Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Armor of God | Faith

The armor of God has been a topic that has been difficult to get our minds wrapped around. What it is and how we put it on, has seemed to be a bit mysterious. So maybe by looking at the effect of the armor we can get a better understanding of how to put the armor on.

The effect of faith is destroying the works of Satan, the world and the flesh.

We previously looked at The Preparation of the Gospel of Peace, so let's take the next piece. We're leaving in, The Effect of Armor, section here for continuity.

The Effect of Armor

The most prominent place the armor of God is listed is in Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJVEach piece of armor has an effect. Since it is spiritual armor, and we are physically oriented, it can be difficult to understand what is happening when we have it on.

One of the things we know about armor is that once we are in the battle, we shouldn't have to think about the armor. It will passively protect us and we shouldn't have to give it another thought. We inspect, test and repair the armor on a regular basis and ensure it is fitted correctly on us.

Now, there are probably many effects that we can identify but this study is simply to start the process. For our purposes, we are focusing on one effect but be sure to seek out more. If you find more than what is listed here, please add them to the comment section below.

So, let's continue to look at the effect of each piece. Today we are tackling the Shield of Faith.

The Shield of Faith

Above all, taking the shield of faith... - Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJV

The Shield of Faith has an effect. The effect is, destroying the works of Satan, the world and the flesh.

Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. - Ephesians 6:16 NKJV
For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. - 1 John 5:4 NLT
Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. ... For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, - Ephesians 2:3, 8 NKJV 

This piece of armor gives a clear description of what it does right away. To get an even more clear understanding of the Shield of Faith, let look at how faith works.

There are many ways to come at faith and there are some obstacles to understanding faith. We'll begin with a quick definition to help frame our thinking and overcome the first obstacle... a critical misunderstanding. Let's start with a solid, easy to understand definition.

Faith is the trust we have in someone 
based on what we know about their character.

God's Character

With this definition we naturally will want to look at God's character and attributes to determine if He is worthy of our trust. So what do we know about His Character?
He hears me.
He has made wonderful promises.
He keeps His promises.
He wants to keep His promises.
He is able to keep His promises.
He does not Lie
He does not change.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Armor of God | Preparation

The armor of God has been a topic that has been difficult to get our minds wrapped around. What it is and how we put it on, has seemed to be a bit mysterious. So maybe by looking at the effect of the armor we can get a better understanding of how to put the armor on.

The effect of preparation is readiness bound in peacefulness.

We previously looked at The Breastplate of Righteousness, so let's take the next piece. We're leaving in, The Effect of Armor, section here for continuity.

The Effect of Armor

The most prominent place the armor of God is listed is in Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJVEach piece of armor has an effect. Since it is spiritual armor, and we are physically oriented, it can be difficult to understand what is happening when we have it on.

One of the things we know about armor is that once we are in the battle, we shouldn't have to think about the armor. It will passively protect us and we shouldn't have to give it another thought. We inspect, test and repair the armor on a regular basis and ensure it is fitted correctly on us.

Now, there are probably many effects that we can identify but this study is simply to start the process. For our purposes, we are focusing on one effect but be sure to seek out more. If you find more than what is listed here, please add them to the comment section below.

So, let's continue to look at the effect of each piece. Today we are tackling the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace.

Shoes | Preparation of the Gospel of Peace

Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace...Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJV

Preparation has an effect. The effect is, readiness bound in peacefulness.

This piece of armor has a lot going on. Although we have a few added details to follow, keep it simple. How is your readiness? How is your peacefulness? If we have these things we know we have our feet shod properly.

Let's now look at Feet, Preparation and Peace individually and look into a few aspects of each attribute.

Feet, Preparation, Peace

The word, feet, has a couple connotations that will help shed light on how this piece of armor is understood in the scriptures. One way it can be demonstrated is in the example of being at the feet of someone such as a teacher. Mary was at Jesus's feet and He said that she chose well. It is a place of teaching, listening, learning and engaged thoughtfulness.

The word, Prepare, refers both to the act of preparing and one who is prepared and/or readied. We get the sense here that preparation is ongoing and yet we do eventually attain a state of being ready and still continuing in our development.

Peace is reflected here in two ways. The first is revealed in ESV translation that reads, "as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace." That speaks to the demeanor of one who has their feet shod i.e. readiness through peace. The second way speaks to our standing with God, revealed in the following scripture...

Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. - Romans 5:1 NLT

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Armor of God | Righteousness

The armor of God has been a topic that has been difficult to get our minds wrapped around. What it is and how we put it on, has seemed to be a bit mysterious. So maybe by looking at the effect of the armor we can get a better understanding of how to put the armor on.

The Breastplate of Righteousness puts us in the throne room of God.

We previously looked at The Belt of Truth so let's take the next piece. We're leaving in, The Effect of Armor, section here for continuity.

The Effect of Armor

The most prominent place the armor of God is listed is in Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJVEach piece of armor has an effect. Since it is spiritual armor, and we are physically oriented, it can be difficult to understand what is happening when we have it on.

One of the things we know about armor is that once we are in the battle, we shouldn't have to think about the armor. It will passively protect us and we shouldn't have to give it another thought. We inspect, test and repair the armor on a regular basis and ensure it is fitted correctly on us.

Now, there are probably many effects that we can identify but this study is simply to start the process. For our purposes, we are focusing on one effect but be sure to seek out more. If you find more than what is listed here, please add them to the comment section below.

So, let's continue to look at the effect of each piece. Today we are tackling the Breastplate of Righteousness! 

The Breastplate of Righteousness

Having put on the breastplate of righteousness...Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJV

Righteousness has an effect. The effect is, it puts us in the throne room of God.

When we are burdened with sin we separate ourselves from God. Conversely, when we are right with God, a whole new world opens up for us and he sees and hears us! More precisely, He is looking for us and listening for us.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. - 1 Peter 3:12 ESV
The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous. - Proverbs 15:29 NLT 

Righteousness opens the door for faith and faith is important in our thinking here, so let's review our definition of faith. Faith is the trust we have in someone base on what we know about their character.

There certainly is much more to say about faith but this definition is a great place to start. It's difficult to have faith if we do not know God's character. Here's what we know:

He loves us without exception. 
He has given us many wonderful promises.
He intends to keep His promises.
He does not/cannot lie.
He delights in keeping His promises.
He is able to keep His promises.
He does not change.
He is listening for us. 

When we know these things about our Father there is no thought that our requests are too small or trite. He is not indifferent. He is focused on your every breath. Open your mouth and make your requests. Thank Him. Praise Him. Chit-chat with Him. Your breastplate has made all of this possible.

The person who does not have on the Breastplate of Righteousness thinks their request as too meager for God. "He has better things to do." This person thinks God has bigger plans that do not include them. The world has crafted this kind of thinking and we have adopted it. Yet, we know that it is absurdly wrong!

His plans are actually focused on you and your participation. Here is God's will for those who have on the Breastplate of Righteousness...

Come to Me with shameless persistence!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Armor of God | Truth

There are plenty of studies on the armor of God that do a great job on describing what the armor is. Yet, it's still challenging to get a good grasp of what the armor actually is and how to put the armor on. So, let's come at this in a little bit different way.

The Armor of God speaks to our thought process. We put on that armor with our thinking.

Since the armor of God is such an important part of our walk, let's shift our thinking and look at it from a a different perspective. Instead of starting with the what and how of the armor, let's look at the effect of the armor and maybe the what and how will make more sense.

The Effect of Armor

The most prominent place the armor of God is listed is in Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJV. Each piece of armor has an effect. Since it is spiritual armor, and we are physically oriented, it can be difficult to understand what is happening when we have it on.

One of the things we know about armor is that once we are in the battle, we shouldn't have to think about the armor. It will passively protect us and we shouldn't have to give it another thought. We inspect, test and repair the armor on a regular basis and ensure it is fitted correctly on us.

Now, there are probably many effects that we can identify but this study is simply to start the process. For our purposes, we are focusing on one effect but be sure to seek out more. If you find more than what is listed here, please add them to the comment section below.

So, let's look at the effect of each piece over the next few weeks. Today we are tackling the Belt of Truth!

The Belt of Truth


Having girded your waist with truth...Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJV

Truth has an effect. The effect is liberty. It makes us free!

We now know one effect of truth.

Probably easier than you were thinking but let's walk through it. When we examine our freedom in Christ there awakens a whole new way of living and thinking that brings refreshing.

However, if we don't know the truth or how to get the truth, we will find ourselves ineffective as a follower of Christ and not walking in that liberty. Truth always works but we have to put it on, or as the scripture instruct, "having our waist girded with truth."

Now, how do we do that?

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." - John 8:31-32 NASB