This message is timely since we live in a visibly fallen world, right from the beginning of time the bible tells us “that the whole world is under the control of the evil one” 1 John 5:19. We can only hope that Christians will heed the warning and dress up appropriately to withstand the raging assault of the enemy and not only that but to be able to stand firm in the days and years ahead.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Eph 6:13Eph 6:13
If there’s anything the year 2020 taught us; is that we are already in the perilous times the bible described and life as we know it is not what it used to be. The birth pangs of the coming of our savior are being felt the world over. There is no one living who can say they’ve not been touched with or brusied by the pain and pangs of death and sorrows the last two years. and it is still happening daily, only God can help us to overcome in these last days
Jesus Christ in Matthew 24 told us about the signs of the end times in advance so we would be amply prepared and spiritually equipped to overcome the changes that would occur in our lives and society. The consolation is that our God has not left us naked before the evil one. He has made at our disposal His Spiritual Weapons to be used effectively daily!
LIFE IS A BATTLE AND WE MUST FIGHT TO WIN!3 Thou, therefore, work hard as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.4 No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier.5 And also if anyone contends in public contest, he is not crowned, except he contends legitimately. 2 Tim 2 3-5
What is this Armor?
An Armor is a defense; our defense against the devices and the wiles of the evil one. This Armor can have many parts which play different roles. Without this defensive armor, we are going to be so exposed and be defeated before the battle even starts…God forbid! This is why the bible tells us to put on the full armor of God not some but full armor complete for the battle ahead.
The Bible Shows us What The Armor of God is:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.Ephesians 6:10-20
Let us bear in mind that the military uniform described here Ephesians 6:14-17 is the Roman military uniform of which Paul the apostle was very conversant with and since he wrote the passage with this particular descriptive uniform in mind, we are going to look at it from that purview, even though in today’s world certain military paraphernalia has changed over time, an example swords for guns… still the military regalia is the same today, as all the points mentioned are still relevant till date… helmets are still being worn, belts, shoes or boots in place of sandals, bulletproof vests for breastplates, etc.
THE BELT OF TRUTH
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6
It is poignant to note that this is the first item Paul mentioned; The belt is critical in the completeness of a soldier’s uniform/. Without the belt, there would be no place to put a sword as it held the sheat meant for the sword. In essence; no belt on the waist… no place for the sword to stay.
Imagine a soldier, charged with excitement, rushing into battle, without his belt, and without a weapon! What a sight and the enemy would have a field day with such a one.
What this means is that without the belt of truth — which is Jesus… you cannot use the word of God – which is also Jesus. WOW! No wonder the bible says “and you shall know the truth and it shall set you free, Jesus is the truth.” John 8:32
BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
the breastplate of righteousness in place,
This can be likened to the bulletproof vest worn today by soldiers as it does the same job. The breastplate was part of the Roman soldier’s uniform or armor as it provided protection for the upper body that houses the vital organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and intestines. Without a breastplate, a soldier would be exposed to spears/swords and bullet attacks that would hasten the death of such a soldier.
Having a functional breastplate proves effective in repelling the attacks as it just bounces off the surface as nothing happened in the first place.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Since Christ is our righteousness because we do not have our own righteousness just like the arrows/bullets bounces of the breastplate/bulletproof vest so also our sins once we put on Christ our righteousness bounces off us.
SHOES OF GOSPEL OF PEACE
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
A shoeless soldier would really look weird, imagine running around barefooted in battle? Not to talk of all the stones and sticks that could injure the soldier’s feet and make it uncomfortable to fight in the hot sun or cold rain… Our shoe armor will allow us to step freely and without fear while we fight the battle at hand.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”
Our feet are what we move around with and God expects us to evangelize the world with the GOSPEL of CHRIST. It is with the shoes on our feet that we would be able to Do the work of an evangelist (2 Tim 4:5 )
SHIELD OF FAITH
take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
This is where it gets really personal for us Christians… the subject of FAITH is always a hot-button issue for us. The bible says, “And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” this makes it a prerequisite to being in any kind of relationship with God Almighty.
A shield is the first line of defense from any attack. While the rest of our armor helps protect us from Satan’s attacks.
The primary work of a shield is to protect or guard. Shields protect us physically, just as our faith in God can protect us spiritually. Satan is always seeking whom to devour by roaming and threatening our faith and trust in God through his famous weapons such as doubts, anxiety, fear, sicknesses/diseases, worry, shame, and guilt that he throws our way to see how we react— as long as our shields are in place and our faith is strong and steady, the devil will not succeed.
The devil will only succeed When we stop believing that God is in control of our circumstances; that God is working out His purposes in our lives and He is able to make all things work for good in the end.
Imagine standing in faith when the enemy tells you the opposite of God’s words… that’s what the shield of faith does for the believer
HELMET OF SALVATION
Take the helmet of salvation
The head is always the first part of every human, even at birth, the head typically comes out first for normal births. Since the creation of the world, there has never been a headless human being, but it is very possible to see an armless, legless human but headless? Never! This is why the subject of salvation is crucial. You can’t even fight the devil without being saved in the first instance. This is why the helmet of salvation is the most important of all the armor. Without being saved we cannot fight the devil. Jesus says “A kingdom fighting itself cannot stand Matt 3:24“
The Roman soldier’s helmet, just like the helmets of today, protects the human head from the attacks of the enemy.
1 Thessalonians 5:8-11
But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests
We are told that this special armor is the word of God.. Jesus!
There is no enemy that the Word of God and the Holy Spirit cannot defeat. The sword of the spirit and only the sword that allows us to attack—to directly do the work that needs to be done. Till now most of the armor is mainly for defensive purposes but the sword is for both offensive and defensive purposes. Jesus used the word of God in the wilderness against the devil during the temptation of Christ Matt 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.Hebrews 4:12
If we put on God’s armor, we must also be determined to pray without ceasing. God is the commander of His spiritual army, and He alone knows how to lead it to victory… praying all manner of prayers in the spirit.
Putting on the whole armor without an active prayer life will still lead to defeat no matter how well-skilled and brave one is; Victory is only assured when we add prayer to the mix.
WE CAN SEE THAT THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD IS IN FACT – JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, FROM THE HELMET TO THE SHOES IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS AND JESUS ALONE. THE BIBLE IS SIMPLY TELLING US TO PUT ON CHRIST AND WILL BE ABLE TO DEFEAT THE DEVIL AND HIS WILES. WITHOUT CHRIST DEFEAT AND DEATH IS SURE.