“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor 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 armor 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 armor 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 6:10-18
All through Ephesians, Paul compares how life before Christ-our B.C. days was to what our life with Christ should be! Now he’s ready to conclude!
“Be strong in the Lord . . .” Never in God’s word are we asked to be strong without God’s Presence in our lives. We’re always taught to be strong in God’s strength. Living out the Christian life outside of His strength is positively IMPOSSIBLE!
The Christian life is a battle! Old nature & lifestyle vs new! New perspective vs old! He reminds us that we’re not fighting against people-flesh and blood- 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.”
He then tells us to “put on the full armor of God”, so that we’ll be able to stand firm against our enemy!
No soldier would think of going into battle without their weapon and body armor and we shouldn’t either! Paul metaphorically lists each piece of armor that we have available to us, those similar to what a Roman soldier would have carried into battle his day, and briefly describes what it’s useful for. We should learn each piece and put it on each day!
Here’s each piece:
1. Belt of truth. The belt is one of the last thing any of us put on when we dress for the day because it holds us together. The belt of truth not only helps protect our core, but it secures the other pieces of armor together and to us.
2. Body armor of God’s Righteousness, traditionally known as the “breastplate of righteousness”. This body armor was custom fitted completely protected the soldier’s internal organs! Our spiritual body armor protects our heart and other core organs from the devil’s lies that we’ll never succeed, never be good enough and never go the distance. The truth is that God’s Own Righteousness has us covered and qualifies us to live in God’s business, fighting His battles here on earth!
3. Shoes of peace. In Roman times, sandals were common footwear. Their’s were closed toed, laced up like boots and spiked on the bottom for leverage in sandy soil. Our shoes, both protecting our ability to walk through this world without slipping and falling, is the peace that comes from understanding the Good News of the Gospel of how God, through Jesus, has reconciled our relationship with Him. Jesus paid the FULL PRICE for our salvation. He has made peace with God FOR US! Knowing this will help us to “stand firm” in a slippery world!
4. Shield of faith. The Roman’s had big shields! They were used to deflect flaming arrows that were lit, then shot at them from a distance. Satan and his army of demons likes to shoot fiery darts at you, reminding you of your past, your sins and failures and badgering your weaknesses! Our shield of faith-faith in Who Jesus is, what He’s done for us and how complete His work within us is-is designed to protect us from his flaming accusations!
5. Helmet of salvation. Helmets protect heads, where our brain, the part of us that controls every other part! God’s salvation-the Knowledge that Jesus has made us right with God, has accepted us as sons & daughters and has given us an inheritance to share for all eternity with Jesus Himself. The knowledge of all of this is protected by our helmet! All the devil has in this fight are mind-games. Our helmet of salvation protects us from this!
Think about it!