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8/14/00

The Full Armor of God: An Instruction Manual


Ephesians 6:10-18 - Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.


Such a powerful passage of scripture! A vivid, colorful portrait of a Spiritual Warrior, it almost comes to life in your mind's eye as a painting on a medieval tapestry, hanging on the cold stone wall of a fortress armory. A royal coat of arms, amid furled banners, racks of spears, and shields affixed to the walls in the manner of hunting trophies.
A certain dustiness lingers over the ancient room, permeating the atmosphere with a regal air; a feeling of quiet authority exudes from the very floor, emanating upward towards the rough-hewn beams of oak crisscrossing the ceiling of this noble chamber.
How many times have we heard mighty preaching on this very subject? How many times have we read these powerful words? How many times have they encouraged us in our faith, motivated us to storm some bulwarks, inspired us to assault the ramparts of the enemy?
The answer, of course, is that that we have been energized countless times, perhaps even with every single instance of hearing these rousing words. These words have been a battle cry for us, a rallying shriek of triumph over the forces of darkness. They have ignited a spark of righteous fury in our very souls, our hearts exploding into blazing flames of pure holiness, transforming us into paragons of virtue and sacred patriotism, spurring us on to defeat the demonic powers of the spirit-world, combating them with prayer, fasting, and the Word of God in a crusading frenzy of holy fire.
So why are we not more effective in our ministries? Why aren't our lives overcoming, conquering testimonies of the power of Jesus Christ as Christian Soldiers of Light? Why must we be constantly reminded of the basic gear that a Godly Warrior is to bear? Why is it, that the spiritual high we receive from these power-packed verses never seems to last, and we always end up the same weak-willed, earthly, defenseless, broken pieces of clay that so desperately need protection from even the weakest of temptations?
How long will we feed on only the milk of the Word, and not strong meat?

1st Corinthians 3:1,2: Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly-mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

Hebrews 5:11-14: We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Perhaps the reason we need to be reminded of the overcoming words in Ephesians chapter 6 so often, is that, in spite of having heard of the mighty weapons of our warfare with such power and authority, we have never been trained in the actual use of them.

It is one thing to say, "put on the breastplate of righteousness and pick up the sword of the Spirit", but it is quite another thing to figure out exactly how to do it.

Consider this, then, to be your long lost training manual. This is the instruction book that the enemy would rather you never found. Far better for them, that you be motivated and encouraged now and then, only to fall back into the pit of lukewarm complacency and ineffectuality; being weak, untrained babies in Christ, whom they can manipulate and/or ignore at their discretion.
The powers of darkness do not mind if you are inspired to do great works for God, as long as those sparks of desire can be made to die out, and nothing of consequence can come of them.
Go ahead and believe that you are doing an important work for the Lord, get involved in the church, feel good about a sermon - just don't do anything significant.
Talk about the weapons of God, impress upon others the importance of using them, sing, dance, and feel good about them… just don't ever pick them up and use them!
That's never been a big concern of the enemy, anyway, because most Christians haven't even understood how to do so. It has been one of the best kept secrets of the battle between Darkness and Light.

Until now.

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Army of Light Intelligence Report
Codename: Illuminate

A Spiritual Weapons of Warfare Training Manual

2nd Corinthians 10:3-6: For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

Ephesians 6:10-18 - Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.


Article 1: Clarification

Paragraph 1; Subsection 1

What The Armor Of God Is Not:


Many times, the pieces of the armor of God have been equated with salvation. In other words, it is said that a person cannot be truly saved unless he is wearing all of the pieces of the armor of God. It is said that to be wearing only the breastplate is not enough. To use the Sword of the Spirit is not enough. You must put on the full armor of God, as instructed in Ephesians 6.
Many different examples are used to illustrate this point, such as:

- The ten virgins (they were all virgins, they were all holy, but only five were saved);
- Cornelius the Centurion (Acts 10; who was righteous and faithful but would have been lost regardless, if Peter had not been sent to him to instruct him in the Truth);
- The Church of the Ephesians (who, in Revelation, were told that they were doing many mighty things, but would be lost due to leaving their first love).

