Armour of God

SUMBER PENGHARAPAN INT. MINISTRIES GADING NIAS
STUDI ALKITAB  07/11/2019

Study 7 

ARMOUR OF GOD

Ephesians 6:10-18

There are eight weapons we must use in order to be victorious

  1. Helmet of Salvation
  2. Breastplate
  3. Girdle
  4. Shield
  5. Sword
  6. Footwear
  7. Prayer
  8. Watch

HELMET OF SALVATION

(Some places where Helmet was mentioned in the bible 1 Sam 17:5;1 Sam 17:38;Psa 60:7;Psa 108:8;Isa 59:17;Ezek 23:24;Ezek 27:10;Ezek 38:5;Ephes 6:17;1 Thess 5:8)

What purpose did the helmet serve in the Roman army?

The Roman helmet, like helmets today, protected the head from the attacks of the enemy. Salvation is generally used to refer to deliverance from the eternal death penalty of sin and deliverance into God’s Kingdom.

What is the penalty of our sins, and how can we be saved from that penalty?

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8-10; John 3:16-17; 1 Timothy 2:3-4; Luke 1:77

Every human being has thought and acted in ways that are abominable to God. Our sins break God’s beautiful living laws designed for our good. Sin is so vile to God that it requires the death penalty. God’s justice requires that penalty. But God’s loving mercy provided the most incredible substitute. Jesus Christ, our Creator, was willing to die in our place! To be saved, we need a Savior.

How do we receive salvation?

Acts 2:38; Ephesians 2:8-9

It is important to understand that salvation cannot be earned. It is a gift from God and not something we can obtain through the right actions, thus obligating God to give it to us. Still, as we’ve seen in the scriptures covered so far, repentance (abhorring our sins and seeking God’s forgiveness and help to obey His laws), faith, accepting Christ’s sacrifice and coming to the knowledge of the truth are all steps in accepting the free gift. In no way do these efforts make up for our sins that caused the death of our Creator and Savior!

Is salvation a permanent, irrevocable gift, or does it have to be maintained? 

Ephesians 2:4-8

The New Testament tells us that we “have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5), that we “are being saved” (1 Corinthians 1:18) and that we “will be saved” (Matthew 10:22). What does this mean for us?

Paul makes it clear that “have been saved” equates to the forgiveness of sins and coming under God’s grace. We have been taken off death row.

1 Corinthians 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Salvation can also describe the ongoing conversion process. Paul also calls this being “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). This involves having God’s laws written in our minds and meditating on them so we can better follow them (Hebrews 10:16; Psalm 119:97-99). As we saw in the lesson on the breastplate of righteousness, God expects us to obey His commandments.

Matthew 10:22

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Our ultimate salvation depends on whether or not we choose to endure to the end.

What does salvation have to do with a helmet? 

1 Thessalonians 5:8-11

We can receive tremendous hope and comfort by focusing on the incredible sacrifice Christ gave to save us and the amazing Kingdom that is the goal of our salvation. This hope works like a helmet to protect our minds from the discouragement and despair in this world.

John 17:15-16

I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

Christians have been called out of this world. Though we remain in it, we are not of it and remain separate from it. 

Our way of living and even of thinking should differ from the world’s. We are to develop the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5), and as we have seen, that means having God’s laws written on our hearts and minds so we can remember to always obey God.1 Peter 5:8-9.

Our enemy hates that we have chosen this path and will stop at nothing to destroy us because of it. Just as the helmet protects the vital but vulnerable head from otherwise fatal blows, the hope of salvation can protect our thoughts from our enemy’s attacks and temptations to disobey God. Matthew 13:22

Without the helmet of salvation, we will be unprotected from the “cares of this world” that bombard our thoughts and feelings. Imagine not knowing what the future ultimately holds. The worries and problems produced by living in this world would overwhelm us! Psalm 27:1

With the helmet securely fastened, we can have the same confidence that Paul did that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). We understand that it doesn’t matter what happens to us now. No matter what trials we face, we know that at the end of it all waits God’s Kingdom and an eternity of His perfect reign—and what could be better than that?

How do I keep the helmet secure? 

Psalm 3:8

Remember that salvation comes from God, and that God is on our side. If we commit to fully follow and obey Him, it is impossible for us to lose our battle or our salvation.

Revelation 21:1-4

This is the salvation we are fighting for—to enter this glorious Kingdom! Never lose sight of this. This coming Kingdom, with its worldwide peace and prosperity, makes every price in this life worth paying. No matter what comes, no matter how vicious the attacks our enemy lands on us, we know that as long as we remain with God, we are moving slowly but unstoppably toward an eternal victory. What wouldn’t we give for that? 2 Timothy 4:6-8

Paul had the vision. He valued his salvation highly and diligently fought the good fight. As the end of his life drew near, he was able to say with complete confidence that he would receive the crown.

When Paul awakes in the first resurrection, he will trade in his soldier’s helmet for a far more glorious, imperishable and eternal crown of righteousness—the crown of a victorious soldier of Christ. We, too, can be assured of victory so long as we—like Paul—faithfully follow our God and His commandments from our heart and mind.

Assurance of Salvation

Believers must use the tests in Scripture to confirm their salvation.

Several portions of Scripture are written specifically for this purpose. The primary text is the book of 1 John. John says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). In the book, he gives a series of tests so we can know that we have eternal life.

Application Question: What are some of these tests?

1. The test of obedience.

First John 2:3-5 says,

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:

Faithful obedience to God and his Word is a proof of true salvation.

