16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
Above everything else a believer is to wield the “shield of faith.” Faith is of the greatest importance in the Christian life. It is the shield that protects the Christian in a fundamental way.
taking the shield of faith
The Roman soldier’s “shield” was made of wood and was 2 ½ feet wide by 4 feet long. They overlaid this oval-like shield with leather. It was a shield of protection especially from fiery arrows, spears, and swords.
“Of faith” conveys the idea that the shield consists of faith itself. The idea of faith here is not a body of doctrine but appropriation of truth to experience. The shield that the Christian soldier uses is faith as an ongoing exercise against the attacks of Satan. This is a present faith, a faith that claims the promises of God for both eternity and time. It is the faith of which Christ is the primary object.
Faith works out the implications of what we believe.
We should not lose sight of the idea that we are to take hold of faith. Exercising faith is a major part of the Christian life. It is what we do to depend on God rather than ourselves. It is the method by which we can defend ourselves against Satan. We cannot fight the devil in our own strength.
The shield of faith is not the shield of belief. Faith is more than belief. Faith acts on belief. Faith works out the implications of belief. Faith particularizes belief; it applies truth to experience. It is to take a biblical fact and experience it.