‘Having taken up the shield of faith… you will be able to put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one.’ Ephesians 6:16 ISV
The Roman shield was typically curved laminate wood strips, covered with leather and designed to protect the warrior from arrows and javelins.
If it had any damage, survival would depend upon fixing it before entering battle—certainly not during!
Are there any ‘holes’ in your shield of faith? When is the proper time to repair it? You are already on enemy turf!
The notion that every concept of god is equally valid is common today. Many influential figures suggest that believers across the entire spectrum of religions all pray to the same god!
“FAITH SHOULD BE A RESPONSE TO PROVEN TRUTH. ANY FAITH NOT BASED UPON REASON SUPPORTED BY IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE IS THE UTMOST FOLLY.”
This is completely irrational and refuses to honour the one true God or even acknowledge His existence. It is a consequence of relativism’s intellectual and moral bankruptcy which denies the existence of absolute truth. Modern pagan religions have built their appeal on this vacuum. No one knows how much of the substance of life has been poured out upon the stained altars of gods who are not, and of demons who are.
The evolutionist also takes his own irrational ‘leap of faith’ and is committed to a contrary–to–fact catechism.
Robert Jastrow, a leading astronomer and an agnostic, shocked his colleagues by admitting that, evidence seems to demand an intelligent Creator of the universe.
The eminent scientist Sir Fred Hoyle also accused evolutionists of defending their own religious faith:
‘The [mathematical impossibility of spontaneous biogenesis] is well known to geneticists and yet nobody seems to blow the whistle decisively on the theory… Most scientists still cling to Darwinism because of its grip on the educational system…You either have to believe its concepts, or …be branded a heretic.’
Faith should be a response to proven truth. Any faith not based upon reason supported by irrefutable evidence is the utmost folly. Gullibility is no help to true faith but actually its enemy. Skepticism is essential as the first step toward true faith, so long as it doesn’t harden into pride or become a cloak for prejudice.
No thinking person can embrace just ‘any god’ as the Creator of the universe. No one can have faith in God—that is, absolute and total trust in Him—without knowing Him. Thus, the path to growing your faith is simply to learn more of Him. How does one do that? First, by discovering the majesty and integrity of His Word, giving it its proper priority. Second, by maintaining a continuing dialogue with Him.
The classic question of how we are to live is answered in Habakkuk 2:4 ISV: The just shall live by [his] faith.
The Apostle Paul wrote a trilogy of essays on this verse in three of his epistles.
Who are ‘the just?’ Romans deals with how we are justified by faith alone. (Paul quotes Habakkuk 2:4 in Romans 1:17.)
How shall the just then live? Galatians deals with shedding the grave clothes of religious externalism and walking by faith. (Paul quotes Habakkuk 2:4 in Galatians 3:11.)
And, of course, Hebrews continues expounding the pillars of faith. (The writer quotes Habakkuk 2:4 in Hebrews 10:38.)
(This effective trilogy crafted around Habakkuk 2:4 is one of the many reasons I believe Hebrews, too, was written by Paul. If not, then the evident craftsmanship of the Holy Spirit is even more remarkable!)
Faith is, of course, more than belief alone.
‘You believe that there is one God… Even the demons believe that and tremble.’ James 2:19 ISV
Faith involves trust and reliance. I may ‘believe’ a stool can hold me. I exercise my faith in the stool when I sit on it!
There are also three primary ‘legs’ supporting our faith:
Prayer. His Word. Fellowship.
Roman shields could be linked in the testudo (‘tortoise’) formation. The ones on the outside would interlock their shields vertically; the insiders would form a roof with theirs. The testudo was virtually impregnable. In training, they would test their skills by driving chariots over it.
This has a parallel within the Body of Christ. By pooling our talents and gifts, we strengthen our composite positions when under attack individually from the assaults of ‘the world.’ So, if you are not making your spiritual gifts available to the Body, you are, in effect, defrauding us all.
‘This is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.’ 1 John 5:4 NKJV