Speaking the Gospel
John 14:6 I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

                                                                                                     Put on the full Armor of God 
                                                                                                                      Belt of Truth        

 Ephesians 6:10-18 speaks to us of putting on a suit of armor, but this armor that we are to put on, is not made of any physical material. It is not an armor that will weigh us down because of its weight, nor will it restrict our mobility. What’s so important about this armor is that it is designed to help us fine tune our lives so that we may better grow in becoming more Christ like. We read about the benefits in Ephesians 3:19   "So that we may come to know the love of Christ which passes all knowledge; that we may be filled with all the fullness of God." Understanding how to use each piece of armor more effectively is very important to our spiritual growth. Paul wraps up everything he said in the previous chapters of the book of Ephesians by saying, in Ephesians 6:10-18 
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. 
Why are we asked to do this? Because we live in a world that is spiritually hostile against God as verse twelve points out.
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.

Paul goes on to give us a list of elements that make up the armor. 
1) The Belt of Truth, A Christian's survival in the world requires a firm grounding in the absolute truth of the Bible. The truth will set us free by breaking the power of the devil's lies and the deception they create.
 2) Breastplate of Righteousness. The condition acceptable to God. Our faith connects us with God's infinite power. By believing in Jesus, we receive all the power and benefits of being righteous in God's sight. If we don't believe that we have God's righteousness, then our breastplate will be ineffective.
3) Battle Shoes. The spiritual footwear is the "Gospel of Peace" it gives us stability needed to face our adversaries. The term "Gospel of Peace" refers to the peace we have with God through Jesus:
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. 
4) Shield of Faith,The shield of faith quenches or extinguishes all of the fiery darts from the enemy.
5) Helmet of Salvation. Since man's beginning, Satan has focused his attacks on people's minds. Satan cannot force us to sin, but rather, he must persuade us to commit sin. The mind is the control center which decides if we will sin or not.
and the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the word of God. 
6) The Sword of the Spirit. The Sword of the Spirit is a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare. The sword is formed by speaking God's word. 

Now that we have taken our armor out of the closet, we now need to oil it to make it more pliable, we also need to know how and when to use it. For instance when taking a closer look at the full armor, we may begin to notice that all the parts but the "sword of the spirit" is a defensive position. The sword is used for attack, and it is in this area of battle that many inexperienced Christians sadly have used the "sword of the spirit" in attacking other Christians, which is one of Satan’s ways of causing division among God’s people.
Eph 6:10-18 is perhaps the clearest definition of the kind of war that we as Christian are engaged in. These verses not only assure us that there is a spiritual war, but it warns us that apart from utilizing the weapons which God has provided for us, we are going to be hopelessly underpowered.
Eph 6: 10-18 informs us as to what our divine weapons are. These weapons also show us the nature of the struggle we are in.  
These weapons which God has provided for us are spiritual weapons which are designed too repel the attacks of Satan. Essentially, what Paul is describing here is a way of life that we are to be constantly living as called one, and how to equip ourselves to recognize the devil’s schemes and to resist him.
There are two commands in the verses that we read about.
The first one is a General Command
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
we are being instructed here that it’s not by our ability that will produce results but rather we are to rely on God.
Our second command is a Specific Command, it teaches us how to fulfill the first Command , (To be strong)
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. These battles take on many forms,called temptations, Paul reminds us in Eph 4: 22-24. that we have been called out of such behavior and we are now to live on a new way of life. “22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. The important teaching that Paul wants us to understand is that we are to practice in our life’s the putting on of the armor so that we become, with the help of the holy spirit the likeness of God.
The armor we are to put on is not a worldly armor, not worldly ways, not worldly defenses; but God’s ways, God’s armor, God’s defenses, which we learn from studying His word.
We know that there are spiritual forces ready to weaken us, to cause us to fall. They seek to make worse the sin that is already in us. 
We are told to be strong, to put on the full armor, not just parts of it. because we are fighting in an invisible war, as is pointed out in verse twelve.
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.
Our understanding that the spiritual battleground we are engaged in is to be found within the mind is critical! We can’t fight a battle if we don’t know where it is. It is very important to understand that this spiritual battle is not something that is accomplished by our own strength, but  by prayer and at times fasting, not only does this battleground concern the sins of the flesh but also attacks from false teachers, teaching false doctrine.

In Matt 4:1-11 Satan sought to tempt our Lord to renounce His submission to the Father by acting independently for His own selfish gain.(something he is always trying with us.) What worked on Adam and Eve (and is still using on us today) would not work on Christ. The battle is ongoing, but Christ has already won the victory,  His death and resurrection are witness to that victory. Christ set us the example to follow, obedience to the Fathers will.  

Satan is a master mind at counterfeiting; and will stop at nothing to get us to do his bidding. He crafts attractive alternatives to the gospel. One of his deceptive moves to keep people from the truth is by confusing people and making them ask. "What is truth?" The same question Pilate asked Christ. John 18:38
For Christian, the ultimate expression of truth is found in the Bible, in Jesus who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life..." (John 14:6). 

Unlike the biblical view of truth, A world view offers definitions like "Truth is that which conforms to reality, fact, or actuality." But this basic definition is not complete because its definition is open to interpretation and a wide variety of applications. Such as, What is reality? What is fact? What is actuality? How does perception effect truth? We see the world leaning towards a view of truth that say’s. What’s true for you is not true for me. 
The problem is not in the truth, but in its application as is often the case with philosophical verbal gymnastics. 
Col 2:8 speaks of false philosophies, 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 
What this verse is teaching is truth without Godliness is human understanding of divine things.

1Cor 10:20 speaks of false religions. 20 No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.
2Cor 11:14-15 speaks of false ministers 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. 
1 John 2:18 speaks of false doctrine 18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.

Eph 2:1 provides a significant reason for the spiritual war. As unbelievers, (we were dead to sin) we were under the power and control of Satan, even though we did not know it. But when we came to faith in Christ by His grace, (He made alive) we were delivered from Satan’s “kingdom of darkness” and became citizens of the “kingdom of light.” Our salvation caused us no longer to be the enemies of God, but at the same time resulted in us becoming the enemies of Satan.
Often our mind becomes filled with wicked thoughts. It becomes filled with thoughts of wrong things to do. Then our emotions become involved. We may yield to sin. We often think these thoughts are our own, when in reality they may well come from the powers of darkness of this world.
To live in the Kingdom of Light however we are told that our lives must now be lived in a defensive way, and Paul has given us a summery in Eph 6 of want we are to do for our part, by comparing our Christian walk and development, to various pieces of armor that the Roman soldiers wore during battle.

