Put on the full armor of God
Ephesians 6 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.
9 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the
gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
21 But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts.
23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.
In today’s text it says: Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 1 Peter 5:8 says: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. It is important that we recognize the significance of the word may. Seeking whom he may devour means that the devil requires permission. He does not have the authority to devour without permission. God does not grant that permission or authority to the devil. In Matthew 28:18 Jesus says: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Jesus conquered sin and death on the cross and by the resurrection. He is not going to nullify the finished work of the cross to give permission and authority to the devil. What remains then is that if the devil requires permission to devour, we are the only ones who can grant him that permission. In John 10:10 Jesus says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” It is by believing the lies of the devil that we grant him permission and authority to harm us. He schemes against us with deceit because he has no authority unless we believe his lies. Paul says: Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Look then at the parts of the armor to understand their significance in our battle: Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness. Our defense begins with truth. Some translations say put on the belt of truth. The belt of truth is not an accessory worn for fashion. The armor of God is modeled after what a Roman soldier wore. The belt protected the midsection and the groin of the soldier. When the devil attacks with lies, it is like a blow to the midsection. When we get hit it causes us to look down rather than keeping our eyes fixed on Christ. In order to put on truth, we must first know truth. We need to know what God has said so that the devil cannot deceive us with his lies. We need to be as familiar with the truth of God’s word; with what He said, as we are with putting on a belt. The breastplate of righteousness protects our heart. When we acknowledge that it is not our own righteousness but the righteousness of Christ which saves us, we remain humble yet confident. Wholly dependent on God, holy because He is holy; knowing if God is for us no one can stand against us.
Paul continues: …having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. It may seem odd that we would walk in peace in order to fight our battles. Romans 16:20 says: The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. As we walk in peace, by the grace of God, He will crush Satan under our feet. By the finsihed work of the cross, Jesus has already defeated sin and death.He has crushed the schemes of the devil. We take up the shield of faith against the flaming arrows or fiery darts of the evil one. Faith requires that we believe and again then it is vital that we believe the truth, so that we will be immune to the lies of the enemy. Faith is our shield. It is not a matter of how big our shield is. In Mattew 17:20 Jesus says: “Truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” It is not the size of our faith that matters, but rather it is the object of our faith. We don’t need a great big faith. We need a mustard seed faith in a great big God. The helmet of salvation protects our mind. Again if we know and believe the truth, that we are saved, then there is nothing that should cause us to be afraid. In Psalm 23:4 the psalmist says: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Because we are eternally saved, even death, the devils most powerful lie, is merely a shadow. It has no power over us. Finally, we are to take: the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. This is the first and only offensive weapon we need. God created the heavens and the earth by His word, through the power of the Spirit. Genesis 1:1-3 says: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. The words formless and void can also be translated as chaos. The spoken word of God, under the power of the Holy Spirit, made order from chaos. By the Spirit, speaking and praying the word of God, the chaos in our lives can also be brought to God’s perfect order. There is no greater authority; there is nothing that can defeat the power of God’s word.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love. Amen.