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February 25, 2024
 Ephesian 6:16
"Shield of Faith"

An introduction

 

There will be no topic that is talked about in the church as much as faith. We also use the expression "I have good faith" and "I have weak faith!" We also use those expressions. So it makes us mistaken for the word 'faith' as if we know it well. Although we use the word faith a lot, it is true that we can't think about the deep meaning of faith that the Bible teaches us because we only understand faith in such a superficial sense.

 

In that sense, we need to reconsider the meaning of today's text. So far, we have looked at the waistband of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the sandals prepared by the gospel of peace. And today Paul is speaking of the fourth, the shield, most familiar as a defensive weapon. He is comparing faith to a shield. It is referring to the shield of faith as an arm that will fend the fire arrow of the wicked. We can see two clear facts from these words. The first is the fact that the attack of the wicked is really urgent. It's the fact that it's not just piercing flesh like a fire arrow, but an attack of evil that has the ability to burn your whole body is real. The second is the fact that we can prevent it with faith.

So we have to ask three questions to understand this text properly. First, what is the faith? Second, how can faith stop the fire arrow of the wicked? Third, how can we own a healthy faith?

The text

 

What is faith?

 

The first thing we need to think about is, "What is faith?" Is the question They often refer to people who work hard in church and say that they have good faith. That's not generally wrong. But in order for us to think about faith, we need to know that we all have faith. There is no one in this world without faith. We can't live without faith. As an easy example, there is the term 'credit destruction' in economic terms. At the moment, among economists, they say credit destruction is underway in the United States. Credit means that if someone borrows money, the transaction is made based on the belief that they have paid it back. But if you suspect that someone won't pay back, at that moment, the principle of credit is destroyed and the economy falls. Faith is in place in the midst of all this process. It's also the same in the couple's relationship. Aren't there a lot of people who are having a hard time with symptoms? If my faith in my spouse disappears, I limit my spouse's radius of action, and if I don't always monitor her, I can't live because I'm anxious, which is also a problem caused by lack of faith. The same goes for a disease called post-traumatic stress disorder. It's all because of faith that we live our daily lives. We may not be anxious because of the belief that the driver of a car that runs 60 miles next to me will keep the lane safe and drive. But if the car next to you suddenly ran into you and experienced an accident, you will always be anxious whenever you take the wheel. Because that faith is broken.

 

Therefore, when we explain the faith in the Bible, we should know that its content and object are more important than its nature. Faith is a state of mind that is very deeply entrenched in our daily lives, so we should pay more attention to what kind of faith we have, rather than whether it is good or bad.

 

“Who is the object of faith?” is important. The object of our faith is not the idols made of stone by man. Or it's not an evil spirit or a ghost. It's not even a substance like money or one's own status. The object we believe in is in the One God of the Creator, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. You shouldn't confuse this.

 

Then, secondly, what is the content of the faith we believe in? To put it simply, we believe in God's promises recorded in the Bible. To put it more specifically, God, the Creator to save the fallen, sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, in the image of man, and believe that, according to the prophecy of the Bible, he suffered on this earth, was killed on the cross, and rose again from the dead three days after he was buried, sat at the right hand of God, and sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, among us, leading us to realize our sins, repent, and return to Jesus, and live as children of God.

 

Even though so many people say they believe in Jesus, they often don't know what they believe. So when the evil one attacks you in various ways, you'll soon get hurt, fall, and fall down. We are not those who believe in the cover, but those who thoroughly study the holy word of God, and believe in the clear truth. That's the faith we're talking about. It's easy to have blind faith, but it doesn't have the ability to stop the fire arrow of the evil one. Because the foundation of that belief is poor. It's like lifting a shield and carrying it out on the battlefield, without looking at whether it's a strong leather shield, or just a shield made of cardboard. Therefore, I ask you to know clearly what the object and content of your faith is in the name of Jesus.

 

Why did Paul describe faith as a shield?

 

Then the second, “Why does Paul describe the faith as a shield?” Is . When Satan attacks us, he says, "He pours out fire arrows." In other words, it shoots an arrow of doubt at us. Doubt is like fire, so it burns everything. Once you start to have doubts, it picks up and swallows everything. That's why the most effective tactic used in military tactics is 'Interference'. Interference is a tactic that instills suspicions about each other and makes them wary of each other, and eventually kills each other, with the most terrifying consequences. In other words, Paul knew well that even when Satan attacked us, he used this terrible method. So he compared it to a fire arrow. When we are hit by Satan's fire arrows, they simply leave the arrows piercing, and burn the whole body, so the fire arrows of doubt are a terrifying weapon. This doesn't just kill just you, it could burn everything around you.

