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Thursday, June 23 2016

Contributor: Nosa Osagie

In our last study, we looked at the topic, “The keys of Authority" and we were told that "keys" are given to those who have authority especially to those that have submitted themselves under a greater authority, which is God’s. Today we shall be looking at the topic "The Armour of God"
Ephesians 6:10-17 says:
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God"

What is an Armour? An Armour is a military equipment used for defence, protection, covering and shielding. Wikipedia defines it as “a protective covering that is used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object during combat``
Apostle Paul is a man we know that is familiar with this Armour; having been frequent with the Roman soldiers. He was arrested, beaten, summoned to courts, and imprisoned by the Roman soldiers so many times because of the Gospel. Paul having stayed in Rome for two years under the watchful eyes of the Roman soldiers, has seen the Roman soldiers arrayed in their armour, understood the function of the armour piece by piece, what purpose it served and why it was important. As the Roman soldiers need the physical armour to fight so Christians need the spiritual armour to successfully fight as well. (Acts 28:30-31)

God gave us the armour because as Christians we are expected to withstand incredible pressures of life and not be defeated. We cannot possibly stand up against everything the world has to throw at us and still expect to emerge victorious if not for the unbeatable defence, the armour of God! 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says:
"We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed"

No man has ever seen the devil physically to fight with him, so our battles are spiritual in nature. The devil uses three major ways to attack believers, through the world, our flesh and himself. What the devil really uses as attack against believers are tricks, deceptions, lies, strategies, ignorance, craftiness, manipulations, manoeuvring and so on as Ephesian 6:11 says "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." An example of his wiles is his conversation with Eve in the garden of Eden: " . . . did God really say you should not . . .”

Apostle Paul identifies six pieces of armour that God arrays His church with to withstand everything the devil throws at us.

The Belt of Truth (Verse 14a) "Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth." The Belt of truth is basically knowing the content of God's truth which is absolutely essential for the believer if we must battle successfully against the wiles of Satan. Without knowing basic biblical teachings, we are subject to being "carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming" (Ephesians 4:14)

The Breastplate of righteousness (Verse 14b): Our mind and emotions are the two areas where Satan most fiercely attacks believers. He wants to cloud our minds with false doctrine, false principles, and false information to mislead and confuse us. Our protection against such attacks is the breastplate of righteousness. (Proverbs 11:4)

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace (Verse 15): The picture of the preparation of the gospel of peace as shoes suggests that we need to advance into Satan's territory, aware that there will be traps, with the message of peace so essential to winning souls to Christ. The devil has many obstacles placed in the path to stop the propagation of the gospel. (Isaiah 52:7)

The Shield of Faith (Verse 16): This is our faith in God and what He is capable of doing. It’s not our everyday kind of faith but relying on God when faced with battles. (Daniel 3:16-18) verse17 "Our God is able to defend us... (Shield us from the fire)."

The Helmet of Salvation (Verse 17): The head is the seat of our mind, basically Satan throws attacks to our security and assurance in Christ Jesus by ways of discouragements and doubts. The devil points to our failures, our sins, our unresolved problems, our poor health, or to whatever else seems negative in our lives. He wants us to lose confidence in the love and care of our heavenly Father. Let’s reassure ourselves we’ve been saved by grace. (1 Thessalonians 5:8)

The Sword of The Spirit (Verse 17b): Apostle Paul clearly states that the sword of the spirit is the word of God, which is a defensive weapon and also capable of deflecting attacks of the enemy. (Hebrew 4:12-13) This is the only offensive weapon mentioned in the armour of God (Jeremiah 23:29) says “Is not my word like fire...”

Praying always with all prayer (Verse 18): When we pray always we maintain and refresh our armour. (Jude 1:20) says "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost"

In order to live victoriously and never bow down to opposition, we must continually be arrayed with the armour of God which is to put on the whole of Christ. Romans 13:14 "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 04:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, June 10 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

In our last study, we considered the topic; “Learn to be exalted.” We learnt that Our "High Priest" offered Himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, and that He’s now seated in the place of honour at God's right hand. And that our being in Christ entitles us to sit where Christ sits. In today’s study we will consider the topic: “The Keys of Authority”
Revelation 1:18 says; "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Isaiah 22:22 says: “And the key of the house of David will I lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.”

