Chapter 5, preparing the Soldier for War
While Chapter 5 deals with the churchís relationship to God, it also places the family in order. It states clearly how the leaders of a family should act, and how they should create an example for others. All soldiers should have good examples. If we ever expect our kids to be successful in life, we must set a shining example of what a real soldier in the army of God is like. Paulís discussion in chapters 5 and 6 covers preparing the soldier from the time he or she is a little kid until they are old enough to do battle themselves, wearing their own armor. A kind of training place, that trains by example. You might think of your family as a kind of boot camp for Christian soldiers in the Army of God. This is not your standard worldly boot camp. This is a God and Love filled supernatural boot camp. Chapter 6 deals with wearing and using the armor. Armor is great, and good weapons are great, but they are even better when used by a well-prepared soldier.
|1. Therefore be imitators of God Ė copy Him and follow His example Ė as well-beloved children (imitate their father).|
|2. And Walk in Love Ė esteeming and delighting in one another Ė as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God (for you, so that it became) a sweet fragrance.|
Love is the link, and the anchor that holds the soldier to his or her family, and to their leader (Jesus). Love is the life flowing blood from God to us that gives us the wisdom, and the strength to live each day in victory. This is unit cohesion to the max. If you do not operate in Love to everyone you are not part of Godís Army.
|10. If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine (is disloyal to what Jesus Christ taught), do not receive him (this teacher of Evil) Ė do not accept him, do not welcome or admit him Ė into (your) house or bid him Godspeed or give him any encouragement.|
|11. For he who wishes him success Ė who encourages him, wishing him Godspeed Ė is a partaker in his evil doings.|
Evil, weather it comes from a traveling spiritual guru, or from the school, or from you living an ungodly life in front of your family, it is all very destructive to the family. Donít let it into your house, because your house, your home, and your family are the very first line of defense for the Christian adult. It is the one area that you really control. You are the one, the leader, the adult that sets the limits and the standards by which your family lives. You are the standard barer of the Army of God that your kids see. You are the soldier of God from which your kids learn spiritual warfare. Your standards are the boot camp standard that your kids learn. Donít be tricked into lowering your standards. Why should you lower your standards, the world doesnít want to raise theirs. And that is why Christians should be different, and special. When they hate, we love. When they take every form of destruction into their homes, we only take life into ours.
In the next few verses Paul tells you what not to do in your home. You need to ask yourself is there evil in the world? Sure! Are there bad people in the world? Sure! Can good innocent people get hurt in this world? Sure! But there is only one weapon that is effective against evil, and that is LOVE. love conquers all evil (Romans 12:13-21, 1 John 4:all-5:6). Love is the opposite of evil and sin. In Godís Army, boot camp is full of love. Not just from mom, or just from dad, the commanders of this boot camp have decided in advance to love unconditionally. Every baby, every kid, every mom, every dad, every neighbor, and every other recruit will be loved until they become a supernatural super heroes! And the world will know that we are part of the Army of God by our love. (Eph. 3:17, 1 John 3:18, Romans 13:10)
In chapter 5:3-7, God gives a list of things you should not do. It is important to get sin out of your life, you need to repent, stop being a hypocrite! It sets a bad example for the troupes! There are a lot of people out there that will tell you that they are good people, and yet if you ask the people around them, they will tell you a different story. It is not what you think about your own life that is important. It is what everyone around you thinks of your life. What example do people see when they see you? Do your kids run from you when they see you coming. Does your spouse spend as little time with you as they can. You are not doing much training if no one wants to be near you. I donít care if you think that you are a nice person. If everyone around you thinks that you are a hateful mean person, YOU ARE! Iím not saying that you donít have problems. Everyone has problems. But you are not handling them very well! Before anyone can try to help their kids, they need to help themselves first!
