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The Armor of God

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Christina, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    The Armor of GodEphesians 6:10-18Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Twice within this passage the Apostle Paul instructs the believer to “put on the whole armor of God.” This wasn’t done lightly. He repeated himself for emphasis. Unfortunately, so many Christians (and this writer does not exclude himself) have a dearth of understanding when it comes to the evil that exists around them. If the believer’s spiritual eyes could truly be opened to see all the spiritual forces that pervade his surrounding atmosphere, he might very well shrink in abject terror. All around us the battle between the forces of good and of evil is turbulent, horrific and relentless. It was therefore important to Paul to stress to Christians the importance of the armor of God.For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)When Paul returned from his third missionary journey, he warmed the elders of the church at Ephesus about the dangers they would be facing:For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. (Acts 20:29-31)The forces of evil come in many guises and forms. There are those unseen forces composed of Satan’s demons (believed by some to be the spirits of the Nephilims, a product of some of Satan’s fallen angels as they co-mingled with humans, which were destroyed during the flood and who seek bodies to indwell), his fallen angels that as yet have not been cast into the “bottomless pit,” and Satan himself. And there are those seeable forces composed of individuals, both in power and out, that have made a willful choice to serve Satan and his plan. Additionally, there is the never ending parade of philosophies and beliefs, which dishonor God and His Word, e.g., Religion (Christianity is not a religion; it is a union or relationship with a Person, Jesus Christ), Gnosticism, Paganism, Neo-paganism, Relativism, Intellectualism, Freudianism, Communism, Materialism, Nihilism, Behaviorism, Socialism, Existentialism, Rationalism, Fabianism, Secular Humanism, Agnosticism, Atheism, Evolution and the like.Because of this spiritual warfare that surrounds and engages each believer, the Apostle Paul warns that the only way he will be able to stand against such evil, sinister and overwhelming odds is to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. This instruction is the umbrella under which all the armor of God must function. Without the employment of this basic principle, none of God’s armor will function properly.A person becomes a Christian by turning from legalism, religion and self-effort by a genuine act of will to trust solely in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for his personal salvation (this is saving repentance). In this act he fully realizes that there is absolutely nothing he or any organization can do that will save him. He then simply decides to depend (trust) totally on Christ and the work that Christ performed for his personal salvation. THEN, a strange thing often happens. Having been saved by grace through faith, he comes to the conclusion that the way to live for Christ is by exercising his self-determination to keep God’s Law and to conform to a laundry list of “dos and don’ts.” In other words, he resorts back to legalism, religion and self-effort.He simply cannot believe that as (by faith alone) he received Christ Jesus, he is to in like manner (by faith alone) walk (conduct his spiritual life) in Him (Colossians 2:6). This is called the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25; 2:12), which frees the Christian from the obligation to adhere, by his own power, to God’s Law. And it freely makes available to him the power of the Holy Spirit, who resides within him, to do that which God requires. Yet most Christians never avail themselves of this marvelous and never-ending power. They are saved by faith, but they endeavor to live by works, which always leads to being consumed in pride. And utilizing this means to “fight the good fight,” to conduct spiritual warfare, brings them to their knees every time in utter failure.It is therefore most important that the Christian realize that in his own power and ability he is absolutely powerless to conduct spiritual warfare to any victorious end. He must understand that it is only when he rids his daily life of any known sin by confessing (naming; admitting responsibility for) it before God (1 John 1:1:9) and then receiving by faith alone (trusting only in) God’s Holy Spirit to conduct the battle through him that he will have any success on the spiritual battlefield. As he does this, only then will he be living the meaning of “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
     
