S P I R I T U A L W A R F A R E L E S S O N F O U R

Spiritual Warfare
Heart Chat Bible Study
w/Pastor Mike

The Full Armor of God
Cover picture courtesy of: Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.b

Spiritual Warfare Bible Study Instructions and Schedule
© A Heart For God Ministries

INSTRUCTIONS Chat takes place on Facebook for 1 hour every Sunday at 4 pm Pacific USA. Web address for chat -> http://www.tinyurl.com/HeartChat-Facebook If you are unable to attend at the chat time, feel free to check out and interact with the chat (via your comments and "likes") when it's convenient. I will check in throughout the week to make sure and respond to you. Study guide for each week will be posted on Facebook the Monday before chat. (For example, the guide for the Sept 30th chat will be posted on Monday, Sept 24.) Read through the study guide for the week and do the exercises to prepare for chat.

SCHEDULE (6 weeks) Sept 30 Introduction to Warfare Oct 7 Oct 14 Oct 21 Oct 28 Nov 4 The Weapons / Battlefield The Enemy The Full Armor of God War Stories Tips for the Trenches

David and Goliath picture in the public domain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Osmar_Schindler_David_und_Goliath.jpg {{PD-US}} – published in the US before 1923 and public domain in the US.

Spiritual Warfare eBook Study Guide – Lesson 4
© A Heart For God Ministries

THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD
SCRIPTURAL FOUN DATION 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:10-18; New American Standard)

ON ARMOR AND “RELIGION” Quote “Religion is the best armor a man can have, but it is the worst cloak.” ~John Bunyan on Spiritual Warfare

If your “religion” is real and alive, then you will be victorious against the powers of darkness. If your “religion” is a façade, you won’t get very far without being found out. The person who wears his spiritual armor and uses his spiritual weapons has got “religion”!

SEVEN ESSENTIALS FOR BATTLE The Apostle Paul uses the Roman soldier (could it be the one to whom he was chained to?) and his battle attire as a metaphor / word picture to describe the unseen realities of the believer’s spiritual armament and weaponry. Five Pieces of Armor Belt of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness, Gospel Boots, Shield of Faith, Helmet of Salvation Two Offensive Weapons Sword of the Spirit and All-Prayer

BELT OF TRUTH “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth.” (Ephesians 6:14a) Holds Everything Else Together The belt is used to keep your pants up. The more you tighten your belt, the better your pants will stay on correctly. (Your waist size is the determining factor as to how tight your belt must be. Ha!) One other thing: If your belt is too loose, your pants will fall down and you will be exposed. So it was for the Roman soldier. The tightening of the belt meant a soldier was ready for battle. This tightening was critical because without it, the soldier’s armor and weapons would be out of place. The belt literally holds everything else together. The same is true in the spiritual realm. The belt of truth must be buckled tightly around the believer’s waist to insure his readiness for battle. Without the buckling of the belt of truth, the spiritual warrior finds his supernatural armament and weapons out of place and his life exposed and vulnerable to attack. He, in essence, is rendered powerless and ineffective when it comes to fighting spiritual foes. Buckling the Belt How does one buckle the belt of truth around his waist? In two ways:

(1) By internalizing the truths of Scripture (knowledge of the truth) AND (2) By externalizing the truths of Scripture (application of the truth) “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11; New International Version) (The great Protestant reformer Martin Luther had virtually memorized the entire Bible. The great evangelist John Wesley had himself memorized most of the New Testament in Greek.) Questions How is your spiritual battle going? Can you see a correlation between the victories and defeats of your life and how much Scriptural truth you have been feeding on? Could it be that your belt might need a little tightening? Power (Memory) Verses The following Scriptures are meant to be a starting point at belt tightening: “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord.” (Zechariah 4:6b) “[G]reater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4b) “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?” (Psalm 27:1) “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” (Psalm 46:1-2a) “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37b) “[W]hen I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10c) “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” (Revelation 12:11) “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation

will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS “[A]nd having put on the breastplate of righteousness.” (Ephesians 6:14b) Protects Vital Organs For the soldier of antiquity, the breastplate (thorax for Greeks) was likely either a metal piece used to cover the front of the upper body or it was chain mail (flexible armor of joined metal links or scales - like a knight would wear! ~ American Heritage Dictionary, pg 256). In any case, the main function of the breastplate was to protect the chest region and its vital organs, especially the heart. Righteousness of Christ The “breastplate of righteousness” is the righteousness of Christ given freely by God to the person who surrenders his life to Him. The “breastplate of righteousness” protects the spiritually vital organs, especially the heart, from the enemy’s attempts to kill the new life that begins upon the new birth. Our hearts have been made clean by the righteousness of Christ. (Think of it as a bullet proof vest that protects police officers. Nothing can penetrate the “breastplate.”) “Therefore if any man (woman) is in Christ, he (she) is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Righteousness That Comes From God Apart from Christ, we wore a breastplate of filthy rags / a breastplate that was ineffective at protecting our hearts. That’s where God stepped in. “[God] made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) “He (Jesus) Himself bore (carried) our sins in His body on the cross (tree), that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) Questions Are you wearing the breastplate of righteousness? Have you been walking in the reality that you are a new creation in Christ, that your past, present and future sins have been cleansed and taken away, that God sees you as blameless and righteous in His Son?

Or has the enemy tormented you, continually bringing to your remembrance a list of your past or present sins, continually bombarding you with thoughts that say how you are just not good enough in God’s eyes? If this is happening, then he has gotten to your heart. It’s time for you to turn back his attacks. Put on the breastplate of righteousness! Wear it! Clothes tell a lot about a person. Determine to walk in the reality of who you really are in Christ / your secure position ~ completely and wholly accepted by Almighty God!

GOSPEL BOOTS “[A]nd having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15) Give Secure Footing A Roman soldier’s war boot (the caliga) was an open-toed leather boot with a heavily nail-studded sole tied to the ankles and shins with straps. It was not meant for running from an enemy or for pursuing an enemy. It was meant for traction. It prevented sliding. Most ancient battles were in-your-face, up-close affairs (like the line of scrimmage in American football). “Boots” gave sure footing in such encounters. It was a much harder task for an enemy to push back a soldier who had his war boots tightly secured around his shins and ankles while firmly planted on solid ground. Peace with God / Peace of God To have your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace is to have your gospel boots on. I like to think of my right boot as being “peace with God” and my left boot as being “the peace of God.” These two boots give a believer the ability to stand his ground in the midst of the in-your-face, up-close and personal spiritual battles of life. Peace with God: “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) Peace of God: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6) World’s peace: absence of conflict (outward) Christ’s peace: (inward) calmness, assurance, rest in the midst of conflict (John 14:27)

Supernatural Foot Traction The gospel boots are not meant for running away from the enemy or for pursuing him. They are meant to give the believer sure-footing in the purposes of God for his (or her) life. They are meant to help one hold the ground that once was controlled by foreign forces ~ that ground that was once known as enemy territory. The gospel boots give supernatural foot traction in the midst of the most slippery of circumstances. When one knows that he has peace with God and the peace of God, there is nothing that will be able to make him slide. It is much harder for the enemy of your soul to push you backwards or cause you to slip and fall into sin if you have your war boots securely fastened around your spiritual shins and ankles and you are standing on solid ground. “On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.” Questions Have you been wearing your gospel boots? Are your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace? Do you realize that you are no longer God’s enemy, that you have peace with Him, that you are completely on His side and He on yours? Have you felt like you’ve been slipping lately? Have adverse circumstances come along and somehow stolen your peace away? Maybe you’ve been walking around bare-footed? It’s time for you to put your boots on! Watch how quickly your peace returns when you remember to consistently and regularly secure your boots.

SHIELD OF FAITH “[I]n addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16) The Larger of Two Shields The Roman soldier had two shields. The small round shield was worn on the forearm. The other shield was much larger (probably about four feet high and two and a half feet wide). This is the shield to which the Apostle Paul is referring. Called the “scutum,” this Roman shield can be likened to a door. It was made up of two layers of laminated wood and covered first by linen, then with hide. It was bound at the top and bottom with iron. There was an iron ornament decorating the front. Listen: The body of an entire warrior could be protected behind this shield. Incoming flaming arrows would pierce the shield and be snuffed out because of its thickness. Extinguishes Every Arrow