I have known several people over the years, that were good, decent, honest people, and they were self-destructive. They would try very hard to help other people, and in the process they would hurt themselves and their families. There is a time when a family needs to heal, and go to God with honest openness, and ask God to fix this mess! Your kids will never respect you or the example you are trying to set if you donít! Donít act like you love someone elseís family, if you canít love your own. Love starts right here, right now! Not next week, and not down the street!
|8. For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light Ė lead the lives of those native-born to the Light.|
|9. For the fruit Ė the effect, the product Ė of Light, the Spirit, (consist) in every form of kindly goodness, up rightness of heart and trueness of life.|
|10. And try to learn (in your experience) what is pleasing to the Lord; - (Let your lives be constant)proofs of what is most acceptable to Him.|
That sounds like the art of mentoring through the anointing and wisdom of God, to me. If your not getting your wisdom from an active ongoing real relationship with God, youíre in trouble. Youíre on your own. God wants to help, let Him!
Mentoring sometimes means that you share with young ones the experiences, and even the errors that you have made (We have all made them!). When you live a life of proof in front of the world, you open yourself up to examination by the young and old. There are times when the world will not understand the things that you do, and thatís OK. They didnít understand a lot of what Christ did either. But, it is important that your soldiers understand what you do. In a grown up boot camp, soldiers are taught to do what they are told without asking question. Well that works for adults, but your boot camp is full of kids, and they have to be taught everything! Your boot camp is never closed! Training goes on 24 hours a day, seven day a week.
|18. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the (Holy) Spirit. [Prov. 23:20]|
|19. Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments], and making melody with all your heart to the Lord,|
|20. At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.|
Paul continues to talk about living the life, walking the walk and talking the talk. In verse 18, Paul starts to talk about the super natural relationship between a family and God. Verses 18-20 tells you clearly that a Spirit filled family is a Christ filled family. The Spirit of God is to be an active and interactive member of the family. The Spirit of God is the bringer of truth into a family, a stopper of confusion, a center point that anchor a family to Love, truth, honor, and righteousness, in short, Christ. The Spirit of God demonstrates that God loves you, because He wants you healthy. He wants you to be wise. He wants you to be a winner, and a light to the world, something special, and unique. And He demonstrates that God is real every day, because you go to Him every day for help and guidance, just as your kids come to you. You should demonstrate to your kids that you go to God for all kinds of things, like health and healing, to get the answer to a problem, for wisdom and understand, and yes, even for things. They learn to hear the voice of God just like you do. They also learn through the rest of this chapter that everyone has their place and their job. God has His jobs, and parents have their jobs, and kids have their jobs, and pets have their jobs, and so on. We are all, important members of the team. The "G" (for God) team, kind of like the "A" team, only better. We sing songs that strengthen us, and lift us up. These songs, draw us closer to our source of strength, wisdom, and power. The worldís songs draw them closer to their source of destruction. Godís songs bring on a state of joy (John 15:11). Sometimes, when kids see their parents in a state of joy, they donít hide as much. Taking care of yourself is very important. Feeding yourself physically, and spiritually are very important, and kids know when you are not on top of things. You must fix yourself before you can fix any situation you have with them. A General that has no heart for the battle at hand has no hope of winning. There is only one command given to believers concerning the Holy Spirit, "Be filled with the Spirit".
In verse 21, Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
|Ephesians 5: 21-33|
|21. submitting to one another in the fear of God|
|22. Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.|
|23. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. (This only applies to real CHRISTIAN husbands that really walk the walk and talk the talk. It does not apply to sinners. see 1 Cor. 11: 3, Genesis 3: 16)|
|24. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.|
|25. Husbands, (Agapao or God filled love) love your wives, just as Christ also loved (Agapao or God filled love with self sacrifice and compassion) the church and gave himself for her,|
If we look back to Eph. 4:1-2, we see that we are to walk with one another in lowliness and meekness of mind. This means that we all have bosses, and we all have to take orders, and instead of trying to be the big cheese all of the time, sometimes it is good to demonstrate that you can take order. Like maybe, doing what your wife wants to do sometimes. Or instead of trying to be the big cheese around the church, let someone else have a moment in the spotlight. You never know, you may get another Sunday school teacher out of it. This may sound kind of weird, but thatís the kind of stuff Love does. Being humble and ready to give of your self, is a sign of a Spirit filled believer.
