Dr. Oscar T. Moses
W.A.R. Deeper Bible Study
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Spiritually Equipped for Battle – Lesson #5
Ephesians 6:16 (KJV)
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The Shield of Faith
The Roman soldier carried into battle a fourth piece of armor called the “scutum”. It was a shield, very large, slightly curved, rectangular in shape and within its center was a large piece of metal called a “boss”. The shield was much needed to defend the body. Because it was huge (some 3 ½ feet tall and almost 3 feet wide) the soldier was given a great deal of protection from the enemy’s fiery darts and arrows. It was impressive for the soldier’s defense. The “boss”, the metal knob, allowed the soldier to deflect the more vicious blows and also served in a offensive capacity to knock the opponent backwards.
For the Christian, we must realize that Satan shoots fiery arrows at us that have a desired affect. Satan shoots spiritual darts of doubt, despair, lies, fear, hatred, temptation, indulgences, wrong thinking and wrong behavior. When we experience wrong thought patterns and wrong behavior it is a result of the enemy’s arrows that have been shot our way. When these darts penetrate us the enemy (Satan) is doing a “happy dance”. He is tickled and ecstatic. One of the enemy’s favorite arrows is convincing Christians to interpret the scriptures wrong and casting doubt on the foundation of God’s Word.
Key Thought #1 – To this point, Paul has described armor that we wear. The shield is something we must take up and use. Paul is emphatic that we “take up” this piece of armor. Just holding it will be useless; you must make an effort to use it. The “Shield of Faith” is a crucial piece of armor for the Christian soldier to defend him or herself from injurious attacks that leads to harmful, doubtful and sinful behavior.
- What is faith? Give a scripture defining faith and explain it.
- Why does Paul say, “Above All Taking?”
- Why is it that faith never seems to come easy?
- Where does God’s saving grace come from according to Ephesians 2:8?
Key Thought #2 – If faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” then this has far-reaching implications. Substance is tangible, and evidence is solid proof. Faith is, by definition, not some hazy emotion without any grounding in reality. It is the irrefutable truth. It is real. Faith means believing what God says is true.
- How does God give us deeper faith?
- How was the shield of faith applied to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3: 1-18?
- Describe the difference between the physical shield and the spiritual shield. Give an example.
Key Thought #3 – A shield deflects. Satan is always hurling darts (arrows) of worry, doubt, and fear in our direction. The only time they can hit us is when we let our Shield of Faith down – when we stop believing God is in control.
- Read Matthew 14:28-31 and describe how Peter let down his “Shield of Faith?”
- How does James 2:20 teach us that faith cannot just be in our minds?
- How do we use our shields under attack? Give 3 Steps or more on how to use the Shield of Faith to protect.
Key Thought #4 – The Roman military had a very effective tactic that made use of their large shields. When the enemy began firing arrows and other projectiles at the army, the soldiers would close ranks into a rectangular array—called the testudo, or “tortoise,” formation—and those on the outside would use their shields to create a wall around the perimeter. Those in the middle would raise their shields over their heads to protect everyone from airborne missiles. The result was a formidable human tank that could be stopped only through a tremendous effort.
- How can the church come together and join shields to guard from attacks? Give Examples.
- How does Jude 1:3 and II Timothy 4:7 apply to this lesson?
Final Scripture and Final Thought
Psalm 119:165 (KJV)
165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
Our faith is founded on the promises of God. How familiar are we with these promises? Do you know what God has promised you? If our knowledge of and trust in them are unsteady, we will be too.
Keep your faith strong. Stay in the Word. Pray Without Ceasing. Stand.
Dr. Oscar T. Moses