452. Putting On The Armour Of God. (Ephesians 6:11). Core Teaching Stage 4 Topic 3.  “Put on the full armour of God.”

Eph 6:11 “Put on the whole armour (panoplia) God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

1. WE ARE TO REALISE THAT WE ARE IN A SPIRITUAL CONFLICT. Eph 6:11

There are powers at work in this world besides the power of God, and these are opposed to Christ and to His people.  We see that in our baptismal vows in which we promise to “renounce the devil and all his works.” We see it also in the teaching and ministry of Jesus as He spoke of the existence and power of Satan, the devil, and delivered people from the power of evil spirits. 

As CS Lewis wrote in one of his books, the great strategy of the enemy is to get people to believe that he doesn’t exist. Paul knew that Satan did exist, and so did a host of the powers of darkness that were opposed to Christ and to His people. These powers had “schemes” [or Greek “methodeia.”]  

EK Simpson wrote of the devil that he plays both bully and beguiler. (eg., a Roaring lion & an angel of light.) Paul writes that we have to play our part in being strong in the power of the Lord and in the strength of His might (verse 11) and also we have to put on the armour of God to know His protection and His victory in our lives (verse 12). (That is, appropriating God’s provision to live as we should.)

2.        WE ARE TO RECOGNISE WHO THE ENEMY IS.  Eph 6:12

(Eph 6:12) “For our struggle (pale =wrestling) is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers (archas), against the authorities (exousias), against the powers (kosmokratoras = used in astrology of control by planets over humankind) of this dark world and against the spiritual (pneumatikos) forces of evil (poneria) in the heavenly realms.       

(Note the previous references to Satan in Eph 2:1-2,   “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2  in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.” And in Eph 4:27 “and do not make room for the devil.“ 

We are not to identify these powers with the structures or the people but with the evil forces behind them and often using them whether they know it or not. Satan is a liar and a deceiver and influences those under his control. We see that in the lives of 2 men in the New Testament.  We see how Peter was used by Satan when he thought he was acting in love towards  Jesus when he tried to stop Him from going to the cross, Mat 16:22  “And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” Jesus recognised the origin of Peter’s statement and said to him, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Mat 16:23.

We see how Judas was used by Satan when he thought he was serving God by considering betraying Jesus, “Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve.” Luke 22:3.  Judas had given room or opportunity to the devil as Paul was later to warn about in Eph 4:27, “and do not make room for the devil.“ In getting victory, we may have to forgive the people who allowed themselves to be the devil’s mouthpieces or instruments. But we also need to bind the power of the enemy, and ask God to set us free of any damage done to us by their words and actions.

3.        WE ARE TO PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD. Eph 6:11, 13. 

Eph 6:11 “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Eph 6:13  Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

“Put on” [enduo]. The  “full armour”. [panoplia.] Paul here uses an analogy showing how God’s people could take hold of the victory God could give them. They could stand in the victory, vs 11, “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Paul repeated the same command in verse 13, “Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” [verse 13] and also in verse 14, “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.”

As a soldier would dress up in armour for the battle, so Christians can avail themselves of the armour God supplies to enable them to stand and win the victory (in His strength, through His victory). 

THE FULL ARMOUR OF GOD.  The picture is from Isaiah 59:16-17, “He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no  one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own  righteousness sustained him.” 17 “He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.”

The picture Isaiah paints is of God Himself going forth to fight for His people clad in His righteousness and in the helmet of salvation. God supplies righteousness and salvation for His people in their battle against evil. 

i.  {Verse 14} … the belt of truth. It was necessary for easy walking. The word can mean both the truth and integrity. 

In Isaiah 11:5  we read, “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his  waist.”

Jesus said in Jn 8:32. “You shall know the truth, and the Truth will set you free.” That is,  the truth that is known and acted on. 

As we come to know Him in a deeper way and become open to share His power and His strength,  we can live in the liberty Christ came to bring us. However if we reject Him, we turn away from the truth and from the source of strength and become sitting ducks for the enemy’s attacks.  

ii. [14].   breastplate of righteousness. Imputed and imparted righteousness.  Our part in the process. 

Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 11:5, “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his  waist.” And in Isa 59:17  “He put on righteousness as his breastplate.”

When we become Christians, the righteousness of Jesus is  imputed to us.  God sees us as being In Him, as being clothed in His righteousness. In legal terms, having the right standing before God.

