“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:16)
The second verse of the hymn “Faith Is the Victory,” reflecting the teaching of 1 John 5:4, depicts the soldiers of light as they march into battle. Our Commander-in-Chief has erected His identifying banner over the troops, and His “banner over [us] is love” (Song of Solomon 2:4). How does love identify us? “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3). “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).
His banner over us is love, Our sword the Word of God;
We tread the road the saints above, With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith they like a whirl-wind’s breath, Swept on o’er every field;
The faith by which they conquered death, Is still our shining shield.
The saints of yesteryear, who in faith have battled victoriously, give us great confidence. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Their armor, and ours, is listed in the classic passage of Ephesians 6:10-18. Our sword, identified as the “word of God” (v. 17), is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). Our faith is our shield (as in our text) which protects us from the wicked one.
But it’s not over until it’s over, and “the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. . . . Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:26, 54). When it’s over, our faith in the work and person of our Lord Jesus Christ will have provided a glorious and everlasting victory. JDM