Episode 2: Pastor Paul’s Spiritual Warfare Toolbox
In this episode
- We introduce the book that is the focus of this podcast
- We talk about the “armor of God”
- We listen to the introduction to Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices
- Episode blog post: A pastor’s spiritual warfare toolbox
- Podcast introduction: Yabo Obien
- Logo design: Jeff Lyons and Light & Story
- Original music: Makeup and Vanity Set
- Kindle version of Precious Remedies against Satan s Devices by John Hendryx at Monergism.com
- Text for Precious Remedies provided by GraceGems.org
Welcome back to Theodio. We’re so glad you joined us again. My name is Dan Kassis and I am your guide on this journey.
Now, if this is your first episode with us, I want you to know there’s one more before this – the introduction. Be sure to go back and download that one. It will give you a good primer on who we are and what we do here.
And before I go any further, please visit Theodio.com and look for the email newsletter sign up form on the right. I want you to become a Premier Subscriber to Theodio. Now, by “premier” I don’t mean “premium,” as in you have to pay anything. You don’t. By “Premier” I mean, the first. For the rest of 2020 I’m asking as many listeners as possible to become Premier Subscribers.
When you sign up, I’ll start sending you an email every time I publish a new blog post. The blog is where we are walking through the book “Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices,” by Thomas Brooks. If you’d like to catch up with this journey, just scroll to the bottom of our home page and click the button that says “START READING NOW.” That will take you to the first post in the series and you’ll be good to go.
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Ok, let’s talk about what we’re going to talk about today: spiritual warfare. You’ve probably heard that term before. Spiritual warfare has been a popular topic in Christianity for centuries. It’s no less popular today. I did a Google search of the phrase recently. It got 42 million results. Wow.
Broader culture has capitalized on this popularity. There have been book series and movies. You can attend conferences and study curricula that explore and teach on the subject of the faithful being in the midst of this war between the kingdom of God and the powers of evil. You can just picture the sword-wielding angels fighting sulphur-spewing demons, right? It’s the stuff of epic storytelling and lucrative consumables.
But in large part we may have entirely missed the point.
The clearest New Testament Bible passage on spiritual warfare doesn’t paint a portrait anything like what we often see or read in our media. The battle against evil, against Satan, against “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” doesn’t happen in a theatre of human conflict. It largely happens in your mind.
The passage to which I just referred is Ephesians 6:10-20 – 11 verses. If you have a Bible handy, you can open up there now. It’s here that Pastor Paul opens his spiritual warfare toolbox and explains each item to his congregation. These items look and sound a lot like battle gear. That’s because they are! They’re based on an ancient Roman soldier’s weaponry. He even calls them “the armor of God.” They include six items of preparation and defense, with one offensive weapon. Each is fitted and fashioned for a specific purpose. Each represents the something the spiritual warrior must know and remember.The armor of God
So let’s look at each one.
- The belt of truth – to gather up all the loose ends of your robe so you don’t trip. Truth holds everything together, including you.
- The breastplate of righteousness – it protects your vital organs, most importantly your heart. We seek ” his kingdom, his righteousness.” God gifts his righteousness to us in exchange for our sin. Our right standing before God is protective.
- The shoes of the gospel of peace – to keep your feet steady so that you remain standing. Now, this is often taught as being some sort of preparation for evangelism, but that’s not right. I mean, that would be shifting the subject suddenly from spiritual warfare to spreading the gospel. That’s important, but it’s the wrong take here. No, the shoes of peace are the footwear of those who are saved by faith because they believed the good news about Jesus. They are anchors to your soul.
- The shield of faith – to extinguish the enemy’s “flaming darts.” These are lies, accusations, and deceptions. A Roman soldier kept a small circular shield, covered in leather, which he would soak in water prior to battle. The wet leather could put out flaming arrows. We point our shields of faith in the direction of untruth’s onslaught. Without faith, we cannot please God. This faith, as Paul explains earlier in this book, is itself God’s gift.
- The helmet of salvation – to deflect the blows taken in close combat. John wrote his gospel so that we might “know we have eternal life.” A saved person knows his or her status in God’s grace. But we’re forgetful. We must constantly remind ourselves of this truth when Satan questions our salvation.
- Then there’s the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. A sword is both offensive and defensive. The short sword – the “machaira” in Greek – deflects the enemy’s blows and then attacks with truth, with promises, with certainty and trustworthiness. Truth always wins against falsehood.
This armor is all we need to have victory in battle. We can take all of it with us wherever we go. We put it on.
Thomas Brooks wrote this book, Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices, as a sort of expanded toolbox for his congregation to use in spiritual warfare. Interestingly, as he explains in the book’s introduction, he hesitated to do so at first. But his flock asked him to reconsider. The book is his deeply rich and useful response.
I think it’s time to listen to Brooks’ introduction to his book. Hear him explain why he wrote it and what he hopes you’ll learn from it. Afterward, we’ll come back and wrap this up until next time.Conclusion
I love listening to the words of Thomas Brooks here. You can hear his pastor’s heart bleed for his congregation, his flock. This book was a response to their hunger for spiritual truth, and he fed them richly from God’s banquet table.
And we’re just getting started. Next time on the Theodio podcast, we’ll cover “the proof of the point.” In other words, the ground, the foundation for the entire book. Brooks provides three scriptures he uses as the basis for everything we’re going to learn.
Thanks so much for listening. Please join us again.
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