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Friday, November 28, 2014

This is War! Putting on the Full Armor (Pt.8)

(The helmet Pt. 2 of 2)
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness; a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.”
                                                                                                Titus 1:1-3
Just as the neck supports the head; so our hope of eternal life supports our faith and knowledge in Christ Jesus. The helmet of salvation protects our understanding of God’s great and precious promises. Without this piece of the armor, the enemy along with life itself, can diminish or rob us of our knowledge of them.
In order to guard against this, we must protect what we allow to penetrate our minds. The presence of the helmet in Paul’s list of armor tells us that our minds should not be open to anything and everything. The helmet protects us from being drawn away and misguided by the various teachings and ideologies of deceitful men:
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and the craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”-Ephesians 4:14.
James, an early church father, called this being double-minded and declared in James 1:8 that a double-minded man is unstable in all he does. So it is imperative that we protect our mind and thought life from the enemy’s attacks.
Scripture tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:16 that we are to have the mind of Christ. However, because of our fallen nature, we must have our old sinful mind renewed:
Do not conform any longer to the patter of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”-Romans 12:2.
This transformation process is two-fold. First we must take captive those thoughts that do not conform to the new mind we have in Christ:
“We demolish arguments and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”-2 Corinthians 10:5.
If it is contradictory to the Word of God or communicates something contrary to the will of God; that thought must be taken captive and brought under the obedience of Christ.
Secondly, we must then fill our minds with what is good, righteous, and edifying:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable; if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.”-Philippians 4:8.
Satan understands that if he can control what you think about; he can control you. Knowing this, we must keep ourselves firmly seated in Christ and guard what comes into our minds if we hope to stand against the Devil’s schemes.
Pastor Scott Burr
Lead Pastor
Dayspring Community Church

This is War! Putting on the Full Armor (Pt. 7)

(The helmet Pt. 1 of 2)

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”

                                                                                                            Ephesians 6:17

The helmet worn by a Roman soldier was their most expensive piece of equipment and served a very obvious purpose; to protect the head and neck from receiving a fatal wound. One blow to the carotid artery would cause a man to bleed out. One blow to the head would fracture a man’s skull leading to death.

We see an example of man’s vulnerability in battle, when he fails to properly secure his helmet, in Judges 9:52-53:

Abimelech went to the tower and stormed it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.”

Without the helmet of salvation securely in place we are extremely susceptible to the enemy’s attacks.  By carefully examining Paul’s writings we see that he understood this and declared it to God’s people. He began by using imagery found in Isaiah 59:17 in his depiction of the armor of God found in Ephesians 6:

“He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head, and he put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped himself in zeal and a mantle.”

He then carried the narrative into 1 Thessalonians 5:8 where he writes:

“But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.”

Paul’s writings address both of the aforementioned areas of vulnerability: the neck and the head. The neck provides two essential functions to the body; it provides support to and gives direction to the head. 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 defines this spiritual helmet as the hope of salvation.

As believers we receive tremendous hope and encouragement by focusing on the sacrifice Jesus made to give us life and on His soon return; which is the goal of our salvation. This hope works like a helmet to protect our minds from discouragement and despair. Before we came to Christ we did not have this hope:


Remember that at that time you were separated from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”

                                                                                                                        Ephesians 2:12-13.

This hope provides the basis for our faith in Christ.  Just as the head rests on the neck; so our faith rests on hope.


Pastor Scott Burr

Lead Pastor

Dayspring Community Church

Thursday, November 6, 2014

This is War! Putting on the Full Armor (Pt. 6)

(Part 6)

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”-Ephesians 6:16.

The shield of a Roman soldier was an impressive piece of weaponry in size and construction. The shield was designed to be large enough to protect a soldier’s entire body when crouching behind it. To ensure the shields were lightweight and able to be carried long distances; they were constructed of wood and covered in animal hides. Before entering a battle; these hides would be moistened so to quench the fiery arrows that would rain down from the walls of the fortress or high ground they were attempting to occupy.

Unlike the belt, breastplate, and shoes that are put on; the shield was a piece of the armor that was to be wielded or taken up. It was positioned out in front of a soldier to protect him from projectiles aimed at mortally wounding him. Paul likened this shield to a believer’s faith.

