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The Armour Of God

Introduction
1) The Belt Of Truth
2) The Breastplate Of Righteousness
3) Shod Feet
4) The Shield Of Faith
5) The Helmet Of Salvation
6) The Sword Of The Spirit
7) Prayer

The Christian is in a no-man's land between the opposing forces of Light and darkness: between the Almighty God and His dire enemy, Satan - otherwise known as the Devil. On our own, we cannot face the demonic schemes and principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world; therefore, we must align ourselves always with God and take the Heavenly aid that God provides through His divine weapons of warfare and through His Armour - the Armour which the Son of God (Christ) Himself wears.

In Isaiah, two passages about the coming Messiah declare that: "For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head... And righteousness shall be the girdle {belt} of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle {belt} of his reins." (Isaiah 59:17a, 11:5)

In 1st Peter, we are told to "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8) Paul, in Romans 13:12, tells us to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. We are to resist the devil and be stedfast in our faith. (1 Peter 5:9 and 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6)

No soldier in his right mind would ever enter a battlefield weaponless and without his protective armour, yet many Christians do this every day. Utterly defenseless, we are easy prey. Christians must begin their day by putting on each piece of God's Armour, found in and provided by Jesus, "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 13:14)

Ephesians 6:10-17:
"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.
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."

As these verses indicate, there are four items of defense. They are as follows:
A belt, a breastplate, a shield, and a helmet.
There are also two weapons here:
Shod feet (which may not sound like a weapon at all), and a sword.

Ordinary items of armour would be ineffective because we are not struggling against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of Satan and his devils (fallen angels). Yet none of these items are ordinary or useless - they are divinely empowered by our Lord. (See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

(1) We are first told to gird ourselves with the Belt of Truth.

We are to learn the truth and bind ourselves with it. This foundational piece of Armour holds us together and, in fact, securely fastens all other pieces in place (like the belt on Roman armour holds the rest of the armour together.)

This is the first stage of being a Christian - learning the truth and making it so much a part of our being that we can't live without it. When the day of evil comes, we won't fall apart or be crushed because we are wearing this Belt.

NOTE - If you will look at the verb tenses in verses 14 and 15, you will find that they are in the past tense (having girt, having on, having shod): As Christians, we are already wearing the first three pieces of God's Armour (the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace), but it is up to us to make use of them.

"But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left." (2 Corinthians 6:4a,7)

(2) The second item of defense is the Breastplate of Righteousness.

This important piece of Armour covers and protects your heart, where God's Word and Law are written by the Holy Spirit. (See 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 and Jeremiah 31:33)

When we believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Saviour and Lord, God credits His (Christ's) righteousness to our account. Then when God looks at us, He doesn't see our sin and imperfection, He sees Christ's righteousness. (See Romans 3:22-24 and 4:2-3) It is God's grace accepted by our faith in Jesus Christ that makes us righteous in God's eyes. It is not a result of any of our own works or good deeds. (2 Timothy 1:9 and Ephesians 2:8-10)

While it is not our good deeds that save us, but God's grace, now if we are children of God, our salvation should result in good works. Read James 2:20-24. Good works and a righteous lifestyle are evidences of true faith, that come after we are saved.

So the Breastplate of Righteousness represents Christ's righteousness - our holy standing before God - and our changed heart, which results in righteous deeds and righteous living. When God changes our hearts, He gives us a desire to serve Him.

If our hearts are kept pure and we are living a righteous lifestyle, Satan won't be able to gain a foothold.

Two ways to guard our hearts are found in Philippians 4:8 and Romans 12:1-2. Watch what you spend your time doing (speaking, looking at, where you are going, etc.) and thinking. The way to transform your mind is through reading God's Word.

"Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.
Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
Ponder the paths of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil."
(Proverbs 4:23-27)

(3) Next, our feet are shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace.

This, I believe, is the willingness to go wherever our Lord leads with the good news of salvation. Read Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:13-15.

