“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 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 of the Lord’s people.”
We start with the words “Put on” in verse 11. We have to literally “Put On” Gods armor. Clothes or armor that is left hanging up in the closet or locker isn’t going to do anyone any good. When you get up in the morning, do your clothes jump out of your dresser or closet and onto your body? No! You have to put them on! “Well I waited and waited, but my clothes never got up and slipped themselves on me.” We have to PUT ON the armor of God for our spiritual bodies every day, just like we have to put on our clothes for our physical body every day. We put on God, put on Christ, and we put on the Holy Spirit.
The second word that is very important is the word “full”. He says it twice; once in verse 11 and again in verse 13. It is useless to not have the “full” armor of God. What good is it to wear a helmet (salvation) if the rest of your body is vulnerable?
Paul is of course, talking about a spiritual battle. But, it is a spiritual battle which affects the physical world. It is a battle for the heart, mind, and very soul of every human being on this earth; and, we need to have the full armor of God in order to “stand” (another word Paul uses four times.) “take your stand”; “stand your ground”; “stand firm”; “and after you have done everything, to STAND”!
Let’s look at what this armor is and how we can use it; I want to point out three pieces from our scripture; “Truth”, in verse 14, “righteousness” also in verse 14, and “gospel of peace” in verse 15. These are the first three pieces of armor. The belt of truth, the breast-plate of righteousness and the boots of the gospel of peace. (To help you remember, just think of the 3B’s, belt, breastplate and boots.)
Truth is the first piece of armor; Paul compares it to a soldier’s belt. Now many of us wear a belt just to keep our pants up, but in the days of the Roman soldier, the belt was a part of his armor. The belt, which was made of leather, was wrapped around the soldier’s waist and kept his toga or cloak from flying all around during battle. The soldier’s belt held everything in close, keeping him in fighting readiness. It was also where he would keep his sword and other weapons ready for battle. The belt tied everything together. In our spiritual battle gear, truth, our belt, wraps itself around the believer. It is truth which ties together the believer’s armor. In our warfare against Satan and his demons, our enemy uses deception and deceit as one of their weapons. From our previous lesson – “be careful that you are not deceived.” It is our belt of truth that illuminates our way and enables us to be ready to fight. Truth speaks of an authentic lifestyle. This lifestyle has three dimensions; it means telling the truth, living the truth and representing truth. Wearing the belt of truth means that we live honestly, with integrity, and without hypocrisy. It means applying truth to how we live our lives.
We, as a society, have twisted our words so that they are no longer meaningful. I heard someone once describe taxes as a “revenue assessment enhancement.” Truth says that they’re taxes! Moral perversion is now called “gay” or “alternate lifestyle.” We don’t dare say homosexual we say “gay.” Destruction of unborn life, created by God is “freedom of choice.” If we are going to wear the belt of truth…then let’s stop trying to be politically correct, and call sin sin!
The second piece of our armor is the breastplate of righteousness. On the Roman soldier, the breastplate covered his vital organs. The heart, lungs, stomach, and other organs were covered by this important piece of armor. To me this means our righteousness – which is only found in Christ – is what gives us true life; a right mind; a right heart; and a right spirit; the “breastplate of righteousness” is that which covers the vital life “within” us.
The 3rd piece of armor are the shoes or boots of the gospel of peace. There are two qualities of peace that we experience as Christians. The first is the peace that we have “with” God. As Christians, we are no longer fighting against God, turning our will against His. Paul tells us in Romans 5:1 “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The 2nd quality is the peace “of” God. Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This is a peace in knowing that no matter what we go through in life, we have the peace of God within us. The peace of God means that we can experience His peace even in the most difficult circumstances. It is the peace of God that is within us that causes us to have that calm, self assurance no matter what the situation.
The first three pieces of armor are things that must be put on and worn all the time by the Roman soldier, as well as us, they are never taken off. The next three however, were taken up when the actual fighting was about to begin. Next week, we will look at the remaining pieces of our armor.
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