We’ve been going through the Armor of God from Ephesians in our Sunday services (Thank you Mark and Alex) and I’ve learnt some things that I had mis-interpreted for all these years, or learnt something new from the passage I’ve read so many times.
The Whole Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
The goal of putting on the armor is that we can stand. To stand firm. And after everything, to keep standing
We cant stand unless we are focused on God
The belt of truth:
shows others and reminds us whose authority we are under, by whose authority we stand firm, as well as reminds us whose we are
we stand in God’s strength
The breastplate of righteousness:
this is not our righteousness, it’s Jesus’ righteousness.
imputed righteousness – justification
imparted righteousness – sanctification
It is covering our vital organs, heart (thinking), liver, stomach, kidneys (feelings and emotions)
If we don’t put on the breastplate of righteousness, each arrow will be a near to complete deathblow
The shoes of readiness:
This is not being ready to give the gospel to people. This is being ready to stand firm in the onslaught from the devil.
Often in those days, soldiers were actually bare footed, making it difficult to stand firm in an onslaught, especially when the ground was slick with mud / blood or was riddled with sharp rocks and thorns. The Roman army was the first to put shoes on their soldiers and often they would have nails driven through them to spike into the ground for more grip, giving their army superiority by virtue of the fact they could stand firm in any circumstance
The shield of faith:
I’ve always thought when it says “in all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one”, that it meant the shield of faith would help me out of circumstances – boy was I wrong 😊.
We can’t extinguish our circumstances with enough faith, but we can stand firm in our circumstances. When we have terrible circumstances, the flaming darts are the thoughts the devil tries to deceive us with. He puts just enough twist on truth to make it sound like truth but it’s actually a lie.
The flaming arrows attack 2 things: the truth of God, and the character of God
The devil sows the seed of doubt (flaming arrow), when we buy into it, the then sells the lie (raging fire consuming everything)
A single flaming arrow, if not extinguished, can consume and destroy an entire city
The Romans used to soak their wooden shields in water for 2 to 3 days before a battle so that when flaming arrows are fired at them, they are put out straight away.
In the same way we need to be soaking our minds and hearts with God’s truth so that when a flaming arrow comes, it is immediately put out, because we know the truth. We can be searching for a truth in scripture when the arrows come because by the time we have found one, we have another 6 arrows in us.
The helmet of salvation:
This is only helpful if we actually put it on.
I have been saved from the penalty of sin (justification) – Christ took the penalty (Rom 8:1)
I am being saved from the power of sin (sanctification) Rom 8 – we are able to walk in the power of the Spirit, this is going on till the day we die
I will be saved from the presence of sin (glorification)
The devil cannot undo/take away our salvation, but he will try make us think he can. He tries to beat us down, steal our joy.
1 Thessalonians 5:8 “ But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” – live now in light of salvation to come (glorification).
2 Corinthians 4:16 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
Are we seeing spiritual growth despite outwardly “wasting away”? We need to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
The Sword of the Spirit:
This is a weapon, it’s not a passive piece of the armor. It’s double edged, and meant for close combat
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”
The Sword is intimidating so don’t give the enemy any ground
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”
We have the Spirit living in us, the same divine power that raised Jesus from the dead, living in us. But so often we cower before our enemy (who is actually already defeated, but tries to make us think he is winning).
Scripture is written by the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit. Its alive and active. Why would we leave our weapon on the shelf to collect dust when we know we are in a war?
As we read God’s word we need to let it change us too. And we can’t recall scripture, if we aren’t actually reading it.
You can watch the sermons (or listen to them in the back ground 😊) – you need to fast forward through the worship, announcements etc
The Belt of Truth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlapSclI3pc
The Breastplate of Righteousness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYwH6609UBU
The Shoes of Readiness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo1W4n_9ZFg
The Shield of Faith (Alex kept referring to V18 but it’s V16): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70TKmQdAVn0
The Helmet of Salvation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKu4YrK-IrI
The Sword of the Spirit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7JlrbQUxJo