Grace for Your Day May 31

The typical Roman soldier carried two shields with him into battle. One was called the parma. It was a small block of wood two feet across that was used by the calvary and the infantry at the back of the line. The other was called the thureos and it was used by the infantry on the front lines. It was a large rectangular piece of wood four feet across that covered the entire body of a soldier. It surrounded his entire person. When placed next to another soldier, it could form a wall against the enemy that stretched as far as a mile in any direction.

This is also the type of shield that Paul refers to in Ephesians 6:16 when he says:
"In addition to all, [take] up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."

As Paul is giving us his description of the Armor of God, he comes to the fourth object which is the shield or thureos of faith. He describes a weapon that covers your entire body. It surrounds your entire soul with “faith.” In other words, Paul says that it is your faith or trust in God that keeps you shielded in the battle. It keeps you safe from all of the devil’s “flaming arrows.”

In a Roman battle, one side would often shoot arrows at the other. They would shoot small wooden darts that were dipped in pitch and set on fire. They would set them ablaze in order to inflict the most possible damage. One Author named Sceva said that he counted 200 of these darts on his shield after one skirmish and he noted that the biggest problem that they caused was confusion. They would get underneath a soldier’s skin making him miserable.

In a similar way, Paul says that the Devil does the same thing with us because he likes to shoot darts at us. He likes to shoot flaming arrows to get under our skin and make us miserable too by tempting us with wicked thoughts. He likes to tempt us with evil fantasies so we cannot let him do that. We have to resist him with our faith.

This means that we need to stay close to God in our day-to-day lives. We need to make sure that we are growing in our love and our affection for Him. It also means that we need to learn how to “take every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and keep a close eye on where we let our mind wander because we never know where the Devil is going to strike. We never know when he is going to shoot a dart at us so we need to be ready at all times which is what we are going to talk about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.

This Sunday, we are going to study the shield of faith in Ephesians 6:16. We are going to learn how to hold it in front of us in order “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” The sermon will be preached at our 8:15, 9:45, and 11:15 services. It will also be available Sunday morning on our You Tube Channel and website for all who cannot be with us in person. Please join us as we take a look at this fascinating piece of armor. Join us as we learn what it means to resist the Devil with our faith. – Jeremy Cagle