God has issued us His uniform for us to wear. It's the Armor of God - it is the uniform we need to wear as Christians.
Football players have uniforms, and basketball players have uniforms, and hockey players have uniforms. And baseball players have uniforms and what’s unique about baseball players is that not only do the players wear the uniforms, but their coaches and their managers wear uniforms too. My brother and I tease, my younger brother Wayne said, “Wouldn’t it be interesting to see the managers of the hockey team come out with all the pads on and all this because they want to dress like the hockey players like they do at baseball. Or that the basketball coaches come out with basketball uniforms on and sit at the stands - they usually wear suits. But they don’t, the players do wear uniforms. Police have uniforms when they’re on duty. Soldiers have uniforms too. Did you know that Christians have uniforms? Did you wear your uniform today? You see players wear uniforms when they play, and police and soldiers wear uniforms when they’re at work, but Christians must keep their uniforms on all the time. Did you wear yours today? Your complete uniform?
Let’s take a look, because one of the analogies that the Bible uses of us is that we are soldiers for God. God has issued us His uniform for us to wear. It’s the Christian uniform; it’s what we need to wear as Christians. In 2 Timothy 2:3 2 Timothy 2:3You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
American King James Version×we read in this Scripture that we are likened to soldiers. He says:
2 Timothy 2:3 2 Timothy 2:3You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
American King James Version× Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
So what follows, much like Jonathan and David who were soldiers too, God has to equip us with what we need for the fight. And so we read in, and all my notes will be taken from Ephesians chapter 6. So you’ll want to mark this particular section where we notice the uniform that God gives each one of us to each one of us to put on - the Christian uniform. The uniform that we need to have on every day. We don’t take it off, we keep it on every day, we even are supposed to sleep in it because God does not want us to be negligent. He does not want us to be wounded spiritually.
Ephesians 6:11 Ephesians 6:11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
American King James Version× Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand (to stand for what?) against the wiles of the devil.
Notice that I’m reading out of old King James but I’ll modernize it as I go along; it’s got my magical notes in it so I want to make sure that I use it. He didn’t say part of the armor; we’ve got to put on the whole armor of God. If we don’t put on the whole armor we are vulnerable. We put ourselves in jeopardy.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand, that you may be able to stand tall. It’s interesting that Barnes Notes on this particular section, he says, “ God provides what we need; God provides the uniform we need and the weapons that we need to go with it. We’re to put on the whole armor. We’re not to go armed partly with what God has appointed, and partly with such weapons as people use, nor are we to put on part of the armor only, but the whole of it .” See you’re vulnerable; that’s why I asked, “Did we put it all on?”. I know some days I only put on part of it. I leave for work and, “Oh I forgot that”. I forgot my helmet-salvation. I forgot my belt. When I was a minister between Buffalo-Toronto often times we had to get going early in the morning and we’d rush out of the house and especially once we had a couple of kids, we’d rush out of the house and you know what I’d forget often? My belt. Now back in those days I didn’t wear suspenders, so I’d forget my belt. Now thankfully my pants were fairly tight so they stayed up. But often times the reason I’d know that is because I’d wear a lapel mike and when it came time to put on the lapel mike it had a little clip for it and I’d reach down and put - and no belt. I forgot my belt this week. So I had a habit of doing that from time to time. I hope I never forget my spiritual belt. What part did you forget, or did you forget any? Did you put on the whole armor of God?
He goes on to say, this is from Barnes Notes on this section, “ A man needs all the armor if he is about to fight the battles of the Lord. If he lacks one of the weapons which God has appointed, defeat may be the consequence.” So put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand, and notice he goes on to say, “and to stand means to withstand or stand against. Stand against someone that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”Satan the devil has a bag of tricks to throw against you. Whether it’s wrong ideas, whether it’s wrong approaches, whether it’s temptations because he knows your weaknesses, he says, “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand what Satan, the devil is going to throw at you”. The Bible also tells us that we’re not ignorant of his devices; he has lots of devices that he can use against us. And we must be careful to keep the whole armor on that we may be able to not falter, not fail or flag but stand when he throws at us his wiles, his tricks, his seduction.
Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:12For 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.
American King James Version× 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.
Who is our enemy? We’re not talking about human beings. We’re talking about spiritual forces out there that have much to do with the influence of the world. Sure they could be human beings like the governmental officials and others that would bring some persecution upon the church, but he says, who’s behind all that? We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and most of this is talking about spiritual forces. That’s why we need the armor of God; that’s why we need the uniform that God supplies to us. … but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, ….Who is the one who’s the chief person of darkness? It’s Satan, the devil. God likens darkness to evil and light to good. Who’s the ruler of the darkness of this world? ….against spiritual wickedness in high places. The term, “high places” has to do with more heavenly, or in the atmosphere above where Satan the devil, what is he called? The prince of the power of the air. So we have to put on our armor because we’re fighting against not people that we can see; we’re fighting against demonic forces, the spiritual wickedness of the world.
Ephesians 6:13 Ephesians 6:13Why take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
American King James Version× 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.
A couple of times it’s mentioned - keep the whole armor on. The idea seems to be that they were to overcome and vanquish all their foes and thus to stand firm. Put on the whole armor of God ….. that you may be able to withstand ……… see you can’t stand as long as they’re there fighting you, you’re going to have to be maneuvering; in order to be able to stand, you’ve got to vanquish your foes and that’s what seems to be part of the meaning here according to Barnes notes on it. …. that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day… When the troubles come; when they are apparent that you may be able to stand…… and having done all,…… done all the vanquishing, done all the removing that you may be able ….. to stand. And again, God’s people are not to falter. God’s people don’t lie down. God’s people don’t quit. God’s people fight. God’s people stand and they stand tall; they know what they’re fighting against. It’s not human beings, it’s forces, it’s thoughts, it’s ideas, it’s attitudes. Satan the devil broadcasts in attitudes and approaches. He would love you to develop his mind; his mindset, his mindset of rebellion, his mindset of envy, his mindset of jealousy, his mindset of sinfulness. He would love you to go down that path. That was him. Anytime we develop the attitudes that Satan has, we make ourselves more vulnerable.
We need the armor of God. We need to make sure we put our uniform on every day. Sometimes, oops, “I forgot my sword”. “Huh, well that shield’s kind of big and cumbersome, I probably won’t need it today.” Oh yeah? You’re vulnerable because it covers what your armor doesn’t. Shield of faith - “What did I forget? Oh I forgot my shield of faith today. Oh it’s too big anyway. This sword is cumbersome and pretty heavy on my belt. I’d better not take it today, I can leave it at home; I probably won’t need it.” We need all the armor of God. We need that breastplate. “You know it’s kind of hard to maneuver with this breastplate on.”
I always remember one speech that was given in speech class in Ambassador College. It was about wearing your seatbelt in the early days when people weren’t prone to wear their seatbelts, and he said all the excuses people have, “Well you know I put this seatbelt on and it wrinkles my coat, or wrinkles my dress, or wrinkles my ….” And he said, “What would you rather have wrinkled? Your coat or your body?” Wear your seatbelt - even if it’s uncomfortable. And so we put on the breastplate of righteousness - “ahhh this breastplate’s kind of hard to maneuver with it, I can’t move quite so well”. Yeah, put it on anyway, the breastplate of righteousness. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to be a Christian isn’t it? But it’s right. It’s right. So put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand. Now verse 14 we see the first section, the first part of our uniform, he says:
Ephesians 6:14 Ephesians 6:14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
American King James Version× Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Notice how many times he says stand, make your stand, not like Custer. Custer’s last stand was a disaster, but make your stand. The Bible says He looks for somebody to stand in the gap; somebody who’s going to stand up for what’s right and stand up for doing what’s right in a world that’s going the wrong direction. ……. Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth,…… the first part that we wear is a belt of truth. Isn’t it interesting that this belt that they used to wear was not just some ornamental belt (though it may have had ornaments on it) but it had a very definite purpose because on it was where you carried your sword and other valuable parts that were necessary for a soldier. This was no normal belt; this was a wider belt that went around the midsection. What is he telling us? Where should truth be in our lives because it is a belt of truth? Where should truth be in our lives? At the very center core of our being. The very center of our being has to be truth. Did you wear your belt today? And on that truth hangs the sword, the word of God because the word of God depends on truth. It is the truth - remember John 17:17 John 17:17Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
American King James Version×” Thy word is truth.” This first part was to help secure other parts holding the sword, possibly holding a tunic down and it was at the center of our being; our bowels, our innermost being were covered by it. Here’s what Barnes says about it, “The girdle” (called a girdle, it’s a wide belt) “was often highly ornamented and was the place where they carried their money, their sword, their pipe” (you don’t need that) “and their writing instruments.” So it was something on which they could attach their sword and all of these things so it was important to have your belt on. And it’s the center of our being is our belt; notice Psalms 51:6 Psalms 51:6Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part you shall make me to know wisdom.