This item is used offensively to free Satan's captives. After you are saved, by knowing the truth and accepting it, and as your heart is changed by the Holy Spirit, you will want to tell others about Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, many Christians do not use this piece of Armour. I think that is part of the reason why Christians become defeated or ineffective. (See Revelation 12:11) We are not putting on all of God's Armour. Personally, I find that I have more joy and purpose when I am witnessing to others about Jesus Christ, and about what He is doing in my life, and teaching (discipling) other Christians about what the Bible says.

When you start stepping across Satan's boundaries and offer freedom to those locked in bondage to sin, Satan attacks more fiercely - which is why you need the next defensive item in God's arsenal.

(4) We need our Shields of Faith to protect us now.

This protects your whole body, like a full-length Roman shield, and is used to extinguish the doubts, fears, and lies that Satan throws at us. If we use God's Armour effectively, not a single one of Satan's evil arrows will get through. Read 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, Psalm 18:30 and Proverbs 30:5.

Psalm 91:4 says, "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." The word "buckler" here is Strong's #5507, and means something "surrounding" the person, i.e. a shield. Spurgeon defines it as "an all-surrounding coat of mail." So here we have both a shield and a coat of armour.

So how do you strengthen and build your faith? By trusting and believing what the Lord has said in His Word.

Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

(5) The Helmet of Salvation guards our minds.

This is the place where Satan concentrates most of his attacks. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

If you truly believe that you have eternal life through Jesus Christ and that someday (when He returns) your hope of redemption (of your body, Romans 8:23) will become a present reality, Satan's tactics of war will seem pale by comparison. If you know who you are as a Christian, and what riches and resources you have in Christ, then, for you, the battle for your mind is mostly won.

Read Romans 13:11.

(6) The Sword of the Spirit - the Word of God.

This is the main offensive weapon we have in our arsenal. Like the Belt of Truth, it protects and purifies us. But this sword is also powerful enough to cut through Satan's strategies and deceits. It can be used to make our enemy flee, as Jesus demonstrated when He was tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11); and it can also be used to advance the Kingdom of God and to free the minds and souls of Satan's captives. Only God's Word has this power. Read Hebrews 4:12 and Jeremiah 23:28-29.

If we equip ourselves with all of the Armour of Light, we will be well protected whenever evil comes our way.

(7) The Final Component.

Now our Armour is almost complete. Because we, as Christians, are special targets of the enemy we need to equip ourselves constantly with the final component: we need to pray.

Ephesians 6:18-19:
"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 mysteries of the gospel."

James says, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16b)

If you want to resist the Devil and not give an inch of ground, you must be sure to put on every item in God's arsenal. All of this divine Armour works together and each element can be found in God's Word - the Bible. You need to be completely filled with truth, righteous in God's eyes and in the way you live, and ready to march in to battle wherever the Gospel is needed. You must have the faith to stand firmly on all of God's promises - believing that our Lord is faithful and true to keep them. You must also be filled with the hope that, on that glorious Day, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself will meet us in the air and we, His people, will be transformed into His likeness.

The Word of God and fervent prayer are our most important weapons and we must look for every opportunity to use them in our battles.

The Lord has promised that His Word will not return void. (See Isaiah 55:10-11)

We must remember that God gave us His Armour to equip us for warfare. Like a soldier in an army - we are soldiers in God's Army of Light, freeing the captives of darkness. A shield will only protect us from the front - we can't turn and flee. We must face our foe and fight, whatever the cost to us. But all is not lost.

We can fight the good fight of faith and persevere with courage because the enemy of our souls - Satan - and his horde of devils have already been defeated at the cross of Jesus. They are just awaiting judgement, and might get a little desperate in their attacks. So until the day that they are cast into the Lake of Fire, we must remember two more promises:

"But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil."
(2 Thessalonians 3:3)
"And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom."
(2 Timothy 4:18)

Jerry Bouey
Eagle's Wings Ministries

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