What is the Armor of God? (Ephesians 6:11)
What is the armor of God? How do we put on the armor of God?
The Bible frequently reminds us that humanity is involved in a spiritual battle. We do not fight against flesh and blood but we fight against principalities and evil spiritual forces.
Ephesians 6:12 says: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
And so how should a Christian respond during spiritual warfare? In a world where the physical realm is influenced by the spiritual realm, how is a Christian supposed to live his/her life?
The Bible says that we should put on the full Armor of God.
Ephesians 6:11 says: Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Ephesians 6:13-17 says the following: Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
So according to Ephesians 6:13-17, the Armor of God consists of 6 elements or components:
1. Belt of truth
2. Breastplate of righteousness
3. Shoes of the gospel of peace
4. Shield of faith
5. Helmet of salvation
6. Sword of the Spirit
So How Do We Put On The Whole Armor of God?
1. The Belt of Truth
We live in a world which has embraced a culture of corruption and all kinds of false knowledge and deception. The principles and values of the world are in complete contrast to the values of God and this is why the Scriptures say that we should not conform to the standards of this world (Romans 12:2).
We live in a world where speaking the plain truth doesn’t matter anymore. Instead the truth is mostly replaced by the use of human psychology, deceptive coercion, propaganda and manipulative techniques in order to communicate information.
In our world the truth is usually suppressed because the systems of this world are controlled by the devil who is also known as “the father of lies”.
Therefore many people are inclined to seek out false knowledge or any false ideologies that would satisfy their fleshly passions and needs.
However truth can only be found in God’s word and through a relationship with God.
So putting on the belt of truth means that you are guided by the truth of God’s word in your daily living. Truth is also found through a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ who is the Personification of truth. Christ is the Word and He is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 1:1-2, John 14:6).
So the Christian puts on the belt of truth when he/she is guided by integrity and a desire to stand for the truth of God’s word.
2. The Breastplate of Righteousness
The breastplate of righteousness is the element that protects the heart.
Proverbs 4:23 says: Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
In Matthew 15:19 Jesus said: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”
We now live in a world where the culture of injustice, immorality and sinful living is on the increase.
The very moral issues and conduct which were considered evil in the past, are now considered to be normal and good today.
Isaiah 5:20 says: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
In a world where the value systems are upside-down, what should a Christian to do in such a world?
The Bible says we must put on the breastplate of righteousness.
Job 29:14 says: I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban.
We must continue to live righteously, even in an unrighteous world. Righteous living protects our conscience and heart. Righteous living is only possible through obedience to God’s word and through a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ who is our righteousness.
Titus 3:5 says: He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit
2 Corinthians 5:21 says: For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
3. The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace
This is the element of the armor of God which ensures that we are prepared and motivated to preach the Gospel – even in enemy territory.
In this spiritual battle, the devil has been busy blinding people from receiving the true Gospel.
2 Corinthians 4:4 says: In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
The devil has deceived people into believing false gospels and into following all kinds of ideologies from evolution, humanism, Buddhism to pantheism and the like, so that people are distracted from accepting the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The true gospel has become foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Corinthians 1:18).
However in a world where the Gospel is resisted or distorted by people – the Christian must not be ashamed of the Gospel and we must not be afraid to share the Gospel to anyone (Romans 1:16).
We must also be ready to defend our Christian faith and the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross (1 Peter 3:15).
4. The Shield of Faith
This is the element which protects us from doubt and unbelief. The devil uses doubt, discouragement and unbelief as weapons against us. The devil may cause us to doubt God’s word and God’s promises. The devil may also cause us to doubt God’s perfect nature and character. The devil can also cause us to be discouraged because of our external negative circumstances rather than to live by faith and not by sight (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11)
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). So how does a Christian put on the shield of faith?
The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). So our faith or total trust must be placed in God and His word.
In a world where the devil tempts us to doubt the character and nature of God through false knowledge and ideologies, our total trust and focus must be in Christ who is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
5. The Helmet of Salvation
This element protects the head. It protects how we think and how we make decisions.
Our thinking must align with the word of God. We must reject any ideology that is ungodly and capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says: For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ
So our thinking must align with sound doctrine. Our learning must align with sound doctrine. Our understanding of life must align with the word of God.
Our thought life must be humble and rooted in the fact that we have a relationship with Christ and therefore we must reflect the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:1-8).
6. The Sword of the Spirit
This is both a protective and offensive element of the armor of God. The sword of the Spirit is the word of God.
When Christ was being tempted by the devil, the Lord would respond to every satanic temptation with a response from the Scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11).
The Bible is our standard for Christian living. The Bible is our protection in the face of temptation and deception. The Bible is also our offensive weapon against the deceptive attacks that come through temptation, deception and false ideologies and teachings.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Hebrews 4:12 says: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Ephesians 6:18 says that we should be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication…”
Ultimately prayer is essential within the spiritual warfare that humanity is engaged in. Prayer is what helps us commune with God and fellowship with Him.
Without prayer we lose all connection with God who is ultimately LORD and Leader in this spiritual warfare.
So the armor of God is necessary in our daily Christian living because every day the devil is both tempting and deceiving people all over the world.
1 Peter 5:8 says: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Therefore God has equipped every Christian believer to conquer and be victorious through Jesus Christ.