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03/01/15 Stepping Out - With Faith!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, March 2, 2015 Under: Sermon

Worthy Walk Series – Ephesians 6:15-16

Intro: Have you ever stepped on something that you regretted later? Was it squishy, did it sting you, was it hot, or was it cold? Did it break, or did you twist an angle or hurt your knee, maybe your back went out again. So many things could be said about the step you just made! Or steps you are making …

The Bible tells us that when a person receives Christ, a key part of their walk with God is to step out on faith. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16

I learned a very important acronym almost 20 years ago and the word was FAITH: Forsaken All I Trust Him. So obviously the next thought would be, do you?

Text: Ephesians 6:15-16 (NKJV)

“And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”

Application: Step out on Faith and use the Armor!

Have you ever torn something apart and when you reassembled it you had some left over pieces? What if you actually took the time to read the instructions and then realizing the grief you spared assembling it right the first time. The Apostle Paul had a lot of time on his hand when he was imprisoned, he allowed God to give him the instructions to write down on paper how to build the perfect Man of Armor, a man who knew how to use his armor and could experience the worthy walk. Yes he could chew gum and walk at the same time. This person stepped out on Faith. The Shods and the Shield are the discussion for today’s continuation of the Worthy Walk Series.

1. Shod of the Gospel: vs. 15

“And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”

Shod: An external covering for the human foot, usually of leather and consisting of a more or less stiff or heavy sole and a lighter upper part ending a short distance above, at, or below ankle, it is a shoe!

I am sure most of you are familiar with an idiom or two that is often referred too with the shoe: such as “So now the shoe is on the other foot,” “no one could fill their shoes,” “I wouldn’t like to be in his shoes,” I had jobs where OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an agency of the US Department of Labor) required steel toed shoes, in order to have the proper foot wear for the job. It is all about the proper protection for your feet.

A Christian’s spiritual footwear is equally important in his warfare against the schemes of the devil. If he has carefully girded his loins with truth and put on the breastplate of righteousness, but does not properly shod his feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, he is destined to stumble, fall, and suffer many defeats. The shoes or shod or sandals where placed on your feet for the readiness of the gospel. “Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”

The shods were a sign of readiness—readiness to march and to do battle. The Roman shod or sandals were made with nails that gripped the ground firmly even when it was sloping or slippery. The sign of the Christian soldier is readiness—a readiness to march and to bear witness to the gospel. Wherever the Christian soldier's feet take him, he shares the gospel that can firmly ground a world reeling under the weight of desperate need and conflict.

Lehman Strauss makes a statement about this point that startles the mind of modern man: "The soldier's shoes are not the dancing slippers of this world or the lounging slippers of the slothful, but the shoes of the Christian warrior who knows Christ and makes Him known."

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20

“And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

ACTS 1:8

The believer who stands in the Lord’s power need not fear any enemy, even Satan himself when he comes to attack us, our feet are rooted firmly on the solid ground of the gospel of peace.

2. Shield of Faith: vs. 16

“Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”

This shield was about two and half feet wide and four and a half feet high, designed to protect the entire body of the soldier—who was considerably smaller than the average man today. The shield was made of a solid piece of wood and was covered with metal or heavy oiled leather. The soldiers who carried these shields were in the front lines of battle, and normally stood side by side with their shields together, forming a huge unit extending as long as a mile or more. The archers stood behind this protective wall of shields and shot their arrows as they advanced against the enemy. Anyone who stood or crouched behind such shields was protected from the barrage of enemy arrows and spears. The shield was worn by the soldier to protect his body from the fiery darts thrown by the enemy.

The darts were dipped in pitch or some other combustible material and set afire. When they struck, they served the purpose of a small combustible bomb. Satan has his fiery darts, those things that cause the believer to question their salvation, to question their call, to question if they are worthy, to question if they can really serve, to question if the project can really be done, to question, doubt, and wonder, to become discouraged, depressed, and defeated to burn with passion and desire. Such fiery darts often assault the mind, one doubting and evil thought after the other, fighting against the will, struggling to get hold of the mind and subject it to doubt or evil.

The sign of the Christian soldier is that of the shield of faith, faith in God—a complete and perfect trust that God will quench the darts of doubt and evil that attack him, that God will help him control his mind and conquer the evil doubts and thoughts. The Christian soldier's consciousness of God's presence is so great that God's presence itself becomes his shield and defender: “After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward." Genesis 15:1

The spiritual flaming missiles against which believers need protection would seem primarily to be temptations. Satan continually bombards God’s children with temptations to immorality, hatred, envy, anger, covetousness, pride, doubt, fear, despair, distrust, and every other sin.

Satan’s initial temptation to Adam and Eve was to entice them to doubt God and instead to put their trust in his lies. That was the first of his flaming missiles, from which all the others have lighted their flames. Every temptation, directly or indirectly, is the temptation to doubt and distrust God. The purpose of all of Satan’s missiles, therefore, is to cause believers to forsake their trust in God, to drive a wedge between the Savior and the saved. He even tempted God’s own Son to distrust Him in the wilderness—first to distrust His Father’s provision, then to distrust His protection and His plan. Whenever and however we try to justify any sin, we degrade God’s character and elevate Satan’s. To sin is to believe Satan, and to follow righteousness is to believe God. Therefore, all sin results from failure to act in faith in who God is and in what He is. Faith, then, is the shield.

The only way to extinguish Satan’s flaming missiles of temptation to doubt God is to believe God, taking up the shield of faith. Our struggle is against personal forces of evil—not simply against bad philosophies or wrong ideas our battle is not against abstract evil influences but the personal evil one and his hordes of personal demons.

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield. The LORD gives grace and glory; He does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity.” Psalm 84:11 (HCSB)

Conclusion: The faith to which Paul refers here is not the body of Christian beliefs, but basic trust in God—the faith in Christ that assumes salvation and continues to bring blessing and strength as it trusts Him for daily provision and help. The substance of Christianity believes that God exists and that He rewards those who seek Him putting total trust in His Son as the crucified, buried, risen, and ascended Savior; obeying Scripture as His infallible and authoritative Word; and looking forward to the Lord’s coming again.

This week has been all about the shod and the shield. It is not only about a step that must be taken, it is about a faith that must be applied: “Forsaking All I Trust Him” That is faith, faith in action. A worthy walk and an echo that is heard at the end of the corridor!

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

“Stepping out - with faith!”

In : Sermon 

Tags: "worthy walk series" "book of ephesians" 
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