Do you ever feel alone in your battles? In this episode, Jeff encourages us and reminds us that we’re not alone when we have the Word, those around us, and the armor God has given us! In this second part of this mini-series we learn about the final pieces of our God-issued battle attire: the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.
Snippet from the Show
The time to learn about the armor is not in the middle of the battle, but before the battle has begun.
God Issued Battle Attire!
“Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:10-17)
Review from Part One:
A. “Be Strong”: “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power …” (Ephesians 6:10)
B. “Put on the armor of God …” (Ephesians 6:11a)
C. “Stand …” – “… so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:12)
“For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” (Ephesians 6:12)
We spoke about the Belt of Truth last show. The truth will prepare you for battle. Don’t walk around relaxed and not prepared. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life!
We also spoke about the Breastplate of Righteousness last show. Walk in the righteousness of Christ and throw off everything that will weigh you down.
Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us.”
This Week’s Reflection:
“… and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15)
The Shoes of Peace
This is describing the messenger of good news! The shoes that you put on is the preparation, the “readiness”, to share the Good News with people. (Revelation 12:11)
Isaiah 52:7: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying to Zion, “Your God is King!”
The Kerygma: 5 Point Summary
1) God loves you, and He has an amazing plan for your life.
2) Sin has disrupted this plan, leaving us stranded.
3) Jesus loves us so much that He died for our sins.
4) We are invited to repent, to radically reorient our life to God.
5) To be baptized, and to receive the Holy Spirit.
“But Jeff, I don’t have the gift of faith, or the hope I need to have, I don’t love Him enough to do this…” Humbug…you can do this!!
God will use you to be the witness that you never thought you would be, to speak to people you never imagined you’d speak to, and to say things you have never rehearsed.
The Shield of Faith
Protects: Whole Body & Soul
The Roman shields were about 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide, made of leather stretched over wood, reinforced with metal at the top and bottom. If soaked in water, they were effective at putting out flaming arrows. (This is how the temple was destroyed!)
Faith is not simply believing in something with your mind. Faith goes beyond belief, and it’s faith with works, faith with action.
Faith is divided into two parts: first, a mental assent and agreement that when we are attack and our minds and our hearts are under attack, the first thing that we do is go to the Word of God, as Jesus did. (Matthew 4: “It is written …”)
We follow that by entrusting ourself to the Father. This is how we stop the attacks!
“Faith is not a mere intellectual assent of the human person to specific truths about God; it is an act with which I entrust myself freely to a God who is Father and who loves me; it is adherence to a “You” who gives me hope and trust.” Pope Benedict XVI
Take authority over your home and your children: walk in faith!
The Romans would interlock the shields and push back the enemy as a group.
We are not alone in this! We can lock shields with our friends and our children behind us, and we can “stand” and walk in faith!
Isaiah 54:17: “No weapon fashioned against you shall prevail; every tongue you shall prove false that launches an accusation against you. This is a lot of the servants of the LORD, their vindication from me, says the LORD.”
1 John 5:4: “For whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.”
1 Peter 1:9: “… as you attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls.”
The Helmet of Salvation
Protects: Head & Mind
This was a ceremonial helmet signifying victory, which indicates that the battle has already been won.
1 Thessalonians 5:8: “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet that is hope for salvation.”
Isaiah 33:2: “O Lord, have pity on us, for you, we wait. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in times of trouble!”
The helmet of salvation gives us the mind of Christ and the hope of salvation: we were saved, we are being saved, and we hope to be saved in the end.
When you’re in a spiritual battle, you’ve got to be thinking clearly!
Psalm 140:7: “I say to the LORD: You are my God; listen, LORD, to the words of my prayer.”
Sword of the Spirit
The sword is the Word of God. Jesus wielded his sword in the wilderness against the enemy as he said, “It is written …”
Psalms 149:6: “… with the praise of God in their mouths, and a two-edged sword in their hands.”
Hebrews 4:12: “Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.”
We are at war, and God has given us a weapon: the sword of the spirit, his Word!
Here are two tools you can use to sharpen your swords:
The Bible in a Year Podcast with Fr. Mike Schmitz (featuring Jeff Cavins)
The Great Adventure Bible Timeline Study
Prayer: The Hotline to Heaven
2 Corinthians 10:3: “For, although we are in the flesh, we do not battle according to the flesh …”
2 Corinthians 10:4: “… for the weapons of our battle are not of the flesh but are enormously powerful, capable of destroying fortresses. We destroy arguments …”
Romans 8:26: “In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.”
Romans 8:27: “And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.”
God has equipped you in the battle: stand and fight the good fight of faith!
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- The Great Adventure Bible
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- Pilgrimages with Jeff
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Meet Your Host: Jeff Cavins
Jeff Cavins is passionate about helping people understand Scripture and become disciples of Jesus Christ. Though he was born Catholic, Jeff went to Bible school and served as a protestant minister for twelve years before reverting to the Catholic Faith. Jeff then received his MA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Since then, he has become a leading Catholic evangelist and author.
Jeff created The Bible Timeline learning system, which revolutionized Catholic Bible Study for millions of Catholics. Since its introduction, Jeff has developed The Great Adventure series of Bible studies to help people better understand Sacred Scripture and its meaning for their lives.