Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Already, the armor has contained truth, righteousness, and the gospel of peace. But above all, we are to have the shield of faith. It reminds me of some notes from my study of Ephesians 4:27 ("Neither give place to the devil."):
Ephesians 6:16, "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
Faith quenches the devil's darts. If we are bowing down under the weight of his attack, perhaps we should cry out to God to increase our faith.
1 Peter 5:8-9 is not the next passage in this context, but applies to Ephesians 6:16, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world."
Again, the attack of the devil is linked to our faith. We are to resist (oppose, stand against) while stedfast in the faith. If we are not steadfast in faith, we have no shield by which to resist.
Faith in God is a gradual process. We begin by faith for salvation:
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Romans 3:28)
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" (Romans 5:1)
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." (Galatians 2:16)
"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith." (Galatians 3:11)
"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." (Galatians 3:24)
"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." (James 2:24)
Then, we add to our faith for justification by living by faith:
"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." (Romans 1:17)
"(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)" (2 Corinthians 5:7)
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
"Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." (Hebrews 10:38)
Do we have the shield of faith? Have we accepted Christ as our Savior?
And then, if we have that shield, is it still in front of us, protecting us fully? or have we let it slip down a little because we are now living as carnal believers?
Faith - NT:4102 pistis (pis'-tis); from NT:3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: