Temple Baptist Church - 11-16-2011
A. “Above all!” The most important piece of God’s armor is the shield of faith. We need to protect our minds, hearts, and feet as we walk in this world but the one area that will defeat the child of God quicker than any else is that of faltering faith. It brings disappointment, discouragement, and—ultimately—defeat. We can think right, desire right, walk right, and still become a casualty in this spiritual war. Good people, yes even great people get discouraged and quit on God. I am preaching to my family tonight as much as I am preaching to you.
B. “Above all!” Why “above all?” Because Satan is constantly attacking our faith and our faith defines our resolve! If we quit in our minds, we are defeated already. We may continue to go to church and live right but our lives are ineffective because we have no hope.
C. I do not want to give you a homiletically correct sermon tonight; I do not want to give you a beautifully alliterated sermon tonight; I want to give you a sermon that will help both you and me to stay in the battle because our “ranks” have become thinner and there are “gaps” in the lines. God is still looking for a man or woman to stand in the gap and make up the hedge and what a sad commentary when the prophet said that he found none!
D. Let’s look at our text verse and break it down.
Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
1. The Importance of our Faith – “above all” 1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (5) Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Again, the most important thing that we can do is exercise our faith in God. Our faith is the “glue” that holds everything else together. You can protect your mind, heart, and feet but—if your faith wavers—you will crumble. Without faith, we cannot please God nor can we overcome the world. Our salvation, sanctification, and service are all faith based. It is the foundation upon which we stand.)
2. The Fiery Darts of the Wicked – Satan deceives; he defiles; he deters; he divides; he destroys; he is one wicked devil! Satan shoots or hurls his darts. Darts pierce and hurt. Can you imagine standing in front of a dart board? They are not “darts” that can be shrugged off; they are “fiery” in nature and are continual. They are fearsome and devastating in that they can cause great damage if not dealt with. Satan viciously attacks our faith. Not just attacks us through temptation but also attacks our faith in God! Does God love; Does God care; can God help; will God help; will God help; etc?
3. The Quenching of those Fiery Darts - Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Not merely, “ye may.” The shield of faith will certainly intercept, and so “quench, all the fiery darts!” Not stopping them for they will continually come because Satan never gives up. We sometimes give up! But, thank the Lord, God never gives up.)
4. The Wherewith All of Quenching The Fiery Darts - 1 Peter 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (You can take everything away from a person but, if you cannot remove their faith, they can steadfastly continue. Satan attacks our faith because it is our faith that defeats him.)
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
The Definition of our Faith - Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (2) For by it the elders obtained a good report. (3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Faith has Substance and Evidence! “things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Our faith is not in what we see or the results of natural phenomena but faith is a trust of the One whom we cannot see to do things that cannot be humanly done in ways that we cannot understand or explain. Faith is just that, FAITH!)
5. The Shield of Faith - Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. (Our greatest “shield” is still the Lord. Who cannot be seen protects us from what can be seen. Let us keep our faith solid in Him and Him alone. He will not fail us. I cannot fathom His great love and care for His children: “casting all your care upon him; for he CARETH for you!” Keep your faith in the Lord and you will come out the victor.)