Each piece is given to us as a gift to cover us fully. There are no unprotected surfaces so that we will be able to stand against every attack in Jesus Christ.
There is a reason why Paul starts with the Belt of truth. He says to buckle it on; to put it on firmly around your waist. Paul shows us that there is a standard of truth outside of us.

It is The Belt of Truth that holds all the other parts together, without Truth we would not be able to use any of the other parts correctly or effectively. 
By being firmly rooted in the truth,( the word of God) "I am the way, the truth, and the life..." (John 14:6). we are best equipped to recognize the lies we are told, resist the devil and do God's will. 
Truth form Christ is not error. Truth from Christ is not self-contradictory. Truth from Christ is not deception.

The Belt of truth is to be put on a deeply held truth and understanding that God is always faithful to us, that God is always for us, because one of the things that the enemy will do when we screw up is that he will say, "See I told you. It will always be that way" In Christ we are accepted in Him. Redeemed through His blood. Adopted into His Family. Sealed with His Spirit. These teachings are foundational; they have all been done for us. 

Everybody called by God is to believe in the truth that they are highly regarded in God's heart and mind, because of their union with Jesus. 
When we allow our armor to become weakened there is a significant gap that will develop. This gap is what Satan is looking for. We are told in 1 Peter 5:8 8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 
So what are some ways we can put on (apply) the Belt of Truth?
1. Study the Word 
2. Memorize the Word 
3. Meditate on the Word 
4. Pray the Word 
When we put on the “full armor of God” we are actually putting on Christ: 
God's armor brings victory because it is far more than a protective covering. It is the very life of Jesus Christ Himself. Paul in his letter to the Romans wrote that we are to "put on the armor of light," "...clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 13:12-14)
God is always true to who he is in all his words and actions. So let us always remember this in our walk with the Lord
 The battle is the Lords 
 We must fight the good fight His way 
 Not by might nor power but by His Spirit 
 We must prepare (put on) the armor 
 It starts with the belt. Without the belt of truth there is nothing to hold up our faith and so everything will fall off!

May we grow in the grace and understanding of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ

Armor of God # 2
   The Breastplate of Righteousness

Ephesians 6:14
In our previous article we took at brief look at part of the armor of God that related to Truth, which is God’s word. Paul referred to this as the Belt of Truth. It is the Belt of Truth that is the cornerstone for the rest of the armor; without putting on Truth we don’t adequately lay down a firm foundation in our understanding of how to use the other pieces of armor effectively nor would we be capable of distinguishing truth from error. A good example that I would like to use, that may help us understand why it is important for us to distinguishing truth from error is the following one. When the FBI train them-selves to spot counterfeit money, they focus their attention on studying the real thing rather than the counterfeit, because they know that you can’t spot a counterfeit by looking and studying a counterfeit. This same principle must be applied to the word of God. We need the true to recognize the false so that we are able to detect when Satan or our own will is being moved away from the standard of Truth that God the Creator has established through His word. How does is principle apply to understanding God’s word?
1. The truth of the Gospel say’s that our righteousness comes by faith alone, without the works of the law. 
2. The Corruption of the Gospel say’s, that we are justified by faith, but not without the works of the law.

Paul himself was dealing with counterfeit teachers who were seeking to move the Galatian members away from the Gospel of Grace back to a gospel of works in Gal 5: 7-9 we read 7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. Paul’s reference here to “a little leaven” is a direct reference to the false teachers. These false teachers were inserting legalism into the gospel of Grace. Gal 1:6-7 6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ,(gospel of grace) for a different gospel; (gospel of works) 7 which is really not another;( there can only be one) only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.} These false teachers were adding an element of law (circumcision) to a grace gospel. Than as time went on other things would start being added.
As in Paul’s day so we today face the same challenges, some of the teaching that is around today is. 
1) Believe in works for salvation. 2) New age, where it is taught that there is no sin, so there is no need for God. 3) That Christianity teaches an oppressive doctrine.  4) You must believe in the doctrine of the trinity to be saved. (see article Holy Spirit Power or Person)  These teachings are a man centered theology, as opposed to a God centered one. The book of Galatians is an excellent place for studying the contrast between flesh and spirit, worldliness and godliness, righteousness and unrighteousness. 
Where then do we learn truth from?
We learn that the ultimate expression of truth found in the Bible is, Jesus who said,
In John 14:6. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. What Christ is telling us is that the way to have salvation is by his bloodthe truth, ( the words of his Father), the life,  (is eternal life.)
The word of God is preached to us that we may profit from it, that we may gain spiritual riches through it. 
In order for us to grow we must mix(apply) this faith by what we hear, or we profit nothing. Eph 4: 22-24, Matt 22:14 "For many are called,(invited) but few are chosen". Just because someone is called is no grantee that they will be saved.   Read Jude 1.
Putting on the whole armor helps us with living this way, truth, life, that Christ is speaking to us about. As we take a look at each piece of armor more closely, one piece at a time it is my hope that we will notice that each piece is not a separate and distinct part but rather each piece intertwines and compliments each other, thus making up the whole, (think of whole armor as being held together by bookends.. Truth=the righteousness of Christ at one end, Sword of spirit the other) so that we can live, the way, the truth, the life in a more complete way. I’d like to focus attention to Eph 4: 22-24 which tells us something interesting. 4:22 that, in reference to your former manner of life,( before coming to Christ )you lay aside the old self, (Unrighteousness) which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewedput into practicein the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self,( righteousnesswhich in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness  (God  has planed it all out before hand) and holiness of the truth. (The armor of God is a reflection of His Holiness) God offers us an armor (way of life) created in righteousness and in the holiness of truth. He wants us to practice in our lives the putting on of the armor so that we become the new self, the likeness of God, in our thinking and actions, by bearing the fruits of righteousness. Gal 5:22-23 fruit of the spirit. love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. There is no limit placed on us as to how much we should grow in these, or apply in our life.
We come to the understand from what we just read that Righteousness and Truth are not opposites, they work together, we can’t have one without the other. When applying the full armor to our lives we begin to learn and grow in four important areas of our Christian walk
1) Truth = (helps us learn) Obedience
2) Obedience = (teaches us about) Righteousness
3) Righteousness = (focuses our minds on ) Godliness
4) Faith = helps us respond to God’s word with trust
Said another way
1)“Truth” teaches us what we need to see about ourselves, and understand concerning Gods word, that we can live the way God intended for us to live.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ( This verse speaks to us of the sovereign wisdom of God, that God the Father knows what is in our heart. Down to the very core of our being.) 
2)“Obedience” makes us right with God. This Obedience must be motivated by our Faith in Christ, not on our dependence to seek Salvation by the works of the Law. Works of the law was the very thing that was starting to make its way back into the Galatian church and Paul was encouraging the Galatians not to be moved from the truth that their Salvation was in the liberty they had in Christ, not in the law. Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.  The Law was added not to save people from their sins but to show them what sin was. Romans 3:20
3)“Righteousness” makes us more Christ like. It is Christ’s righteousness in us that God counts as righteous, not anything we have or do apart from Christ. We have all heard people say “I am a good person” By this they assume that they have it made, and that Christ must now give them salvation as a reward for their good works. Even though they did these works without Christ in their lives. Luke 3:7-8 Matt 3:7-8.
In Isa 1:12-20 we read that God is not pleased by the works of their hands, in the way they worship Him.
Romans 3:10-11 10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; 11there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
What they don’t understand is that their righteousness is false (those who say that they are a good person, but without Christ in their lives)
False righteousness has two distinguishing earmarks. The first is that it avoids the fact that true righteousness comes only from Christ. True righteousness is never really ours; it is His righteousness, given to us and manifested through us. Second, false righteousness almost always is in the form of “good works” which men seek to perform in order to obtain man’s approval and God’s. In Corinth, the false apostles who paraded as “angels of light” tried to turn the church from the simple message of the gospel: Christ crucified. They attempted to replace the “foolishness of the gospel” with the “wisdom of men” 1 Corinthians 1:18-3:23. They sought to turn men from the teaching of Paul and the authentic apostles to their own teaching and leadership. There will always be those who seek to turn men from the truth in order to gain a following Acts 20:29-30. 
The source and standard for the truth and for true righteousness is the Word of God. The sacrificial spirit of our Lord will be evident in those who hold to the truth:
4)“Faith” As we apply the armor to our lives there is a transition that takes place in our lives towards our growth in Christ, it is not a sudden change. The only sudden change that took place in our live was that once we were without Christ, but now we have Christ. Eph 2: 8-13 
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,( fruits of the Spirit) which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. 11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (not from anything we have done, but by the blood of Christ)
We know since the fall, in his natural condition, man stands guilty before God, and is separated from God, man does not naturally love God and His ways. What is more, man himself can do nothing about this; he cannot blot out the record of sin that stands against him, and he cannot do anything to make himself righteous and acceptable to God. 
This fallen condition of ours is the part of our lives that Satan loves to exploit. Making us feel unworthy of receiving grace, and convincing us that we need to prove our self to God thorough works. 
The Breastplate of Righteousness is part of our defense against this lie. Ephesians 6:14 “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness..” 
Righteousness is an element of the armor that we must put on, it comes about as an active part of our life. But this righteousness does not come because of our works. Our works come because of this righteousness we received from Christ (faith in Christ crucified). This is the teaching that Paul was trying to get across to the Galatians. Paul asked if they received the spirit by the works of the law, or the hearing of faith. Abraham was righteous because of faith not works. Gal 3:2, 6:9 (Abraham responded to what he heard for God)
Gal 2:16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. (the law teaches us that we are sinners) 
2 Cor 10:3-5 Teaches that we are not to hold on to thoughts that do not conform to the life and teaching of Christ. The works of the breastplate of righteousness helps us to surrender our thoughts. (why are we able to surrender ? We are not ashamed of the gospel)
Romans 1:17,18 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believeth; to the Jew first, and also the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written the just shall live by faith. 
Righteousness of God = gospel of Christ = gospel of grace =righteousness 
It is the gospel of Christ that is righteous not the keeping of the Law.