These examples are used to illustrate that it is possible to have the Lord working in your life and yet still be lost.
This point may be valid, but it is not the purpose of the Armor of God to give salvation. Its purpose is to give protection.
Consider the Helmet of Salvation. Is it really possible to be wearing this piece of the armor, and yet not truly be saved? Of course not.
That would mean that the Helmet of Salvation is not really salvation at all, but some form of semi-holiness that only grants a partial measure of godliness while denying the full power of it.
The purpose of the Armor of God is to protect the Believer, to strengthen, to fortify against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:11 defines this purpose clearly: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Why are we to put on the whole Armor of God? So that thus strengthened, we may be able to stand against the schemes of Satan. This is the armor's purpose. This is its function. It is not a salvation mechanism, but a device of protection.

You must never forget that we are in a spiritual war. There is a side of Darkness, and a side of Light. There is no neutrality. You are either on one side or you are on the other. The Darkness seeks to corrupt the Light, and banish it from this world, while Christians are the light of the world, lamps blazing from the hilltops, the salt of the earth.
This means that Satan is actively campaigning to stomp you out! He does not want the light (you) shining forth. He does not want the Truth (you) being spoken. Do not think that you can live your little Christian life unnoticed by his forces. Do not think that you can escape his attention. If you are not being attacked by him, then something is wrong with your Christian walk.
Do not think you can be lukewarm and yet saved. Do not think you can simply be a pew-warmer for Jesus, and also take part in His Eternal Kingdom.
This world is a battlefield, brothers and sisters. Don't think that the enemy doesn't take winning this war seriously. They do. Don't underestimate their power and become a casualty.
Don't think that Satan has not come against you simply because the Spirit of God that lives in you is too great for him to assault. You have only to look at the life of Job, the temptation of Jesus, the turning of Jonah, the disobedience of Balaam, or the lying of Annanias and Sapphira to know that is not true. If Satan has rebelled against Almighty God Himself, and will one day wage war against Him in Heaven, and then again from the Earth, why do you think he will spare spiritual attacks against you?
Do you think that people backslide of their own accord? Do you think that they just get up one day and decide to quit the team, and work for Satan?
No. Their slide into sin was insidiously planned by the enemy and orchestrated slowly. Just as the frogs, who cook to death in a pot of warm water that is slowly heated up until it reaches the boiling point, are unaware of their danger, so also does Satan hatch his plots for the souls of the children of God.
First he causes a slight disagreement between believers, then adds a small offense by the Pastor. Then he widens the rift through the use of a misunderstanding, and then plants the seeds of hatred. Your car develops engine trouble and your roof begins to leak, and time is taken away from gathering together with the believers. The enemy has isolated you, and then builds upon the anger and offense by causing other believers to be busy and unavailable to help you in your work. You quit attending services regularly with your fellow believers, and no one seems to care that you are absent, so you stay away more and more. Family problems spring up, and soon God is forgotten, even blamed for abandoning you.
You have become a casualty, and you never realized you were under attack. For this reason, we must put on the full Armor of God. We must be sensitive to the needs of our brothers and sisters. We must pray for each other at all times and for all things. We must remain on guard, alert in the Spirit for the stealthy troop movements of the enemy, and we must take steps to ensure that we are well protected from his advances.
We also need to be on the prowl ourselves, patrolling our homes, neighborhoods, and cities; constantly on the look-out for the forces of evil. We need to be attacking some strongholds of our own.
I would reiterate: If you are not being persecuted, then you are well on your way to being lost!
Nothing in this world happens without a reason. There is no such thing as coincidence. Even the little things that chip away at you while at home or at work are either the design of the Devil to wear away at you and to make you an ineffective member of the LightForce, or else they are a molding by the Lord, a training period that will make you a stronger and more capable soldier.
This is why the armor is so important. Without it, we are easily swayed, even by the wind, let alone the Powers of Darkness. We are in a war, and we must be prepared to stand and fight. The use of the armor can make all the difference in the final disposition of our souls. It can make all the difference between standing or falling, between dying or surviving.
When all is said and done, there are no prisoners taken in this war. There are only the Saved, and the Damned. We must fight to be Saved, at all costs. It is not something that will come easily. Those who remain lukewarm will have no part of the Kingdom of Heaven. (Rev. 3:15,16: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.)

