Armor: Shield of Faith
Spiritual Warfare – Part 5
October 16, 2022
(Ephesians 6:13-16; Hebrews 10:35-36; 11:1)
A. Ephesians 6:13–16 (NLT)—
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to
resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will
still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth
and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace
that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In
addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery
arrows of the devil.
- At the time of Paul’s imprisonment in Rome, where he wrote this letter to
the Ephesians, there were two kinds of Roman shields in use.
A small, round, metal shield, perhaps two feet in diameter, secured to the
arm by two leather straps, was used to block sword blows in hand-to-hand
The shield Paul was referencing was larger, rectangular in shape, usually
about four feet high by two and a half feet wide, designed to protect the
entire body of soldiers (who were considerably smaller than men are today).
It was made with wood reinforced with iron, wrapped in linen, and covered
with metal or tough, heavily oiled leather.
Soldiers in the front lines of battle formed a wall by standing side by
side with their shields together, while archers stood behind the wall and
shot arrows as they advanced.
B. Spiritual meaning of the shield of faith.
- Ephesians 6:16 (NIV)—
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you
can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Faith = Greek pistis, means persuasion, belief, reliance,
assurance, and trust, with an implication that actions based on that trust
Shield of faith = [represents] certain belief in God’s promises.
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)—
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it
gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
[The reliability, trustworthiness, of God’s promises to us.]
Faith is the shield we use to deflect and extinguish Satan’s flaming
The flaming arrows of Paul’s day were made of cane or wood with
hemp or flax, soaked in pitch, wound around the point, and ignited before
These Roman shields were soaked in water to put out flaming arrows that
Satan’s forces shoot flaming arrows at us by whispering wicked ideas into
Flaming arrows fired at us include lies, taunts, and temptations, such as,
unbelief about God, sudden intense anger, irrational envy, crushing guilt,
extreme temptation, unreasonable fear, and overwhelming despair.
These flaming arrows are experienced as our thoughts, since we
don’t recognize they are sent by Satan’s forces, we accept them without
identifying the true source.
Some indicators of a Satanic source of sinful ideas include the suddenness
of these thoughts and their inconsistency with our usual thoughts and
Satan’s forces know your past painful experiences and the wounds and
triggers that result, so they know how to produce negative emotions and
angry actions in you.
B. Satan’s Strategy:
A. The temptation of Adam (Hebrew for man) and Eve (Hebrew to give life; named by Adam after the Fall; Genesis 3:20) in the
Garden of Eden shows how Satan tempts us as well.
- Genesis 3:1a (NLT)—The serpent was the shrewdest [Hebrewcunning, in bad sense, crafty]of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. [Verse doesn’t say Satan or the devil.]
Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 refers to the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan.
1 Timothy 2:14, identifies Satan as Eve’s deceiver, but only in the NLT and
I think Satan was involved in the temptation, either as the
serpent or using the serpent.
Either way, the garden reveals Satan’s strategies to damage our faith and
1. Promotes doubt about God’s guidelines.
(Genesis 3:1-3; Jeremiah 29:11; John 10:10; 1 John 5:14-15)
- Genesis 3:1b-3 (NLT)—
One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the
fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
[made prohibition more extreme.]
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman
replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden
[tree of the knowledge of good and evil; Genesis 2:9] that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it
[Genesis 2:16 said to Adam before creating Eve; Genesis 2:18-25], or even touch it [added, perhaps a warning from Adam] ; if you do, you will die.’ ” [Seemed reasonable to Eve.]
Satan knew what God had said—and why He said it—but he was injecting suspicion of God into Eve’s mind by inferring God’s limitation was
Satan wants us to doubt God’s directions, think His guidelines for our
behavior are unfair, overly restraining, unreasonable.
The devil wants you to think God’s direction in the Bible is out-of-date
If you agree with that, you have been listening to what the slithering one
has to say.
[related to this point]: John 10:10 (NLT)—
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to
give them a rich and satisfying life.
[Thief = not Satan, but false teachers, Pharisees, carrying out
Satan’s intentions; John 8:44]
APP.: By faith, do you believe God’s guidelines are for our best, given to
[Another strategy, Satan…]
2. Provokes mistrust of God’s motivations.
(Genesis 3:4-6; Psalm 37:4-5; Romans 8:31-32; 2 Peter 1:3-4)
- Genesis 3:4-5 (NLT)—
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your
eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God,
knowing both good and evil.”
[Direct lie by the serpent; John 8:44]
The serpent manipulated Eve to ask whether God was depriving her of
He implied that God did not want her to have what He had, did not want her
to be equal with Him, knowing both good and evil, so He forbid her from
The snake suggested that God was preventing this woman from gaining
something good, in reality, He was protecting her from something harmful.
Satan wants us to question whether God is denying us something desirable.
If you do, those thoughts were shot into your mind on the point of a
The devil wants you to decide for yourself what you think is
suitable for you; Eve did!
Genesis 3:6 (NLT)— The woman was convinced. [By what the serpent
She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and
she wanted the wisdom it would give her.
[World’s temptation: lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, pride of
1 John 2:15-16]
So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her
husband, who was with her
[?], and he ate it, too. [Eve didn’t die (v.3), so Adam ate; he
disobeyed deliberately, without being deceived. 1 Timothy 2:14]
The serpent’s words interested Eve; perhaps, she thought, God’s prohibition
was merely a suggestion, when He told Adam to avoid the fruit. (Genesis
Eve didn’t denounce God, she just ignored His direction and allowed herself
to be deceived into thinking this disobedience was the right thing for her
to do. (2 Corinthians 11:3)
She wanted to acquire what she wanted, something that would make her more
like God—but as His equal, not as His subject. (Satan’s sin; New Age
heresy: god is within)
Satan wants us to decide what will make us happy, without
considering what God says.
This type of thinking says, “It’s my life. I’ll do whatever I want to do
[that battles that attitude]: Romans 8:31–32 (NLT)—
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for
us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son
but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?
APP.: By faith, do you believe God gives you everything that is
best for you?
[Every strategy of Satan…]
3. Produces separation from God with sin.
(Genesis 3:7-13; Acts 3:19-20; Colossians 1:21-22; 1 Peter 3:18)
- Genesis 3:7 (NLT)—
At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at
their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
Adam and Eve had been innocent (naked but without shame; Genesis
They did become more like God in awareness— knowing both good and evil (v.5)— because they experienced sin and
shame and fear; they feared God for the first time.
When they disobeyed, they did die; they died spiritually because they were
instantly separated from God by their sin, and they would also now die
Their pure souls became tainted by sin, destroying their intimacy with God;
so they hid.
Genesis 3:8-13 (NLT)—
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard
the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God
among the trees. Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He replied, “I heard You walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid
because I was naked.”
“Who told you that you were naked?” the LORD God asked. “Have you eaten
from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
The man replied, “It was the woman You gave me who gave me the fruit,
and I ate it.”
[Blamed Eve and accused God instead of accepting responsibility honestly.]
Then the LORD God asked the woman, “What have you done?”
“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
[Eve blamed also.]
The result of this first couple’s actions plunged them—and us—into sin.
No longer were they sinless, holy; they were punished by God, which
included being banished from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22-24), but that
wasn’t the end of the story.
God called to them; He calls to us, “Where are you?” He offers a way to
return to Him!
1 Peter 3:18 (NLT)—
Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but He
died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. …
APP.: Have you returned to God by taking up the shield of faith through
believing that Jesus’ death was sufficient to remove your sin and reconcile
you to God?
1 John 5:4 (NLT)—
For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this
victory through our faith.