Many today confuse righteousness with good behavior. This is because we look at people's behaviors and compare one person with another. We become very confused when a non-Christian's behavior seems better than a professing Christian.. Righteousness, however, does not compare man with man but man with God. God looks not only at the outward but at the inward and private heart and life. 
"What is the condition that is acceptable to God." There is only one way to reach this condition and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. It is our faith in Jesus Christ that gives us our foundation that God counts us as righteous. Our faith in Christ that makes us acceptable in his sight 
The breastplate of righteousness is a combination of this perfect righteousness God imparts to us and our obedience to his commands for living. Our obedience is essential because it proves that our hearts are in agreement with God and that our faith is genuine.
There are two aspects to the righteousness we have in Christ.
Firstly, there is an imputed righteousness. This has to do with our justification, in which God, on the grounds of Christ’s obedience and death, forgives us our sins and accounts us righteous before him. This changes our standing before God, and it restores our relationship with God and gives us peace with God.
Secondly, there is an imparted righteousness. This has to do with our sanctification, and with God, through the new birth by the Holy Spirit, giving us a new heart to live a righteous life. It involves an actual change in us, enabling us to walk in obedience to God. Eph 4:22-24 renew, become the likeness of.
In other words. righteousness means conformity to God's standard of right and wrong. Living out the truth of His word, in our lives, on a daily basis.
God’s righteousness is that infinite, eternal and unchangeable quality in His character closely related to His holiness.
The terms "righteous" and "righteousness" as it applies to humans is not synonymous with perfection, because we are beset with weaknesses and frailties and are seeking to become like Christ; it is our seeking or desire in our hearts that is counted to us as righteousness. Righteousness can be considered as a condition in which a person is moving forward in the Lord, yearning for godliness, continuously repenting of sins, and striving honestly to know and love God and to follow the principles set before us in the word of God. Refer back to Hebrews 4:12
Remember that we cannot earn God’s acceptance and favor, that if we have believed in Christ our sin is forgiven and we stand in Christ’s righteousness, and that this is what puts us right with God (we need to depend only on the righteousness that there is in Christ for acceptance with God, and put away all trust in our own righteousness. When we know this, we will be able to stand against condemnation and the trap of works
Rom 12:1-2 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 

                                                                                                           Armor of God # 3   
                                                                                                              The Gospel  

What is the gospel? The answer to this question is of great importance if one is to have a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. For to believe in a wrong Gospel will not save but condemn Gal 1:6-9

1 Corinthians 15: 1-4
Now, brothers, I what to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance, that Christ died for our sins according to Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to Scriptures.

The above scripture is the fulfillment of many O.T prophecies.
The O.T is full of teachings about the soon coming messiah.

Paul makes it very clear, there is only one gospel:
So what is this gospel that Paul and others were willing to die for? What was this gospel offering that believers were willing to be put to death for?

This “Gospel” is about and offers everyone who excepts it ; 

Grace (Rom.3:24,11:6, John 1:17, Gal. 1:16)
Redemption (Heb. 9:12, Eph.1:7, Col. 1:14)
Forgiveness (Eph. 1:7, Heb.9:22, Acts.13:38-39)
Justification (Rom.20:24, Rom. 8:30, Gal. 2:16, Titus 3:7)
Salvation ( Acts.4:12,)
Resurrection ( Rev.20:6, Heb.11:35, John 11:25)
Eternal Life ( Jude 12, John 6:47, John 3:36 Matt.7:13-14)
Reward (Eph 8, Rev .22:12 )
You may find others elements of the gospel than these in your personal studies.

