The apostle Paul talks about putting on the full armor of God to fight the spiritual powers of darkness: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:13-17). Let’s examine the elements of the full armor:
The belt of truth. This is more than personal honesty; it is the truth of God as it is kept in the heart and acted upon in the believer’s life (1 Cor. 5:8; 2 Cor. 7:14; 11:10; Phil. 1:18).
The breastplate of righteousness. This covers the heart, preserves the life, and protects the “vital organs” of the believer. The breastplate refers to the righteousness of Christ and also to the Christian’s personal loyalty to principle. Both are essential for successful warfare.
The feet ready for spiritual warfare. In order for the believer to stand the assaults, he must have a sure footing on Christ. It is an encouraging thought that the warrior in the midst of spiritual conflict can stand firm in peace. He has peace with God (Rom. 5:1). He stands firm on the knowledge of Christ incarnate, crucified, risen, ascended—the heart of the gospel, and the reason for peace.
The shield of faith. It was very important to protect the heart just as faith is very essential to protect spiritual life “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). This faith is active, like the shield that is raised to catch the fiery darts; it is also passive in that it trusts in God for deliverance. Under the impact of temptation of any kind it is faith that restores confidence and enables the believer to carry on the battle. Moreover, “without faith it is impossible to please him” (Heb. 11:6).
The helmet of salvation. This protects the head as being a most vital part, the seat of the will and the intelligence. The helmet is called the hope of salvation which is past, present, and future (Rom. 8:24).
The sword of the Spirit. This is both defensive and offensive whereas the other part are defensive only. It is with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, that the Christian cuts his way through all circumstances. Jesus fought the devil in the wilderness of temptation with “it is written.”
Finally, the believer is to pray in the Spirit along with wearing the full armor of God. Without total reliance on God through prayer, the believers’ efforts in overcoming the temptation of Satan are fruitless.
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In His service,
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