American King James Version×what David prayed in this prayer of repentance and what he reveals about truth.
Psalms 51:6 Psalms 51:6Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part you shall make me to know wisdom.
American King James Version× Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts…….
So where does that belt go? It goes right around your inward parts. You desire truth in the very depth of our being, and where does that belt go? Right around. So the belt is symbolic of truth and it’s what helps a person have a good center core that you don’t deal maliciously, you don’t deal deceptively, you don’t deal in a conniving way. God hates connivers. God hates subtlety. Satan the devil is a master of subtlety, master of trying to pull the wool over the eyes. As I go through the books of the general epistles for a semester, I remind the students how much God hates subtlety. God doesn’t like us trying to pull the wool over somebody’s eyes. When I was a kid sure I would take advantage of another kid, but I’m an adult. I don’t want to take advantage of people. You know how many people hurt because others took advantage over them? Hurt to this day, because they couldn’t fight for themselves and others picked on them. Who do bullies pick on? The people that can’t give them much of a challenge. They make fun of people that can’t defend themselves. Truth - at the center of our being. We don’t want to be deceptive. We don’t want to be conniving. That’s the way Satan the devil is. We need to have truth at the center of our being. We notice what the Apostle John wrote to Gaius, he said:
3 John 3:3-4 3 John 3:3-4
American King James Version× For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, even as you walk in the truth…… Truth is so important to you and I’m glad it is because you’ve got your belt on, verse 4…… I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
So the first section that we have to put on in our uniform let’s don’t forget put that belt on. Boy that belt of truth right around the core of our being. That’s the way we are, we’re truthful. Why do our people stand out when they go to work? Because our people are truthful. Our people are honest. How hard is it to find people that are truthful and honest? Right now they’re looking at President Obama’s eight promises to have openness which you know, C-span cover all this healthcare. Where’s openness in truth? Our leaders don’t think anything of truthfulness. The world’s leaders don’t. They make promises they know they’ll never keep. We have to be people of truth, people of honor. Thy word is truth the Bible tells us. We have to worship God in spirit and in truth so we need to love the truth and we need to make sure that we put our belt on.
The second part of Ephesians 6:14 Ephesians 6:14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
American King James Version× ….. and having on the breastplate of righteousness; ….The actual word for that breastplate has to do with thorac - covering the chest cavity. Now, some people say a breastplate really means not only the front part of it, but the back part too. But other sources I’ve read tell us that this may only be a breastplate with just straps holding it on as opposed to having armor on your back, which may be a good reason as Mr. Evans pointed out, why the armor bearer had to stand behind if you did not have a back plate too. Now some say breastplate means the whole thing, so I don’t want to give you a definitive answer on this, but some sources say a Christian only wears a breastplate which means he has to face his enemies because if he turns his back he’s very vulnerable. But he has to stand and you notice most sins we don’t turn our backs on except fornication, adultery - we turn our backs and run away. The others we stand and face and fight. Stand and he says put on this breastplate of righteousness.