The above mentioned aspects of what makes up the Gospel as it relate to the armor of God must be viewed as life giving elements that give us purpose as to why we need the full protection of the armor. 
These can also be considered the nuts and bolts that bind each piece of the armor together and help it work as one unit. I encourage everyone to do their own personal bible study of each of these aspects of the gospel to better develop a deeper understanding and stronger foundation in our faith and walk with Christ. The better we understand how these aspects work in our lives the more we will recognize our need to yield our lives to the working power of the Holy Spirit in our life. We can see an example in Act 13: 38-39  of the connection “forgiveness” together with “redemption” by the gift of “grace” brings us into a closer relationship with Christ. 

The better we understand the Gospel, the better we become rooted in Christ.
We know that Christ is the Way, Truth, Life.
What Christ means by this is;
Way = It was my blood that was shed for you.
Truth = It is only by my teachings that you will learn to live the Kingdom way.
Life =  It is only through me  that one receives the Gift of Eternal life, which is the end result of following me.

Ephesians 6:14-15.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the gospel of peace as a firm footing” 
Again it is important to notice that each part of the armor works together as a unit.

What is this Gospel that Paul was talking about
1 Corinthians 15:1-8,11 
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 11 Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
The sad thing today is that many have not or are not walking in the proper fear of God. There are many who are on sinking sand and are easy prey in allowing any teaching that sounds good to enter their minds. When it comes to the hearing a “gospel” we need to be very protective of what we allow to influence us. We need to stay close to the word of God, in prayer and study. The more we understand God’s word the better we are in discerning truth from error. 
Galatians 6: 7 “Be not deceived; God cannot be mocked: A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 
This to me is a solemn warning to all of our hearts, and especially in this day of free-believism and carnal Christianity which is preached on such a large scale. What is happening today is that justification in Christ is preached alone, at the expense of holy living; and the hearers of this one-sided gospel are left in the dark as to God’s requirement of the necessity of a holy life. God’s grace is being turned into lasciviousness; the attitude of most has been: “A little sin won’t hurt-I’m just a `carnal Christian’ you know, and besides, doesn’t grace cover it all?” 
John 6:26 -27 teaches us a very important spiritual lesson, v 27 don’t go seeking spiritual food that will only satisfy you for a short time, and then you will get hungry for more and in the end you have nothing, but come to Christ’s word and stay filled forever and He will reward you with everlasting life. 
We should cry out to Christ to so work in our hearts by His Spirit, that holiness of thought, word and action would characterize our hearts and lives. This is the true working of the Holy Spirit in ones life. This is the true working of the Gospel teaching. 2 Peter 3:17-18 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge (we can know the truth) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
The battle is real and the battle is hard, But the word of God gives us the direction we need to stay the course…
People today are told that if they have believed, that is all that is necessary, and therefore all is well with their souls. Is it that easy, or is there more to the gospel than just to “believe” The Holy Word of God declares no such teaching”, but in fact declares just the opposite! For we read in Hebrews 12:14“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Yes, holiness must characterize our lives, “for God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” I Thess 4:7“He hath chosen us in him (Christ) before the foundation of the world, (The gospel was established long before Christ had to come and die) that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Living out the gospel takes some action on our part
Eph 1:4. Again, He “hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling”   2Tim 1:9. This is the same One Who says “ As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written, Be holy; because I am holy” 
I Peter 1:14-16. 
Our warning text from Galatians 6 that we read from earlier declares the same thing. Christ wants us to understand and not to become deceived with false teachings that no matter what false preachers and teachers say about it: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Lets make no mistake, if you sow to your flesh, you shall of your flesh reap corruption. I don’t care how many professions you have made or whose church you may belong to; you cannot mock God! He is no respecter of persons. Each and every one who sows to his flesh shall of his flesh reap corruption. 
Under the conviction of the Holy Spirit we are given the grace to repent, and in repentance we learn to hate sin, to abhor it, to loathe ourselves, and to flee by faith to Christ for deliverance from sin. We know that sin has not been eradicated totally from our lives, Paul knew this very well in his life Romans 7:14-25 for it is still rooted in our hearts; but sin is to be no longer the practice and rule of our lives. Why? Because we hear the Word say, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” I John 2:15. Having been taught by the work of the Holy Spirit that we are a lost sinner, and having laid ourselves at the feet of Christ in repentance, and having looked by faith to Christ as our Lord and Savior, and knowing that it was our sin that put Christ to death, we want no part of the world, but only to put on Christ. Philippians 2:5-8  The love of God has been shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Spirit’s work in us. 
By our studying of God’s word we learn well that “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (the desire to indulge)...is not of the Father,” so we come to hate it and we what to cry out against it because it put Christ to death. We learn. “all that is in the world, the lust of the eyes ( desire to possess)...is not of the Father,” so we hate it and cry out against it because it put Christ to death. We learn that “the pride of life  ( desiring  to attract attention to oneself )..is not of the Father, but is of the world” the Satanic world system of sin,so we hate it and cry out against it because it put Christ to death on the cross. We also learn that “the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” so we desire, to do the will of God,which is to walk in “ the new self of righteousness and true holiness” Eph 4:24
                                                                                  We have been given a new nature 

God gives every sinner whom He saves a new heart and a new nature, and gives His Holy Spirit to that person to guide into all truth, we now search the Word of God, not to find things that will justify us in sins, but to find that Word which warns us against sin and tells us how to flee to Christ from sin. We read Romans 8:6“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace”; so we begin to cry to the indwelling Holy Spirit to deliver us daily from a fleshly, carnal mind, and to give us that spiritual mind of life and peace in Christ. We must not see how dangerously close we can walk with the world and sin, but rather how we can walk closer in Christ by His Spirit. We must not search the Word of God to find out the sins of others recorded there so we can use them as a means of justifying our walking in sin, but we must read these things as warnings to us so as not to walk where others have walked and failed. 
You see, the man or woman, whom God saves, and unto whom He gives eternal life in Christ, hears these words from Colossians 3:2-5  “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory. Mortify (put to death, reckon as dead) therefore your members which are upon the earth.” How then could any soul justify living a life to the flesh? You can’t, But because of what Christ has done for us and because Christ’s life is now our life, we now desire to put to death the things of the flesh, that we might sow to the Spirit and walk after the Spirit.. This is the way God deals with our souls- I speak from first hand experience: I know what the difference is between carnal Christianity and a Christianity which is lived by faith in and upon the living word of God led by the Holy Spirit, for I have lived them both. 
 A holy life, a sowing to the Spirit, must follow the salvation that God gives us in Christ, or it is not God’s salvation; for Christ came to save His people from their sins, and not in their sins Matt 1:21. A holy life, a sowing to the Spirit, must follow the salvation that God gives us in Christ or God’s purpose in saving us would be defeated, and this cannot be. Did we not read that God has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world “that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” Eph 1:4. Listen again to this definite and positive statement ”For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” I Thess 4:7. Yes, a holy life must follow the salvation that God gives in Christ, or God’s will would be turned aside, and this cannot be ”For this is the will of God, even your sanctification” (4:3). Sanctification is your being set apart from sin by the progressive work of God’s Spirit in your heart and life. 
Remember this: the same Holy Spirit teaches all of God’s children the same lessons. What are they? He trains us to reject and renounce all ungodliness, and worldly, passionate desires; and He also trains us to live sober, temperate, self-controlled lives in an upright, devout manner Titus 2:12. In other words, He teaches us to live spiritually-whole lives controlled by Him, here in this present evil world.