Paul uses the natural concept of a Roman soldier’s shield to communicate the supernatural reality concerning the operation of faith in the believer’s life. This “faith” can be likened to a shield because while the believer is exercising it, his whole being remains intact though enemy missiles assail him. It’s as if he were behind a supernatural door. Notice how the Ephesians 6:16 states that through the use of the shield of faith, the believer is enabled to extinguish JUST SOME of the flaming arrows of the evil one? … JUST A FEW of the flaming arrows of the evil one? … No! The believer is able to extinguish ALL flaming arrows of the evil one! None can get through! Types of Flaming Arrows In general, there are “flaming arrows” of temptations, strategies and deceptions meant to inflame the believer and ultimately cause his (her) downfall and/or the downfall of others. (By the way, Satan is a master archer.) Specifically, there are “flaming arrows” meant to arouse our natural worldly inclinations that at times war within our souls like: arrows of criticism, arrows of rejection, arrows of misunderstanding, arrows of sins of another against us that arouse unforgiveness / bitterness or strife / division / anger, arrows of various lusts (some of which include passion, power, notoriety, etc). Friendly Fire “Some of the most lethal arrows come from within our own camp. Unseen hands grasp the hands of our own brothers and sisters [in the Lord], take their bows, dip them in tar, and … send flaming arrows toward our hearts ~ arrows of rejection and criticism and hypocrisy.” (Ephesians by Kent Hughes, pg 235) Questions How does one take up the shield of faith? When you, though you’re in the midst of an adverse circumstance, trial or situation (with flaming arrows coming at you), choose to trust God and His Word (via obedience) rather than your own feelings and / or natural wisdom, you’ve taken up the shield of faith. For example: It takes faith to forgive (especially some of the greater wrongs done against us) and not to allow the flaming arrow of resentment and anger to pierce one’s soul. The Word of the Lord

One or two of you reading this have flaming arrow wounds still festering?! One or two of you may even have been used to shoot an arrow?! God wants to heal you!! Find a mature believer to pray with you on this. (James 5:16)

HELMET OF SALVATION “And take the helmet of salvation.” (Ephesians 6:17a) Two Types of Helmets There were two types of Roman helmets. There was the galea (made of leather) and the cassis (made of metal). A band on the helmet protected the forehead while plates protected the cheeks and extended back to protect the neck. Not much more than the nose, eyes and mouth were exposed when the helmet was securely on. Metal helmets were weighty, so they were inwardly lined with sponge of felt. Of all weapons, only the hammer or the axe were able to penetrate a metal helmet. It gave the soldier much protection and allowed him to remain in battle much longer than if he would not have had it on. Assurance of Salvation The Apostle Paul uses the Roman soldier’s helmet as a word picture for salvation. “The ‘helmet of salvation’ is the assurance of salvation and the resulting confidence [that] it brings.” (Ephesians by Hughes, pg 241) It’s the kind of assurance that causes you to function in life and in spiritual battles where you are “in no way alarmed by your opponents ~ which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.” (Philippians 1:28) The helmet assures the believer that no matter what happens in the war, he is safe and secure in the salvation of God. (Ephesians 2:8-9) The helmet brings optimism and gives hope (1 Thessalonians 5:8) to the spiritual warrior … the mindset that believes that no matter what the circumstances, God will cause it to work out for the best. (Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:28) Questions Have you ever found yourself questioning your salvation? Have you ever wondered if you were even saved? I remember a Bible teacher of mine who liked to say, “People who aren’t saved don’t question whether they are or not.” In other words, you’re probably saved if you care whether you are or not. Does that make sense?

The truth is the devil always raises questions about our salvation, but here are the facts. Simply put, “[I]f you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) And “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) And so if you’ve done those things, you’ve got salvation as a helmet. You do! Keep it on and allow your mind to be at peace.

SWORD OF THE SPIRIT “[A]nd the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17b) Double-Edged Weapon The Roman soldier had a double-edged short sword called the machaira. It was the most effective weapon in hand-to-hand combat. The machaira was primarily an offensive weapon. It could cut quickly and cleanly when it came to the body and its inward parts. The Word of God It is God’s Word that the sword of the Spirit represents. It is the most effective weapon in hand-to-hand spiritual conflict. The sword of the Spirit is an offensive weapon. It is sharper than a double-edged sword. It can cut quickly and cleanly to the very depth of a person. The sword of the Spirit can divide the soul from the spirit, the joints from the marrow, and also judges the thoughts and intentions (attitudes) of one’s heart. That’s pretty deep! (Hebrews 4:12) Quote “God’s Word wounds terribly. It will cleave a man or woman from north to south with never a pause. It is all edge. It goes to the very center of human personality.” (Ephesians by Hughes, pg 243) Question How do we take the sword of the Spirit as Ephesians 6:17 commands us to? By reading, meditating upon and memorizing the Scriptures. And then by putting them into practice in our own lives. Pilgrim’s Progress In John Bunyan’s classic allegory on the Christian life, “Pilgrim’s Progress,” he shows the sword of the Spirit in all of its splendor when put to use. This short passage has the