Verse 5:22-24, (Did anyone hear that big explosion?) this set of verses causes a bunch of turmoil, and it is mostly from people that do not have any idea what they say. Ask yourself, does Jesus love me? You had better say, YES!!!! Or I will have to come over there and shake my finger at you! Is Jesus willing to do anything for your benefit? Of course He is! Did Jesus die for you? Of course He did! Well then, go ahead and treat each other like Jesus is the head of the church! Treat each other with love. Jesus did leave a chain of command, a chain of responsibility. But it is a command of love, not oppression. It is a command built on giving, not abusing. This chain of command lays down an example of total self sacrifice. Anyone that tells you that the husband is the master, and the wife is the slave, or anything like that, is completely wrong! The relationship between God, husband, wife, and kids forms a family team! Each member of the team is sacrificing their wants and needs for everyone else. Just before Christ went to the cross, He asked the father
|Matt. 26: 37-39,|
|"if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will Ė not what I desire Ė but as you will and desire."|
There were other things that Jesus would have rather done then go to the cross, but going to the cross was the right thing to do.
|Ephesians 5: 25-33,|
|25. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it|
|26. That he might santify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.|
|27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.|
|28. bodies. He that loveth his wife Loves himself.|
|29. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:|
|30. For we are members of the body, of his flesh, and of his bones.|
|31. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.|
|32. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.|
|33. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.|
I have heard men say, "I bring the money into this house and I will say how to spend it". And I say fine, as long as you understand that you are going to stand before God and answer that all of the needs and wants of your family have been met before any of yours! And that you know now, that God does not care if the game is on. He does not care what is going on in the world. What God wants to know is, did you sacrifice yourself, your wants, your needs, for your family as He did for you? No excuses! You are in charge. You are responsible. And God wants to know where your wifeís birthday present is. I have heard guys say that their wives wonít do their part, but I say that if the guys would do their part, you would have fewer problems with the wives doing their part! . . . Perhaps this would be a good time for a prayer break!
The bottom line is that any team needs a great team leader and that is Christ. And, He has given the guys the responsibility of teaching our families how to be overcoming victors in life. And God has given us great team coleaders, our wives. The example that you set for your family will impact their lives forever. And I know that I would not care to stand before God and answer for how some (Christian) guys treat their families, and there are some bad wives too.
|1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord (as His representatives), for this is right.|
Who is God talking to? Real Christians that really live the life. Not sometimes Christians, because God never condones sin. And He never supports anyone that tells anyone else to sin. So, what is He saying? "Children open your hearts to the outpouring of God through your parents that you may be led with love and wisdom".
Children are like a sponge that is waiting to be filled, and it will absorb from whatever environment it is in. In general, sin and self will from a sin filled environment, or love, discipline, and self-control from a God filled environment (normally, but there are some exceptions). This is why it is important to watch who and what you bring into your home, and how you act in your home. Children are naive, and can easily miss understand some of the things you do. You want them to understand that you do not like some of the things some people do, and that sin filled people are everywhere. We treat all people with love and respect, because that is how we want to be treated. But, that does not mean that we like all of the things that they do.
|2 and 3. Honor your (Christian) Father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise. That it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.|
|The promise comes from Exod. 20,|
|12. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.|
All other commandments say that something bad will happen to you if you do not keep them. This is the only commandment that carries a promise for those that do keep it. So, if you honor your father and mother you will have a long life. It is amazing, the number of people that demand respect for them selves, and yet donít show any respect to anyone else. They are digging their own graves with their own mouths.
|4. Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger Ė do not exasperate them to resentment Ė but rear them (tenderly) in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.|
Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger Ė do not exasperate them to resentment Ė but rear them (tenderly) in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.
Just in case you mistakenly think this means that you should never do anything to up set your kids, I want you to look at a few more verses.
|24. He who spares his rod (of discipline) hates his son, but he who loves him diligently disciplines and punishes him early.|
|18. Discipline your son while there is hope, but do not (indulge your angry resentment by undue chastisements and) set yourself to his ruin.|
|15. Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.|
|13. Withhold not discipline from the child, for if you strike and punish him with the (reed-like) rod, he will not die.|
|15. The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left undisciplined brings his mother shame.|
|17. Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your heart.|
I believe that you get the picture. Punishment should never be given in a fit of rage. It should always be reasonable for the offence. You should never lie to your kids. If you say that you are going to punish them, punish them. Do not threaten, and threaten, and threaten, and then donít do anything. The first time you say it, do it, and no backing down. They need to learn that your word is good, and you mean what you say. God needs to know that too. Kids need limits. Arguing over and over with your kids, just to get them to do the simplest things, doesnít do you or them any good. Never threaten to give them a punishment that you know you can not enforce. Like, "Youíre grounded forever!" Get real! Wild threats just make you look stupid, so calm down, and think about it, then do something reasonable for the offence. Thatís a good practice all of the time!