 

We must make a good distinction between the doubts that Satan throws at us and the doubts to move forward with faith. Doubts and questions are similar but different. We live in a sinful world from birth. So you live without knowing what the truth is. Then, when you come across the Bible and believe in Jesus, you start asking questions about the Bible that teaches you something different from what you knew in this world. These are healthy questions through which we have a stronger faith. For example, Nicodemus was that kind of person. He was a Jewish man, but he was spiritually ignorant. 'He was spiritually ignorant' means that he did not have a close relationship with God, and he was not a man of the Holy Spirit. When he met Jesus and praised Jesus in a human way, Jesus says challenging things to him. It was the saying, 'If a person is not born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' With that word on the occasion, Nicodemus asks Jesus various questions. But Jesus kindly answers those questions. Because Nicodemus was purely curious about the truth. It was not a question of doubt, but of a desire to know about the truth. These questions allow us to avoid blind faith, and help us to have strong faith.

 

However, there are questions based on doubt. The characteristic of such doubt is the fact that it insults God. Doubt is an act of insulting God. It is also characterized by trying to justify one's sinful behavior through such acts. Doubt is also a product of fear. The Bible records that Peter was afraid and doubted when he saw the waves coming on the water with faith. Doubt sometimes comes to us in the form of pride, sometimes in the form of fear.

 

The Bible explains the characteristics of doubters like this. Thomas, who appears in John 20, says this. “I will not believe unless I look at the nail marks on his hand and put my finger in the nail marks and put my hand in his side.” That is, he is seeking vanity evidence. Those are the kind of people who tell you to believe in Jesus and take him in front of him.

 

The Bible also explains that those who are confused are suspicious. When Paul was taken to Rome as a sinner and was being detained in one house, many Jews visit to hear Paul's faith. But some people didn't believe it. And the Bible describes them like this: "Go and say to this people, "When you hear, you hear, but you don't understand at all. When you see, you see, but you don't know. The heart of this people has become dull, and their ears, and their eyes are closed. For when they see with their eyes, they see, they hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and when they come back, I will heal them." Yes. Those who doubt are already ignorant of their hearts, so no matter how much they listen to the truth, they don't understand it. It's as if the pig can't recognize the pearl. They live with short-sighted thinking that only what they see is everything in front of them.

 

In the end, this suspicion makes people sick of the soul. I sometimes talk on the phone with my middle school friend. He was a very smart friend when he was young. But when he talks to me, he speaks half of it with a mixture of swear words. And he doesn't care about one woman and proudly says that he meets this woman, that woman. I've lived the same amount of time as him, but for about 35 years, that friend and I have been living a completely different life. It's such a pity. Those who doubt God have no hope in this world. That's why people keep obsessing with wired things. Obsessed with stocks, real estate, children, or career. They place their trust in transient things that will eventually decay, yet they harbor doubt towards the eternal God.

 

So in order to effectively prevent fire arrows, there must be a shield of faith. Faith saves us If we have faith, we can grow up healthy in God. The problem, however, is that this belief is not easily arisen. How can we have a healthy faith?

 

To have a healthy faith...

 

In order to have a healthy and strong faith, you must first listen to God's word. Romans 10:17 says this. "Therefore, faith comes from hearing, and hearing is from the words of Christ.” While I commute, I listen to preaching. It is very wonderful time to me. When you listen to God's word, you can find that doubt disappears and confidence is gained, and you gain new strength through the word. Also, faith is born while preparing for the sermon. The benefit of the preacher is right here. An hour is not enough for me to preach everything I have prepared. So there are parts where I can't talk about everything. But when I prepare a sermon, there is a grace that God pours out. Faith becomes strong and hope arises. When we listen to God's word, we have faith.