satanic being, Apollyon, cornering the good man, Christian, as he is about to make and end of him: Then APOLLYON straddled quite over the whole breadth of the way, and said, “I am void of fear in this matter; prepare thyself to die! for I swear by my infernal den that thou shalt go no farther; here will I spill thy soul. And with that he threw a flaming dart at his breast; but CHRISTIAN had a shield in his hand, with which he caught it, and so prevented the danger of that. Then did CHRISTIAN draw, for he saw it was time to bestir him; and APOLLYON as fast made at him, throwing darts as thick as hail; by the which, notwithstanding all that CHRISTIAN could do to avoid it, APOLLYON wounded him in his head, his hand, and foot. This made CHRISTIAN give a little back; APOLLYON therefore followed his work again, and CHRISTIAN again took courage, and resisted as manfully as he could. This sore combat lasted for above half a day, even till CHRISTIAN was almost quite spent. For you must know that CHRISTIAN, by reason of his wounds, must needs grow weaker and weaker. Then APOLLYON, espying his opportunity, began to gather up close to CHRISTIAN, and wrestling with him, gave him a dreadful fall: and with that, CHRISTIAN’S sword flew out of his hand. Then said APOLLYON, “I am sure of thee now”; and with that he had almost pressed him to death, so that CHRISTIAN began to despair of life. But as God would have it, while APOLLYON was fetching his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good man, CHRISTIAN nimbly reached out his hand for his sword, and caught it, saying, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall, I shall arise” (Micah 7:8); and with that, gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give back, as one that had received his mortal wound. CHRISTIAN perceiving that, made at him again, saying, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us (Romans 8:37). And with that, APOLLYON spread forth his dragon’s wings, and sped him away (James 4:7), that CHRISTIAN for a season saw him no more.

(Pilgrim’s Progress by Bunyan, pg 59-60) Shake and Bake The Holy Spirit brings what you’ve stored up in your soul of the Word of God back to your remembrance in your time of need. If there’s nothing there, it’s hard to bring anything up. It’s like trying to make a cake without any ingredients to pour in the mixing bowl. Be sure to fill yourself up with the ingredients of the Word of God so that the next time you face the Apollyon of your life, the Holy Spirit will be able to make you “shake and bake”! :)

ALL-PRAYER “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18) Most Important Weapon The second offensive weapon is prayer. It is the most important weapon of all! Without it, at your best you are ineffective. Your armor and weaponry are rendered useless unless you pray. Types of Prayer Petition: our needs. Intercession: other’s needs. Timing of Prayer Without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Persistently. (Luke 18:1-18) Quotes “Without us, He will not. Without Him, we cannot.” “If you’re too busy to spend time with God, then you are busier than God wants you to be.” ~Al Denson, Christian singer and songwriter Full Armor of God Prayer Here’s a way of praying the full armor of God upon yourself:

Lord, I buckle the belt of truth around my waist. May the truth of your Word permeate my innermost being. I put on the breastplate of righteousness. Christ is my righteousness. He is the end of the law to all who believe. I am made righteous in You! I shod my feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. On one foot I have peace with God. On the other I have the peace of God. Help me to walk in peace today. I take up the shield of faith with which I will quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. Faith is an unshakeable confidence in the character of God. I put on the helmet of salvation. In my mind I know I am saved because of what Jesus did for me on the cross. I take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. May Your Word be nigh on my lips. And I pray at all times with all types of prayer! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

REFLECTION TIME Exercise Which piece of armor or weaponry are you in most need of today? How will you appropriate the use of it in your life beginning tomorrow? Type out a paragraph on your computer, then copy and paste it to the Heart Chat Bible Study and Chat wall on Facebook so your brothers and sisters can be encouraged by it. :) Heart Chat Bible Study link -> http://www.tinyurl.com/HeartChat-Facebook

Centurion cover picture courtesy of Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.b: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Centurion_2_Boulogne_Luc_Viatour.jpg

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