|5. Servants (slaves), be obedient to those who are your physical masters (bosses), having respect for them and eager concern to please them, in singleness of motive and with all your heart, as (service) to Christ (Himself)|
|6. Not in the way of eye service Ė as if they were watching you Ė and only to please men; but as servants (slaves) of Christ, doing the will of God heartily and with your whole soul;|
There are bosses today that would dance in the street if the kids would just show up for work. Teaching kids a good work ethic is job insurance for their future.
|7. Rendering service readily with goodwill, as to the Lord and not to men.|
|8. Knowing that for whatever good any one does, he will receive his reward from the Lord, whether he is slave or free.|
Kids that learn to work like that will never be out of work. They will be able to find work no matter what the world economic condition is! And donít tell me that I donít know how bad your boss is. Anyone that works like this can easily prosper anywhere, and can easily find another job if the boss really is out of control. Remember Joseph, who was sold into slavery to the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh and Egypt are symbolic of the world. As a slave, Joseph demonstrated how a believer working in the world should act. He did nothing but good for his boss, and he prospered! Good honest workers are like finding a gem in a field of mud!
|9. You masters, act on the same (principles) toward them, and give up threatening and using violent and abusive words,|
|10. Remember God sees all, and knows all!|
Your outward witness, the you that all others see, should be Christ. As your kids come to the age where they start fighting their own spiritual fight, and that is the only real fight, they should be mentally, physically, and spiritually ready to put on the armor. And in fact, as they grow they should be trying it on from time to time. All boot camps start by building each soldiers up day by day, adding a little more each day until each soldier can handle everything that is expected of them. Joseph was successful because he knew who he was in Godís army. Your kids will wear their armor proudly and correctly when they are as well prepared.
The one thing you should notice about Godís armor is that it points to Christ. And Christ and His Word are one in the same (John 1:1). To put on Godís armor you must put on His word. This is supernatural war and God has supplied you with supernatural armor. It is nice to think of armor in a physical way, but I believe that a physical picture only diminishes your view or opinion of the armor that God has given you. Children must be taught the habit on daily Bible reading, prayer, and study. This armor does not exist, or is very weak without it! This armor clothes you in Christ and His word with a power that makes all other armor and weapons look like toys.
|10. In conclusion, be strong in the Lord Ė be empowered through your union with Him; draw your strength from Him Ė that strength which his (boundless) might provides.|
|11. Put on Godís whole armor Ė the armor of a heavy-armed soldier, which God supplies Ė that you may be able successfully to stand up against (all) the strategies and the deceits of the devil.|
This battle is often fought in the mind. Your relationship with God can not be a once a week, sometimes, maybe, relationship. It must be a real interactive meaningful relationship where you feel at ease drawing power from God. You feel comfortable knowing that the power of God is working in your behalf (Hebrews 11:6). Knowing through experience, as you grow up, that God is real. NO JOKE! Daily putting on all of your armor, not just some of it, but put it all on, all the time. Knowing that you may have to do battle at any moment. And understand this clearly, This is a supernatural spiritual battle. I donít care what you see in the flesh, with your senses. This battle can only be won with supernatural spiritual weapons powered by God, and used by God filled soldiers that have been bought up, and trained in a supernatural boot camp.
|12. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood Ė contending only with physical opponents Ė but against the despotism, against the powers, against the (the master spirits who are) the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. (That is Satan and his gang.)|
Do bad things happen in this physical world? Sure they do! But in many cases the physical things that happen are being driven or pushed into existence by spiritual forces, some are good, and some are bad. There are evil spirit beings that try to talk people into doing bad things. Spirit beings that put sickness, depression, fear, and other bad things on people that do not know how to protect themselves. But, we have a more powerful Spirit force then Satan and all his gang could ever have. We have God. So donít back up! Put that armor on right! Learn about your enemy so that you can fight him better. And remember, God and you are a winning team. I mean, how can you loose? You have access to Godís wisdom (James 1: 5), Godís power, and armor (Eph.6: 10-11), and God will never leave you helpless. (Josh. 1: 5, Hebrews 13: 5). So whoís winning here? DAAAAAAAAAAA! Now, do I have to come over there and tickle you?
with Godís help!
