Month: March 2023

Jesus Triumphed Over Them

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The “them” referred to in this verse are the same dark adversaries discussed in Ephesians 6:12, in the chapter where Paul described the Armor of God. It is amazing that Colossians 2:14-15 declares in no uncertain terms that Jesus indeed won the victory for all believers when He completed His work on the cross. Yet, we might wonder why we continue to need our Spiritual armor, fighting and struggling against evil spirits in this world until we are taken home to be with the Lord or Jesus returns.

Perhaps it would be helpful to remember that Satan is very angry because his time is short (read Revelation 12:12) and he wants to use his limited time to do all the damage he can to God’s creation and His children. Could this mean that Satan realizes his efforts failed to destroy Jesus by way of the crucifixion, as evidenced by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead?

Regardless of the physical damage he might carry out, we most assuredly have greater spiritual power through the Holy Spirit—who dwells within us—than our evil adversaries (1 John 4:4); Satan and his cohorts cannot obtain any spiritual victory unless believers voluntarily or unwittingly give it to them. The Armor, properly understood and taken up, guarantees this. But above all, the victory of our salvation and eternal life can never be defeated; that victory has been won forever by our Savior, Jesus Christ (2Timothy 1:10; Romans 6:14; Romans 8:31; John 16:33; Romans 8:37).

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The Armor of God- Helmet of Salvation & Sword of the Spirit

Ephesians 6:17- 18, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”

The HELMET OF SALVATION assures our minds that we will spend eternity with our Savior, where there will be no more suffering and no more tears. Furthermore, Colossians 3:2 provides effective instructions on how to gain this assurance: “Set your affections (attachments; sway of our minds) on things above, not on things on the earth.” We need not fear death because we are most assuredly on our way to our eternal heavenly destination!

As scripture says, the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT is the word of God. It is the piece of armor that enables us to go on the attack, rather than staying in a defensive position. Matthew 4:1-11 provides the most powerful example of how to wield this sword:

Jesus was lead into the wilderness where Satan would tempt Him for 40 days. Jesus countered every temptation with complete success by reciting scripture that was relevant to the situation. Over and over He spoke the scriptures against each attempt to defeat Him until He reached the time of victory when He made Satan flee——————————->

“Thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:57). You see, we fight from a place of victory that Jesus has already won; but there will be skirmishes—Satan and his cohorts do not want to admit defeat. Let’s never forget that it is by God’s strength through His Armor of Light that we battle; and therefore, we need not fear that we will be defeated. God’s children—by putting on His armor and “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18)—are well equipped to stand firm and remain faithful to the end.

The Armor of God- Shield of Faith

“Above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16

“Above all” means that this piece of our armor is absolutely essential for warfare which is described as fiery darts from evil spiritual enemies. What are these fiery darts? Essentially, they are the lies and accusations these wicked adversaries aim at our minds and hearts; and if we are not fully believing in God’s goodness, power, love, and protection over us, these darts will find their mark. We may experience such thoughts as, “I will never overcome this” or “God does not hear my prayers concerning _________.” Notice, these thoughts sound like we are telling ourselves these things, but that is not always the case; after all, the enemy is deceitful and cunning and is well able to disguise his lies as if they were our own thoughts. When these attacks happen, we can bolster our faith by remembering how faithfully God has helped us in the past, using those times as convincing proof of His faithfulness to us.

Numbers 23:19 declares, “God is not a man that He should lie…hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken and not make it good?” Thus it is evident that another extremely powerful bolster to our faith is to know God’s promises and to meditate on His absolute fidelity in keeping them. When temptation comes, looking up in the Bible promises that particularly address the current “darts” that are assaulting our thoughts and perhaps saying them aloud will inevitably strengthen our protective shield of faith.

Finally, seeking out others who can impart Biblical wisdom and encouragement can multiply and solidify our ability to “quench” (protect against and eradicate) the condemnation spiritual enemies hurl our way:

The Armor of God- Gospel of Peace

“And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace…” Ephesians 6:15

A firm foundation is necessary for stability; if we are not “shod” with God’s good news—the Gospel—we will slip or be injured by the hostile terrain of the enemy. Therefore, we are to prepare and be ready always to share the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15), and confess our faith no matter the “terrain” or circumstances. For the peace (wholeness and welfare) of ourselves and others, we purposefully determine to stand upon the sure foundation of the Gospel of Peace.

The Armor of God- Breastplate of Righteousness

The breastplate of Roman armor protected a vital organ—the heart; the spiritual breastplate of righteousness also protects our “heart”—our capacity for moral preference. In other words, it shields our heart’s desires—as they bear on our decisions—from evil influences; and as we follow and obey the Lord through the faith that He has birthed in our hearts, we have God’s divine approval (righteousness).

In fact, teachings on the importance of guarding our hearts are found throughout the Bible; for example Proverbs 4:23 states, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it spring the issues of life.” What are the issues that we must so fervently oversee? According to Mt. 12:35; Mt. 15:19; & Mark 7:21, they are good things or evil things; therefore, we need to make sure we act out of pure desires, not evil ones. The righteousness of Christ, which we have in Him (2Corinthians 5:21), will empower and protect the faith we need for righteous preferences and decisions.