                                         It is with a deep heart felt desire that those who read this may grow in grace and understanding of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:10-18 speaks to us about putting on the full Armor of God, but just what is this armor, and how can we put it into effect in our lives? This will be a six part series.     
In this series on the Armor of God it is my hope that I can show the three main area’s that the armor play’s in our lives.
1) God equips us with his armor, to fight our spiritual battles, and live the Kingdom way, it is not by our might.
2) Satan attacks our minds, by presenting us with a false sense of security, and teaching us lies.
3) We renew our minds with God’s word, by studying the word of God. The more we keep our minds fixed on Christ, the more we focus on putting off the old man and renewing ourselves with the new man. Ephesians 6: 12-17  
The following articles on this page takes an in-depth study at each one of the Armor we are ask to put on.  God Bless

                                                                                           Armor of God #4 
                                                                     Shield of faith.

By now you and I are well acquainted with the scripture in Ephesians 6 that speaks about our need to put on our Christian armor. We know that this armor is given to us through the word of God for our benefit that we may be successful in the spiritual warfare that we are fighting. We also know that we must put on, not just part of the armor, but the whole armor of God, because “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." Each piece of the armor is a gift from God to cover us fully. There are no unprotected surfaces so that we will be able to stand against every attack in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 6 lets recap. We’ve already touched on three of the six pieces of armor, truth, righteousness, and the gospel that are mentioned in Ephesians. I say touched on because we have by no means covered in-depth any one so far. 
We learned that the word of God is the Foundation on which we must stand, the word that comes from God, Teaches true from false, we are not saved by our own works, but Christ is our Righteousness, The work of Righteousness in our life comes only through Christ living in us.
Ephesians 6:10-12 We can see that this armor though used as a single unit in our spiritual warfare, protects us in two areas of battle, the first area will be used for a defensive position. 
Defense= resistance against attack, stronghold, fastness, a strongly fortified defensive structure
and our second use will be for an offensive position
Offence = the action of attacking an enemy, to push back, to roll back the act of forcing the enemy to withdraw. We are to use the armor in a counteroffensive way which involves a large scale offensive (more than a counterattack) undertaken by a defending force to seize the initiative from an attacking force.
We read in Luke 4:4 that Christ when tempted by Satan He quoted Deuteronomy 3:8,we read in Luke 4:4 "And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." We see here an example of how Christ was applying the Defensive position of the Belt of truth. 
Luke 4:8 “Get behind me Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” Here Christ used the full armor, because every area of our life is to worship God. Christ put Satan on notice that even he was to worship God.
One helpful thing we can do when we are studying God’s word is try to make a connection with what part of armor is being spoken about. Are we reading about truth, are we seeing something on faith etc. This will help us to see that the armor of God is not just a piece here and a piece there, but all working together to make up the whole.
Our Faith, in Christ is not a physical shield but a far more capable one, it is spiritual. Faith is the shield you and I use as Christian soldiers; we use this shield of faith in defending ourselves from the fierce attacks the foe will direct at us from within and without. This shield of faith is able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. The one thing that you and I must always be aware of in our walk with Christ is that, there are many things which are at work to destroy our faith in God.
Skepticism and doubts voiced by an unbelieving world are often a very powerful weapon used by Satan to shake the faith of the best of God's people. This shield of faith however, cannot be pierced or destroyed by the fiercest fires of hatred or malice. The arrows of the evil one, though flaming with cruelty, will be stopped by the shield of faith and extinguished.

In our walk of faith there are two things you and I need to always keep at the fore front of our minds. First, is persecution? Just because it does not seem to be affecting our lives right now does not mean it never will, persecution seldom occurs everywhere at the same time.
Second, the enemy attacks weak places first – where he can expect to achieve an easy victory.
1 Peter 5:8-9 "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings". Brothers and sisters in Christ your prayers for the members of the body of Christ are always needed. 
One area of attack that the enemy is gaining a greater strong hold on today is that of religious freedom.
In an Article written by Robert L. Waggoner

Will Christians Be Persecuted In America
He says this.
{“The question that naturally comes to mind is “why?” Why are Christians today being denied their religious freedoms? Why must Christians face discrimination in the workplace? Why are Bible reading and prayers prohibited in public schools? Why has there been a general change in cultural attitudes toward God, Christ, the Bible, the church, and Christians generally? Why do public policies of government agencies now frequently discriminate against Christians?”
The answer is because there is a new religion that has come on the scene – a religion totally opposed to Christianity – this religion has risen, almost unnoticeably, to a position of great influence and power. This religion goes by the name of “secular” humanism. Today “secular” humanism is now the primary religious threat to Christians in America.
“It began to rear its ugly head during the Renaissance. For a while it was suppressed by the Reformation movement. However, it reasserted itself and produced the so-called period of the Enlightenment.”
We will never truly come to understand the religious freedoms denied to Christians, until we recognize that we are on the front line of a religious war.
What does this war currently look like?
These so called humanists want religious freedoms. On the surface there is nothing wrong with that, that is what we ourselves want. The thing that’s needs to be understood about the kind of freedom that is wanted is vital. Humanists want freedom to peddle hard core pornography without opposition from Christians. Humanists want freedom to abort their unwanted, unborn babies. Humanists want freedom from public recognition of God. Humanists want freedom from Christian morality and ethics. Because humanists want acceptance of homosexuality, they now fight for legislative enactments against all sexual discriminations. They want to legalize homosexual marriages. 
The religious freedoms desired by humanists are obviously not compatible with religious freedoms desired by Christians. Freedom of religion for one group means denials of religious freedoms for the other. Either Christian values dominate our society and give freedom of religion to Christians but deny it to humanists, or humanistic values dominate our society and give freedom of religion to humanists but deny it to Christians. Either one or the other will prevail and thereby suppress the other. Religious freedoms for both groups cannot co-exist.
The Humanists point of view now occupies the high ground. They are firmly entrenched and well-fortified in the principalities and powers of this world.} (end quote}

