in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ephesians 6:16 (NASB)
The fourth piece in the Christian’s armor presents itself in this verse– the shield of faith. It is a grace of graces, and is here fitly placed in the midst of its companions. It stands as the heart in the midst of the body; or as David when Samuel “anointed him in the midst of his brethren” (1 Samuel 16:13). The apostle, when he speaks of this grace, anoints it above all its fellows– “Above all, take the shield of faith.”
We discover the kind of faith the apostle commended if we consider the use and end for which it is prescribed to the Christian– to enable him to “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked”– that is, of the wicked one, the devil. Now, consider the several kinds of faith. Among them must be the faith which empowers the Christian to quench all of Satan’s fiery darts.
Temporary faith cannot do it. This is so far from quenching Satan’s fiery darts that it is quenched by them. It displays a goodly blaze of profession and endures “for a while” (Matthew 13:21) but soon disappears.
Miraculous faith falls short as the others. Judas’s miraculous faith, which he used alongside the other apostles, enabled him to cast out devils from others but left him possessed by the devils of covetousness, hypocrisy, and treason. A whole legion of lusts hurled him down the hill of despair into the bottomless pit of perdition.
There is only one kind of faith which remains, and that is justifying faith. This indeed is a grace which makes him who has it a match for the devil. Satan has not so much advantage of the Christian by the superiority of his natural abilities, as the Christian has of Satan by this faith, his weapon. The apostle is so confident that he gives the victory of the Christian before the fight is fully over: “Ye have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:13).