All soldiers understand that armor is hot, heavy, and always requires a special effort to use it. They also understand that only a fool would go into a battle without it. It is one of those things that require a quality decision, "I will use my armor"! A soldier that is trained from the beginning to use armor is more likely to use it correctly and successfully. It is very important to teach kids at a very young age to use the armor of God!
|19. You believe that God is one; you do well. So do the demons believe, and shudders.|
|13. Therefore put on Godís complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day (of danger), and having done all (the crisis demands), to stand (firmly in your place).|
You have your part, and God has His part. When you have done all you know how to do, then it is time for God to do His part. Believe me, you never really appreciate the cavalry until they show up at the last second to save the day. And you would never appreciate God if He did everything for you up front, and without you asking. The children of Israel never did appreciate all that God did for them. Anyone that has really been rescued by God will tell you that God may not be early, but He is always on time. And His miracle rescues are really appreciated! But miracle rescues require that you must be operating in Godís will, not your will. You must know the Word of God, and the promises that God has made to you. (Galatians 3: all, Ezekiel 11:19-20, Joel 2:28, Hebrews 9: all, 1 Cor. 12:12, The Law is in Deut. 27-28:All
When do you put on the armor? Right now! When will the battle start? The battle has already started, and it goes on day and night, every day, no days off, no weekend breaks, and no vacations! This is no time to be sloppy. If you look at how soldiers use their armor in battle, they never take it off. They sleep in it. They eat in it. They ware it all of the time. Between battles they maintain it. They fix it, improve it, and get it ready for the next battle. And you should do the same. It is really embarrassing to take your armor off or a minute to relax, you get comfortable, and the Devil slips you into a bad situation. All seems lost. All of the good fights that you have won seem to be over shadowed by this one sloppy moment. The Devil will take any shot that you give him, so donít give him any (Col. 2:6-23)!
|Ephesians 6: (Amplified Bible)|
|14. Stand therefore Ė hold your ground Ė having tightened the belt of truth around your loins, and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God.|
"having tightened the belt of truth around your loins", the belt, or girdle, holds everything that you believe in together. It protects your most private parts and feelings. Your personal secrets and feeling. Without the strong anchor of the Word of Truth, you will find that other people will ask you questions about yourself, your faith and religion that you can not answer without lying. Anyone that has ever told a lie will tell you that the hardest part of telling a lie is remembering who you told which lie to. It can be very confusing. When God gave us His Bible, He took all of the confusion away. He said that the anchor is Good News to all that hear it. And it never bends or changes. Any doctrine that you have to defend with excuses, any doctrine that you can not prove with a direct verse from the Word with no fake twisted around verses, is man made, and should not be followed. Once you put Godís real Word into your heart, you will set yourself free, and your life will be correctly held together. But it requires that you get into Godís Word NOW! Donít prepare for todayís battle tomorrow. The Devil is attacking NOW! If you donít know the true, you can be tricked into believing any lie. One of the first things the Truth will tell you is that Jesus loves you, and He has died to take away your sins (John 3: 15-21). He gave His life so that you would have life (John 15:11-15). He didnít do that because you were righteous, but because He is righteous. Anyone that is willing to give their life for you is willing to give their time, effort and power to see to it that you live a victorious life (1 Cor. 15:25, Gal. 13: 5-8, Gal. 4:1-8, Eph. 1:17-23, Eph. 2: 1-10, Eph. 3:14-21). BUT, you have to live life by Godís rules, in love, with integrity, and of moral rectitude, and right standing with God. There are no sneaky, weasel, lying, drug using, abusive, mean, and immoral people in Godís Army. There are no fence sitters in Godís Army! I donít care how good anyone sounds, or what they say! If you donít live it, youíre not in it!