The Armor of God- Belt of Truth

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 teaches us that we—believers—do not wage war the way the world does. You may ask, “What war?” 1 Peter 5:8-9 warns us that our enemy, Satan, is constantly prowling about looking for someone he can successfully attack; we are to resist him steadfast in our faith. Furthermore, we must remember that Satan’s alluring world, as well as our human nature (flesh) can be influenced and molded by the dark forces described in Ephesians 6: 12. Therefore, it is wise to be on the alert for battle in the area of our thoughts and desires.

Fortunately, the Lord has provided His Armor of Light that is much more powerful than the enemy:

The first piece of divine armor is the BELT OF TRUTH because it is essential for the effectiveness of the rest of the armor through empowerment by the Spirit of Truth (John 15:26). The belt held the sword of the Spirit and other weapons—obviously the Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word) is a vital part of knowing truth; in fact, knowing and embracing God’s truth is absolutely essential in fighting against the lies and deception of the devil. Moreover, if we do not have a thorough understanding of the truth, we are vulnerable to being carried away by false doctrine, deceit, and trickery of men ( Ephesians 4:14). And so, by studying and meditating on the Scriptures as well as prayerfully listening to the Holy Spirit we can “put on” the belt of Truth, the first piece of our Armor of Light.

The Full Armor of God- Introduction

Complete Reference: Ephesians 6:10-18

In today’s times, many are seeking ways to overcome the problems and perhaps persecutions that are assaulting believers daily—they are desiring to understand how to effectively battle and stand their ground. God’s word does not withhold such valuable information! In fact Scripture is replete with instructions concerning this type of warfare—spiritual warfare:

It is my hope that in the upcoming posts, we can explore together and come to a more complete understanding about this most powerful spiritual armor—the Armor of Light. Furthermore, by seeking this deeper knowledge, we will be able to effectively equip ourselves to stand in victory (see Matthew 7:7). As Jesus explained in John 16:33, warfare (tribulation) will surely come our way...

Seek First His Kingdom

When we are worried, it might be helpful to think about what we have been seeking after; that is, what have we been giving our attention to? Scripture clearly instructs us regarding what we should seek above everything:

It is likely that if believers fail to direct their energy and attention to God’s way of doing things, they will enter into worry. This anxiety is basically a preoccupation with tomorrow—with what is to come—over which there is little or no control. Thankfully however, there is always an important aspect of tomorrow that we can control: how we choose to face it. When any of us seek His Kingdom, we are seeking the King of Kings Himself- the Lord. The word “therefore” in verse 34 means “as a result of this.” In other words, when we have truly taken our focus off of our cares and concerns and directed them toward how good and trustworthy the Lord is, we will not be inclined to worry!

Change takes place when we move from “I believe this is going to happen” to “I trust in the Lord regarding anything that that happens.”

Jesus did not say we would conquer anxiety by simply trying not to worry; we will conquer anxiety by surrendering and entrusting whatever may happen to our perfect and powerful Heavenly Father. We can pray, get into His Word, and seek wise fellowship with a brother or sister in Christ until we can genuinely proclaim, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…” (Matthew 6:10).

The Key to Everything

The book of Ephesians records a powerful prayer that the Apostle Paul prayed as a blessing over the saints in Ephesus, but which could also apply to all believers throughout all times:

Could this prayer be the key to everything pertaining to living out a Godly life of faith? Paul wants us to be able to comprehend how much Christ loves us so that we can be filled with the fullness of God; we can have everything we need! But, how can those who have wrestled with condemnation and rejection from early childhood have the ability to receive the boundless love of God to such an extent that they are overwhelmed and filled with His mercy and grace?

First, in order to do this, we need to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in our inner being (see Eph. 3:16). Moreover, if Paul could pray this prayer for us, then we can join with him in asking the Lord for his Holy Spirit to help us have this kind of faith—the strength we need to comprehend and experience His perfect love. This experiential love goes beyond our mere knowledge about it; it fills us to the point that our doubts and fears are driven out (1 John 4:18).

Paul goes on to describe in the fourth chapter of Ephesians other ways we can open our hearts to receive and live in His love:

*Be renewed in the spirit of our minds(Eph. 4:23)

* Speak in ways that convey grace (4:29)—even when speaking to ourselves!

*Do not allow sinful anger; that is, unjustified anger from which you have not repented before “the sun goes down” (Eph. 4:26).

*Speak only truth and not lies (4:25).

*Do not grieve the Holy Spirit (4:30).

*Be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving 4:32).

The list of how to prepare our hearts to fully receive His love could go on and on; but the point is, we must do our part (thankfully, by the power of His Spirit) to be enabled to supernaturally comprehend God’s infinite love. It may be a process, but the Lord desires for each of His children to experience and live out their lives bathed in the grace and peace of Jesus’ precious love (see John 3:16).