Ephesians

Forgiving One Another

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

-Ephesians 4:31-32

Hulk Smash – Part One

Anger.

Yep.

I think that pretty much describes the Hulk. Unless you want to be more specific, using words like “wrath” or “rage”.

Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.

Ephesians 4:26b

Ever heard that verse before? A lot of people have probably heard it in some form or another at some point. The Hulk would do good to follow Paul’s advice.

What Paul is saying right here is that we shouldn’t hold grudges. We should be kind to others, not staying angry at them. If we show God’s kindness to them, we can help to change their hearts.

The Flaming Arrows

In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.

-Ephesians 6:16

So what are the fiery arrows of the devil?

Temptations.

I talked quite a bit about temptation in another post, but after yesterday’s post, with faith as our shield, I thought it would be nice to add a little to our allegory-ish thing with the fiery arrows of temptation.

When you think Marvel, “the shield” normally makes you think of Captain America’s shield (or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D…), and “arrows” normally make you think of Hawkeye. (Quick note: Everything I know about Hawkeye comes from watching the Avengers, and my friends talking about him. So… don’t judge.)

So, when Hawkeye shoots one of his explosive arrows, what normally happens afterwards?hawkeye1

Yep. Ka-poof. That’s what happens when we give in to temptation. Now, maybe it doesn’t get that bad, but consequences always follow sin. Even if it doesn’t seem like anyone will ever find out.

So use your shield of faith to block the arrows of temptation. Cuz the devil won’t mind if you blow up.

If you want to read more about temptation, check out my previous post about it.

The Shield of Faith

In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.

-Ephesians 6:16

With our faith, we can block the flaming arrows of the enemy, like a shield. Paul was probably thinking about a Roman shield, kind of like this one:

romanshield

Maybe. The Roman’s shields were made out of wood, but they were covered in leather so they wouldn’t catch on fire, which was a big part of their battles. (Thank you, Pastor Tim from Wayside!)

When we think of shields, we normally think of something more like this:

CaptainAmericasShield

Sorry, I couldn’t help it… But, although this shield would definitely stand up pretty good to some flaming arrows (now there’s an idea, Marvel!), it doesn’t provide quite as much full-body protection. See what I mean?

HidingCaptain

The stronger your faith is, the better your shield will be, and the better you’ll be able to guard yourself against the devil’s flaming arrows of temptation. Which just might be mentioned in the next post.

(I can’t help it… which shield would you rather have? Why?)