A key is (usually) a metal implement that is turned to open or close a lock; start or stop an equipment, cars, and other engines. When reference is made to keys; it can also imply something of crucial importance. So in relation to the “Keys of Authority”, we will refer to that which opens, and gives us access to authority; as well as the crucial understanding we need to possess for the “unlocking” of the authority we have been given.

Usually, keys are only given to those who have authority. And the Bible says He has given us the keys of the Kingdom. Matthew 16:19 says “And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
So the enemy has no authority over us anymore. Instead we have authority over Him in Jesus’ name! We have authority to bind and lose and authority to trample on snakes and scorpions!
Revelation 1:18 says: “I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Jesus Christ took the keys away from the devil, glory to God!
These keys aren’t just the keys to get into the doors of heaven, (salvation) but they are the keys to authority & dominion over every situation in our lives.  It’s access to the throne room. It’s the power to call things as though they are.  It’s the power to overtake the enemy and drive him back.  It’s the power to rip our loved ones out of the enemy’s hands!  It’s the power to call down the blessings and abundance from heaven! 
However, just like these keys, we have to do something with it; we must take action.

Let us consider four principal requirements - keys that can unlock the authority we have been given. We need to meet these requirements if we want to operate in God’s authority.
Our authority is dependent upon our knowledge and understanding of the situation we are in. Authority operates under authority and within authorities. We must realize that our authority is a delegated authority that comes from God.
The centurion in Matthew 8:8 understood delegated authority.  He had an active faith – not a passive one.  He went to Jesus and asked Him to heal his servant. Jesus said that he would go to him but the centurion stopped him, “no need to go all that way Lord, just say the word and I know it will be done. I have servants under me – I say go they go, do this and they do it.”
He understood authority.  His authority did not come from himself either.  He had a commander over him. The military, and people above him is where his authority came from and he understood that all it took was a word.
We must be obedient to God’s will and His authority for us to have authority. We must be submitted to God’s authority in our lives as well as authority He has delegated in leadership.  The world has taken the word submission and made it into a “weak thing”.  So that as soon as the word submission is mentioned, everyone gets into an uproar. If we are not submissive to the divine line of authority in our lives, we will have no authority. Also, if we do not submit, we open ourselves up to the enemy. James 4:7 says: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Submit to God – that’s your line of authority.  You can’t say you are submitted to God and then not be submitted to your pastor; you will be out of the line of authority.
Faith is involved in exercising spiritual authority by providing access to authority. And authority will not become a force within us until we take God‘s Word to heart and obey it—through Faith. If one does not have faith or believe that they have authority then they would not be able to exercise it. And even if they go out to “exercise authority” without faith, the devil will see through their emptiness as in the case of the sons of Sceva. Acts 19: 13-16: “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, we adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:17-18 (Emphasis mine)
The name of Jesus has tremendous power and authority (Philippians 2:5–11)! In Acts 16:17–18, we read of how Paul commanded an evil spirit out of a young girl in Jesus’ name. We see the same in Acts 3:6–9, 16.

It is important to note that the enemy tries to discredit the things that give us authority over him such as knowledge, obedience, faith and the name of Jesus. That is why he works hard to keep people in darkness (ignorance) – lacking in the knowledge of the authority they have over him (Hosea 4:6)! He makes people resent submissiveness in the name of liberality because he knows that is the only way we can put him to flight (James 4:7)! He beclouds the minds of believers with doubt; negating the potency of faith and dragging them into his zone – the place of reason where he has the advantage and because they have lost the faith needed to exercise authority, they are unable to deal with him! (Mark 11:23)  He has tried to cheapen the name of Jesus and make it into a curse word.  For instance, why don’t people say “Oh, Buddha,” or “Oh, Muhammad”, because there is no power there! So to those he has deceived into treating the name with levity, it becomes nothing to them; like the sons of Sceva. But we know there’s power in that name! (Philippians 2:5–11)
We know better than to trade our access to authority for the trickery of the enemy. So let’s hold on tightly to the keys of our authority in Christ!

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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