  2. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    With the source-of-power-issue resolved, Paul then proceeds to list the various pieces of God’s armor that are necessary for the believer to wear and employ in spiritual warfare. Each armament item is critical and the time to put them on is before the battle begins. They are listed in the order in which Paul presents them in this passage.1. Having girded your waist with truth.Another way of putting it is to say “put on the belt of truth.” The Roman belt was 6-8 inches wide and all the body armor and weapons were attached to it. Because of this, the belt gave the soldier freedom of movement.It is truth that is the foundation for all other spiritual armament. It grants the believer freedom under the perfect law of liberty with self, others and God. The ultimate Truth is Jesus Christ. He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). He alone is the Creator of the Universe, this solar system, this earth and all contained therein. He alone is the fulfillment of prophecy. And He alone will be the ultimate Conqueror, the King of kings, the Lord of lords and the Ruler of His created domain. His personal “love letter” to all mankind is the Holy Bible; 66 books written by some 40 different authors over thousands of years, yet containing one integrated message of absolute truth.In all matters truth is the key to success, fulfillment and achievement. Yet in this century, with all its advancements in technology, there has been an abandonment of truth. From the “founding fathers” and the principles of God’s Word, upon which the United States was established, this country has turned to the likes of Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, George Wellhusen, Sigmund Freud, John Maynard Keynes, Soren Kierkegaard, John Dewey and others in its mad rush toward secularism, humanitarianism and God-lessness. In America’s educational system the adoption of John Dewey’s humanism, his atheism, his amorality, his evolution and his one-world socialism has crowed out morals and Biblical teachings, which were the bedrock of America’s culture. In fact, this continual “improvement” of education has resulted in the continual “dumbing-down” of America’s students from year-to-year.Through its strivings to be open to multiculturalism and “value relativism,” America has disenfranchised its youth from its Christian heritage. Two generations of graduates have been subjected to the “improved” and morally impoverished philosophies administered in its school system. They are now America’s leaders and teachers and clergy, all ignorant of the great moral and Christian strengths that founded our country.This has resulted in the New Age Movement in which the Bible is relegated to fiction or even less, and everyone is encouraged to “live in harmony with nature” as the “life force” (god) of all that exists. This spiritually apathetic society and its “liberal” Supreme Court abolished school prayer and Bible reading in 1962 and 1963. The result: a startling rise in teenage pregnancies, venereal disease and divorce; not to mention the steady decline in S.A.T. scores. The high principles that made America great have and are continuing to be lost.All this is the result of forsaking God’s Truth. The Bible prophetically portrays a rise in lies and deceit as characteristic of the last days (Daniel 8:25). The next to the final world leader (Christ will be the final one), the Antichrist, will exploit signs and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9), and he will be preceded by doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1). So falsity and deception will prevail during the “last day.” They of course always have, but in these recent times their existence and proliferation have accelerated at a terrific rate. They are embedded within every aspect of our culture, our educational system, our political structure, our altruistic organizations, our churches and in all “religion.”And what is so dangerous for the Christian, who still retains the “sin nature,” is that he may be “his own worst enemy.” When God is not in control it is quite easy to “lie to self.” It is therefore critical that even though a Christian may “walk in the flesh” [that is, remain in human form] that he does not (spiritually) war “according to the flesh,” being sure that he brings every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). This may only be accomplished by learning Bible Doctrine, a factor directly proportional to studying Bible Doctrine. This is how one learns, understands and is conformed to the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11)The believer must not minimize or moderate the importance of studying God’s Holy Word that has been so faithfully and graciously canonized into one book, the Bible. Ministers must not turn from this most important function, the teaching of Bible doctrine in the local churches today. If anything should take a backseat, let it be emotionalism, let it be the song service, let it be all the various church sponsored social events, BUT never let it be the teaching of Bible doctrine.Only by renewing our minds and challenging the various lies and false doctrines that drive our society today can we achieve a better destiny than the fate toward which we now stumble. Is it no wonder that the Apostle Paul begins his list of spiritual armor with “being girded with truth”—the Word of God?
     
