Beloved brothers and sisters, those who belong to Jesus Christ through repentant faith in the gospel of His salvation have always been the particular target of Satan, who hunts, harasses, and harms us through many different methods. Some forms of attack have to do with persecution, some with temptation to sin, others with deception through false teaching, and many through spiritual attack in the battleground of our hearts and minds. Our beloved Savior, Jesus, has given us all that we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him. This knowledge is based upon our faith in Him and His Word, the inspired, preserved, infallible, inerrant Word of God the Bible, and the Holy Spirit’s illumination of His Word to our hearts and our minds. This faith, given to us by God our Father, is a mighty defensive weapon in our arsenal of protective gear given to us to thwart all the wicked designs of the enemy to undo our walk with Jesus Christ. I want to focus upon the encouragement of our faith in this post.
Our loving Heavenly Father has made it clear in His Holy Word, that we will face attack from an unrelenting enemy who desires the destruction of our witness to Jesus and the injury of our souls. Here is God’s remedy given to us by His beloved apostle Paul in Ephesians chapter six.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. (11) Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Ephesians 6:10-17
Notice, dear brethren, that God singles out faith as the most powerful of all the defensive weaponry that He has given us. It can extinguish all the fiery darts of the enemy. The shield of faith is more than adequate to fend off the attacks of the enemy; it is that all powerful defensive weapon that frustrates all of the evil designs that Satan has against each one of us personally and against the Body of Jesus Christ corporately. Therefore, it is to our advantage for ourselves and our beloved brothers and sisters to exercise this weapon whenever we are under the barrage of assaults from the devil. Following are verses from God’s precious Word that show the advantage that we assume when we wield the shield of faith.
First, we must realize, that if we belong to Jesus through believing in Him, this privileged place of faith is the result of God’s supernatural intervention in our lives so that we can have faith in His Son. Here are a couple of verses that show that faith is powerful because it comes from our Father in heaven.
And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. Acts 14:27
When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. Acts 11:18
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
This leads us to God’s truth that we are saved by our faith in Jesus Christ, because of God’s grace, and this salvation from God’s eternal judgment of the sinner in fiery hell forever, is ours by faith and can never be earned by anything that we do. Through our faith in Jesus Christ we have the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. No amount of law keeping or good works can ever save us or keep us in God’s grace.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (27) Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. (28) Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Romans 3:23-28
And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. (13) For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. (14) For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: (15) Because the law works wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. (16) Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, Romans 4:12-16
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2
So, faith in Jesus Christ saves us from the wrath of God because of the grace of God. It is this faith provided to us by God that saves us and keeps us in His grace and love. Without faith in Jesus Christ we are alienated from God the Father and are objects of His wrath. Through faith in Jesus Christ we have peace with God being justified from all things by which the law could never justify us and we are the beloved children of God our Father. Do you see why our faith is such a sure defense against the attacks of the enemy?
This faith that we have in Jesus Christ makes us children of God and relies upon the truth of the Holy Scriptures, knowing that they apply directly to us. By faith, we believe and know the truth of God’s Holy Word in which He reveals to us His glorious gospel of our salvation. If we have Christ, what can the enemy do to us?
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (27) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (29) And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; (2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (4) And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (5) And that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: (6) After that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 1Corinthians 15:1-6
Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit Who indwells all who belong to Jesus through repentant faith in His gospel of love and salvation. Since we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us we can and do benefit from His ministry in our hearts and minds during our conflict with the enemy.
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (3) Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (4) Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. (5) He therefore that ministers to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, does He it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (6) Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (7) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Galatians 3:2-7
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. James 5:15
Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives, Christ can and does dwell in our hearts through faith. God indwelling us keeps us from the deceit of the enemy and secures us in the truth of His Holy Word. How many of you, like me, have been delivered from the vast array of deceit foisted upon the visible church by this intimate work of God in your hearts through the Holy Spirit and His Holy Word?
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (15) Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, (16) That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; (17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. (20) Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, (21) Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:1-4
Our faith gives us joy as we believe in and serve our Great God and Savior the Lord Jesus Christ. This service is wrought through faith and manifests itself through serving one another through love. By the Holy Spirit we have gifts with which we can minister to one another through love, edifying one another and bringing glory to Jesus.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: (5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. (6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; (7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching; (8) Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:3-8
Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power: (12) That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2Thessalonians 1:11-12
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. (6) For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love. Gal 5:5-6
And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; Philippians 1:25
Finally, as we have already seen this faith that we have is based upon the Holy Word of God and the outcome of this faith is assurance that we are the children of God, protected by His grace and led by the Holy Spirit to do works of love for the furtherance of the faith of others and the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Faith, that God given faith resting solely and securely upon the Word of God which reveals to us our wonderful Savior with Whom we have glorious fellowship and daily intimate interaction, is therefore our able shield against the attacks of the enemy who assaults us with his fiery darts of unbelief and condemnation. Brothers and sisters take up your shield of faith with which you can extinguish all of the fiery darts of the enemy of our souls. To God be the glory! Amen!
As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou might charge some that they teach no other doctrine, (4) Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. (5) Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 1Timothy 1:3-5
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. (7) But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 1Timothy 4:6-7
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1Timothy 6:12
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (23) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) (24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Hebrews 10:22-24
Lord Jesus Christ we are Yours through faith in You and Your blood shed for us on Calvary, You are God and rose again from the dead and give eternal life to all who believe in You. May we through our genuine faith stand fast and true to You, serving You in love and fear, ministering to one another in love and kindness. May this all be done for Your glory! Amen!