What is this breastplate of righteousness? It covers your heart, it covers your lungs, it covers the vital organs because life issues and circulation made possible by the heart. You want to protect that so you want to make sure that’s on and what protects us? Where is the law of God supposed to be written? In your heart. That’s where the law of God is supposed to be written - in our hearts. So where do you want that breastplate of righteousness and what is righteousness?
Now that word righteousness can also have to do with being right, have to do with being just, have to do with being fair and have to do with right actions. But what are right actions? Just what I think that right is? No, it’s what God says right is and He says that through His law. Righteousness, all of God’s commandments are righteousness. This breastplate is there to cover our chest, the vital organs. Matthew 5:6 Matthew 5:6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
American King James Version×just as a scripture to help elaborate, Matthew 5:6 Matthew 5:6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
American King James Version×and 20. Did you remember to put on your breastplate? Did you remember to put on righteousness? And notice it’s not we just put on and take it off in the evening and forget it. But you remember to keep it on, that breastplate of righteousness.
Matthew 5:6 Matthew 5:6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
American King James Version× Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…….
Is righteousness our pursuit in life? We want to be right, we want to be fair, we want to do it justly, we want to follow and walk in the commandments of God. Is that what we do? And notice verse 20 makes it even more conclusive.
Matthew 5:20 Matthew 5:20For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
American King James Version× For I say to you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter the kingdom of heaven.
What does He say to us? Your righteousness better be more than theirs. Does that mean we’d better make sure we count every blade, every portion of a blade when we do our tithing? What does He mean by that - your righteousness better be God’s righteousness, not your own. Not your own. You’d better exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. Remember they were very finicky. They were very persnickety about what they did. But God says your righteousness has to exceed theirs. How can you do that? They did all these things? They were so particular, they walked so far, couldn’t carry much on the Sabbath, all their Sabbath regulations you can’t possibly try to live up to them-wash your hands up to your elbows or whatever. You can’t possibly outdo them. Yes you can. The spirit of God - God’s righteousness. It can’t be our own righteousness - how can you do it? Your righteousness must exceed theirs. God’s righteousness in you - can’t do it alone. We can’t have the righteousness of God without God. But keep that breastplate on; it’s so important and so necessary. It guards us. In Hebrews 8:10 Hebrews 8:10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
American King James Version×if you want the reference that talks about God’s law being written in your heart. That’s what the new covenant is all about. It becomes you - you become the law. You eat the law, remember Passover time? We eat the unleavened bread picturing the law of God being put in us and putting out the sin. You’re replacing sin, leavening at that time, with unleavened. You’re putting the law of God into your life. It becomes you. Now I don’t know if you have to carry the Ten Commandments in your wallet - every so often say, “I’m doing this one, number one, number two, number three and or there’s something to steal. Does God ever say anything about stealing?” You know you can’t steal! It becomes you and you’ve got to protect it, that breastplate of righteousness - that’s where it is, right in your heart. So put it on - wear it.
Let me read to you what Barnes says about this. “ The protection of the feet and ankles consisted of two parts. They will say shoes, yes, sandals or shoes which were probably made so to cover the foot which were often fitted with nails underneath and armed with spikes to take firm hold on the ground. ” So they even had spikes in them much like a baseball player or football player you know puts the right spikes or cleats in to help him be more stable. “ And with greaves like shin guards to protect the bottom of your legs, designed to defend them from any danger, these greaves or boots were made of brass and were in almost universal use among the Greeks and the Romans and apparently he models this after the Greeks.”
Now the word preparation means properly readiness, fitness. The idea according to this is that they were ever ready to go forth and preach the gospel. And isn’t it interesting what we put on our feet is being ever ready to preach the gospel. I say put on your Nike’s. Put on your running shoes, put on your sprinting shoes, put on your long distance shoes, put on your walking shoes like me. We walk more than we run anymore, but put on our walking shoes. Put them on, the ones that motivate you. What do feet do? They move you don’t they? The brain has to send a signal down to be sure, but what moves you along? Your feet. Ever damage a toe? Think a toe is not important? Ever damage a toe and try to walk? It’s hard. When my knee was initially healing and I couldn’t do a whole lot, boy did I watch people who had two knees that worked. I watched these football players getting pummeled and oh man - that hurts just to watch what’s happening to them as they get pummeled; as they crashed into their legs and oh man, and I couldn’t go as nimbly as I would like at that time. When your feet are damaged, your toes are damaged you have a hard time moving. Our motivation needs to be get out - preach the gospel, do the good thing, do the right thing, I’m ready for action, I’m motivated to do the job. John 9:4 John 9:4I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work.
