Saturday, June 1, 2013

the fullness of Christ is my treasure

Wow.  I can't believe it's June 1!  It hasn't even been two whole weeks yet since BSF ended, and already so much has happened.  One thing we've been talking about for the last few weeks of BSF was how we were going to stay in God's Word over the summer.  My dad came up with a really neat idea that I have also adopted: we are writing out, by hand, various books of the Bible in notebooks.  My dad is doing the entire book of Romans, which is an incredibly arduous task!  I decided to start with something a little less intimidating, and today I finished writing out the book of Ephesians (I am continuing with the book of Colossians, but that's another post!).  The last part of Ephesians, which is chapter 6, talks about the armor of God.  I can never remember exactly what any of the armor means or how to use it, so I thought I would write the definitions here.  My former youth pastor, Keith Mason, preached a sermon on the armor of God in 2011 and here are the notes I wrote down on the different pieces of armor.

  • "Stand firm, then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist..."

Remind ourselves that in coming to Christ, we have found all truth.  Satan is the father of lies, but we believe the truth found in Christ.  Colossians 2:3 "...Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."  John 14:6 "Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.'" 

  • "...with the breastplate of righteousness in place..."
When we fail, we try to hide it in our own righteousness.  But we have no merit apart fom Christ.  By God's righteousness, Christ's righteousness, we can withstand the lies and guilt of the enemy.  Romans 3:21 "But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify."  Romans 8:1-2 "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death."

  • "...and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace."
The gospel of Christ's death, resurrection, and salvation brings us peace.  The gospel of peace gives us a whole new way to view our struggles and suffering.  Romans 8:18 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."  Romans 5:1 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"  John 16:33 "I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble - but take heart!  I have overcome the world."

  • "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
Acting on our beliefs in our everyday life - we can and should use the shield in every specific situation.  This is how we extinguish the flaming arrows of the enemy.  Psalm 7:10 "God is my shield, saving those whose hearts are true and right."  1 Peter 1:4b-5 "This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who in faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."

  • "Take the helmet of salvation..."
We are saved in hope.  Recognize that Christ is working out His plan, He's coming again and will gain a final victory.  Romans 8:22-24 "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we await for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved."  2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, and what is unseen is eternal." 

  • "...and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."
Clearly, this is God's Word - though it is not to be used by itself, but after we have truth, Christ's righteousness, hope, peace, salvation, and faith.  Arguably the best way to use this weapon is by memorizing Scripture.  Psalm 119:11 "I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You." 

A few final verses about the armor of God:

"The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice.  He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.  He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak."  ~Isaiah 59:16-17

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,  having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross."  ~Colossians 2:13-14

"Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.  The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."  ~Romans 16:19-20

"And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation."  ~Revelation 5:9

I highly recommend this idea of writing out books of the Bible by hand!  It's really been great.  I've finished Ephesians, have begun Colossians, and will probably move on to Philippians next.  It's really a great way to stay in the Word!

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