What is faith? Hebrews 11:1 states:

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

In very simple terms; faith is taking God at His word! Faith when raised up will cover us spiritually from the flaming darts of doubt, unbelief, and temptation. The shield of faith does not keep the arrows from coming, but stops them in their tracks and neutralizes the damage they are meant to inflict.  This makes faith a key component in obtaining victory.

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”-1 John 5:4.

This overcoming faith was not designed to be a parade prop or wall art. Faith is a spiritual weapon given for us to employ on the battlefield.  Just as the Roman soldier’s shield was meant to take the blows meant for the man; so faith is designed to take the blows meant for us. When raised up to defend their position the shield would deflect the assault away from the soldier; however the soldier would still feel the weight of the force upon him, but he would not be destroyed. 

Paul makes reference to this imagery in 1 Corinthians 10:13:

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way our so that you can stand up under it.”

The arrows of temptation are bound to come, but we can stand up under the force of them when we are brandishing the shield of faith. When we do not keep our faith out in front of us, we must bear the brunt of the attack. This makes the shield of utmost importance.

Soldiers took care to ensure that their shields did not become worn and brittle by daily applying a fresh coat of oil to the hides. In like manner, we too must maintain our faith. Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith cometh by hear; hearing by the Word of God.” If our faith is strengthened and made strong by hearing the Word of God; then we must daily be applying the Word to our lives in order that our faith will be resilient enough to quench the fiery darts.

Even when the enemy fires accusations, manipulates truth, and attempts to distract and dissuade us from the sufficiency of our faith; when we are well rooted in the word we will not be moved off our mark.


Pastor Scott Burr

Lead Pastor

Dayspring Community Church

This is War! Putting on the Full Armor (Pt. 5)

(part 5)

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”- Ephesians 6:14-15.

In combat the ability to stand your ground is essential. One slip or misstep could prove fatal; therefore a soldier’s shoes became an essential element of their armor. A Roman soldier’s footwear consisted of a sandal firmly bound by straps to the soldier’s calf, ankle and foot. In addition the soles of the shoe were studded with small spikes to prevent slipping.   

The Apostle Paul must have recognized the importance of the soldier’s shoes as evidenced by Ephesians 6:11, 13, and 14; where three times he instructs the Ephesian believers to stand firm. The repetition of this idea demonstrates that standing firm is essential for spiritual victory and that there is a real danger of losing one’s footing. Because our footing is so important to our victory, God made provision for us by equipping us with feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

If our feet are to be fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, what then is the gospel of peace? The gospel of peace is the good news that God brought peace (between Himself and mankind) through the death of his son and offers it to sinners who put their faith in Jesus Christ:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into the grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”- Romans 5:1-2

This position is a defensive one. When the enemy attacks our position by attempting to undermine our peace, we are reminded that the grace in which we now stand was purchased for us through Christ’s blood. When the enemy attempts to bring division and separate us from the peace of God, we are reminded that the peace we enjoy was not generated from our own abilities or desire; but secured for us by Christ’s sacrificial death:

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace who made the two one and destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.”-Ephesians 2:13-14.

Nevertheless, this piece of armor was designed to do more than protect our territory; it was designed to take ground. Once we are securely fitted with the peace that comes from our faith in Christ, we ought to then be ready to take that same message of peace to others who are lost without it. The Prophet Isaiah declared:

“How beautiful on the mountain are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”-Isaiah 52:7

The message we carry is not simply a nice little story designed to make people feel better. We carry the gospel of Christ; the power of God unto salvation:

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”-Romans 1:16.

We are carrying a weaponized message that can destroy Satan’s stronghold on people’s lives. Satan is keenly aware of this and works to constantly bring the battle to us through temptation, sin and compromise; so that we do not carry the gospel of peace into his kingdom.

We take the battle to him when we storm into the lives of people bound by sin, who need to hear the life giving message of God’s peace, available through Jesus Christ, and proclaim freedom to the captives!



Pastor Scott Burr

Lead Pastor

Dayspring Community Church