What is the Shield of faith
Simply defined, faith is belief and trust. It is believing what God says, and trusting God. Both elements must be present to make faith. Faith is just one of the foundations of all Christian graces. 
There is no true faith without first recognizing God as Creator
After the acceptance of God, we must accept the way for coming to God. This is the blood-sprinkled way. No one can come to God except through Jesus Christ. This must be accepted by faith. John 14: 6 I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the father but through me.
"How can we get faith, and how can our faith be increased?"
Romans 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." The word is preached to us that we may profit by it.
The beginning, progress and strength of faith are by hearing. God is the giver of faith, but it is given by His word 
The Word of God, which we heard, produced our faith in the first place. This Word of God will also preserve us and keep us in the faith. The word breeds prayer and praying increases our faith. You and I must never allow anything to take the place of God's Word in our life for it is the source of our faith. In order for our faith to become effective in our lives we must first mix faith with what we hear. 
Notice some things that faith does not do:
1 John 5:4 4 "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. “This world”( not speaking of the physical matter that the world is made of) it is speaking of a world of corruption and death, the consequence of the fall of Adam that death entered into the world.)
There is both joy and heaviness of heart in what this verse is saying. Joy because we can overcome and heaviness because of our weakness in faith
Faith is what we received by the Holy Spirit when we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savoir. Faith is what allows us to call God our father. This faith helps us to build our life foundation on unseen intangible realties. “Things hoped for” Such a life means the abandonment of all self-conceived securities.( what are we not willing to give up, thinking it a life security) our security must be on Christ and what he is doing with it. This is what the New Testament means by “life after the Spirit” or “life in faith” in 1 Cor.7: 32 Paul sees that life of man is weighed down by anxiety. Paul uses the marriage situation as only one example to teach us the point he is trying to convey, about the influence our life can have on our faith. Every man focuses his anxiety upon some particular object; man focuses it upon security, and in proportion to his opportunities and his success in the visible world where he places his confidence. This is the way in which he loses his true life and becomes the slave of that world that is in revolt against God.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. Hebrews 11:1-2 
Faith is of God. Jesus said if we had faith as a mustard seed we would be able to speak to a mountain and it would move
Matthew 17:14-18
14 When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 “I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.” 17 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once. 
Matthew 17: 19-20.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?”
20 And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. 
Wow! do we understand what Christ is saying here, when was the last time you or I moved a mountain? 

From that statement alone I see in my life the weakness of my faith, and how vulnerable I am. Yet in my heart there is a faith. A faith that gives me confidence and assurance in the ability of my crucified and risen Christ, that He and only He is able and capable of directing my life in accomplishing His will for me.

Take a study of the different characters mentioned in Hebrews 11. Not all of them looked a roaring success from the world's point of view. In fact, as you get to the latter part of the chapter you will discover some of them suffered cruel persecutions. However they never lost their confidence in the Lord whom they served. They were persuaded of the victory they had in Christ.
So how can we get and increase our faith? By keeping a firm grip on the source - 1 Peter 1:23 - 25
"having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever. Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you." 

One message that the Gospel teaches us is that of our need to be born again, the Gospel is more than just our saying that we believe in Christ.
The Word of God, which we heard, produced our faith in the first place. This Word of God will also preserve us and keep us in the faith. The word breeds prayer and praying increases our faith. Never allow anything to take the place of God's Word in your life for it is the source of your faith. The mystery of faith is hidden in the Word. It does something in your heart that your mind and intellect is not always aware of.
The Holy Spirit within us makes our conscience alert to the promptings of God. If your conscience condemns you for doing something then stop it. Sin and faith do not go together. A good conscience will lead you to live right before God. A clear conscience before God is vital if our faith is to develop.
Exercise your faith by telling people about our faith 2 Timothy 1:6-8, by doing good works, i.e. praying for the sick, and attending Christian gatherings Hebrews 10: 24-25, listening to people share their testimonies and insights from His Word 2 Peter 1:13 and by pondering and studying the life of other men and women of faith 2 Peter 3:1-2.
We must take heed of our weakness  1 Timothy 4:1
because satan will attempt to use your known weakness to his advantage. He approached Jesus after forty days of fasting. He thought he could use Jesus hunger to his advantage. 

Faith saves: Ephesians. 2:8,9
Salvation is not by works; it is not by doing, but it is by believing. God has put salvation in such a place that it can be reached by all men.
Faith justifies: Romans. 5:1
When we are justified, we are made right in the sight of God.
Faith stabilizes.
In the same passage, Ephesians 6, the apostle speaks again and again of standing, being steadfast in our warfare. It is faith that makes us steadfast when the battle is raging hot. It is faith that gives us the courage to stand when the flesh desires to run.
Compare I Corinthians 16:13; Psalm 125:1 The shield will be sufficient to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one.
Faith strengthens. (Phil. 4:13). When we have faith in God, no task is too hard. God has the power for our lives, if we will tie on to Him. In ourselves we can do nothing; through Him we can do all things.
Faith sings.. Rejoice in the Lord.
In Hebrews 7:25, we read, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 

Recognizing the false is very important to the health of our faith. Can you tell the difference?
Satan is the arch-counterfeiter. As we have seen, the Devil is now busy at work in the same field in which the Lord sowed the good seed. He is seeking to prevent the growth of the wheat by another plant, the tareswhich closely resemble the wheat in appearance. In a word, by a process of imitation he is aiming to neutralize the Word of Christ. Therefore, as Christ has a Gospel, Satan has a false gospel that he pushes as truth; the latter being a clever counterfeit of the former. So closely does the gospel of Satan resemble that which it parodies, multitudes are deceived by it.
The false gospel (which is not really a gospel) of Satan is very clever, it will be very hard to spot because it is not a system that promotes strife and war, but peace and unity. It seeks not to set the mother against her daughter nor the father against his son, but fosters a spirit whereby the human race is regarded as one great "brotherhood". It does not seek to drag down the natural man, but to improve and uplift him. It advocates education and cultivation and appeals to "the best that is within us". It aims to make this world such a comfortable place to live that Christ's absence from it will not be felt and God will not be needed. It propagates the principles of self-sacrifice, charity and benevolence, and teaches us to live for the good of others, and to be kind to all. It appeals strongly to the carnal mind and is popular with the masses, because it ignores the solemn facts that by nature man is a fallen creature, alienated from the life of God, and dead in trespasses and sins, and that his only hope lies in being born again. 
In contradistinction to the Gospel of Christ, the gospel of Satan teaches salvation by works. It teaches justification before God on the grounds of human merits. Its sacramental phrase is "Be good and do good"; but it fails to recognize that in the flesh there dwelleth no good thing. It announces salvation by character, which reverses the order of God's Word. 
The overall teaching of satan is that old man is considered more practical" than the creation of a new man in Christ Jesus.
That is why we are asked, "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” Ephesians 6:16 
“Above all,” you and I need to learn to take up our shield of faith. We also desperately need to know the Word of God and wield the Sword of the Spirit so that when the enemy slyly suggests “Did God really say…?”, we can know the answer emphatically. When we respond to attacks of doubt, distortion, and deceit with the truth of God’s Word, the fiery dart is extinguished and the enemy takes another hit. 
Ask yourself where do I sense the enemy targeting his fiery darts? What lies am I believing about God? What Scriptures could help me combat attacks of doubt, distortion, and deceit? 
The spiritual war that is going on is only invisible to those who do not see, to those who do not believe. 