American King James Version×talks about this motivation that we need to have. Are we ready to preach the gospel? Are we ready to do the job? You see you’ve got to keep those shoes on all the time, it can’t be “Well, I guess I’ll try to put on my tennis shoes now, but most of the time I wear my clodhoppers.” You want to wear your tennis shoes. How many football players if they wore clodhoppers would be able to run like Reggie Bush does for the New Orleans Saints? I don’t think they’d run very fast if those boots were so heavy. You’ve got to be ready to carry on the gospel. Jesus Christ said this - the motivation that He had:
John 9:4 John 9:4I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work.
American King James Version× I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: I got todo the work, I must do the work of Him who sent me while it is day the night comes, when no man can work.
What is this? Our feet shod with the gospel-what is that about? We’re ready to go. Ever see the shoes of a sprinter? I wouldn’t want to walk around in the shoes of a sprinter very much, they’re so light and those spikes and they’re ready to go and they’re ready to take off. So important that they kick their foot back as they get ready out of the starting blocks to run. So important - your motivation. What motivates you? Are you happy?
I remember working in Pasadena in the mail receiving department. Probably a number of those who are graduates worked out there remember, it was so inspiring. We’d say, “WLAC, Nashville, Tennessee has been added as a station to carry the World Tomorrow Program” and we’d all be so excited. “WLS has been added to carry the World Tomorrow”, I was so excited. When we hear new advances in whatever the preaching of the gospel whether it’s internet or whatever means, are we excited? Are we motivated? See, if we have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, we will be motivated because it’s us doing it brethren. It’s not just one person doing it; it’s all of us doing it. And that should be our involvement, needs to be our involvement of carrying on preaching the gospel because if their feet are damaged you’re not going to be able to stand are you? If your legs are wounded you’re not going to be able to stand. That’s what it brings out, that’s why they had that protection down there. Some say shin guards as well as the shoes. Some say just shoes. Some say just shin guards, greaves they call them, to cover that portion of the leg. So verse 15, he talks about the need to get out and preach the gospel. Romans 1:16 Romans 1:16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
American King James Version×talks about that gospel is the power unto salvation-do we see it that way?
Romans 1:16 Romans 1:16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
American King James Version× For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Are we motivated to get God’s message to a world that’s dying? How tragic what’s happening over in the area of Haiti. I always want to say Guatemala because Guatemala had an earthquake following but not the damage. And I did hear from one of my friends on Facebook who said that they were thankful to hear that all of the people of Living were ok as I think Mr. Welty had mentioned that they were ok. That they were so grateful to hear that. But when you see those seeds it is tragic. This world needs to hear God’s message. Thirty people out of millions in Haiti hear the truth, believe the truth and walk in the truth. God’s gospel needs to go forth. God has to do the calling, but we have to do the sowing. We have to lay the seeds, throw the seeds and He has to develop them. We have a job to do and our motivation is because our feet are shod with that gospel. Notice verse 16, the next part of our uniform.
Ephesians 6:16 Ephesians 6:16Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
American King James Version× Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts or fiery missiles of the wicked.
