Put On the Full Armor of God

We are engaged in a war for the cause of Christ. This is not a physical war; instead, it is spiritual (2 Corinthians 10:4). It is a battle for the souls of men. In order to help us in this fight, God has given us the armor that we must put on so that we will be able to “stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). Let us notice the armor with which the Lord has equipped us.

Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:14-17).

Loins girded with truth (Ephesians 6:14) – This is where we must start. Everything else is built upon it. If we begin with something other than truth, we ruin everything else. If it is not based on the truth of God’s word (John 17:17), our righteousness becomes unrighteousness (Romans 1:16), the gospel becomes a different gospel (Galatians 1:6-9), we lose the basis for our faith (Romans 10:17), and we forfeit our salvation (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Yes, we must start with the truth and build upon that.

Breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14) – The breastplate protects a soldier’s vital organs. Righteousness protects us in the same way. We are righteous when we practice righteousness (1 John 3:7). That which is righteous is revealed in God’s word (Romans 1:16-17). Therefore, we must live according to the teachings of the gospel. If we do not, instead giving ourselves over “to sin as instruments of unrighteousness” (Romans 6:13), we become “slaves of sin” (Romans 6:17, 20) and will be punished with spiritual death (Romans 6:23). We must do what is right in order to follow Christ.

Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15) – We wage this spiritual war in order to bring about peace. The gospel is the message of how man can have peace with God (Ephesians 2:13-18). We must prepare to teach this message to others. We do this by learning how to “accurately [handle] the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). This takes study on the part of each one of us. As Christians, we should be able to teach the basic message of the gospel to others (1 Peter 3:15).

Shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16) – This is our defense against Satan’s attacks. Our faith must be based upon the word of God (Romans 10:17), not our opinions, feelings, or what we have been told by others. We must develop a strong faith so that will be “able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16) – not just some of his attacks, but all of them. He is like a lion seeking his prey. So we are told to “resist him, firm in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). The stronger our faith, the better we will be able to endure the attacks against our faith.

Helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17) – In writing to the brethren in Thessalonica, Paul called this helmet “the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8). Hope is more than a wish – it is a desire coupled with the expectation of receiving the object of our hope. We do not just wish to be saved; we have hope. No matter what happens in this life, we know that if we follow the Lord we will be rewarded because He will be victorious (Revelation 17:14). This should help keep us from losing heart. We may have “tribulation for ten days” or a short amount of time, but if we are “faithful until death,” we will receive the “crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17) – The word of God is our only weapon used for attacking. We do not use physical weapons of war (2 Corinthians 10:4). We do not use worldly tactics in teaching – impugning one’s motives, slander, character assassination, and so on (Ephesians 4:15). We need nothing but the word of God (Hebrews 4:12). It is capable of doing all that God intends for it to do (Isaiah 55:11). Because this is our only offensive weapon, we must train ourselves to handle it (2 Timothy 2:15). Otherwise, all we will be able to do is withstand the blows and attacks against us.

Brethren, let us “put on the full armor of God” and prepare for battle. We must defend the gospel (Philippians 1:16-17) and destroy error (2 Corinthians 10:5) as we work to save ourselves and others. The battle is the Lord’s (Revelation 17:14). The outcome is sure. Let us confidently fight for Him here until He calls us home.

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