  3. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    2. Having put on the breastplate of righteousness.The Roman breastplate, typically made of bronze and backed with leather, was designed to protect the vital organs, the most vital of all organs being the “heart.” And what is the “heart?” A search of the following scriptures can be most instructive: Psalm 19:14; 24:4; 32:11; 36:10; 51:10, 17; 62:10; 119:11; 139:23, 24; Proverbs 3:1; Matthew 6:21; 12:35; 15:18, 19; Mark 7:6; Luke 6:45; Romans 10:9, 10; 1 John 3:21. The “heart” in both Hebrew and Greek came to mean that which is “central.” It is the very core of one’s inner being—his “inner being,” incorporating his mentality, his emotions and his will. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)And it is the “heart” of man that must be encased in and protected with “righteousness”—righteousness based on “truth.” There are different kinds of righteousness. There is “national righteousness”—Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34), which sadly is almost, if not completely, lacking now in America. There is “personal righteousness”—which may be understood as “personal uprightness” or ethical behavior, which, again, is sorely lacking in society today. But these are not what Paul is referring to when he refers to the “breastplate of righteousness.”Paul is speaking of true righteousness that comes only by faith alone in Christ alone—both in salvation and sanctification.SalvationThe righteousness of man is as “filthy rags” in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). Man is a religious being. He endeavors to achieve the approbation (approval) of God through good thoughts, words and deeds. Adam in the Garden of Eden was the first to attempt this by clothing himself with fig leaves; instead of doing it God’s way with skins that required the “shedding of innocent blood” (a prophetic type of the blood shed by Christ on Calvary). This religiosity was the hallmark of the scribes and Pharisees, which was of no account in the eyes of Christ.Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:27, 28)Christianity is not religion! As stated previously, religion is man attempting to find favor with God through self-effort—good thoughts, words and deeds. This is abhorrent to God and will never work. Religious righteousness can save no one. Self-righteousness can only lead to a false sense of security and to becoming subservient to deadly pride.When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. (Ezekiel 33:13)Christianity, on the other hand, is a union or relationship with a Person—Jesus Christ. It is in fact becoming the “righteousness of Christ” by a genuine and willful decision to trust solely in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for one’s personal salvation. True salvation is non-meritorious on man’s part. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9) It is the receiving of the righteousness of Christ because of what He has done and nothing of what man has done or can do.For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)SanctificationOnce a person becomes a Christian by faith alone in Christ alone, he then proceeds in a continuous life of either positive or negative sanctification. In other words, he either becomes more like His Savior, or he drifts away from Him on what is often referred to as a “wayward” or “prodigal” journey. He will never lose his salvation, for just as he was unable to save himself, he is totally unable to unsave himself. God’s Spirit is his seal and guarantee of eternal life. Nevertheless, as a child of God, he is in a position to either please or disappoint his heavenly Father.If he drifts back into religiosity (legalism and self-effort in thoughts, words and deeds), he will drift away from true righteousness. On the other hand if he learns the secret of Colossians 2:6 and by faith alone in Christ alone allows the Holy Spirit to take control of his life—which allows Christ to live through him—he will exhibit true righteousness, which results in the approval of God and eventual rewards in heaven (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).So putting on the breastplate of righteousness is not “putting on” one’s own good works, integrity, or honesty. It is not “putting on” Bible reading and prayer. It is not “putting on” church attendance and ample offerings. It is “putting on” the righteousness of Christ, first through salvation and then through sanctification (daily living in Christ) by allowing Christ to live through us—and both are achieved by faith alone in Christ alone.That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”(1 Corinthians 1:29-31)
     
  4. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    3. Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.The footwear of the Roman soldier was normally a pair of nail-studded sandals called “caligae.” They were designed to be rugged and to provide maximum traction to allow the soldier flexibility in movement and maneuverability, a necessity in close and heated combat. In other words they were action oriented. In like manner, God would have all believers to be action oriented, which implies the following characteristics:· Purpose & Direction—the believer’s objective should be to share the “gospel of peace” with anyone and everyone all the time. He is to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ and thereby fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19, 20). Additionally, the believer is to go and bear fruit for Jesus Christ.Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)Who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (John 15:16)· Offence—the foot shod with strong and rugged footwear can be a potent weapon for offence. Any martial artist will attest to this fact. And the believer by proclaiming the “gospel of peace” is to crush Satan and his grip on the lost with every opportunity.And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (Romans 16:20)· Courage—when engaged in combat and the evil forces of Satan are arrayed all about, the believer is to experience no fear for it is God who wages the battle and will secure the victory.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me all around. (Psalm 3:6)The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this I will be confident. (Psalm 27:1-3)The believer should understand that he is beautiful in God’s sight he is seen as a soldier of action spreading the “gospel of peace.”And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15; Isaiah 52:7)4. Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.The Roman shield was approximately four feet high and about two and a half feet wide. It was typically made as a curved laminate of three layers of wood strips and covered with leather. The edges were bound with rawhide stitched through the wood. Sometimes bronze binding was used. One of the more ingenious and defensively effective uses of the Roman shield was when they used them in a combination called the testudo (“tortoise”). Twenty-seven soldiers would combine together, six in front and seven in each of three rows following. The ones on the outside edge would interlock their shields vertically; the insiders would form a roof with their shields. The composite was virtually impregnable to weapons of the day. In this formation they were sort of a “walking tank.”The lesson from Paul is that “above all” the believer must be a person of faith if he is to have any hope in defeating Satan, his cohorts and his deceitful trickery. But then, Christianity is achieved, experienced and administered by faith.First, it is important to know that faith is more than belief alone. Even the demons believe in God (James 2:19). Biblical (efficacious) faith involves trust, also described as genuine reliance. And it is a function of a person’s will.Second, it is important to know the object of faith. Satan would have the world believe that all religions believe in the same god; all lead to the same destination. The notion that every god-concept is equally valid, a common view among the ungodly, is completely irrational, is non-Biblical and is dishonoring to the one true God. This is the fallacy of the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of relativism and current “political correctness,” which denies the existence of absolute truth. Religion, which is “paganism,” builds its appeal on this vacuum.If the Christian is to have and express faith, he is to have and express it relative to specifics that are outlined in God’s Word. The fact is that all spiritual life is based on faith, which is in accordance with truth (God’s Word). The just shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4b)The Apostle Paul presents a trilogy of essays on this verse in three of his epistles:· Romans—Paul deals with how a person by faith alone is justified. He quotes Habakkuk 2:4 in Romans 1:17.· Galatians—Paul deals with shedding the grave clothes of religious externalism and walking by faith. He quotes Habakkuk 2:4 in Galatians 3:11.· Hebrews—Paul deals with the pillars of faith. He quotes Habakkuk 2:4 in Hebrews 10:38.(This trilogy crafted around Habakkuk 2:4 is one of the many reasons it is believed that Hebrews, too, was written by Paul)It is by faith alone that a person is saved. Salvation is a gift from God (John 3:16; 4:10; Acts 11:17; Romans 5:15-18; 6:23; 2 Corinthians 9:15; Ephesians 2:8, 9; 3:7; 2 Timothy 1:9) and salvation faith, which is a genuine and willful act to trust in and rely upon Jesus Christ and His sacrifice alone for one’s personal salvation, is the only way a person can say yes to God’s offer, the only way he can receive God’s gift of eternal life.Furthermore, it is by faith alone that a believer can successfully and victoriously engage in spiritual warfare, defeat Satan and live the truly Christian life (Colossians 2:6).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)
     