|Revelation 3: 15-22|
|15. I know your (record of) works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot!|
|16. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of My (Godís) mouth!|
|17. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked. (Hos. 12:8)|
|18. Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me ( the God kind of ) gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be (truly) wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes that you may see.|
|19. Those whom I (dearly and tenderly) love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten Ė (that is,) I discipline and instruct them. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal, and repent Ė change your mind and attitude. (Prov. 3:12)|
|20. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door (of your heart), I will come in to him (or her) and will eat with him (her), and he (shall eat) with Me.|
|21. He who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant him to sit beside Me on My throne, as I Myself overcame (was victorious) and sat down beside My Father on His throne.|
|22. He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the (Holy) Spirit says to the assemblies (the churches).|
Heís not kidding. You must repent of your sins. There
is only one way, Godís way.
( Mark 9:39-50, Matt. 19: all, Matt. 23: all, Matt. 25:all This is just a small sample)
You need to understand that if you are not living the truth, then you are living a lie, and there are no liars in heaven.
|Revelation 21: 6-8|
|6. And he said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I (myself) will give water without price from the fountain (springs) of the water of Life. (Isa. 55:1)|
|7. He who is victorious shall inherit all these things, and I will be God to him and he shall be My son.|
|8. But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive; and as for the unbelieving and faithless; and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations; and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practicers of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to any one or anything other than God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed, all of these shall have) their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death.|
Understand this, a heart that is buried in unrighteousness and condemnation will never hear the voice of God and will never be led by His Spirit (Gal. 5:14-26). So, clean yourself with repentance, by asking God to forgive you, and then wrap yourself in Him. The God made girdle that wraps you in His love and understanding. The girdle that canít be knocked out of your hand, or taken away from you, because no one can take you out of Godís hand. This Word girdle is the encompassing, and in filling of God Himself, God and His Word are one, around you, in you, protecting you.
Are there any questions? Good!
|15. And having shod your feet in preparation (to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness and the readiness produced by the good news) of the Gospel of peace.|
Stand fast in the understanding that this is a message of peace. So many Christians want to turn this into a message of aggression, and conflict. We are not anyoneís enemy, and we are everyoneís path to Christ. Some want to concentrate on everyone elseís sins. We need to understand clearly that sin is sin. You will go to Hell just as fast for telling one lie, as anyone else will go for murdering millions of people. There are no big sins and no little sins because God does not want to compare sins. No one should say that your sin is bigger then my sin. God says that only His opinion of what is a sin counts. If you really need a list of sins, this should give you an idea of what God calls sin (Romans 1: 16-32, Eph. 4:17-5:20), but this is just a sample. Knowing that you are not walking in sin is being surefooted. When you know who you are in Christ, and really know that you know! Satan canít knock you down. So stand on the ROCK! This is sometimes called righteousness consciousness. That is not the same as being self righteous, which is a form of hypocrisy. Righteousness consciousness comes from the heart and comes from a continual fellowship and interaction between you and God, as in the prophets of old. You know that you know that you know, who you are in Christ.
|Ephesians 6: 16 (Amplified)|
|Lift up over all the (covering) shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked (one).|
|Ephesians 6: 16 (KJV),|
|Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.|
I know someone is going to look at the Amplified version and say, "The KJV Bible doesnít say that!" Well I think it does. It just doesnít say it very clearly. Check it out with other good versions. It is important to note that whether the verse is talking about the shield of faith or saving faith, they both come from salvation. Faith in any form comes from salvation. And I know that there are a lot of people that refuse to accept that this is the definition of faith. But that is their problem, This is after all, the faith that you used to get saved.
|1. Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of the things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality Ė faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.|
You can not be a sometimes maybe Christian, and have faith like this. This faith comes only from the heart. You can not simply say some words from your mind and expect God to do something. In you heart there comes a combining with the will of the Holy Ghost that gives confirmation in your heart, not your head. And you know that you know that you know that what you ask for is going to happen. You do not see it, but there is not the smallest question in your heart that God is working on it, and it is coming. This is available to all believers, but sadly only a few live the kind of dedicated life that opens them up to this kind of faith. If you want to see it in action read all of Hebrews 11. You can live like that if you would dedicate yourself! And this is the shield that God is talking about, a combining of will, purpose, and heart that unleashes the full power of God at a word from your mouth.
