Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
1. What faith is. A believing of a thing to be true. The faith here spoken of is a belief of the truth of God.
(1) Every faithful soul, every true believer, gives a full assent in his mind to the truth of the gospel.
(2) With the assent of the mind there goes a consent of the will.
2. The resemblance between faith and a shield. A shield is a general fence for the whole body, especially for the principal parts, the head and heart. The use of it is to avoid blows of all kinds. So faith defends the whole man from all sorts of temptations cast against him by any of his spiritual enemies, the flesh, world, or devil.
3. How faith is wrought.
(1) Outward means: the word, and sacraments.
(2) Inward means: the sanctifying Spirit of God.
4. How faith must be proved. By its causes, and by its effects.
(b) Compunction and grief of heart.
(a) Shame for evil that has been done.
(b) A true and thorough resolution to enter into a new course.
(c) A renewing of grief, as often as occasion is offered.
5. How faith is to be preserved.
(1) By a conscionable and constant use of the means which God has appointed.
(2) By faithful and hearty prayer for God's blessing on those means.
6. How faith may be well used. By resting on God's promises.
Parallel VersesKJV: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.