  5. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    5. Take the helmet of salvation.Helmets were made of differing materials and in various shapes by the ancient nations. Originally they were more like skullcaps; later they included flaps to protect the ears, neck and shoulders. But their primary purpose was to provide a degree of security for the head.In this passage the “helmet of salvation,” which covers the mental capacity (brain) of the believer, is the same as having full assurance of eternal salvation? There is nothing quite so destructive to and so disabling to Christian service than doubts as to one’s salvation. There is nothing Satan loves to use more on the believer than the instilling of doubts as to his salvation.Unfortunately, to doubt one’s salvation is extremely common with many believers. This tendency is derived from the believer’s long and entrenched religious view prior to salvation, which always seems to surface when coaxed by Satan in concert with the sin nature. The view, a product of Satan and all religion, is that one must perform good thoughts, words and deeds in order to achieve the approbation (approval) of God. In brief, man must “work his way into heaven.” And if that is true, then he must maintain his salvation by more of the same.This concept is then carried over after a person is saved and will be one of his chief spiritual assailants should he fail to mature in Bible doctrine. An immature Christian will resort to legalism, the belief that he must perform good thoughts, words and deeds in order to remain saved. The problem follows that he never quite knows for certain which side of the “salvation fence” he is on. One day he may feel saved, the next day he’ll feel lost. The Christian, according to Paul, is to be “anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6). If salvation is not a settled issue, how can he then be “anxious for nothing?”The key of course is to keep the “helmet of salvation” firmly in place. With it the Christian will maintain straight thinking, which will coincide with God’s Word and not his feelings, prior beliefs and Satan’s influences. Take your helmet off and you’re vulnerable. Satan will then place lying thoughts in your head. Remember this: How many of your sins were yet future at the cross? All of them! With your helmet in place you’ll be able to walk with your head up, free of fears and doubts.The “helmet of salvation” is composed of many scriptures taken from God’s Word, their correct interpretation and rational thought processes guided by the Spirit of God. A detailed and comprehensive expose on the Security of the Believer (or Once Saved Always Saved) may be found in the topical study section of www.bibleone.net. But a few cogent thoughts regarding the matter are appropriate here.· If the believer’s confidence in his salvation hinges on anything but the finished work of Christ on the cross, his effectiveness will always be diminished, his joy will be minimal (if any) and his ability to please God will be non-existent. Where there is uncertainty concerning how salvation is attained—confusion as to what took place on the Cross—there will be confusion over whether it can be maintained. The following actions, completed once and for all on Calvary’s Cross, are permanently made available to anyone who by faith alone in Christ alone receives them:Redemption. Because man has sinned and the penalty-price for sin is spiritual death, all mankind is subject to pay this price. On the cross of Calvary Jesus Christ, by dying in man’s place, paid this penalty price in total, for all time, for all mankind. (Matthew 20:28; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 1:7; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18, 19).Imputation. This is the act of charging something that is on one’s account to the account of another. It explains how Christ was able to pay (redeem) for man’s sin. God imputed all of man’s sin to Christ’s account. Therefore, because Christ once and for all paid the penalty-price for this sin, God is free to impute His righteousness to man at the moment he by faith receives Christ and His completed work on Calvary. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:22).Reconciliation. This is the removal of the barrier of separation, which is due to sin, between God and man. The sin-barrier is permanently removed upon faith alone in Jesus Christ and His finished work. (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20, 21).Regeneration. Since man is spiritually dead, in order to have eternal life he must be reborn or made spiritually alive. This was the message to the Pharisee Nicodemus by Jesus Christ in John 3. Whereas “justification” removes the verdict of guilt from the individual at salvation, “regeneration” removes the spiritual atrophy (state of death) from him by means of spiritual rebirth. (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13; Titus 3:5).Propitiation. This means that God’s offended holiness (His justice and righteousness), due to man’s sin, is satisfied by the payment Jesus Christ made on the cross of Calvary. Because He has been satisfied, He no longer needs to display His wrath toward man. (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).Justification. This is a legal term that indicates that because the payment for sin has been paid and God is now satisfied, man is vindicated and/or acquitted. Man’s sentence of condemnation is forever changed to one of righteousness because of Christ and His sacrifice. (Acts 13:39; Romans 3:24; 5:17-19; 2 Corinthians 5:21).Sanctification. This refers to the fact that man is now “set apart” for God because of the work on Calvary by Jesus Christ. It is a work that is both finished, on-going and will be finalized. Anyone who accepts Christ by faith is in Christ permanently. This is positional sanctification. The believer remains on earth until death or the Rapture and progresses toward holiness. This is experiential sanctification. Eventually the believer will pass on to Christ through death or the Rapture. This will then be final sanctification, which may also be known as his glorification. (1 Corinthians 1;2; 5:1; 6:1-8; Acts 20:32; Romans 6:2-10; 8:29, 30; 1 Corinthians 15:35-54; Colossians 2:9-13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:17; 9:13; 10:10; 12:14; 1 Peter 1:2, 15; 1 John 3:1-3; Jude 1, 24).· If the believer’s salvation is not secure, how could Jesus say about those to whom He gives eternal life, “they shall never perish?”My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. (John 10:27- 29)The eternal life given by Christ is not a “probationary life.” Those who have it are in good hands, both of them (the hand of Christ and the hand of the Father)—the “eternal fist” of the Father and the Son. Note that (1) they are Christ’s sheep—it is the duty of the shepherd to care for each of his flock, which is to say that Christ as the Shepherd keeps the sheep, not the “sheep keeps the sheep;” (2) already to each one is imparted eternal life; an ending or forfeiture of this would involve a contradiction in terms; (3) eternal life is given, not merited: thus, the believer cannot demerit it; (4) they shall never perish and God cannot lie; (5) no one, not even Satan or the believer himself, is able to destroy a single one of them.· To believe that a person once saved can lose salvation is to deny the sovereignty and predestined will of God. This is a rather involved matter that must be considered in light of man’s sovereignty (free-will), and this is not the format in which to discuss it. This debate, which has always existed, can only be resolved by recognizing that God is outside our domain of time. A more complete discussion of this may be found at www.bibleone.net. But one thing for sure, God says that He has selected anyone who will be saved before time began. That selection process was final and unchangeable. On the other hand, nowhere in the Bible does it show that God “unselects” anyone.· The believer is sealed with Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; Ephesians 1:13, 14; 4:30; 1 Peter 1:5, etc.). This explicitly denotes protection and security, being closed off from outside influences and interferences. It is the believer’s guarantee that his salvation and eternal destination is secure—no one, not even God, can remove this permanent seal. In the book of Revelation 144,000 are sealed, and they all (not one was lost) appear later in chapter 14.There are literally hundreds of verses of Scripture that confirm that a believer in Jesus Christ cannot in any possible way lose his salvation. As mentioned previously, a much more detailed discussion on the topic may be found at www.bibleone.net. It is critical that a believer resolves any insecurity over this matter. It is clearly the most important issue in his spiritual life (effectiveness). If his “helmet of salvation” appears perishable or lacks durability, his potential victory in spiritual battles will prove fragile. The believer must know that his ultimate victory is certain. It is wise to review Romans 8:28-39 and to remember the One who is continually holding the believer up in prayer. It is the Lord Jesus Christ, and His prayers are always efficacious.
     
