"In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:16).
Roman soldiers carried four foot by two and a half foot shields. These shields were made of wood or wicker-work covered with leather. In ancient warfare, hollow reeds were filled with naphtha or some other combustible material. They set fire to these reeds and shot them at the enemy. Whatever the arrow struck, the flames consumed. Throwing water on the flames only increased the fury. The only way to extinguish the flames was to suffocate them. The leather stretched over the shields served this purpose.
The Apostle Paul writes that faith is our shield. Through faith, we extinguish the fiery arrows of Satan. Any Christian who follows Jesus will come to a point where their faith is challenged by the flaming arrow of doubt.
We read an example of this in Matthew 14:22-33. Jesus had just fed five thousand people. The disciples witnessed this miracle. Jesus told them to get in a boat and go to the other side of the Lake of Galilee. Jesus went into the mountains to pray.
While the disciples rowed across the lake, a storm erupted. The wind and waves tossed the boat, and they feared they would sink. During the early morning hours, they saw a figure walking toward them on the water. They belived it was a ghost.
Peter wanted greater assurance. He said,
Jesus knew Peter's faith would be tested, but He told Peter to come to Him. In faith, Peter stepped out and walked on the water. Then, the flaming arrow of doubt struck. Peter felt the wind and saw the waves. He became afraid and began to doubt faith could carry him to Jesus. He began to sink.
Though Peter doubted his faith could carry him, he did not doubt Jesus' ability to save him.
Jesus reached out and saved Peter.
Peter's faith allowed him to walk on water. His doubt cancelled that faith. His faith in Jesus to save him preserved his life. We, too, must take up the shield of faith. Trusting Jesus to see us through, we can accomplish great things for God.
When Satan puts doubts in your mind, put up your shield of faith; trust Jesus to see you through it.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.
A Lesson on Faith
Let's take a few minutes to talk about this word we use so often in the church: Faith. Christians throw this word around like a baseball, but what does it really mean?
A Biblical Definition
Hebrews 11:1 gives us the Biblical definition of faith: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Faith is "being sure" or a realization of the things hoped for. Are you sure of what you hope for? If so, what do you hope for?
As a side bar, hope here is not the idea of wishing for something to come to pass. Hope, by definition of the Greek word used, is a "waiting with expectation." You are only waiting for it to come to pass. There is no doubt in your mind.
"..certain of what we do not see." Faith puts its trust in things which it cannot see. (i.e. God)
A Quick Greek Lesson
Let us look quickly at the Greek words of faith that we use often and are used often in the New Testament text:
Faith: noun: pistis -- this Greek word has the idea of giving credit to; putting trust in; relying on. Hebrews 11:1
Believe: verb: pisteuo -- same as above but has the idea of action. The way you trust a chair to hold your weight when you sit on it. Do you trust God to keep His promises in the same way? Day after day? Hebrews 11:6
Faithful, Believing: adjective: pistos -- This Greek word is used to define something or someone who is trustworthy. 1 John 1:9
True, Biblical faith is about putting your trust in God; showing that trust by obeying His commands; and being faithful to Him and His Word.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.
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