Paul tells us in Ephesians to "put on the full armor of God." But what is the full armor of God? How do we apply these principles to our everyday lives, and what can we learn from this? Let us take a look at this fascinating passage in God's Word. (Photo credit to: "Reflections on the Black Sea.")
Before we delve into the topic, it would be best to give the passage being described so that the meaning of this entry can become lucid. Ephesians 6:11-17 says, "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
"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." The armor Paul speaks of is not literal, but figurative.
Paul witnessed many Romans soldiers, and saw their armor, so used the armor as a metaphor for the different aspects: faith, salvation, the gospel, righteousness, truth, awe, peace, and the Word of God - the Bible. In giving us this metaphor, it gives us incentive and the courage that we can take on the world, because Christ has "overcome the world."(John 16:33)
The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit are all what make up the "full armor of God." The reason we are given this graphic is to illustrate the point made in Ephesians 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
The point is made that our struggle is not against fellow man, but against evil - against Lucifer (Satan), his fallen angels, and the demons. Satan has thrown so much deception into the world that many people have come to believe his lies, and by using the Sword of Truth, God's Word, we can combat his lies.
If Evolution tells us that we evolved from monkeys but God, creator of the Universe, tells us in his very word that he created the Universe approximately 6,000 years ago, in a matter of six days, and that his timetable is for man, then we need to look at the situation with biblical lenses and think to ourselves, "which appears to be the deception of Satan?" If God tells us one thing but man comes up with a hypothesis based upon their own infallible assumptions, we ought to trust the creator.
Of course, "the armor of God" may actually be something he wears, since the Glorious Appearing of Jesus Christ, a future event, foreseen in Revelation refers to things describing Christ, such as the "sword" that he carries, which is the actual Word of the Lord, could be the "sword of truth." So such things may be actual objects that God uses in metaphorical battles and real battles yet to come - of which he will be the victor.
Paul also refers to another "armor" in Romans 13:12. "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." This may be the same "armor" referred to in Ephesians. The armor of light is most likely the armor of God. The way to overcome Satan and his forces of darkness is to outfit ourselves with the "armor of God."
Do not take up only one part, but the "whole armor of God." (Ephesians 6:13) The shield mentioned by Paul is called a "thureon," which is a door-like shield, oblong, which covers the whole person, not a mere small round shield. The armor is for the front and not the back. The breastplate of truth shows us that we need to use God's infallible word, and that at the same time, need to be able to defend it. (1st Peter 3:15-16)
By putting on the "full armor of God," we utilize faith, salvation, peace, truth, and righteousness. Take such principles and apply them to our daily lives - when we are threatened by the deception, lies, and attacks of Satan, whether they be directly or indirectly, especially if he uses a person unknowingly to "attack," meaning, question us or castigate. (For more on faith, see entry: "Faith In Action")
If that is the case, then by faith, we will put on "the armor of God."We will use our own salvation to spread truth, and with peace shown to us by Christ, show righteousness in all that we do, and show humility. These are simple concepts, and can be applied to various situations easily.
Think of it this way. When you open your Bible and read God's Word, Satan hates it. But God wants us to read his truth, so that we may arm ourselves, defend ourselves, and teach others God's truth. So now we understand what the "armor of God" is - be it metaphorical or in the latter, literal sense.
We understand how we can apply these principles to our life. We understand that the purpose of the "armor of God" is to defend against the enemy and to spread truth. We understand the need for such a thing - without the "armor of God," we as Christians are defenseless.
By taking a look at God's Word, we can open our minds to the wonders of His Word. I thank you for taking the time to read this entry of "The Truth." As always, you can email email@example.com, visit the facebook, or comment. Take care, reader, and may God bless you in all that you do. Troy Hillman