We are going to look at the fourth piece of Armor here, The Shield of Faith. This is one that puts what we learn and have experienced, into action.
Shield of Faith
Sharing the Gospel and putting Faith into Action
James 2:18 (NKJV): But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
James here is exhorting us that in order for our Faith to become proven, we need to put “feet” on to it. We need to start sharing what we learn with others either by simply sharing the message or by serving.
Some would misquote St Francis of Assisi here, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” The Gospel Coalition wrote a piece on this that says in Fact, he never said it. The closest to him saying anything like this was in his Rule of 1221, Chapter XII on how the Franciscans should practice their preaching:
No brother should preach contrary to the form and regulations of the holy Church nor unless he has been permitted by his minister … All the Friars … should preach by their deeds.
Essentially, make sure your deeds match your words. While there’s a nice and good sentiment in the statement—be sure you live out the grace and truth of the Gospel—the notion as it is typically presented is neither practical, nor faithful to the Gospel of Christ. It does not align with St. Francis’ own practice.
(Taken from https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/factchecker-misquoting-francis-of-assisi [May 17,2017])
So, what do we learn. First, we let The Word change us, as we have discussed over our last 3 studies. Then we start to act on it and serve others and The Lord, by serving others. And we need to share The Gospel. This is where Jesus’ command, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen, Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV), comes into play. How do we make disciples? By living out our Faith and by sharing it to others.
In John 9, we see that Jesus gives us an example of something like this. First He healed the blind man and then He shared The Gospel with him. He told him about True Salvation after, He healed the blind man’s blindness.
Sharing our Faith with others we will find that we get challenged. We find that there are people, even within The Body, who do not agree with us. We are then challenged to go back and study more or even ask our mentors/pastors about what the challenge is, to learn the answer. (Side Note: This is also one of the reasons why we need fellowship with others, so we can learn from each other) These periods where we get challenged and we don’t now the answer, we have to be ok with saying, “I do not know this right now. Let me get back to you.”, and actually follow through.
Sharing our Faith/discipling others will be so much a challenge, that we should be in prayer for them, the others around who hear our conversations or hear from these people, as well as ourselves. We see that a lot of people have struggles as they go through changes to fall in line with God’s righteousness. It also helps us to see where we need to grow and prayerfully, helps us to make the steps we need to make to grow.
Here is our charge today: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen, Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)
Philippians 4:6 (NKJV): Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God
Joshua 1:9 (NKJV): “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Until Next Time:
Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NLKJV): The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”
4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’”