Armor of God
We are exhorted to “put on the full armor of God” so that we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Eph. 6:11). To be clothed with the armor of God is to wear his righteousness, his truth, and his salvation (Is. 59:16–17, 61:10). It is trusting in the might of the Lord rather than standing in our own strength or leaning on our own understanding. In Ephesians 6, six pieces of armor are listed:
1. The belt of truth (Eph. 6:14)
We are to be encircled with a belt of truth. The devil will attack truth directly by assailing you with lies, and he will attack truth indirectly by telling you there is no truth. “There are many truths. There is your truth and my truth.” He will try to deconstruct your belt of truth by glorifying doubt and uncertainty.
Truth is not a manmade construct but is defined by the One who is truth personified (John 14:6). To be girded with truth is to define and interpret all things through the lens of Jesus Christ.
2. The breastplate of righteousness (Eph. 6:14)
A breastplate protects your heart from the devil’s accusations and keeps you in right standing with the Lord.
The devil will accuse you of being a failure or not doing enough. Heed his lies and you will fall from grace into dead works of self-righteousness. We resist this temptation and guard our hearts by standing secure in the righteous affirmation of our Father’s love and acceptance. When the accuser points to your shortcomings, you need to remind yourself, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” (2 Cor. 5:21).
3. Gospel shoes (Eph. 6:15)
We stand ready and unshakeable when we stand on the gospel of peace. The gospel of peace reveals the God of peace who makes peace by making us righteous (Rom. 15:33). When the devil tries to unsettle us, we remember that God is for us and with us and in us. Knowing that we have been justified, we have peace with God (Rom. 5:1).
4. The shield of faith (Eph. 6:16)
Faith is resting in the confident assurance that God is good and he longs to be good to you. Faith is not wishing the devil would go away or that God will do something for you if you do something for him. Faith is trusting in the unfailing love of God.
The original word for shield (thureos) means a large door-shaped shield. We extinguish all the fiery darts (temptations and deceptions) of the enemy by resting in Christ.
5. The helmet of salvation (Eph. 6:17)
Most spiritual warfare takes place in the battlefield of your mind. Since we are facing a defeated foe (Col. 2:15), the only way Satan can win is if he gets you to take his side. Swallow his lies and fall for his schemes, and you empower a disarmed enemy. We refute his lies and deceptions by wearing the helmet of salvation. We take every thought captive to the obedience of the Savior (2 Cor. 10:5).
6. The sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17)
The sword of the spirit is the word of God in our hearts and on our lips. It is a most effective weapon because the word of God has power. Jesus refuted the devil in the wilderness by speaking the word of God (see Luke 4:4). In the same way, we resist the enemy’s lies by clinging to, and speaking forth, the word of God.
The enemy’s weapons are no match for the believer who is standing firm in the full armor of God. Spiritual attacks and persecution are to be expected (2 Tim. 3:12). But by the grace of God you will win every battle. Your enemies will come at you in one direction and flee in seven (Deut. 28:7).
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