Shield of Faith (2): Faith as a Weapon

Danny, his sister Becky, and their mother leaned over the library book on Roman armor. Their mother pointed at a picture of a line of Roman soldiers charging into battle. “One of the interesting things about the Roman shield is that the soldiers used it not only to protect themselves, but also as a weapon.”

“Really? I thought shields were only for protection?” Becky frowned at the picture.

Danny frowned too. How did a person use a shield as a weapon?

“Not the Roman scutum. It was designed to be used as a weapon along with their sword.” Their mother pointed at the picture of the shield. “See this big knob in the center of the shield? That is called the boss. It was often hardened wood or iron. When a Roman soldier marched into battle, he would slam the center of his shield, reinforced with this iron boss, into his enemy. While his enemy was hurt and stumbling, the Roman soldier would then stab him with his sword.”

“So they used their shields to punch people?” Danny straightened. That was a pretty cool shield.

“Yes. Sometimes, they would slam into an enemy so hard he’d fall to the ground.”

“How is our faith a weapon?” Becky’s nose crinkled. “I’ve never heard it talked about like that.”

“If we’re only hiding behind our shield of faith, we aren’t taking action. There are passages in the book of James that says faith without works—without action—is dead. It’s just a wooden shield doing nothing. But when we follow God’s commands and walk with him as we are supposed to, then our faith has action. It is like the Roman shield punching forward into the world. Truly living our faith gets the world off balance. They can’t explain what is different about us, and they don’t like that. That’s how our faith is a weapon.”


Questions to think about:

  1. Read Ephesians 6:16, James 2:14-26, and Heidelberg Catechism LD 32 Q&A 86; LD 33 Q&A 91 by yourself or with your parents. How are faith and works related?
  2. How does faith become like a weapon? What does it do?