God bless you all. May you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord

     Armor or God #5
      Helmet of Salvation

In this series on the Armor of God that we have been looking at, it has been my hope that I have been able to show the three main areas’s that the armor play’s in our lives.
1) God equips us with his armor, to fight our spiritual battles, and live the Kingdom way.
2) Satan attacks our minds, by presenting us with a false sense of security, and teaching us lies.
3) We renew our minds with God’s word, by studying the word of God. The more we keep our minds fixed on Christ, the more we focus on putting off the old man and renewing ourselves with the new man.
Ephesians 6: 12-17 
Therefore put on the full Armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.
“Take the Helmet of Salvation” 
In our continuing series of articles exploring "the Armor of God" as listed in Ephesians 6, we see that the fifth piece of our armor is the Helmet of Salvation”
The helmet of salvation gives us hope as we do battle against the enemy. We are able to walk in this hope because we have taken the time to study the word of God. When we study God’s word we grow in wisdom, a wisdom that is needed to help us in resisting and overcoming the evil one.

When we think of helmets we can to some degree make a connection with a form of security. On a physical level a helmet can protect us from head injuries. On a spiritual level the helmet will protect us from spiritual attacks.
Paul used this example of Roman soldiers wearing or putting on a helmet before going to battle as a spiritual allusion to the security we have in our salvation, just as a roman solder would not go into battle without his helmet, so to we would not be properly protected without studying God’s word. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Trying to gain our salvation by works is not what Christ died for, because no matter how hard we try to impress God by our works, it is not by our might that we are saved, but by the death, and resurrection of Christ).

Christ is the one who will fight our battles
The focus of verse 13,17 of Eph 6 is on our present deliverance from sin. 
There are three different aspects of salvation in the N.T.
1)We have be saved. Which is called Justification Rom 8: 24 Eph. 2:8
2)We are being saved which is called Sanctification 1Cor 3: 18, 
3) And we will be saved. Glorification 1 Cor 3:15, 1 Peter 1:5
The helmet of salvation gives us the confidence in that God is accomplishing victory for us. Our victory will never come from our own affords, yes, we must be active in studying God’s word, and through that studying we gain the wisdom we need to stand against the enemy, but the battle is always the lords. We must remember that there are two enemies we are fighting, Satan and our human nature to go against God’s will. 
In 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8, the helmet is said to be “the hope of salvation.”
This hope we have in Christ does not mean we just sit back and do nothing and let Christ do it all for us, this would be like walking in blind faith. The helmet helps us establish a solid foundation in with to live out our faith. Never forget that Satan can and does present things to us that seem good and to be true. 
2 Corinthians 11: 14 -15 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, than if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. 
1 Thessalonians 5:4-8, 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day,( we are of the light because Christ is living in us) let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation
The word “hope” In the word of God refers to a certain expectation of a future blessing. The idea is that there are aspects of our salvation that are yet future. We look forward to our future glorification with complete assurance. There is no implication of doubt or uncertainty in the word of God, as there is when we speak of having a hope on a human level, we hope that something will take place, we hope that this or that will happen in our lives. When we speak of “hope” just in physical terms, there is always a sense of uncertainty that is connected to it…For example, if I expressed my hope that you would gain deeper understanding in this series on the Armor of God as it related to your walk in Christ. There would be in that expression a sense of uncertainty, or doubt in my desire to accomplish my goal, because I of myself have no power to make or give you that understanding. But when it comes to Christ we know for a certainty that when Christ tells us something, his word is sure, and will come to pass.

What does the Helmet do for us?
The helmet teaches us the value of wisdom. A great place for us to grow and establish a good foundation in wisdom is by reading the book of Proverbs.
The helmet of salvation enables us to take the long (Eternal) view of the warfare that we are engaged in. The helmet of salvation gives us the ability to reason logically and wisely from a biblical worldview, no matter how that worldview comes under attack.
We can’t however just have the helmet on, by a quick reading of god’s word, we must be sure we put it on securely, by reading and meditating and applying what we have just read. 
Putting on the helmet of salvation is not a matter of our getting a little extra protection: it can’t be done with a quick morning prayer, and it can’t be approached casually. It’s the difference between eternal truth and fatal error, even between life and death itself. That’s why we need the helmet. It is imperative that we keep God’s word in our minds and Satan’s lies out of it.
If we are not filling our minds with scripture we are like warriors going out to battle without a helmet. The shield of Faith will become more efficient in quenching the enemy’s flaming missiles if we give faith a lot more to hang onto. The shield of faith will extinguish them, but faith can only function around the truths we’ve been taught. We can’t have a strong foot hold in our faith if we don’t know, or remember, God’s word.
Our mind’s needs to be filled with foundational knowledge, (which is the belt of truth)

Who is our enemyit is the prince of the power of the air.
Satan is prince of the power of air and he influences our thinking unless we stay close to God and obey Him.
Eph. 2:2
in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Satan can cause us to give up, quit, have despair, and become discouraged by whispering words to us like, “You’re having to wait too long! This fight is lasting too long! This isn't working, you will never overcome, you may as well quit.”) How many times have we heard these words whispered to us? How many times have we listened to these words and stopped moving forward or slowed down in the race that is set before us. Regardless of what we go through, we have a hope that will never fade. The promises of God are certain, all of them, in Christ Jesus.
I Cor 10 :3-5 
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ
What the helmet of salvation does for us is it enables us to maintain total confidence in victory, no matter how long or hard the battle may seem to last in our personal lives. By the helmet we have a salvation that is certain and eternal! We can live in confidence that God is accomplishing victory for us today. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow……….
Our Helmet is the confidence we have in the finished work of Christ. He has saved us to the uttermost The helmet of salvation, than is the certainty from sin and the protection of our minds in battle
Hebrews 7:25 
25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
because He constantly makes intercession for those who believe in Him.
But sometimes doubts may arise in our minds about what Christ has done. When those times come, we must look to our salvation as our confidence in Christ. It is that Helmet that guards our minds from the snares Satan sets to steal our joy from us.
Very simply, our salvation, both present and future, convinces us of where we were (sinners) where we are (believers, saved from sins penalty) and where we're headed ( Kingdom) Our Helmet of Salvation stands as a constant reminder that we are saved individuals, children of God, followers of Christ.
So let's not forget to put that Helmet of Salvation on our heads. It's the only thing we have to guard our minds from doubt and fear. With that Helmet firmly fit on our heads we can charge into battle with 
confidence and assurance.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  
Believers understand that Jesus is our salvation: “… You shall call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins” Matthew 1:21.
The helmet of salvation covers the mind. Our minds and emotions are the main battlegrounds where the enemy tries to render us ineffective and thereby defeat us. If he can get us to think things that are not truth, he can keep us from establishing God’s Kingdom in our lives
Doubt and fear are the most common agents he uses against our minds. This is why Isaiah 12:2 says“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid….”