Christ says, “If you abide in my words, then you are truly my disciples” (John 8:31, ESV). If we don’t love his Word and continually follow it, we have no reason to call ourselves Christians in the first
place.

2. Are you abiding in his Word?

The test of love for Christians.

First John 3:14-15 says,

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.Similarly, Jesus says, “They will know you are my disciples by the way you love one another” (John 13:35). If we are lacking a supernatural love for other believers, then we are not his disciples. At spiritual birth, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit
(Romans 5:5).

I really struggle when I meet people who profess Christ but say they don’t need to attend church. If they are true Christians, they will want to attend church. Why? Not just out of love for God, but also out of love for other believers. They will want to be with believers and use their gifts to build them up. They will want to pray with them and serve them. This is a natural fruit of love. If a person doesn’t even want to be around the church, then they don’t love the believers and surely they are not saved

3. Do you love your brothers?

The test of doctrine.

First John 4:15 says, “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.” This is a proper acknowledgment of Christ’s humanity and deity. (The name “Jesus” represents his humanity and “Son of God” represents his deity). This is what keeps many cult members out of heaven—they have bad Christology. To them, Christ was either not a man or not God. He was an angel or something else. In the above statement John was refuting the doctrine of the Gnostic cult, which was attacking the Ephesian church. It’s also a problem in many cults today and for many professing “Christians.” They believe Christ was a good man and a good religious teacher, but not the Son of God

4. Do you pass the doctrinal test?

The test of not loving the World.

First John 2:15 says,

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” True believers are different from the world and the culture around them. Where the rich man was not willing to leave his riches to follow Christ (Matt 19:16-22), the true believer is willing to leave the praise, adoration and riches of this world for the kingdom of God (cf. Lk 14:26-27). It is sobering to consider that the rich man was highly spiritual. We know he appeared righteous because he kept the law; he also desired eternal life. Since we can’t see the heart, we would have quickly taught him the Four Spiritual Laws, then had him say the Sinner’s Prayer and join the church. Because he was an upright person and a successful businessman, he would soon have been an elder in most churches. However, he had never been born again. He was living for the riches of the world and not for God. Many professed believers are kept out of the kingdom because they don’t truly love God. They love him only for what they can get. They want the riches of this world—health and wealth—but they don’t want a Lord and they don’t want a cross. Sadly, this might be the majority of “Christians,” especially because of the widespread influence of the prosperity gospel. Are you willing to reject the world and the things of the world to follow Christ? Or—like the rich man—do you want both salvation and the things of this world?

5. The test of decreasing sin.

First John 3:6,9 says,

No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him… No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. John says “no one who lives in him keeps on sinning.” This was the professing Christians’ problem in Matthew 7:21-23. Jesus said to them, “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity. I never knew you.” They professed Christ, but lived a life of sin. True salvation always changes the lifestyle of believers (2 Cor 5:17). They still sin, but the direction and pattern of their lives will be different. They will practice living for God and yet stumble—sometimes repeatedly. However, the direction of their lives will have changed—they will be trying to serve and honor God. Is there a pattern of decreasing sin in your life? Or do you profess Christ, but not live for him?

6. The test of persecution for righteousness.

First John 3:12-13 says,

Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. Because of their changed lives and values, believers will often be hated and persecuted by society. Jesus gives persecution as a test of salvation. In Matthew 5:10, he says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” He essentially says that those who are persecuted for their faith are part of the kingdom of heaven. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we will all be beaten, stoned, or jailed. Persecution often shows up in more subtle ways, like verbal abuse or being considered strange. First Peter 4:3-4 says, For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. Do others find you strange because you don’t get drunk like everybody else? Do people find you strange because you have chosen to practice chastity until marriage? This is normal for a Christian. You will receive some type of persecution from the world.

7. The test of perseverance.

First John 2:19 says, “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” In talking about those leaving the Ephesian church to join the Gnostic cult, John says that they left because they were never truly saved. This is the final truth that we will consider. Those who are truly born again will continue to walk with Christ and will never ultimately turn their backs on him (cf. Matt 24:13). The test of continuity of faith Similarly, Paul says this in Colossians 1:22-23: But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel… Our reconciliation to God is proved by a faith that endures and continues in the hope of the gospel.

Taking the helmet

A soldier going into battle without a helmet would have instantly exposed himself to the deadliest of blows. Leaving off any piece of the armor would have been dangerous, but to go without the helmet would have been unthinkable. We can no more afford to be without the helmet of salvation today.

The apostle Paul set an example of pressing forward with his eyes on the goal at all times, and he urged the brethren of the church at Philippi to do the same: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind” (Philippians 3:12-15)

Philippians 2:12 says to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” We are each individually responsible for whether or not we choose to accept the invitation into God’s Kingdom and then to stay on the path of obedience with His help. A good checklist for progress is Paul’s description of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). 

Ask yourself…

  1. How well am I expressing godly love? (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.)
  2. Is my outlook on life characterized by joy or pessimism?
  3. Am I a peacemaker or a troublemaker?
  4. Am I patient—even in stressful situations?
  5. Do I express kindness to others through willing acts of service?
  6. What kind of media do I allow into my life? 
  7. Does the entertainment I enjoy live up to God’s standards?
  8. Do I stick with my commitments, even when they become difficult to keep?
  9. Is my approach to settling disagreements to verbally assault the other person, or do I handle things gently and with respect?
  10. Am I able to put what needs to be done before what I want to do?

What areas did you find yourself strongest in? In what areas are you weakest? How can you improve? Take time to research your weakest trait and design a plan for self-improvement in that area. Don’t overlook prayer as the most important step!

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