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DAY 15.

We cannot leave the studies where we left them in the last one we must take a hard look at the armour in Ephesians 6 and help make the adjustments necessary.

We can help each other but it is far better to keep checking ourselves that each piece fits us correctly to enable us to become conquerors in Christ Jesus.

We are told clearly 'to put on the WHOLE armour of God' 6 v 11, the word 'whole' means the entire armour, every part of it, not leaving one piece behind.

It is vital for the Christian disciple to get hold of the truth outlined here because without it we are open to the enemy and his under hand strategy to over throw us.

It is not that he cannot because we are Gods children but it is a fact he can and does so many of us because we resist wearing the armour provided for us by our Commander.

The image that Paul uses is tat of the full infantry armour of the Roman Legion, it was heavy and cumbersome and used in siege situations or in fierce war scenes.

We are in a terrific war as v 12 reveals to us standing against the wicked spiritual host arrayed against the Living God, His Son and the Church.

They are highly organized by a master strategist who is blinded by his own strength and the possibility of over throwing the Lord Jesus in the final battle.

This army is encamped in the heavens and are a spirit one being able to move at lightening speed on errands for their master who is an absolute tyrant.

The object set out for them to claim is to rule over the earth in darkness, deceit and delusion and any over throw of a Christian is a mighty triumph.

The Spiritual darkness that pervades the earth is terrific and the tragedy is few Christians realise the depth of this darkness.

We are not told to fight the darkness but we are told to stand upright in it, to be on our guard continually so that ware not moved by it.

'Stand' vs.11, 13 and 14 point to activity and not passivity, is to be and to remain steadfast in the Christian faith at all times, 'withstand' v 13 means to resist or stand against firmly.

We are appointed to a place by the Lord and we remain there until He orders us to move elsewhere, we are more than conquerors in the Lord Jesus and He is looking to us to hold the ground that we stand on.

We are on guard in the Church as Christ's representatives or ambassadors standing against the evil forces that pervade the earth.

'Truth' is the first piece of armour that we wear, our talk matches our walk, 'truth' denotes the true preaching of the gospel in contrast to the perversion of it that is displayed by the enemy.

This is not merely ethical truth but it is the full embodiment of the life and teaching of Christ Jesus, we stand in all that He is and stands for the perfect expression of truth.

We then look at 'righteousness' the word has come through out our studies consistently because this is what we are called to be and it is a missing word in the Christian vocabulary today.

As I have said many times righteousness is not an option but it is the object of our faith, to be like the Lord Jesus in thought, word and deed.

We are called to be a faithful witness for Christ Jesus in every part of our being, we should be living examples of living a just and righteous life.

We should be living a life according to the will and purpose of God, obeying His word and living it out in the world around us.

We do not grow into righteousness we are made righteous by our Lord Jesus Christ sacrifice but we do seek after righteousness in our daily living seeking to produce the right actions all the time.

Whatever the demands we should seek to live in the correct relationship with God so that our life manifests the true nature of things in this evil society that we live in.

'Peace is the third part of our equipment and this is a delightful thing to walk in as Christians because it begins by being at peace with the Living God when our rebellion against Him ceases.

Then there is peace that we enjoy in seeking to walk in harmony with His will and purposes for us, a delightful experience where tranquillity over rides the tempest roaring around us.

What an amazing difference there was between the tempest of Jonah and the tempest of Paul, both knew the presence of God but Jonah saw His wrath whilst Paul knew His peace.

Jonah was running away in the storm far from standing firm but Paul was standing firm in the faith as he is buffeted by the wind, sea and tempest.

There is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God and we can know that place experimentally in the tempests of life that assail us if we stand firm in the faith.

There is a peace in standing firm on the scriptures that demands a silent witness, the Saviour 'answered not a word' John 19 v 9, when bigoted people do not want the truth it is better to remain silent.

Then there is peace to be enjoyed in the Church, we are instructed to live at peace as far as is humanly possible with all men let Hebrews 12 v 14 alone those in the body of Christ.

We are instructed in 1 Corinthians 14 v 33 to know that our God is not for confusion but for peace, 'confusion' the word means tumult or commotion, causing folk to become unsettled.

Our Father is for harmony and peace in the Church, He is looking for peace amongst us and the Holy Spirit works in us to bring that peace into experience.

The next article of the armour is 'faith' v 16 and here we can look at several aspects of 'faith' that are included in the thought here.

'Faith' is what we place in the Lord Jesus when we recognise that we are the sinner for whom He died, we did not deserve the forgiveness that He brought into being through His sacrifice on Calvary.

We are fully persuaded that we are ransomed and released from sins power, guilt and penalty through accepting what Christ has done for us.

We exercise faith in Christ to forgive us and accept His cleansing for eternity based on the promises of His word, reminding ourselves that He cannot lie.

We then exercise faith in His word as we begin to study and apply the word to our life, faith believes what God has said even though it seems impossible.

Faith stretches out in obedience to Gods word and the out come is that we find that He is always true to His word.

Faith is revealed in scripture as being little for many Matthew 6 v 30, 8 v 26 and 16 v 8 then much for some Mark 11 vs.22 – 23 and great for a few Matthew 8 v 10 and 15 v 28 who really exercise their faith in God.

We are reminded that 'the just shall live by faith' Habakkuk 2 v 4, Romans 1 v 17, Galatians 3 v 11 and Hebrews 10 v 38, faith is active for all of us in the Christian Church.

We are also reminded to 'stand fast in the faith' 1 Corinthians 16 v 13 as fighting soldiers not being moved by the things going on around us.

Then we are instructed to be 'steadfast in the faith in Christ' Colossians 2 v 5 we are confronted by an enemy that knows no boundary in deceit and delusion.

We need to recognise that not every preacher is a preacher sent by God there are many abounding in the church who like the sound of their own voice.

Now we should not only be aware of intruders in the church but we need 'full assurance of faith' Hebrews 10 v 22 ready to exercise our faith day by day..

The helmet of salvation covers our head and we need to be clear headed in our walk of faith so that we apply the full orbit of salvation in our life.

Finally our 'sword' is the word of God and as our Saviour faced and conquered our enemy by using the scriptures so should we, that is the reason why we need to gain a good working knowledge of the word.