Also, in order to have a healthy faith, you must rely on the Holy Spirit. Faith is also a gift from the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that those who receive Jesus receive the Holy Spirit as a gift. The Holy Spirit is the one who gives us faith. When the Holy Spirit dwells in us, all doubts disappear, worries disappear, and true peace comes. Why not If the Spirit of God dwells in me, what kind of anxiety can dominate us? Therefore, if the heart of doubt seems to dominate me, please invite the Holy Spirit to your heart. And listen to His voice. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 says, "Our faith is not in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God." It is possible with the manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

 

We also need to pray for us to have a strong faith. Jesus says this in Luke 22:32: “But I prayed for you that your faith would not fail...” Yes, we must pray in order to have a strong faith. Prayer has the power to change everything.

 

Finally, when we obey, our faith becomes strong. The person who shouts that he believes only in his heart has not yet proven his faith. Therefore, that belief is half-hearted. In order for that faith to be fully completed, what must be followed? It's obedience. God knew Abraham's heart, so He knew that Abraham would offer Isaac to God in the land of Moriah. But it was not recognized as faith until Abraham fully obeyed the word. What does Jesus always ask for when he heals the sick. For example, he instructs the blind Bartimaeus to overcome the mud with saliva and apply it to his eyes and go to the Siloam pool to wash it. And his eyes are what opened when he obeyed. But the moment he walked to the Siloam pool, he already believed it. He went because he believed, and if he didn't believe, he wouldn't have gone. But if you hear the order and keep standing there and repeating 'I believe', will your eyes open? When we pray, God gives us an answer. If we don't pray hard for that person and tell him to believe in Jesus in order to evangelize, we can't get any results. Faith is complete when you obey. Therefore, please train to obey.

 

 

A conclusion

 

We are well aware of Hebrews 11:1. “Faith is the reality of what you want and the evidence of what you don't see...” Yes. We need faith because we can't see. You don't need faith when you acknowledge what you see. However, in order to acknowledge things that cannot be seen by the eyes of the flesh, you must look at them with the eyes of faith. Do you believe People of faith don't shake like great mountains. A person of faith is as polite as the great mountian. A person of faith quietly obeys what God does. These are the people who can stop the devil no matter how much they shoot fire arrows and win the spiritual battle. People of faith are people who can walk like a rock on the waves. I hope that all of us here today will be people of this kind of faith.

PASTORAL COLUMN

While I was driving and busily started rummaging through my pockets. My heart was pounding and beating. “What if I accidentally brought the key pack?” After rummaging through my pockets over and over again, I was sure the key pack wasn't for me.

 

On the way home after meeting a friend after a long time, my friend called an urgent voice. “Did you see my key pack?” In the middle of a conversation with the friend, he put his key pack on the table. It looked so flashy that I picked it up and looked at it for a while. Various tools were hanging in the key pack. After talking about them for a while, I put them back on the table. And then the special memory of it disappeared from my head.

 

After talking at the table for an hour or two like that, I had another meeting, so I left the place in a hurry, drove and went to the next meeting place for a long time. But I got a call from that friend. The friend asked me if I had my own key pack. I said I didn't have it at once. At the same time as saying that, I was rummaging in my pocket just in case I put it in my pocket. When I replied that I didn't have it, this friend sighed and said he had lost the keys. I said a few places where we were, told him to look closely again, and then hung up.

 

About ten minutes later, I got a call again. The friend asked me if I could search my pocket. I already said that when the first call came, I had already searched because it was possible that I had brought it by mistake. Because the places we were in are limited, I advised to go to the restaurant where we first met. But he said he had already called the restaurant and asked, but he was told that the restaurant didn't have a key. As the old expression goes, it was "a ghost to sing". The key pack was big enough to be easily discovered, but it's gone. I told the friend to look for everything, including the bathroom, and then hung up the phone again.

 

The keys were very important keys to get into the friend's house, car and work. No matter how big the car is, you can't use the car without those small keys, and no matter how good the house is, you can't get in without the keys. So the key is like power. A small key also allows you to get the whole world. Therefore, losing a key is like losing the right to use everything. How often do we lose our keys? And every time you lose the key, you drummed your feet and don't know what to do.

 

If we lose our house key, we can call a key repairman and remake it. If you lose your car key, you can go to the dealership and make it again. But what will happen to us if we lose the key to heaven? If we value the key to heaven at least as much as our own house key, we will probably gain the right to win the whole world and always live a life full of peace, joy, and security. Because the key to heaven is already in my hands. But if you lose that key, it's a huge disappointment.

 

In the end, the friend contacted me that he found the key on the counter of the first place restaurant. And his voice was very peaceful.

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