Armour of God - Learning To Use Your Shield Of Faith, Part 9
Ephesians 6:16 ESV In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
We have God's truth, righteousness, and peace through faith in Jesus the Messiah.
We have this armour and need all the pieces because we are engaged in warfare. God's word which is truth reveals the actions and attitudes of a righteous person, and the peace that passes understanding enables us to be ready with strength to stand. When we are at peace we do not run.
The next piece of armour is the shield of faith. Our faith is to be used in all circumstances meaning we who are righteous live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4). It is our faith used as a shield that puts out or extinguishes the fiery darts of Satan. This is not a small shield but one that covers the whole body. So when Satan throws his accusations at us we use our faith to say I trust God's word, I am right with God through Christ, and therefore I will not run nor be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ but have made myself ready putting on the shoes of the Gospel of peace.
Remember this war is not about social issues, people, or anything worldly. Our fight is the good fight of faith (1Timothy 6:12).
In the bible faith and believe are used but they are not always equal.
The word believe does not always mean faith in God. Our opinions are something we believe. For example, we can believe in people, religious ideals, luck, the power of positive thinking, etc. These are beliefs in a man made system and come from the mind of men. There are also those who say they believe in God and Jesus the Christ but have no true faith. We will look at such a person.
What is True Faith
In Acts 8 This chapter takes place in Jerusalem and the city of Samaria. In Jerusalem, Stephen was killed for his faith and the Christians were being dragged from their homes to be imprisoned or worse (verses 1-3).
This lead to the scattering of the Christians in Jerusalem to other places. This also lead to the spreading of the Gospel of Christ which they preached wherever they went (verse 4).
Philip was one of those who left Jerusalem and he went to Samaria. While there he "proclaimed the Christ to the people" (verse 5).
Now, many people listened to him and witnessed the miracles and wonders he performed. They had faith in the Good News and "the name of Jesus the Messiah as Philip preached it, they were baptized" (verse 12).
In the crowd there was a man named Simon and we will look at his belief.
What is Fake Faith
Simon had "practiced magic arts" in the city of Samaria and called himself "an extraordinary and distinguished person" (verse 8).
Being in the crowd that day he heard what Philip preached. He believed and was baptized. He also was amazed at the power Philip had in order to perform signs and miracles.
The apostles had stayed in Jerusalem and news was brought to them about how welcoming Samaria had been of the Gospel preached there by Philip. So, they sent Peter and John to pray for the new believers so they might receive the Holy Spirit.
When Peter and John began to lay their hands on each person, Simon was watching and decided he wanted to be granted "power and authority, in order that anyone on whom I place my hands may receive the Holy Spirit".
How did Simon propose to gain that power, he offered them money (verse 17-19). Peter would have no part in that. Peter told Simon "destruction overtake your money and you, because you imagined you would obtain the free gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not true before God" (verse 20-21).
Peter tells Simon to repent and pray the Lord removes the wicked purpose of his heart and forgives him. Peter had seen that Simon was full of jealousy and "ruled by sin" (verse 21-23).
How Did Simon Respond to Peter's Rebuke
Acts 8:24 ESV And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”
Simon said he believed and was baptized but something was missing. Simon believed what Philip preached but his belief was not divine faith. Simon had put his trust in Philip not Christ. But more than that he believed he could earn or buy the power Philip and the apostles had received by way of God's free grace. His heart had not changed and the bible says belief toward Christ is in the heart.
Do not fall into the lie that any kind of works will earn you salvation or make you right with God. God has given no one the ability to offer you forgiveness of your sins. This is a fiery dart of Satan that has been used since the beginning of the church. The lie is Jesus Christ is NOT the only way to God and there has to be more than faith alone. When someone says that, raise up your shield of faith in Truth...
John 14:6 AMP Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.
Simon showed his true heart and it did not have divine faith in God.
Who Will Enter Heaven
Matthew 7:21 ESV “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in
Salvation is by God's free grace through God given faith in Jesus the Christ.
Hebrews 11:1 ESV Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
The first question to be asked, Do you believe, by faith, "In the beginning God created the heavens and earth" from nothing but the power of His spoken word.
Without faith in Christ you do not have a shield of faith and you are susceptible to the fiery darts of Satan. When your shield is welded in Christ this enables you to extinguish the fiery darts of Satan. When you have faith in Christ you are sealed and covered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Truth and Christ is The Truth therefore your shield is God.
Next time the fiery darts of Satan and taking up your shield of faith.
Biblegateway.com (we use Bible verses from this site)