On this earth, freedom is a right that must be defended to the death. Once attained, its existence is not automatically assured, insured, or guaranteed. Its price is eternal vigilance.
So also, is the price of Salvation. Your salvation can be lost to you. The doctrine of "Once-Saved, Always-Saved" is a hideous lie, propaganda originating from the camp of the enemy.
The Armor of God can help defend you. It will not guarantee victory, but it will drastically improve your odds, and is a vital necessity of the Christian Believer.
The bible says in 1st Peter 4:18: And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Take this one step further. If the righteous, who are fortified by the protection of the full Armor of God, scarcely be saved, where shall the unprotected, baby, lukewarm Christian end up?


Article 2: Misconception of Symbology

Paragraph 9; Subsection 2

The Meaning Of The Pieces


Another mistake made concerning the Armor of God is that too much importance is placed on the individual symbolic pieces of the Armor.
Whole studies have been done on how the armor of Righteousness functions as a breastplate; a purely defensive piece of equipment, covering only the front portion of the soldier. It protects the heart and other vital organs.
Again, these ideas may be valid, but they completely miss the point. This armor is not tangible, it is not earthly, and therefore bears no resemblance to the military equipment of this world.
Again, this is made very clear in 2nd Corinthians 10:4: The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
These weapons, and this armor is not of this world. So why do we persist in trying to fit the square peg into the round whole? Why must we spend our time and energy trying to associate these spiritual things with that which is earthly?
In clearer language, why do we waste time likening righteousness to a breastplate, and likening the Truth to a belt?
At times, doing this type of thing enables us to more easily understand the things of the spirit, as can be illustrated through Jesus' use of parables.
But let us not water down the things of the spirit to the point where they become as commonplace as the things of the world. This Armor of God is spiritual, not carnal, and it has been imbued with divine power. Holy Power, which has the potential to make a difference in the spirit-world, if we would just pick it up and use it! This is the power that the enemy wants us so desperately to remain ignorant of.
The analogy of the spiritual armor being described like that of conventional armor, was only a tool to illustrate to us that it has the power to protect. It was not intended to be taken literally. Creating studies on how it can be taken literally is a ploy of the enemy to get you interested in the Armor of God without ever becoming trained in the use of it.
Remember, the enemy would love for you to get involved in a big study where the pieces of the spiritual armor are likened unto physical armor. You can be very eloquent, speaking of how the Word of God is like a sword, and how our salvation is a covering for our head, and how taken together, the armor is designed to be first and foremost an offensive outfit, with no provision for retreat.
This will highly motivate people to do… what? Go out and exorcise demons? Start a weeklong prayer fast? Not likely.
What will this type of message actually change about people's lives? It will give them a spiritual high, and they will feel great about themselves and their spirituality, while accomplishing absolutely nothing in the realm of the spirit. Powers of Darkness will not be threatened. Kingdoms of Evil will not be shaken. The enemy will not come under attack. And that is exactly the way they want it.

It becomes even clearer that these descriptions are not to be taken literally, when you see Ephesians speak of the breastplate as Righteousness, while 1st Thes. 5:8 speaks of the breastplate as Faith and Love.
Ephesians called Faith a shield, while Psalms 91:4 says the shield is the Faithfulness of the Lord. In Psalms 5:12, the shield is said to be the Lord's Favor.

It is not the earthly pieces of armor that are the focus of attention here. Rather, it is the spiritual equipment that needs to be understood.



Article 3: Identification

Paragraph 21; Subsection 3

The Specific Pieces Of The Armor


Recall that the Armor is described as the following in Ephesians:

Belt of Truth
Breastplate of Righteousness
Shoes of Readiness
Shield of Faith
Helmet of Salvation
Sword of the Word of God
Prayer in the Spirit

The earthly descriptions of these things can be stripped away, so that there is no confusion about them. They are:

Truth
Righteousness
Readiness
Faith
Salvation
Word of God
Prayer in the Spirit

These are what make up the Armor of God. We will devote some time to explaining exactly what each of these protective pieces is, and will then proceed to explain how they are to be used.

Truth -

Truth is the Gospel of Christ. It is the understanding of the reality of things, including the Godhead, the Plan of Salvation, Baptism, and the Holy Spirit. It is Doctrine.

Galatians 1:6-9: I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Paul makes it clear here, that some of the Galatians are turning to a different Gospel. In actuality, the Gospel is set in stone and unchanging, therefore the "Gospel" they are turning to is not really a "Gospel" at all!
The Gospel has an intrinsic Truth about it that cannot be changed. Any corruption of it simply renders it a lie - it is no longer the Gospel.

Galatians 2:4, 5 reveals spiritual infiltration being attempted, and the Truth is identified to us as the Gospel: This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. 5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.

The Truth of the Gospel!

Jesus called Himself the Truth, in John 14:6: Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Acts 20:28-31 tells about the spiritual battle we must expect to fight, and how the enemy will attempt to distort the Truth: Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

This Truth is the Gospel of Christ!

(Also notice here, that not only will the savage wolves come in to devour the Body of Christ, but even those from among their own number will be turned to the Dark Side! Further proof that the price of our salvation is eternal vigilance!)

Romans 1:25 talks about people who rejected the Truth and chose to believe a Lie: They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen.

They exchanged the Truth of God! What is the Truth of God? The Truth of God is His Gospel!

The Truth of God is that He is One (Matt. 12:32; Isaiah 44:8).
The Truth is that He came to this earth as a Man (1st Tim. 3:16).
The Truth is that He died for our sins on Calvary (Heb. 7:27).
The Truth is that if we Repent, if we are Baptized into the Name of Jesus, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, we will be saved! (Acts 2:38)

The Truth is the reality of things; not the way we perceive them to be, but the way they really are!
Two plus two equals four. This is the truth. This is the reality. Whether I choose to accept it or believe in it makes no difference. The truth is still the truth, regardless of what I think of it.

There really is a God. This is the Truth. There really is a Satan. There is a Heaven, and there is a Hell, and we all will have our part in one location or the other.
There is a Way to God, there is a Way to Heaven. As a matter of fact, there is only One Way (Ephesians 4:3: There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to one hope when you were called- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.)
This is the Truth. This is the knowledge that protects.

As a practical example, imagine a Trinitarian, or a Buddhist, or an Atheist confronted with the temptation to sin. Because they do not understand the Truth of God, they are weakened and cannot stand against the temptation. They may not even realize that what they have given into is wrong. Without the Truth of God, they cannot even identify, let alone resist sin!
We know that there is only power in the name of Jesus.

Acts 16:18: She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.

Whenever the Apostles did great works, they did them in the name of Jesus.

