Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Armor of God

In our series through Ephesians we have spent the last several weeks studying the armor of God that Paul lays out for us in Ephesians 6:10-17. The six pieces of armor were extremely important.

The first piece is the belt of truth. In the Roman armor, a girdle was a belt which would hold his tunic tight so he might be free with his movements, it also provided a place for the soldier to hold his sword.

Paul tells us then to put on the breastplate of righteousness. The purpose of the breastplate is to guard the most vital organs of your body; it is the bullet proof vest that protects the heart.

After the breastplate, Paul says to shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. The caligal, the Roman military boot, was one of the most important parts of their equipment. They were designed for long marches over every kind of rough terrain. In fact, it has been said the soldiers’ boots were the secret of the Roman conquest.

In addition, Paul states, take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. One of the most dangerous weapons of ancient warfare was the fiery darts. The heads of the darts would be wrapped with flax or hemp fiber, soaked in pitch, then set afire before they were launched. The wooden shields could be set aflame by the arrows so they were covered with a layer of hide and were large enough to protect the entire body. Even though the darts would pierce the shield, the fire would be quenched.

And take the helmet of salvation The helmet protects the head, the seed of our thought life.

These weapons are all defensive in nature, a protection against the forces that come against us. But we are not isolated with just a defensive posture, for Paul says for us to take up the sword of the spirit.
Church, when we take the Great Commission seriously and go on the offense, the devil and his horde of demons are going to fight back with flaming arrows. He will attack us and everything associated with us: our church, spouse, children, business, everything. And our armor against these attacks is given to us by Christ. We need belief in God and in his ability to protect us, having confidence in His word.

The super highway of life is littered with Christians who have never discovered how to fight the evil one. They have depended on their own moral strength, ethical wisdom, high ideals and a personal commitment to justice and righteousness. And they have faced evil in a naked encounter, without being clothed in the armor of God. And they had won some battles, they have escaped some temptation, they have overcome some sins they labeled as ugly, they have exposed some social crimes, but ultimately they were found lacking, wearing down and out because they needed more, they needed Christ who stands and battles with us and for us at every onslaught of sin.

We must wear the armor that our Lord purchased for us through His blood!

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