that entices you always shows up at the right time

  • That’s not coincidence… It’s a scheme

Not Struggling Against Flesh and Blood

12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

“Paul did not call the believer to enter into spiritual warfare. He simply announced it as a fact: we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but (we do wrestle) against principalities and so forth. You are in a spiritual battle. If you are ignorant or ignore that fact, you probably aren’t winning the battle”

Who Is the Enemy?

This is the first time that a biblical author comes right out and says “you have an enemy… And he is scheming against you“

You’re a real enemy is not

  • That person on your job
  • The person you talk bad about you
  • The relative that gets on your nerves
  • The nosy neighbor that’s always in your business
  • That person wronged you when you were a child
  • Unsaved people
  • Your coworkers
  • Your family

You have to realize that there is always something unseen working behind the problems that you see

If we think the enemy is something else we can use the wrong weapons to fight them

Heavenly Places

12For our struggle is not against [f]flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

“Heavenly places” means the spiritual realm

Example: remote driving car in Black Panther

  • Our enemies are in another realm
  • We fight them here

Black Panther ^

https://youtu.be/lW9DlX-0pg4

Principalities and Powers

These are beings in the Spiritual Realm.

They are all part of a spiritual army that is organized and established into ranks and is under the headship of satan who comes against us.

Ephesians 6:11 tells us that all of our warfare is combating the wiles of the devil. At the end of the day it is completely irrelevant if the particular opponent we face is a principality, a power, or a ruler of the darkness of this age. Collectively, they are all members of spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Jesus is Above All Principalities and Powers

Ephesians 1:18-22

18I pray that the eyes of your heart [u]may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the [v]saints, 19and what is the [w]boundless greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and made Him head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

We fight in Jesus’ power

Therefore, our victory is rooted in what Jesus did, not in what we do. It isn’t that there is no doing on our part — but our doing is the appropriation and application of what Jesus did.

The evil day

13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm

This describes the purpose for the strength of God and the armor of God; what we are to use them for.

“The evil day“ is the day all hell breaks loose on you

  • This is when the enemy has decided to form an attack
  • To destroy your marriage
  • To destroy your ministry
  • To destroy your dreams
  • Unravel your finances
  • Destroy your reputation
  • Death of a loved one
  • Getting fired from your job
  • Bad report from the doctor

How We Fight

The proper response to the fact of spiritual warfare.

What are some ways that people teach to fight the devil?

  • Speaking in tongues
  • Casting out demons
  • Using olive oil
  • Laying of hands
  • Pleading “the blood of Jesus”

Demonology

~demonology attracts demons

  • We aren’t called to focus on demons
  • We focus on sanctification

Story: focusing on demons increases warfare

Two Categories of Armor

The armor is listed in the order that a soldier would put them on

14Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace;

  • Past tense

16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

  • Present tense

Two categories of armor

  • The first three are introduced by the verb “to have“ - past tense
  • The last three introduced by the verb “to take“

The first three relate to a state you should always be in

  • The last three or what you use on an as needed basis

The first three should be put on before the battle

  • The last three are “taken up” during the battle

Example: Baseball Player

Like a baseball player

  • He has on his uniform for the whole game
  • He only puts up the bat when it’s time for him to go to bat
  • He only picks up the glove when it’s time for him to go to the field

You don’t need to use your faith when everything is going perfect

  • God is answering all of your prayers immediately
  • You always have, but not always using it

The Armor to Have

This addresses strongholds

  • Your mindset

 14 Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace

  • Belt of Truth
  • Breastplate of righteousness
  • Gospel of Peace (on feet)

How You Become Vulnerable

You are vulnerable if you

  • Believe the bible is outdated and doesn’t apply today (gender, sex)
  • You live in sin
  • You lie all the time
  • You are afraid of the future
  • You have chosen the worlds values over God’s
  • You are chasing worldly goals
  • You don’t believe in Jesus

You have lost before the battle even starts

  • The devil may not even need to attack you
  • You have already defeated yourself
  • You’re helping the other team

Story: tried to ski and snowboard

  • Shoes hurt
  • I was out before I got to the hill

These pieces get you into the fight

The spiritual armor to take

 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

  • Shield of Faith
  • Helmet of Salvation
  • Sword of the Spirit

These are now the weapons “you take”.  

  • You pick them up on an as needed basis.

Always be prepared to use them

Belt of Truth

14 having belted your waist with truth

Physical

Strictly, the belt is not part of the armor, but before the armor can be put on, the garments underneath must be gathered together.

“The soldier might be furnished with every other part of his equipment, and yet, wanting the girdle, would neither be fully accoutered nor securely armed. His belt… was no mere adornment of the soldier, but an essential part of his equipment… it was of especial use in keeping other parts in place, and in securing the proper soldierly attitude and freedom of movement.” (Salmond)

If you don’t fasten down your undergarments before battle… Your clothing becomes a serious liability.  

If it’s secured properly you don’t think about it during the battle

  • If it’s not secured it’s all you can think about during the battle

Illustration: imagine going into war and your pants are falling off

Story: fighting while sagging


<correction>

Roman soldiers didn't wear pants


The belt protects the groin of the soldier

When we are not being truthful we become vulnerable

Context

al├ętheia: truth

truth, but not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness

  • Reality
  • Moral truth
  • Divine truth

Application

Truth is an absolute standard by which reality is measured

Truth is more than feelings

  • Truth is more than facts

The truth is God’s view of a matter

2 Aspects

  • God vs Mammon
  • Moral truth

God’s Truth vs Worldly Truth

Deception

https://youtu.be/yHqMJLJHkjo

So how do we know what is true?

Example: Inception (Movie)

Leonardo DiCaprio‘s totem – the spinning top

  • If the top stopped spinning then he was in reality
  • If he kept spinning he was in a dreamworld
  • He couldn’t count on his own logic and mindset to determine whether or not he was in reality

Inception Totem^

https://youtu.be/PKvnRSKUgC4

Example:

  • The bible is outdated
  • Gay marriage
  • Gender roles
  • What is sin

The Bible is our totem

Moral Truth (Lying)

Have you ever told a lie and then had to cover it with another lie?

Has it ever got so bad, that it would’ve just been better if you told the truth?

Commission or omission

Example: pastor scandals

story: interview candidate switch

You always have to worry about getting caught in a lie.

"Sin makes man a coward; but a life in the Truth of Christ makes him bold."

~St. John Chrysostom.



Breastplate of Righteousness

Having put on the breastplate of righteousness

Physical

Righteousness is represented as a breastplate which provides essential protection for the most vital organs.

Application

This is not talking about Jesus’ righteousness

If you do not live holy… You invite the enemy

Your conscious

Your consciousness is not the voice of God. But it is like this microphone that helps to amplify His voice.

Your conscious is the microphone that the Holy Spirit uses to help you hear the voice of God

The Wilderness

The Egyptians weren’t allowed into the Promised Land because of their doubt

God had to change them before they could receive what was promised to them

God may be waiting for you to change your character

  • Protecting you

Getting You Ready for the Backside

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CibC2EbJ6LC/?igshid=Y2ZmNzg0YzQ=

Not Just Your Actions…Your Desires

Some people would sin more if it was easier

  • Getting a blessing would take them further from God

Example: professional athlete

  • Out of town
  • Gorgeous Women coming to the hotel
  • No expectation of a relationship

The last time God blessed you did that take you further from God or closer?

  • Relationship
  • Job
  • Money

Gospel of Peace

15 and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace

Gospel = “good news”

Physical

“Josephus described them as ‘shoes thickly studded with sharp nails’… so as to ensure a good grip. The military successes of both Alexander the Great and of Julius Caesar were due in large measure to their armies’ being well shod and thus able to undertake long marches at incredible speed over rough terrain.” (Wood)

Context

Isaiah 52:7

How delightful on the mountains Are the feet of one who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

This is speaking of Israel being freed from Babylon

The coming of the Messiah

“Their feet look as if they had wings, because they are the messengers of good tidings of joy.

Up to this time, when His people were in bondage, He appeared to have lost His dominion (Isaiah 63:19); but now He has ascended the throne as a Redeemer with greater glory than ever before (Isaiah 24:23). The gospel of the swift-footed messengers, therefore, is the gospel of the kingdom of God that is at hand; and the application which the apostle makes of this passage of Isaiah in Romans 10:15, is justified by the fact that the prophet saw the final and universal redemption as though in combination with the close of the captivity.”

  –Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary

Romans 10:14-15

14How then can they call on the One in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? 15: But how are they to preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written: “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”

The “good news” that the Messiah has come

“Peace” because the battle is over

Application

This is the confidence in knowing that the battle has already been won

“In other words, we are to advance onto the battlefield unafraid, because we carry with us the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. No matter what debris the enemy throws at us, amidst the war and chaos, we know God has everything under control and that his plan cannot be thwarted by the devil. “

Example: watching a recorded football game

A Painting of Peace

https://youtu.be/WWklexMUV6Q

Shield of Faith

The spiritual armor to take

 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

  • Shield of Faith
  • Helmet of Salvation
  • Sword of the Spirit

Physical

The shield Paul describes is not the small round one, but the large, oblong shield that could protect the whole body. In ancient warfare, these fiery darts were launched in great numbers at the beginning of an attack. The idea was not only to injure the enemy, but to shoot at him at all sides with a massive number of arrows, and thus to confuse and panic the enemy.”

Romans had contraptions and Bowman that would launch many arrows at the opposing army.  This will take out a large percentage of the army.

The shield was like a mini door. It was 4 1/2 feet tall.  

  • It was big enough that you could fit behind it
  • It was not good for hand to hand combat

Goliath shield was so big that he had a shield bearer

Biblical Context

Fiery does it mean that they are inflamed.

  • It means that they are deadly.
  • It could even mean poisonous.  