Above all -Now he doesn’t mean that this is more important than anything else, but he does mean that we need to carry that shield, that it certainly needs to be there along with everything else to kind of pull it all together. This shield was not some little small type of buckler or whatever you call it, a smaller shield, this apparently was an oblong fairly long one. So it was to cover the rest of your body that was not specifically covered maybe your thighs, the sides of your thighs or your arms. Areas that not necessarily would be covered by part of the armor. So that shield was really important. Why? Because it could be moved about. And it also was usually covered with hide then covered with oil so that it could deflect any darts that were coming at the person. And the fiery darts could be immediately put out because often times they would make these little missiles, or darts that they would throw or shoot and they could penetrate and start a fire so they had the means of stopping them by either not sticking on this because of the hide as well as the oil on it would cause them to slip off instead of sticking and penetrating. But they talk about the shield being so important - that shield of faith. That was a very large shield that it protected your arms and your legs and your torso and your neck and your back because those were still exposed and it was usually large. And it was used to cover the rest of the sections of your body, catch and quench poisonous or fiery darts and any other missiles that might be thrown at you. The purveyors of wickedness throw lots of them. They throw lies, they throw distortions, they throw gossip, untrue, malicious - what do you do with it? Faith repels it. Doubt? Faith repels doubt. That’s why we need that shield because it can be moved about to deflect any of these evil thoughts, these fiery darts that are being thrown from the wicked or the wicked one. We need faith. We need that shield. We need to remember to bring it every day. It’s part of our Christian uniform.
Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
American King James Version× 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.
We need that faith in order to have salvation; we need that faith in order to please God.
Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 2:8For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
American King James Version× For by grace are you saved through faith, …… it takes faith in the belief in the grace of God, that God can do it - that God can forgive anything. He can take anything away. He can help you, He can strengthen you, He can guide you. Boy that shield is so important. Don’t say, “Oh, it’s so cumbersome to have that shield, I don’t know if I can carry this shield about, it’s kind of cumbersome.” God says, don’t forget it. It’s part of the Christian uniform. And then notice two more, take the first part of verse 17.
Helmets are usually made of very strong leather or they could be made of brass, and it’s very important to put on your head and wear because a blow to the head would be fatal. So often times they had these helmets that they wore. You can say, “What do I need a helmet for?” It protects your brain, your thought processes. It protects what you have to see the future; what you can think about the Kingdom of God, what you can think about is the salvation that God gives. We need that helmet of salvation to protect our brain, to protect our head we need it. The head that gives us directives, that communicates, that gives us perspective, that helps us see beyond, that helmet of salvation. And notice Romans 8:24 Romans 8:24For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for?
American King James Version×;25, the Apostle Paul wrote this:
Romans 8:24-25 Romans 8:24-25 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
American King James Version× For we are saved by hope:……. What generates hope? Thoughts, ideas - where do they come from? The head. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for? But if we hope for that which we don’t see, then we with patience wait for it.
Where do our ideas, our dreams, our visions of the future come from? Your head. You heard it through your ears, and it goes into your head, your brain. Where does your memory come from? Your head. We need the helmet of salvation to protect our heads. In Hebrews 2 verse 3 we read this beautiful verse.
Hebrews 2:3 Hebrews 2:3How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by them that heard him;
American King James Version× How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…….
How will we ever escape? How will we ever escape the difficulties, escape the troubles if we forget our helmets? The helmet of salvation. What keeps us going? What keeps us seeing a future? What keeps us going through difficulties is we see a Kingdom of God. Nobody can take that from you. Nobody can take it from me. Only you can take it from you if you forget your helmet; forget to put it on, forget to keep it on always. Helmet of salvation, so important and of course Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version× says, “ Seek you first the kingdom of God….” And that’s what that helmet is all about. Keeping our head straight; keeping our head clear. As is pointed out by Barnes, he says, “ A helmet is a cap made of thick leather or brass, fitted to the head was usually crowned with a plume or crest as an ornament. It’s use was to guard the head from a blow by a sword or a war club or a battleaxe.” So, that was real important. Notice verse 17, the last part of it:
Ephesians 6:17 Ephesians 6:17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
American King James Version× And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Not an actual sword, not a literal sword. God doesn’t want us to go out there and slay people. Not with an instrument, the word of God does quite a good job. Hebrews 4:12 Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
American King James Version× ….. sharper than any two edged sword… is the word of God. We’re to take the word of God, it’s the only offensive weapon that we have. All the others are defensive. All the others are protection, this one is offensive. Did we bring our swords with us? Well, you have your Bible in your lap. Do you put your sword on? Do you read your sword? Do you study your sword? Is your sword sharp or is it dull? This thing won’t cut anything or can I throw a cantaloupe up and you hold your blade out and it cuts it right in half. Or throw up a cloth or a scarf and hold the blade up and it cuts it in half. How sharp is your sword? It means we study the word of God; it means we know the word of God. It means the word of God dwells richly in us. Hebrews 4:12 Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
American King James Version×tells us that it’s sharper than any two edged sword and 2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:15Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
American King James Version×we read this:
2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:15Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
American King James Version× Study … ,or do your diligence talking about studying,… to show yourself approved to God… .How can I be approved to God, how will God like me? How will God think I’m a pretty good guy? ….a workman that needs not to be ashamed…. I’d say Mr. Evans was a workman in what he gave in his Bible study. He went through, he analyzed, he talked about, he looked through, he brought up, he expounded upon. He was a workman; he didn’t just read the Scripture-there it is. He was a workman and we all need to be workmen and workwomen. …. a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. which means you can wrongly divide it, that you can use it in a wrong way. God wants us to use it in a right way.
We need to sharpen our swords; we need to keep them sharp. Let me read to you what Barnes said, “ But without a sword, no soldier would have regarded himself as well armed. The ancient sword was short, usually two edged and resembled very much a dagger.” But that sword was their only offensive weapon. Remember how Jesus Christ used it? Satan the devil said, “…. well just cast yourself down” and Jesus said, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” He quoted Scripture back to him, because He protected and He defended and that’s what we all need to do. We need to have the word of God richly dwelling in us. Those are all the parts of the uniform.
Now I am going to verse 18, but I want to share with you something. One final thought. All the armor of God, the uniform that we wear is of absolutely no use unless you have a fighting spirit; unless you have the morale to win. How do you get the morale to win? Prayer.
Ephesians 6:18 Ephesians 6:18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
American King James Version× Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,…….
Here’s how it’s put by Barnes , “ No matter how complete the armor, no matter how skilled we may be in the science of war, no matter how courageous we may be, we may be certain that without prayer we shall be defeated because God alone can give the victory.” I’m going to share another one. This comes from Adam Clark’s commentary, he says, “ The apostle does not put praying among the armors. It’s not armor. But you can have all of the best armor in the world, but if you don’t have the will to win, if you don’t have the heart to win, if you don’t have the attitude to want to win you won’t. That’s where prayer comes in. That’s morale; we go to God for that. God help me. God give me that strength to have that zeal for You and Your way of life.” He says , “The apostle doesn’t put praying among the armor. Had he done so, he would have referred to it as he has done all the rest to some of the Grecian armor.” So he was using the Grecian armor as he describes it, “But he does not do this, therefore we conclude that his account of the armor is ended and that now having equipped his spiritual soldier, he shows him the necessity of praying; that he may successfully resist those principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this world.” He goes on to say, “Putting on the girdle, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the feet shod with the gospel, the shield that we have of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword. ” Six of them that we put on. That’s our uniform that God gives us to wear every day. The Christian uniform; we need to make sure that we keep it on. He says this, “He who had these was completely armed and as it was the custom of Grecian armies before they engaged to offer prayers to the gods for their success, we must depend on the Captain of our salvation with all prayer incessantly, being always in a spirit of prayer that they should be ever ready for public, private, or mental prayer whatever it is, always depending on Him who alone can save, and Him who alone can destroy.”
So how do I see the putting prayer in with this? It gives you the morale; it gives you the attitude. You can have all of the nice uniform but if you don’t the desire to win. What makes the difference between some football teams and some other football teams? Desire. What makes the desire between somebody who has a nice baseball uniform between somebody else that has a nice baseball uniform? Desire.
I go back to mentioning to you-all of these others, the football players, the hockey players, the baseball players, the basketball players, the soldiers, the policemen; they all take off their uniforms. You can’t. We need to keep the full armor of God on because with prayer, we will be able to fight and win. So let’s keep on that Christian uniform every day, all the daylong and may God, our heavenly Father, grant the victory.