Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
Texts: Romans 5:12–21; 1 Corinthians 3:12–17; 1 Corinthians 12:14–26; Ephesians 6:11–17; 1 Corinthians 15:12–18
What do you slip on for a typical day at work? A nice pair of slacks, shirt, tie, and a comfortable pair of Oxfords? Not if you are a U.S. Navy SEAL.1 Tactical boots are one of the first lines of gear, especially if you are scrambling around the mountains of Afghanistan. If you have bad boots, you won’t get very far.
Body armor plates are essential, especially for stopping up to three AK-47 rounds. Some SEALs go “slick” and remove their plates, but it’s risky and depends on how far you’re traveling, what type of mission you are on, and who you think you’ll meet along the way.
Helmets, also affectionately known as brain buckets, are more than a tin can over the head. This protection device needs to stop even the tiniest fragment of high-velocity hot metal from puncturing your brain. Often tied to helmet gear are Night Vision Goggles. They help to see the enemy when the enemy cannot see you. (The $65,000 set is not for sale to the general public.)
Besides a combat uniform, SEALs often carry knives, tools, weapons, breaching gear, and “bone phones.” This communication device allows the user to hear through bone conduction technology. Other items carried might include infrared chemical lights to mark specific spots, assault gloves, energy gel, and a digital camera.
As we continue our study in Scripture on Rebellion and Redemption, we turn to the Apostle Paul’s writings. This energetic servant of God took risks and was often involved in physical confrontations that nearly cost him his life. He was chased, attacked, beaten, stoned, whipped, and once left for dead.
But his writings do not outline combat gear for encountering a physical enemy. Paul was more concerned about the deadly assaults of spiritual powers. He was in agreement with Jesus’ teaching, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28 NKJV). Using the illustration of a soldier in battle, Paul outlines in Ephesians 6 the spiritual armor of God, by making parallels to specific parts of combat equipment. The belt of truth holds everything in place. The breastplate of righteousness, much like a ballistic vest, deflects direct hits to the torso. Military sandals are critical for carrying the mission forward—the mission of spreading the gospel. The shield of faith protects one from deadly arrows, and the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, is an offensive weapon to push back the enemy.
Where do you pick up such equipment to help you to fight against the devil? You find it on your knees every morning before you begin your day.
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