You cannot stand against the enemy without your armor. You must be wearing the whole armor of God. This battle is not a natural one; therefore, natural weapons are ineffective. Spiritual battles are fought with spiritual weapons. The armor has a purpose, and our responsibility is to put it on.
In the Christian life, we fight against "principalities and powers," the incredible fiendish powers of fallen heavenly messengers headed by Satan (1 Peter 5:8). To withstand their assaults, we should rely upon God's strength and utilize each piece of his defensive armor.
Paul is not just giving his advice to the church yet to everyone inside the church. The entire body should be equipped. As we fight against "the rulers of the darkness of this world," we battle in the strength of the church, whose force comes from the Holy Spirit.
How to Put on the Armor of God?
Here we have the two angles united: human undertaking coincided with the Lord's movement. We are to be strong, however, in the Lord’s strength.
The strength of the Lord obviously alludes to the Spirit. Not by your own strength, for man is weak and frail. Sometimes we tend to give in, but by God’s strength, we can overcome.
This verse presents the general inspiration for Paul's directions. Particularly the strength and power through and of the Lord. Paul opened his letter with a supplication for the Ephesian Christians to gain insight and information (Ephesians 1:15-23).
After talking about the use of wisdom, Paul noticed that the believer does not depend on their own strength; however, on God’s power to be victorious in life's battles.
The accompanying verses offer a framework for each piece of the allegorical defensive layer (armor) of God. Each piece associates with a territory of spiritual life significant for dependence upon God's strength.
Paul's portrayal of these parts finishes with an emphasis on supplication and prayer (Ephesians 6:18–20), again asking God for strength and victory in the fight.
Simply by depending on God through these spiritual devices, we will be able to beat the evil spirits and prevail by God's will.
“Put on” indicates an action we must take. It is not like an athletic uniform we put on for the game. We must have all our issued gear, and if we forget even one piece, we will be vulnerable to the enemy.
As soldiers always do, we should periodically check our gear. The enemy uses underhanded tactics to slip us up and can use our goodness against us.
To start with, believers should plan to use all instruments accessible to them. A couple of pieces are not adequate, particularly considering the subsequent capability, which are the plans of Satan.
Just with each piece of the armor of God can a believer sufficiently stand against the plans of the devil.
Similarly, as a Roman officer could not sensibly enter a fight with a fractional defensive layer or with just a portion of his weapons, a believer will not be as effective in spiritual war except if all aspects of God's armor are incorporated.
Second, Paul calls the devil's work toward believers "wiles" or schemes. This shows a planned assault against believers. Paul’s concern is not actual violence, yet it is for a spiritual fight (Ephesians 6:12).
Furthermore, the devil appears to explicitly look to obliterate the work of all believers. Fortunately, his force is no counterpart to the power accessible through God.
How Do We Stand Firm?
Believers should implore and completely depend on God's assets to stand firm against the devil’s assaults (Ephesians 6:13). Utilizing God’s armor completely and totally is critical to enduring this spiritual battle.
We are not fighting natural, physical forces but demonic forces. Those who are not "flesh and blood" are demons over whom Satan has control. They are not figments of imagination; they are genuine. We face a ground-breaking armed force whose objective is to crush Christ's church.
At the point when we trust in Christ and join his congregation, these creatures become our adversaries, and they attempt with everything to dismiss us from Christ and back to sin.
Although we are guaranteed triumph, we should take part in the battle until Christ comes since Satan is continually engaging against all who are on the Lord's side.
The enemy uses evil troops in different areas of our lives. We need spiritual power to overcome Satan, and God has given that in his Holy Spirit, who is inside us and his armor that is encompassing us.
If we feel debilitated, we are to recall Jesus' words to Peter: “and I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18).
Christians need the whole armor of God. It is not like choosing what shirt to wear with what pants, whether should I wear this with that, do I wear a tie, or what shoes go with that outfit. We cannot select what part of gear we will take for the day.
It takes all the gear, all the armor. You will not see a firefighter running into a burning building without full protective gear. You will not see a medical team heading into surgery without their PPE (personal protective equipment).
All means all. “Having done all to stand” is a military phrase meaning to hold a watch post or hold a critical position. How can we stand our ground if we have not done everything we are to do?
In ancient times, the girdle around the loins held the other parts of the uniform in place. If the girdle were lost, the rest of the armor could be lost. If people do not know Jesus, they have already lost everything.
The initial two pieces of God's reinforcement are noted in Ephesians 6:14. Paul portrays these pieces of a Roman soldier’s attire in the request they would have been put on.
1. The Belt of Truth. To begin with, Paul refers to the "belt of truth." At that time, a belt was tied around the midriff instead of clasped. It was subsequently "girt" or attached, as Paul notes. These were not flimsy segments of material.
A soldier’s belt was thick and solid. The remainder of a soldier’s armor was attached to this belt. For the Christian, truth is to be safely associated with us for our prosperity.
Truth incorporated the precise information with respect to God and the uplifting news of Jesus (Ephesians 1:13; 4:15,21,25). Truth "ties together" all the other things we accept. Without bringing together the truth, we simply have incoherent, separated pieces.
2. The Breastplate of Righteousness. This belt would hold the breastplate set up, just as the scabbard holds a sword (Ephesians 6:17).
A Roman's breastplate would commonly be produced using bronze or networking chainmail and would cover the fundamental vital organs (heart, lungs, stomach).
Righteousness is fundamental for securing the existence of the believer through spiritual fighting.
Additionally, the breastplate is an essential method for knowing who the ally is; this is one of the clearer ways for soldiers to perceive each other in battle.
Why Does This Matter?
A Christian's conduct is intended to distinguish them from the world, and different believers, as supporters of Christ.
Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), the Holy Spirit is of truth (John 14:17), God is truth (Romans 3:4), and the gospel is truth (Colossians 1:5). One sinned, then judgment came, and righteousness was given by God (Romans 5:18; Philippians 3:9).
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Chris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. Chris is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service. During his service, he received numerous awards and citations. Chris holds a Doctor of Ministry, an M.B.A., and a B.S. in health administration. Chris and his wife Vicki of 25 years reside in Madison, Alabama. If you are interested in having Chris deliver God's Word at your place of worship, you can reach him here.