Application

The shield protects us against

  • Doubt
  • Unbelief
  • Thoughts
  • Feelings
  • Imaginations
  • Fears
  • Lies

Proverbs 3:6 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Faith in Action

Biblical faith is acting like God is telling the truth

Biblical faith is acting like it is so even when it is not so in order that it might be so because God said so

Faith is tied to your feet

  • Feet reveals faith
  • That’s why it’s called walking by faith

Motion Detector Example

  • The power is there
  • The light is there
  • Until motion is detected the power isn’t revealed
  • Sometimes God waits for the movement before He moves

I have Authority over the darkness because my movement gave it to me

Bible Examples

  • Moses had to hold out the rod
  • Joshua tell the priests to put their feet in the river
  • Israelites walk around the wall for 7 days

We are often waiting on God when God is waiting on us

Fiery Darts (Arrows)

Story: cowboys and Indians

  • The fiery dart wasn’t meant to shoot a cowboy
  • It was to shoot the wagon
  • The cowboy can’t fight fire and Indians at the same time
  • It was to create a diversion

Distraction

Fiery darts are

  • Distractions
  • Doubts
  • Temptation

You aren’t effective if you doubt

  • Gods love
  • Gods promises

Even if you are saved

Darts don’t come one at a time. And they come fast and furiously.

The shield of faith is designed to cover who you are

Faith Gets You Into the Fight

If we don’t have our shield, all of the fiery darts will take us out before we even get to the battle.  

The wicked one wants to get you and them out of the fight before you even get to the fight

Testudo (Tortoise Formation)

Tortoise shelling

  • Put all the shields together and move forward as a unit

Rome - Testudo Formation

https://youtu.be/CgmFycuRwAw

Ecclesiasticus 4:12

12And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

Too many of us are fighting alone

This is a picture of the type of community each of us are called to

Who are the people that are going to fight with you?

If you put on the armor of God and I don’t… I am vulnerable

  • If I put on the armor of God and you don’t… I’m still vulnerable

In your fight for freedom you need… The armor of God and the people of God

Story: man lowered down from roof (Mark 2)

  • Friends lowered man through roof

Mark 2:5

5And Jesus, seeing their faith, *said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

  • other people’s faith

Once you are in close combat, the shield is meant to be used in conjunction with the soldiers fighting around you.  

  • The Romans used it to keep a falling comrade safe

Your associations can protect you or leave you vulnerable

The Helmet of Salvation

Physical

The helmet covers the head, The head covers the brain

Salvation is pictured as this kind of helmet, protecting an essential part of the body. A soldier would be foolish to go into battle without his helmet.

Biblical Context

1 Thessalonians 5:7-8

7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who are drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let’s be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

We have the hope of eternal life

The helmet of salvation protects us against

  • Discouragement
  •  the desire to give up

giving us hope not only in knowing that we are saved, but that we will be saved.

Hope for a brighter future.

It is the assurance that God will triumph

Application

One of Satan’s most effective weapons against us is discouragement. When we are properly equipped with the helmet of salvation, it’s hard to stay discouraged.

This is about your thinking

Knowing  you are Saved

Not
  • Looks saved
  • Not talking saved

Story: catholic priest no one can know for sure

Grace and the gospel

  • You don’t earn your salvation

You don’t lose your salvation by sinning

  • There may be earthly consequences (sowing and reaping)
  • There may be heavenly consequences (rewards)

There is a sense of hope and security when you know you will live eternally

Instructor: Michael Leadon


References

The armor of god

Tony Evans

David Guzik Commentary on Ephesians 6

The importance of each part of the armor of God

Just the Bible

Overcoming distraction from the enemy

Priscilla Shirer

The armor of God | Pastor Ryan Dermont

Christ fellowship church

Evolution and History of Personal Hygiene (verywellhealth.com)

Extra

Powers and Principalities

1 Corinthians 15

23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to our God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that will be abolished is death

Colossians 2

13And [l]when you were dead [m]in your wrongdoings and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our wrongdoings, 14having canceled the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15When He had [n]disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through [o]Him.

Colossians 1:16 tells us that Jesus created principalities and powers. Colossians 2:10 tells us that Jesus is head over all principalities and power. Therefore, Jesus is not the opposite of Satan or principalities.

Ephesians 3:10-11 tells us that the church makes known the wisdom of God to principalities and powers.

1 Corinthians 15:24 tells us that principalities and powers have an end; one day their purpose will be fulfilled and God will no longer let them work. Therefore, God has a purpose in allowing their work.

Colossians 2:15 tells us that Jesus disarmed principalities and powers at the cross.

They Can’t Separate Us From the Love of God

Romans 8:38

38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

tells us that principalities cannot keep us from God’s love. Therefore, there is a limit to their power.

Ephesians 3:8-10

8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to enlighten all people as to what the plan of the mystery is which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; 10 so that the multifaceted wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

  • God‘s power is exercised in the heavenly room… Through us