Each person is a free will being responsible for our own salvation, and what we do after we are saved. When talking about shields many people are quick to point to the size of a Roman shield and how they hook together. They say that the armor is only in front, because we are to face our enemies, and so on. Well thatís fine if we where talking about a physical warfare. But we are talking about a supernatural warfare with supernatural weapons (Eph. 6:12). While I do agree that there is some analogy to physical weapons in these verses, this is clearly supernatural war. Do not limit your view of what God can do for you to physical things. I found this small change in wording very interesting in the Amplified version, but both versions are very good.
"Lift up over all the (covering) shield of saving faith" It is your job and responsibility to lead people to Christ. To help them protect themselves and their family by providing them with Christ and His power, to help them by interceding for them in prayer. You can not have real victory in life without Christ. All soldiers share, the things that work for them in battle, with their fellow soldiers so that they can win their fights also. You can not be a soldier in Godís Army without having compassion for those that lose battles daily. Your victory through Christ is to be shared with the hurting multitudes so that they can have the power of Christ in their lives blowing down anything the Devil throws at them. This is not your little secret. Now understand that you are not to tell the world how Godly you are, and thatís why God helped you. The truth is that you and me, and everyone else are not worthy of the dirt on the bottom of Godís feet. But despite all of our failings, God sees past our faults, and loves us, and is our ever loving, watchful Father. And He is ready to forgive us of our sins, if we would comes to Him in honesty, and real repentance. This victory of Love is worth sharing with everyone. And it will truly set all the captives free.
|17. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.|
What does the Helmet of Salvation do for the believer? The believer gets far more then eternal life from God when they get saved. Salvation includes a whole list of rights, and benefits that only believers get. One of the great complaints that God has with backslider is that they say that there is no profit or benefit in being a believer (Jer. 2:11-13, Malachi 2: all and 3: all). If you knew the Word, you would not say anything so ridiculous. Our God is alive and real and interactive. But you have to know who you are in God, and what benefits He will give you. For starters, real, no joke, protection, defense, and deliverance from enemies, supernatural wisdom, and knowledge, real inner peace, and an eternal life retirement plan that canít be beat! But it is your choice.
|Romans 10: 9-17,|
|10. For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trust in and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses Ė declares openly and speaks out freely his faith Ė and confirms [his] salvation.|
|11. The Scripture says, No man who believes in Him Ė who adheres to, relies on and trusts in Him (Jesus) Ė will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed. [Isa.28:16; 49:23; Jer. 17:7-8; Ps. 34: 17-22]|
Why donít you take a few minutes and get everything straight with God. He has been waiting.
|Here are a few more: Phil.1: 28, Acts 4: 11-12; Heb. 13:6-8; Titus 3: 8; Romans 1:16-18; Psalm 149: all, 68:19-21, 91:16, 106:4-10, 118:21-29, 119: 153-156; Luke 1: 69-71; 2 Cor. 6: 2-3|
|18. Pray at all times Ė on every occasion, in every season Ė in the Spirit, with all (manner of ) prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all saints (Godís consecrated people).|
|19. And also for me, that (freedom of) utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news (of the Gospel),|
|20. For which I am an ambassador in a coupling chain (in prison. Pray) that I may declare it boldly and courageously as I ought to do.|
Living the kind of life that God wants you to live is something that you must want from your heart. You can not force someone to live this way.
I also want to add a little something extra on the end of this lesson. When I write, I write what I feel inspired to write. And that did not include this next paragraph, but I do feel at liberty to tack it onto the end. One of the best things that you can teach a kid is how and what to pray. When you look through the Bible, one of the things that strikes me is the number of times you see verses about praying for, or obtaining wisdom, knowledge, skill, and the strength to be the kind of people God would have us to be. I would therefore encourage parents to teach their children to pray for wisdom, knowledge, skill, and the strength to be the kind of people God would have them to be, daily.
The Armor calendar: Every time your kids do something related to the armor of God, you draw it (helmet, shield, etc) on the calendar. Tell them that God and you will not forget all of the Godly things they do.
Notes from the author: This lesson was written and distributed by:
Apple Sauce Kids on the Internet at http://applesaucekids.com.
or we can be E-mailed at email@example.com