Psalm 140:7 assures us of Jesus’ desire to personally protect our minds: 
“O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.” 
When we have Jesus, our helmet of salvation, firmly in place, we are immune to the devil’s doubt and fear tactics. We trust and are not afraid. Trust and the determination not to fear take a conscious effort on our part. We cannot simply expect Jesus to do it all for us without our cooperation, but it is Jesus our Salvation Who makes it possible for us to repel the enemy’s attacks on our minds, through the use of His Name. 
James 4:7. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” 
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 
What Roman 12:2 is saying is “do not allow yourself to be conformed” but allow yourself to be transformed. We allow it and participate in it, but God actively does it in us with our cooperation. It is his work.
The believer’s other role in maintaining victory in his mind is to constantly fill it with the Word of God. We are transformed (changed into the likeness of Jesus) by renewing our minds with the Word. 
As we will see when we talk about the sword of the Spirit, Jesus is the Word.
The bible teaches us that we fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers of darkness, against the rulers of darkness of this world (time or age; meaning period of time we are living in) against spiritual wickedness in high places. So what does all this mean? It means just as there is a God there is Satan. Satanic cults are real, voodoo is real, even psychics are real, When it all boils down to it, there's God and there's Satan.....and the question is who are we going to serve. 

Let us immerse our minds into the truth and absorb them as deeply as we can. The knowledge of our deliverance, past, present and future, with the emphasis on the present should fill our prayers, our worship, our music, our Bible studies, our teachings, and our fellowship. When we’re filled up with real knowledge of God and his truth, there is not much room for any counterfeits.

May you grow in the knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

 This is a six part study on The Armor of God, each study will cover a specific aspect of the Armor of God that we need to apply to our lives, that will benefit our lives in the faith.   As you read each one my prayer is that you may be blessed through this study. Although  these various principals about  our walk in the faith are important for our Christian walk, they are not something that we are going to apply in our life over night, the principles taught in this study is a life long exercise.  Our understanding that the spiritual battleground we are engaged in is to be found within the mind is critical! We can’t fight a battle if we don’t know where it is. It is very important to understand that this spiritual battle is not something that is accomplished by our own strength. 
Armor of God #6 
 Sword of the Spirit

So we know how to quote scripture! But why do we quote the word of God? What is our goal when we quote scripture? Are we using scripture just to win a point? When we quote a scripture do we ourselves know what that scripture is talking about, is it the right one to use for the time frame we are in? 
The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is our offensive weapon how well do we use it?

The Sword of the Spirit is incredibly powerful and effective at driving away the enemy and tearing down his work. But like any weapon we first need to understand how it works, and what is it capable of doing for us. We can’t just assume that because we read God’s word that we are experienced swords men, if there is any one lesson that can be learnt from this topic on the sword of the spirit I hope it would be this, “that we are to remember this one very important point that God’s word is Holy and we must treat it as such.” Reading God’s word is not instantly going to give us 20/20 vision concerning every spiritual truth in the universe. So where does one begin in gaining this experience? One way that we will gain experience with how to use God’s word in our life starts with prayer. In prayer, we must ask God to open our minds to areas where the enemy may be at work--areas where He (Christ) wants you and I to use the sword of the Spirit in an effective way. In John 9:39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.
Paul always kept other Christians in his prayers, Ephesians 1:17-18 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. 
Paul knew that as Christians we constantly need more revelation. Moreover, – (and this might astound some of us) – he knew that neither his letters, nor rigorous study was enough to give them the revelation they needed. He knew that a critical factor in them receiving spiritual understanding was prayer. This important principle applies to us today just as much as it did in Paul’s day.

Hebrews 4:12 For 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.

The sword is the offensive part of our armor. Notice also that the sword is two-edgedit is intended to be used defensively as well as offensively. In addition to the "pulling down of strongholds," it was to be used in defense of the faith. 

A good study in better understanding the Word of God would be Psalm 119, this is the longest psalm in the Bible, it is entirely devoted to describing the "Sword of the Spirit"-the Word of God. (please do a personal bible study with this Psalm, you will be richly blessed.)
Why do we need to study, we are told in 2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 
Said another way 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing (to make a straight cut) to dissect (expound) correctly (the divine message)] the word of truth. 
To repeat what I said earlier “But like any weapon we first need to understand how it works, and what is it capable of doing for us. We can’t just assume that because we read God’s word that we are experienced swords men,”

Why can two individuals study the same Bible passages, be certain that they have found God’s truth and yet end up with contradictory beliefs about what God means? The Bible isn’t the problem, of course. It’s one’s attitude. . John 9:39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see( they now knew they are sinners in need of Christ) and those who see will become blind. (because they thought they were wise already and did not need Christ) It is so hard for a person rich in spiritual knowledge to advance further in the kingdom of God because it is so hard for such a person to recognize how little he really knows and how desperate his need for divine intervention in his understanding of the Bible
Every Christian knows that although God longs to forgive all sin, for our Savior to do so, we must first admit our sin. Likewise, God longs to open our eyes to spiritual truth but we must first admit our blindness. Admitting one’s spiritual blindness is rare and difficult for someone with great Bible skills. We all believe we are “rightly dividing the word of truth” Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 8:2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. Of course Bible study is of immense value, but the more emphasis one places on studying Scripture rather than living it, the more deceived one is likely to be.
When the Almighty chooses to keep a truth hidden from someone, the greatest intellect or best hermeneutics in the world won’t help. And anyone who thinks he or she is beyond falling into deception is already deceived.

 May you grow in the grace and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
HomeArmor of God Is anyone thirsty?Walking in unityRooted in TruthGrow in understanding

Putting on the full Armor of God

The easy thing for us to do is to read God's word, the challenge we face is putting God's word into practice. but to put God's word into practice we first need to understand. Many can quote scripture, but do not understand its application in life. 
 We read in Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."