So the Apostle Paul now is resubmitting the admonition that we must take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand firm. So this is what we have to understand we’ve got to stand firm and there are things that God has provided for us by His grace for His glory and for our good in order for us to be able to stand. So he begins to outline the Apostle Paul does, what these particular pieces are:
The first place that he goes is the belt of truth. He’s calling us to basically, as the King James Version says, to gird ourselves. What in the world does that mean? We must begin to understand the truth basically means a sincerity of mind a purity of mind not allowing ourselves to be deceived by false it. I love what John Calvin says in his commentary is that our attention is thus directed to the fountain of sincerity for the purity of the gospel up to remove our minds from all guile, and from in our hearts from all hypocrisy.
The next piece of armor that the Apostle Paul addresses is in verse 15: “shoes for your feet having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” To what does this refer? Soldiers usually cover their legs and their feet to try to protect from the elements and to prevent colds in other injuries to take place while they were on the battlefield. So want to we, who are in the Lord’s army must find ways to protect ourselves. The primary way is through the gospel of peace.
Having the right shoes is very important. There are certain types of shoes that work for simply strolling in the park or walking around the mall. I know that Bob Scott has taken a couple of groups over the past week to climb a 14er. I do know there were some that had to buy a specific shoes or boots in order to be able to make that climb. You have to have the right shoes to be able to navigate the terrain that comes ahead. In case you didn’t know, you cannot wear flip flops to climb a 14er.
This is part of being ready. we do know that the road of the Christian walk is not always smooth. bumpy passages, winding roads, and even as Psalm 23 tells us, that the same God that leads us in path of righteousness for his namesake shows that that right just pass can lead through the valley of the shadow of death. but we do not have to fear because we know that he is with us. I love what James Montgomery Boice said one time in a commentary on Psalm 23 he said, “We are never so conscious of the presence of God as when we pass through life’s valleys.” We sometimes want our lives to move quickly, and the growth in our Christian walk to move more briskly then it often does. But it’s during the bumpy times but the gospel of our Lord Jesus truly begins to gain some traction. We have to be ready, armed with the gospel that shows that God saves us because of what he has done in Christ, rather than what we think we can do for Christ. He gives us the tools to be ready.
Next the Apostle Paul tells us that inverse 16, in all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. This is interesting that he used the word extinguish, or as it says in some versions quench. One commentator did say that this is not simply brushing aside the darts but also quenching their heat. We have read in 1st John chapter 5 verse 4 that this is the victory which overcomes the world, our faith. We must recognize that this face is not simply a face which is sentimental or that we drum up in our own spirit. Faith is a gift from God that he gives us by His grace to galvanize our walk in him. We read in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 1 the faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Our hearts are protected by the shield of faith so that windows darts come in the form of the world and the flash and the devil, the faith in God gives us to believe will squelch all of those darts that Satan uses to keep us away.
The next piece of the armor is the helmet of salvation. This helmet protects us in hope and gives us assurance. This is in reference to the hope we have in Christ. As we talked about on Sunday night, there is a worldly hope and there is a heavenly hope. A worldly hope is that which couples desire with uncertainty. We often say I hope so and so will do well. Many of you would say I hope the Broncos win the Super Bowl. No matter what the talk show hosts may say, or what any of the players make guarantee, we do not know if this will be the case until they actually win. in the case of a heavenly hope it is desire coupled with certainty. For we know that God will keep his promises in Christ.
This helmet protects us in that hope that’s in our minds and in our hearts. Lincoln Duncan has said in his sermons that we cannot resist the devil without insurance of our salvation. Where do we find that assurance? Buy a renewed heart and a changed mind in Christ. When Christ has come and crafted our minds and hearts to pursue him first and foremost, to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness is a good and sure guarantee of making your calling and election sure.
But now we have one last piece of the armor. This piece is important because it is the only offensive weapon that the Christian has. It is not our personalities. It is not our buildings. It is not the number of bodies in the pew. It is not the amount of budgets that we have. It is not the amount of staff members that we have here. It is not our location. It is not our denomination. It is not our tradition. It is not the style of music that we sing. It is not the color of the carpet that we have. It is not found any specific translation that we have. It is none of these things.
Apostle Paul tells us that it is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. All of the other pieces of the armor can be traced back to the offensive weapon of the Word of God. The hope that we have of our salvation is found in the clear teaching of God’s revelation in Scripture. The truth that we know to be so, is found in the truth of the word of God. the gospel that are shoes for our feet the help us to maintain the bumpy nature of the train of this world is found in the Word of God the righteousness that we can have the integrity of the Holy like the sound, is a line for us by the Spirit inspired Word. And the shield the face comes directly from the Word of God, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
When the writer of Hebrews says but the Word of God for the many double-edged sword, this means that the sword cuts both ways not just for those who are outside of us but it cuts both ways for that which is in us. The devil cannot resist the Word of God. As we go back to job, we see that the devil can only go as far as God permits in to go by His Word. So the spirit is able to cut through the enemy’s defense. this is why everything that we teach, everything that we preach, everything that we do, everything that we say, and everything that we think, must be informed and directed by the word of God. in 2nd Corinthians chapter 10 verses three through six, the Apostle Paul says,
For those we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flash. For the weapons of our warfare are not off the flesh, but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lock the opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, getting ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
We cannot miss this important understanding of the role of God’s revelation of the Scriptures to our daily lives.