The Whole Armour of God
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armour of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. – Ephesians 6 v 10-18.
A few years ago, I didn’t understand this passage. I thought I did, but I didn’t. I saw it almost as a superstitious act. If I stood in front of the mirror, and ‘put on the armour’, I’d be protected. I also thought that it was about what I did. If I knew the Truth and the Good News, if I had faith, had said the ‘sinner’s prayer’ and read my bible, I would be protected. If I was righteous, I’d be protected. I made it all about me and what I had to do to be protected. I thought that if I did these things, God would honour His promise to protect me. I had misunderstood this passage. It is the Armour of God, not the armour of Richard. A few years later, I have changed considerably. I have aligned my beliefs with scripture as opposed to twisting scripture to suit my beliefs.
I had not heard a sermon preached about this since changing my mind, and I didn’t really think about how my views about this would have changed, until I heard this sermon. Fortunately the preach was spot on and made so much sense.
It is the Armour of God, it is about what He has done. This is what gives us the protection. We are here to fight the devil and his works. This is very real, and the only way that we will survive (and thrive) is by knowing who we are in Christ. In order to do this, we need to look at what He has done for us. This is what Ephesians is all about, our identity in Christ, and this passage wraps it up nicely. The truth is the truth of what Christ has done, the Truth is Christ, this is the belt of truth. The body armour of GOD’S righteousness, it even says it there. We have that breast-plate because of God’s righteousness, which is now our righteousness, thanks to what Christ did. The peace that we have from the Good News is because of what Christ did for us, if we truly understand what He has done, we will have peace. The shield of faith. This sounds like works, but the only work is holding up the shield. The faith we have is in God, not us. The helmet of salvation is about protecting our mind. When the devil tries to convince you that you’re not good enough, this is when you realise who you are (and what you can achieve) in Christ and ignore satan’s empty threats. Lastly, the sword. Reading the bible is only part of the job, knowing and using it is the other. Having a sword at home is not going to help. You need it with you in battle, you need it sharp, and you need to use it.
I hope that this has giving you some things to think about, read the rest of Ephesians, this will give you a good idea of what this passage is all about. Just remember, we need the WHOLE armour of God.
Now get into battle!