  6. Letsgofishing

    Letsgofishing New Member

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    very useful and inspiring posts KrissThank you
     
  7. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    6. And take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.Paul instructs the believer that in addition to all the defensive armor of God he is to take one piece that may be used for both defense and offense. It is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, a well-known idiom in Scripture. Most of the ancient armies favored a long sword with a single edge. The Romans developed a short (24 inches long) sword that was sharpened on both edges called the Machira. With these, in the capable hands of a very capable Roman army, Rome was able to conquer the world. But there was a secret to its effectiveness: training and practice. Its uniqueness was a liability unless it was used with the proper techniques—a factor of both training and practice. I’m certain the reader sees the application of these as they relate to God’s Word.For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)This Sword of the Spirit is indeed sharper than any man-made two-edged sword. It can not only penetrate the psyche (soul level) of man, but it is capable of piercing even the pneuma (spirit) of man. In this regard, psychology or any other “ology” of man cannot hope to compete. For a rather extensive treatment of the power of God’s Word, Psalm 119, the longest psalm in the Bible, should be reviewed.As stated, God’s Word is not only for defense, as it was in the case of the Bereans who verified everything Paul preached with the Word (Acts 17:11), but it is an offensive weapon, as described by the following verse.For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5)God’s Word can (1) pull down spiritual strongholds, (2) cast down spurious spiritual arguments, (3) cast down every high thing (person and doctrine) that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and (4) bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. A very powerful weapon indeed!The Bible is one integrated message of 66 books written by about 40 different authors over thousands of years, which is the product of detailed and skillful engineering—every detail, every place name, even the mathematical properties of the text are the result of deliberate and careful design. Such detail was alluded to by Jesus Christ when He said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17, 18) A “jot” and a “tittle” are the Hebrew equivalents of the dotting an “i” or crossing a “t” in English.Additionally, a careful examination of the Bible clearly shows that its origin is from outside man’s time domain. But then, God is never subject to the dimensions that confine humanity. For a comprehensive study of this fact, one should avail himself of the studies by Chuck Missler of www.khouse.org. Mr. Missler, a professional of profound and extensive technical background, through extensive study over many years has amassed a wealth of commentary on all the books of the Bible. In addition, he has explored the concept that the Biblical text has a secret code hidden among the letters, which reveal properties of the text itself that are impossible to duplicate synthetically. A study of this “hidden code” is most convincing and strongly confirms that the Bible is indeed the Word of God—a product that man with all his “intellect” and “technology” could not then, nor cannot now produce or duplicate.For the believer to be successful in spiritual warfare, not only must he wear all the armor of God, but he must train in the use of and practice with the Sword of Spirit, the Word of God. This involves the serious study of Bible doctrine under the Spirit’s tutelage. A large challenge in this endeavor is to maintain balance, free of serious error. One should not focus on a few pet areas at the expense of the whole. Avoid “Bible bytes,” or doctrinal snippets on which to hang some deviant notion. Embrace the whole counsel of God, comparing scripture with scripture. Invest time in training and practice with the Sword of the Spirit.So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. (1 Peter 3:15)Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You! (Psalm 119:11)All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)7. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the SpiritPrayer is the atmosphere in which the spiritual warrior must exist. It is the battlefield artillery that every believer may employ. Prayer is mentioned over 500 times in the Scriptures. It is the believer’s priority and intimate connection with the Commander and Chief, God Almighty, as He sits in the Throne Room of the Universe.The elements of the model prayer, which Christ gave to the disciples in Matthew 6:9-13, should be studied and understood. See the topical on this prayer in www.bibleone.net. Remember that in prayer the believer needs always to be aware of the coming Kingdom, which is preceded by the Rapture, and all that it implies. Prayer should be direct and to the point, not long or hypocritically “eloquent,” especially when versed in public. It must be truthful (genuine). It should be combined with forgiveness toward those who wrong us and embody love for the same. It should contain praise and thanksgiving for all that God through Christ has done for us. It should be as constant as breathing throughout the day, i.e., it may only be a series of thought processes as one conducts business throughout each day. It is always directed to the Father in the name of Christ, which is to say that whatever is prayed for should be for the sake and glorification of Jesus Christ. The overriding principles for prayer are (1) that the “will of God” be ultimately done and (2) all prayer must be a function of faith—that is, believe that God will grant your requests.And one very important criterion is found in 1 John 1:9, which refers to any known sin in the Christian’s life. As he becomes aware of any, he must confess (name and take responsibility for) it before God. When this is done, God will immediately forgive the Christian of the known, and even unknown or forgotten, sin in the believer’s life. This will clear the path (eliminate the static) between the believer and God, so that his prayers are unimpeded.Without fail the Christian will always be embroiled in spiritual warfare. If he is spiritually turned to God through His Word, he’ll be able to detect and evaluate the enemy’s maneuvers and techniques. But he must be attired with all of God’s armor, in order to insure victory over all the evil forces and the god of this world, Satan.
     
  8. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    (Letsgofishing;32431)
    very useful and inspiring posts KrissThank you
    you are most welcome LGF
     
  9. Thunder1

    Thunder1 New Member

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    That is very important teaching ! Thank you, kriss !God Bless,Thunder1 :bible:
     
  10. Jesus_Child

    Jesus_Child New Member

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    that was a good read!
     
  11. Lookin4wardtoHeaven

    Lookin4wardtoHeaven New Member

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    (((( Kriss))))Very inspirational and powerful! Don't you love the way God prepares us for this Christian journey?
     
  12. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    Yes I do lookin4ward:)
     
  13. shutin45

    shutin45 New Member

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    QUOTE (Christina @ Jan 24 2008, 07:29 PM)
    The Armor of God Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Twice within this passage the Apostle Paul instructs the believer to "put on the whole armor of God." This wasn't done lightly. He repeated himself for emphasis. Unfortunately, so many Christians (and this writer does not exclude himself) have a dearth of understanding when it comes to the evil that exists around them. If the believer's spiritual eyes could truly be opened to see all the spiritual forces that pervade his surrounding atmosphere, he might very well shrink in abject terror. All around us the battle between the forces of good and of evil is turbulent, horrific and relentless. It was therefore important to Paul to stress to Christians the importance of the armor of God. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12) When Paul returned from his third missionary journey, he warmed the elders of the church at Ephesus about the dangers they would be facing: For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. (Acts 20:29-31) The forces of evil come in many guises and forms. There are those unseen forces composed of Satan's demons (believed by some to be the spirits of the Nephilims, a product of some of Satan's fallen angels as they co-mingled with humans, which were destroyed during the flood and who seek bodies to indwell), his fallen angels that as yet have not been cast into the "bottomless pit," and Satan himself. And there are those seeable forces composed of individuals, both in power and out, that have made a willful choice to serve Satan and his plan. Additionally, there is the never ending parade of philosophies and beliefs, which dishonor God and His Word, e.g., Religion (Christianity is not a religion; it is a union or relationship with a Person, Jesus Christ), Gnosticism, Paganism, Neo-paganism, Relativism, Intellectualism, Freudianism, Communism, Materialism, Nihilism, Behaviorism, Socialism, Existentialism, Rationalism, Fabianism, Secular Humanism, Agnosticism, Atheism, Evolution and the like. Because of this spiritual warfare that surrounds and engages each believer, the Apostle Paul warns that the only way he will be able to stand against such evil, sinister and overwhelming odds is to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. This instruction is the umbrella under which all the armor of God must function. Without the employment of this basic principle, none of God's armor will function properly. A person becomes a Christian by turning from legalism, religion and self-effort by a genuine act of will to trust solely in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for his personal salvation (this is saving repentance). In this act he fully realizes that there is absolutely nothing he or any organization can do that will save him. He then simply decides to depend (trust) totally on Christ and the work that Christ performed for his personal salvation. THEN, a strange thing often happens. Having been saved by grace through faith, he comes to the conclusion that the way to live for Christ is by exercising his self-determination to keep God's Law and to conform to a laundry list of "dos and don'ts." In other words, he resorts back to legalism, religion and self-effort. He simply cannot believe that as (by faith alone) he received Christ Jesus, he is to in like manner (by faith alone) walk (conduct his spiritual life) in Him (Colossians 2:6). This is called the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25; 2:12), which frees the Christian from the obligation to adhere, by his own power, to God's Law. And it freely makes available to him the power of the Holy Spirit, who resides within him, to do that which God requires. Yet most Christians never avail themselves of this marvelous and never-ending power. They are saved by faith, but they endeavor to live by works, which always leads to being consumed in pride. And utilizing this means to "fight the good fight," to conduct spiritual warfare, brings them to their knees every time in utter failure. It is therefore most important that the Christian realize that in his own power and ability he is absolutely powerless to conduct spiritual warfare to any victorious end. He must understand that it is only when he rids his daily life of any known sin by confessing (naming; admitting responsibility for) it before God (1 John 1:1:9) and then receiving by faith alone (trusting only in) God's Holy Spirit to conduct the battle through him that he will have any success on the spiritual battlefield. As he does this, only then will he be living the meaning of "Christ in you the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).
    Wow. Thanks Christina.I think this merits a reread by many of us so I replied just to put it back on the "recent posts" board."Twice within this passage the Apostle Paul instructs the believer to "put on the whole armor of God." This wasn't done lightly. He repeated himself for emphasis. Unfortunately, so many Christians (and this writer does not exclude himself) have a dearth of understanding when it comes to the evil that exists around them.""Because of this spiritual warfare that surrounds and engages each believer, the Apostle Paul warns that the only way he will be able to stand against such evil, sinister and overwhelming odds is to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. This instruction is the umbrella under which all the armor of God must function. Without the employment of this basic principle, none of God's armor will function properly."In Christ,Jim
     
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