Acts 3:6: Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.";
Acts 3:16: By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.;
Acts 4:10: then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.;
Acts 8:12: But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.;
Acts 9:27: But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.;
Acts 10:48: So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.;
Phil. 2:10: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

When the people of the land tried to stop the Apostles from preaching, it was the name of Jesus that they always had a problem with (you can see the Powers of Darkness at work here) -

Acts 4:18: Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.;
Acts 5:40: His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.;
Acts 26:9: "I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

If you do not understand this Truth, then you are severely weakened. You do not know that when Satan tempts you to do evil, he can be commanded to leave through the authority of Jesus Christ. (Matt. 16:23)
If you do not know that there is power in the name of Jesus, if you do not understand the Truth about who He is, then you must endure the temptation of the Devil and may give in to it, having only your own weak flesh to battle with.
You would be far better off, if, understanding the Truth and the power of His Name, you could command Satan to flee from you. Then you would be protected from his schemes.
Think about a high school bully. He can't bother you if he can't get near you. Instead, he will have to terrorize someone else, someone he can get next to.
Recall the seven sons of Sceva. It is not enough to simply invoke the name of the Lord, you must know Him, and understand Him for who He really is. (Acts 19:13-16)
You must be protected with Truth.

Righteousness -

Righteousness is sometimes defined as "right-living". It is the state of Holiness, having the very attributes of God in our lives.

To paraphrase from Easton's Bible Dictionary, righteousness is the determination of a Judge, not a King. In making this determination of a person, the Law is not relaxed, or set aside, but is declared to have been fulfilled in the strictest sense.
Therefore, the righteous person is declared to be entitled to all of the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the Law, as described in Romans 5:1-10:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! 10 For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

The passage here speaks of "justification". Justification is not the forgiveness of a man who does not have righteousness, but instead is a declaration that the man does possess righteousness - a righteousness which perfectly and forever satisfies the Law.

2nd Cor. 5:21: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Romans 4:6-8: David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."

So to restate: Righteousness is "right-living". It is Holiness. It is having the attributes of God. It is not an "upright-living" that is done on the surface to be seen by men (the type of lifestyle the Pharisees engaged in). It is a part of who you are. It defines you. This "right-living" is a spiritual protection.

It is your "on-the-job" experience. If you are accustomed to living a pleasing life before the Lord, it becomes easier to resist the Devil.
Let's say you engage in swearing every day. It becomes commonplace to you to swear at every little thing that goes wrong. You swear even when things don't go wrong. It becomes a common means of simply expressing yourself in a strong way.
Now, when you are next tempted to swear, it is easy to do so, because it has become a force of habit. You do it without even thinking.
However, if you are used to speaking cleanly, then this type of temptation does not even become a factor in your life. You do not engage in that sort of conversation, and so the urge to do so is weak.
You are stronger, and more protected through your "right-living".

1st Peter 3:15,16: … But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

Titus 2:6-8: Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Christians should be above reproach.
If you ever wonder whether you should engage in a particular activity, just keep in mind this rule of thumb: Be above reproach.
Is it ok to take home some copy paper for my own personal use in my printer at home? Maybe just a box of thumbtacks. Or a pen. (Be above reproach! What if you are seen doing these things? What if you get a reputation as a thief? What will that do to your witness for the Lord?)
Can I participate in the gossip at work? (Be above reproach! Don't let it be said about you that you, the supposed Christian, is always involved in tearing others down.)
Can I flirt, even though I'm married? (Be above reproach!)
Can I be lazy in my job? (Be above reproach!)

A Christian should never find themselves in a position that they must try to explain.
Example: Suppose a prostitute calls you up and asks for a bible study. You go over to her house and spend time explaining to her the Word of God. You keep this up, visiting her, and witnessing to her.
Now suppose you are seen, day after day, going alone to the house of a prostitute. You are now in a situation that you must explain.
Even though nothing wrong has happened, evil can be spoken of you. Do not get into such a situation.
Instead, meet with her in a public place: the church, a restaurant, a park. And don't meet with her alone. Bring along a sister in the Lord, or your wife. This way, there is nothing to have to explain.

Do not let your good be spoken evil of. (Romans 14:16: Let not then your good be evil spoken of:)

Be above reproach! Live righteously, and it will be a protection to you!

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