Eph 6.10 Put on the full armour of God that you may stand against the devil’s schemes.
Christianity is getting polarised into two extreme groups, the far left who doesn’t believe in the devil, and the far right, who believe that the devil is all powerful. The devil is always scheming, whispering into our minds like the snake of Eden and using deception for he is not as powerful as some Christians may think.
For the liberal left, proudly thinking that they are progressive and thinking Christians, but Satan the deceiver has real control over their minds. The devil greatest stronghold is deception and they could never match him. Therefore, they are under the greatest deception where the lie hides behind the mystery and shadows of religion. They like to talk about the about the Emperor being naked not realising that depending on their minds and rejecting all armour of God, they themselves are naked and seduced by demons. For the devil is wily and cunning (Eph 6.11).
The irony is that they pride themselves as bible college graduates and ordained ministers. Preaching the law via the love commandments, they are preaching the ministry unto death, for our love is often indifferent and selective. Ultimately, they couldn’t see the attempt by the devil to empty out their churches by making the church cold and half dead devoid of the Holy Spirit. For we cannot become the body of Christ by merely aligning ourselves with good works of Jesus Christ.
For the right, the bible houses, so afraid of the devil that they think the devil is able to control their lives and circumstances. A few years ago, the women still had the veil, and praise and worship with drums and guitar was forbidden. They did not realise that just because the worship of cybele in ancient Rome involves loud music that we could not likewise worship the God of Israel with cymbals and tambourine. They are not able to stand well for the armour of God is not understood. It is God’s armour and not ours.
Love Singapore prayed against the global Glbt movement recently. But history tells us that gays have never persecuted the church. Whereas the ancient Roman church have killed millions who opposed the pope and believed in the justification by faith in Jesus Christ instead of the church hierarchical. It was the same Roman church who went on the crusades. Sometimes we go out to fight but the bible tells us to stand for Satan has seduced us to cause harm to the innocent.
We stand for we are not to fight against flesh and blood ie the GLBT community for we need to understand the powers of darkness and principalities and how are coming against the church. (Eph 6.12). It is true that Satan is using gays to attack the church, albeit indirectly. By making the church focusing on gays, they spend their focus less on extending the kingdom of God and even harm the Great Commission by being accused of hypocrisy. The church is fighting something inherently natural and denying basic rights and freedoms to others. Satan is trying to get the church condemned for unrighteousness sake. The devil is cunning and wily always fighting dirty (Eph 6.11). Therefore, we are to put on the WHOLE armour of God, and this armour is not wearing white, which is wearing our own armour of pride and self-righteousness giving satan an open door.
The first and basic armour is the belt of truth with the breastplate of righteousness protecting our heart. (Eph 6.14). If we reject the truth is Jesus is the Messiah, and is God incarnate, we don’t have a belt and our entire armour will fall apart whether we are an ordained pastor or bishop doesn’t matter. We are defenceless to every single attack. That is where the liberals are at until they are so deceived that the existence of satan himself is denied. If one thinks that the enemy is fictitious even though real, the battle is lost even before it begun.
Second is the breastplate of righteousness. (Eph 6.14).The devil can come against us by the spirit of accusation against our sins and failures. We have to stand on the ground that Jesus is our righteousness. It is His righteousness that we put on if we have indeed died with Christ through the baptism of faith. It His blood that washes all our sins. We are not only cleansed but righteous for we are in Christ having risen with Christ. Once we take in the condemnation, we become self-righteous and condemn others, even those innocent. It can be a fatal stab into our heart as deep lawlessness can proceed and pride comes in.
The third armour is to know that primary agenda is the Gospel of peace, to preach reconciliation with God. (Eph 6.15). This is important for our works is not about politics, or engaged in anti gay crusades, but simply to prepare our footwear to be ready to preach the Gospel of Good News that Jesus rose from the dead and is able to forgive our sin. If we spend time using our mouth to condemn gays, we will not have any footware and could not go far to preach the Gospel. It is after all the Gospel of peace and not condemnation by the law. If we look at the Ten Commandments, it does not mention homosexuality.
The fourth armour is the shield of faith. (Eph 6.16) There will be a dark day in our lives but also many good days. When the storm of life comes eg when some of us realised that we are gay, are we able to stand firm and put on the shield of faith. That is the issue with many gay christians, who may be strong Christians, but not putting up the shield and being stung by the fiery darts of Satan’s accusations. For ultimately, it comes down to faith, a faith much beyond faith in a creator God, but a faith in Yahweh, a God who is with us and for us, and ultimately, God as Abba Father.
The fifth armour is the helmet of salvation. (Eph 6.17). There are some Christians who believe that you don’t need salvation from hell and eternal separation from God since we are all God’s children and God is love. This is a half truth, forgetting Adam’s fall and man kind rule by Satan and separation from God. It takes away the punishment of our sin. But a just God cannot just ignore our sin, for the penalty for our sin is death. Adam knew it and hid from God. It completely negates the prophecy of the Messiah that out of the seed of the woman will one day bring down Satan’s power and control over man kind.
In reality, the liberals don’t even have the helmet of salvation to put on, thinking that we do not need to be saved from hell. On the right, there are those who are fearful that we will lose our salvation if we sin. For them, the helmet of salvation is a deep assurance of salvation and belonging to Jesus once and for all, for Jesus died once and for all for our sins, for His blood is much greater than the blood of lambs and bulls. If we have the assurance that nothing can separate us from the relationship with God, then when the fiery darts of Satan hits our mind and thoughts that we are not good enough or that we have failed, our minds will be protected and the thought not take root in our mind.
The sixth armour, is a non defensive armour but an armour of attack calling upon the word of God to bring down the arguments of the enemy. (Eph 6.17). God put the sword last. For if we don’t stand on the rock of Jesus Christ, we will use the sword to kill and to condemn just like cut of the ear of the officer who came to arrest Jesus. And the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit used by the Holy Spirit to tell us what to do and how to respond. That is why Satan uses the liberal theology to bring down the Word of God through Higher Critical Methods using their own carnal mind. Without the Word of God, the Kingdom of God cannot be extended.
The walk of a Christian life is primarily to stand and very slow to take out the sword except to put down spiritual arguments against the lies of darkness. For Satan knows the bible well, and if we don’t put the armour on, we will lose the battle and the Kingdom of God not extended into the lives of many. It is the sword of the Spirit because it becomes sharp with the word of knowledge and understanding when used by the Holy Spirit to guide us into defeating Satan.
After, we put on the armour, to pray to Father God (Eph 6.18), even praying in the Spirit or in tongues for prayer open the way for God to act on our behalf. Some Christians claim that we need not pray because God knows everything. But this world belongs to Satan, and for God to operate in this realm requires an invite and a righteous reason.
Ultimately, it is all about the Gospel. (Eph 6.19-20). When the world sees us, they see Love Singapore as wearing white and condemning gays. But Paul was different. He put on the armour of God (not his own armour or good works of love) so that he could preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are ambassadors of God’s love, grace and mercy. We do not have any other agenda. We are ambassadors in chains because we are persecuted and in prison insisting on the Gospel of Grace, a far better covenant than under the Law of the OT.