The Shield of Faith

Raise your shield!

The shield of faith protects us against long-distance attacks by the enemy.

“At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One.” (Eph 6:16)

The word ‘arrows’ would better have been translated as ‘missiles’ or ‘darts’. A missile is any kind of weapon that is projected to a distance by the hand, such as a javelin or spear; or by a bow, as an arrow; or by a sling, such as a stone. Some think that the verse refers to poisoned arrows and that they are called fiery because of the burning heat produced in the bodies of those who were wounded by them. Poisonous darts aptly describes the words of the enemy that are slung towards us when we least expect it, burning straight to our hearts.

Burning arrows

It is likely that the arrows that the apostle referred to had heads of lead, in or about which some combustible materials were placed.

Enemies used to shoot these into houses or ships, in order to burn them. These arrows were designed to stick to the shields and set them on fire. The soldier carrying the shield was then forced to cast it away and thus became defenceless.

The temptations of the wicked one, Satan, are like these burning arrows.

The burning arrows of the wicked are evil thoughts, strongly injected into the mind. They may be compared to arrows because they come suddenly and swiftly; thick and fast. These arrows are very numerous, and where they stick they can be very troublesome because they cause pain and grief. They are called burning because they serve to inflame the passions into acts of transgression such as lust, anger and revenge and to excite the soul into sinning. If these thoughts are not repelled, they would bring everlasting burning in hell.

Satan wants to ruin everything in you that reminds him of Jesus!

  • Destroy your right standing with God.

  • Remove your hope of salvation through faith.

  • Eradicate your knowledge of the Truth.

  • Dispute your confession of the faith in the Word of God.

  • Silence your proclamation of the Good News of peace.

What is the shield of faith

The shield of faith is here compared to the great oblong shield, called a scutum. This scutum covered and protected the whole body. Faith thus also covers all the other pieces of the armour of God, providing double protection.

 To quench or extinguish burning missiles, the shields that were ordinarily made from skins or hides of animals were either soaked in water or covered with metal on the outside, thus preventing the fire from catching hold on the shield. The shields were used not only to repel the enemy’s weapons but also to attack the enemy by hitting him with it or pushing him aside.

Faith is like a precious golden shield.

Just like the soldier’s shield covered his other pieces of armour, the shield of faith also draws upon the grace that preserved all the other pieces of the armour of God and rendered them active. Like the shields of the mighty men, by which mighty things are done, the believer uses faith to repel and conquer the enemy.

Faith provides evidence for things that cannot be seen.  Every genuine believer thereby has the assurance that God has blotted out his sins and that he can call God his Father. We use the shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of Satan’s temptations; so that they may not have the malignant influence they are designed for. We usually do this on the grounds of the blood of Christ.

 “No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him.” (Heb 11:6)

God is our shield of faith, through faith in Christ

 God himself is our shield. Therefore His love and favour encompass the saints as a shield.

Christ, His blood, His righteousness and His sacrifice is the saints’ protection. He offers security from the wrath of God, divine justice, and eternal death. The Christian who fights the fight of faith and who walks so as to feel the witness of God’s Spirit that he is His child will, therefore, hate all evil thoughts.

An appropriating faith such as this will quench any dart of the devil. Though they pass through your mind, they will never fix in your passions. You catch them with this shield of faith, blunted and extinguished. Similarly, the Word of God is a shield against false doctrines and the schemes of Satan.

“God keeps every promise he makes. He is like a shield for all who seek his protection.” (Pro 30:5)

“The LORD is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe.” (Psa 18:2)

“But you, GOD, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high.” (Psa 3:3 MSG)

The shield of faith makes all the difference.

“When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for.” (Mar 11:24)

 “Every child of God is able to defeat the world. And we win the victory over the world by means of our faith.” (1Jo 5:4)

“Anything that is not based on faith is sin.” (Rom 14:23)

Jesus is the armour of God, therefore He is also the shield of faith.

The beginning and the end of our faith is Christ himself. 

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