But there is another aspect in that as we live in intimacy of our relationship with Him, we can begin to share in our daily experience, the power of the life of Christ within us. His righteousness is imparted to us by His Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22-23] the outward expression of the presence of God within us, means that His presence can become more and more evident in our lives, as we keep yielding to the Spirit. 

iii.  {15} … feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 

Taking our stand on God’s word [the gospel of peace]  prepares us to experience God’s peace in our own lives, and to bring His peace to others as we share the gospel with them and they receive the Prince of peace. Paul had written about the need for people to hear the gospel to be able to believe in Jesus for salvation, and he quotes from the OT, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.”  We see the  connection between “feet” and the gospel in Rom 10:15, “And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

We realise of course that it’s not the feet that save, it is Jesus. But what a marvellous message is the gospel that sets people free to live as God wants them to. What a privilege to be able to pass the good news on to others or to be the feet as a messenger from God. We need to be ready at all times to step out in faith to share the gospel message with those whom God brings across our paths.

iv. [16]  … the shield of faith. {16} “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming  arrows of the evil one.“ The shield spoken of here is [Θυρεόν from θύρα door], because it was large and shaped like a door. It was covered with leather which extinguished flaming arrows, provided maximum protection to the warrior.  

Faith protects us from the devil’s fiery darts or accusations and deceits.

Faith enables us to receive the promises of God and have them come true in our experience as we act on them.

Faith in His promise that when people ask Christ into their lives, He will come in.

Faith in His promise that God does not remember the sins that are confessed to Him.

Faith that He justifies us and declares us “not guilty” as we put our trust in Christ.

Faith that He is with us always even to the end of the ages. 

As we take up the shield of faith and affirm the truth, it prevents Satan wounding us. 

v.  {17}…  the helmet of salvation

Eph 6:17  “and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Paul had written about the helmet of salvation in 1 Thess 5:8. “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” This verse suggests that it was the mind that the helmet of salvation protected. A helmet to guard our minds, reminding us of Paul’s words in Phil 4:7, “The peace of God which passes all understanding, will guard (garrison) your hearts and minds safe  in Christ Jesus.“ It was the sure and certain Christian hope that would protect the minds of believers when under attack by Satan. 

vi. [17].  the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The sword is both a defensive weapon and an offensive weapon. We can guard ourselves against all the lies, deceits and errors that Satan throws against us. But we can also wage war against the powers of darkness setting ourselves and others free by the power of the word of truth. Heb 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and  marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  It allows us to recognise what is of God and turn to it, and what is not of God, and turn from it. As King David observed, “Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Ps  119:11. He realised that knowing the word of God gave him an understanding of what is good and what is evil and he could then choose to do the good that he knew. That is true for every believer.

4.         WE ARE TO STAND AGAINST THE DEVIL’S (diabolos) SCHEMES (methodeia)

Eph 6:11  “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Putting on the full armour of God enables us to stand our ground and to overcome, not be overcome by the schemes, trickery and wiles of the evil one. Paul had written previously in this epistle,  “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes [methodeia.]” Eph 4:14  

Paul had shared with the believers in Corinth that believers need not be outwitted by Satan for they know his schemes and designs, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs [noemata].” 2 Cor 2:11. Satan’s schemes [noemata] are known to believers and so they are not outwitted.  But as we saw above, they  must not give the devil any room to deceive them, “and do not make room for the devil.“ Eph 4:27. This is in the context of what we do and say when we are angry or tempted to lose control such as in becoming bitter. Satan desires to occupy any space that becomes open to him. 

5.    THE NEED TO PRAY IN THE SPIRIT. Verse 18

 {18} “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Believers are encouraged to be prayerful at all times but there are times when it is difficult to know how to pray.  However, that is when the Holy Spirit is able to help us, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not  know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with  groans that words cannot express.” Romans 8:26. Part of Christian maturing depends on our prayer life, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit.” Jude 1:20.

The Spirit as the origin of all true prayer, motivates us to pray, and gives us the words [or sometimes the groans] to pray. Prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit enlightens us as we seek to know the mind, purpose and will of God so that we can pray more in conformity with the will of God.

Putting on the armour of God is another way of saying that we are appropriating the provision God has given us in Jesus, and applied to our hearts and minds,  by His Spirit.  Or it is allowing Him to ‘grace’ us with His amazing grace for our acceptance before Him and for the manifestation of His life in and through us by His Spirit. However successful Christian living always depends on our willingness to put on the armour of God!

Blog No.452 Putting On The Armour Of God. (Ephesians 6:11) Core Teaching 4-3.doc. “Put on the full armour (panoplia) of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Posted on Monday 02 January 2023.

About Jim Holbeck

Once an Industrial Chemist working for the Queensland Government but later an Anglican minister in Brisbane, Armidale and Sydney. Last position for eighteen years before retirement in 2006 was as the Leader of the Healing Ministry at St Andrew's Cathedral Sydney.
This entry was posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Creation, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Glorification, Healing, HEALING MINISTRY Core Teaching, Holy Spirit, Justification, Mental Health, New Covenant, Prayer, Praying our way through Paul's letter to the Ephesians, Questions and Answers, Salvation, Sanctification, spiritual warfare, Temptations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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