Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
God made provision through His Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit for His children to live a victorious and godly life. A spiritual war is raging, and souls are being deceived and overcome by the power of the Devil. Many professing Christians are living in a condition of sin and failure. The good news of the gospel is that God has made provision in this dispensation for us to conquer sin and daily experience a life of victory and joy.
A practical experience of victory means that a soldier of the cross must put on the whole armor of God, in order to have the ability to resist and overcome the trickery and power of the Wicked One. God has not left us defenseless but has given us equipment to enable us to march forward and be victorious over ALL the power of the enemy.
If a soldier leaves one of his weapons or a part of his armor behind and does not take it into battle, he is exposed and is not adequately equipped to fight. All it takes is one vulnerability to be overcome. The same applies to the Christian. We must avail ourselves of every provision God has made; in so doing, we shall be able to STAND faithful, true, and victorious. Ephesians 6:14-17 lists the whole armor of God.
Belt of Truth: The belt of the Roman soldier kept the armor in the proper place. It is the absolute, binding, and infinite truth of God’s Word that will guide us safely to Heaven. The Devil is a liar, and he is working in the world and inside chapels and homes. It is the holy Word of God that will expose the deceptions of the enemy and provide light in the darkness. Truth compromised makes weak Christians and brings defeat. Pure truth brings power and strength to the saint of God and gives ammunition to fight the destructive lies of the world and of false religion.
Breastplate of Righteousness: This body armor protected the chest and heart of the soldier. It is the righteousness of Christ in us that protects and preserves our spiritual life. Resting in the righteousness of God and not in our own strength enables us to live holy in this ungodly world. With Christ, the child of God will then make decisions that promote spiritual safety and that will guard against the defilement of the world. Soldiers of Christ cannot leave behind righteousness, or they will be overtaken by sin. When Christians guard their hearts and minds and love God and His holy way above all else, they will conquer the lusts of this world.
Shoes of the Gospel of Peace: Shoes provided protection to the feet during the long journey. Everywhere Christians walk, they should be going with the good news of the gospel. Jesus is the giver of peace and that peace should surround and fill our hearts. Furthermore, children of God should be seeking peace in all of their relationships with people. Destructive relationships have caused many Christians to fall. Shod your feet with the gospel of peace and pursue harmony rather than strife and contention with your family and neighbors.
Shield of Faith: The shield of the Roman soldier was four feet tall. It provided protection for the soldier from the arrows and spears of the enemy. Faith in God is a shield and protection from the onslaught of the Devil. During temptations, trials, afflictions, and all manner of difficulty, let us lift up the shield of faith and maintain our trust and confidence in God, His love, and His provision.
Helmet of Salvation: Vital for survival in battle, it protected the head and the face of the soldier. Salvation is a gift of God and only by His grace and power can we live victoriously. When we are saved, we can live life with confidence and assurance that we are protected and empowered by God. We are no longer controlled by sin, the flesh, or those around us. We are protected and safe as we trust in the divine work of God.
Sword of the Spirit: The sword was an offensive weapon used in combat against the enemy. The soldier is not to live always on the defense but is to move forward, gaining ground. God gave His Holy Spirit to empower the child of God to effectively defeat the enemy and to gain more ground. The Sword of the Spirit is the “Word of God”; it is the Bible and that spoken by the Holy Spirit. It empowers us to defeat the enemy just as Jesus did when He used Scripture to defeat the Devil in the wilderness temptation.
God did not commission us to live holy like Christ without providing us everything we need to overcome the power of the enemy. Equip yourself, not with the ideas and philosophies of the world, not with the doctrines of religious organizations, but with the armor of God. The defeated, the backsliders, those wounded by sin and the powers of the flesh can rise again and live victoriously by the power of God. There is hope and wonderful victory! ■