Monday, November 8

The Full Armor of God

St. 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. 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."(Photo credit to: "Reflections on the Black Sea.")

Consider two other quotes - "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 that St. Paul speaks of is not literal, but figurative.

St. 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. We put on truth to fight against the injustices of the world. Of course, "the armor of God" may actually be something he wears, since Revelation refers to Christ, upon his return, carrying  a "sword," which is the actual Word of the Lord. This could be the "sword of truth."

St. 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 St. 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. 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. 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.
Troy Hillman

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