The Armor of God

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand"  (Ephesians 6:10-13).

Note:  We should see that it is not our armor, but rather the armor of God.  We have done nothing to earn the armor!  It is part of the grace of God that one receives through faith in Jesus.  Neither is that armor something that we use by our own efforts.  That is, we can only use it by the grace of God.

Note: The armor is clothing which protects us when the enemy begins to attack us with deception, with lies, accusations.  When I was young and muscular, I didn't mind showing off my body a bit.  Now that I am older, I find that clothing covers some sagging muscles and a multitude of other physical flaws.  We all have flaws in our lives, but the grace of God in the armor of God covers those flaws. We may be quite weak in the flesh, but the spiritual armor protects us when the enemy does attack. Paul put it this way, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong"  (II Corinthians 12:9-10).

Note:  We are simply to put on the armor of God!  Every Believer has it, but each must put it on.  "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof"  (Romans 13:14).   We are to "put on" all that we are and all that we have in Christ.

Note: We are to STAND against the enemy who has come to knock us out of the "Winner's Circle".  When we stand in Christ we are more than a conquer.

Note: We are not to wrestle against people, but we are to wrestle against the powers of darkness.

"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel"  (Ephesians 6:14-19).
The ARMOR:
1. Loins girt about with truth.
2. The breastplate of righteousness.
3. Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
4. The shield of faith.
5. The helmet of salvation
6. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
7. Praying in the Spirit.
Again, the ARMOR is from God!

1. The loins girt about with truth ... "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ"  (John 1:17).  "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me"  (John 14:6). These verses speak of JESUS.  He is the truth.  Truth is that which is unchangeable.  It is absolute and not subject to situations.  Truth stand constant.  "By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left"  (II Corinthians 6:7).   "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed"  (Malachi 3:6).  "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning"  (James 1:17).  "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war"  (Revelation 19:11).  The TRUTH found in Jesus is to be the belt that holds everything up.  In Roman times, the skirt of the warrior was lifted and held held in place by the belt so that the warrior could run without falling.  "For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear"  (Jeremiah 13:11).  The girdle or belt is by application who we are in Christ.  The truth protects us in our daily walk.

2. The breastplate of righteousness ... This is strictly the righteousness that we have in Christ. Our righteousness in an of itself is unclean.  "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away"  (Isaiah 64:6).  This is a picture of a woman's blood stained under garments.  Therefore, we need something else.  Concerning Abram, the Scripture says, "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness"  (Genesis 15:6).   "And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins"  (Isaiah 11:5).  JESUS is the righteous one.  When we believe in Jesus, we receive HIS righteousness. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him"  (II Corinthians 5:21).  If you are a Believer your confession should be, "I am righteous" whether or not you live a perfect righteous life. "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference"  (Romans 3:22).  Of course, HIS righteousness should also begin to manifest itself in our own behavior.  "Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame"  (I Corinthians 15:34).  Wake up, you are RIGHTEOUS in Christ ... now don't sin.  It keeps our hearts pure.

3. The feet shod with the preparation the gospel of peace ... Jesus is our PEACE.  "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you"  (John 20:21).  He is the peace offering as symbolized in this passage. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"  (John 14:27).   "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"  (Romans 5:1).  "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father"  (Ephesians 2:14-18).  His peace protects us when we step on sharp objects.  Furthermore, it is only when we receive the peace of God in Christ that we can be at peace with ourselves and others.  The peace protects us in our daily witness.

4. The shield of faith  ...  We may look at our faith and feel that we have NO faith at all.  However, we should be looking at the one who is faithful (full of faith).   "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified"  (Galatians 2:16)  "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith"  (Romans 12:3).  It is not faith in faith. It is faith in Him who is full of faith that make a difference.  He has kept and will keep all his promises.  "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us"  (2 Corinthians 1:20)  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)" (Hebrews 10:23).    When we put on HIS faith, we are protected from all the fiery accusations of the enemy.  The faith provides a general, overall protection.

5. The helmet of salvation ...  "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek"  (Romans 1:16).  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).   One good definition of "grace" is "the unmerited favor of God."  We can not create or secure the helmet by our good works.  "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work"  (Romans 11:6).  Our security is not in our performance, but in the saving work of Jesus.  "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (I Peter 1:23).  Jesus said, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.    My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand"  (John 10:28-29). "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"  (Hebrews 9:14).   The helmet protects our thought life. Also see: "Protection For The Mind"

 6. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God ... "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"  (John 1:1).  Jesus is the Word of God!  "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God"  (Revelation 19:13).   When we read the Bible, we must see JESUS.  Jesus said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me"  (John 5:39). The Word is the essence of all communication.  This is the primary offensive weapon.  When Jesus himself was tempted, he rebuked the devil by saying repeatedly that "Is written!" We also see that Jesus is the Word of God.  "And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength"  (Revelation 1:16).  When the enemy attacks, we must stand against him holding to the Word of God. It is the way that we cast down the lies of the enemy.

7. Praying in the Spirit ... At first glance one may overlook this weapon; however, since seven is the number for completion, I believe that is must be seen as a weapon.  But what is praying in the Spirit?  In general, it is praying according to the will of God.  "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him" (I John 5:14-15).  However, we don't always know what or how to pray!  "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered"  (Romans 8:26).  Therefore, there is a need to allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us when our intellect is unfruitful.  "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful"  (I Corinthians 14:14).  Jude encourages us to pray in the Spirit.  "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost"  (Jude 1:20).  See: "Praying In The Spirit"  Paul says that we are to pray all kinds of prayers (requests, thanksgiving, supplication, and intercession).  However, again we can only do this by the GRACE of God and not by our own knowledge, skills in praying, or our own efforts.  Also see: "Mental Health Through Praying In The Spirit" and "Overcoming The Fear Of Praying In The Spirit"  Praying in the Spirit is calling upon God for help.



HOW DO WE PUT ON THE ARMOR?
1. First, as already stated, we must see that it is God's armor.

2. Second, we must believe that God has freely given it to us.

3. Third, we need to use our spiritual imagination to see ourselves clothed in it.

HOW DO WE USE THE ARMOR?
 It is walking by grace through faith in our daily lives and when we enter into spiritual warfare.  I believe that this is more a natural result of putting on the armor of God and not so much something that we have to force ourselves to do.

ALL THAT WE CAN DO IS BY FAITH TO PUT ON THE ARMOR AND STAND.  God does the rest.  We can NOT DEPEND upon our good works, our effort, our skills, our righteousness, our knowledge to defeat the enemy. We must DEPEND upon God.  Amen.
Spiritual Warefare