Read This Week: Ephesians 6
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground. – Ephesians 6:10-11, 13 NIV
Under Armour, the sportswear company and distributor has a name for the gameday uniforms they supply to sponsored teams. They call it Battle Armor. When these teams put on the battle armor, it is supposed to signify that they are ready to lay it all on the line, compete at the highest level, and win. The uniform lets the opponent and spectator know that they are suited up and ready to do battle in the arena.
In the descriptive last chapter of Ephesians 6, Paul illustrates the Christian as a soldier being outfitted for battle against their sinful nature, Satan, and the forces of evil that come against them in the world. He calls this spiritual uniform, “the whole armor of God.” It is the total offensive and defensive equipment of the Christ-follower.
Paul lists these items of equipment in the order they are to be put on and identifies the spiritual quality and power that each represents. He makes it clear that the enemy is more than human and that we need supernatural strength to effectively fight off spiritual attacks and be victorious. The Apostle writes in verse 11 that with the complete armor supplied by the Holy Spirit, we can stand against the schemes of the devil.
When we suit up every day with the whole armor of God, the Spirit enables us, by faith, to experience Christ’s victory for ourselves. The belt of truth gives us sincerity and integrity of character. The breastplate of righteousness guards our hearts allowing us to be obedient to God in our attitudes and actions.
The helmet of salvation covers and cares for our minds with the assurance of eternal life so we can be fearless in our walk with God and our service to other people. The shoes of the gospel of peace empower us to bring the good news of Jesus to a suffering world and inject hope into situations that seem desperate.
The shield of faith protects our entire life giving us complete confidence in God’s power no matter the circumstances we face. And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is an offensive weapon that is powerful to attack the lies of the enemy, the confusion of our culture, and the sinful nature that corrupts our lives. God’s word, whether spoken or written, is our greatest weapon.
Sooner or later, every believer sees that the Christian life is a battle, not playtime. We face a versatile enemy who is much stronger than us apart from God. Therefore, we must access the power to withstand vicious attacks and to navigate the life we’ve been given successfully. We have to suit up with the battle armor of God every day without exception. It gives us all we need to stand, fight and win.
I remember when I first started learning about the armor of God. People would tell me that I had to recite each one as I put them on each day. Later in life I realized that it was something that God had given me and that I actually was becoming aware, growing into and becoming skilled with the armor rather than just saying that I am putting it on.
When you look at the root word of “putting on” in the concordance it says: A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest.
I found that knowing who I am in Christ, my identity in the Lord and what salvation really means for me; that I once was lost and now I am found, that I was blind and now I see. That I am a child of God, my Father’s son, that He is in me and I am in Him. This helmet of salvation guards on my mind and heart and I know whatever this evil world throws at me, that I am protected through the blood of Christ and I am learning to know and rest in who I am, my true identity, my Father’s son.
As we conclude this identity series, a study of Ephesians, I want to encourage you to continue learning who you are in Christ. Knowing who you really are, the true you, the best version of yourself, and learn all of the benefits of being a child of God and all of the promises that God has for you. It really helps in leading a victorious life.
One of my favorite phrases when growing up was “Be true to your best self”. I take that as recognizing who we are with Christ and finding our spiritual nature, shedding our carnal nature, and holding on to that. Using that as a beacon even in the darkness. Being true to our best selves, our best lives as a child with God as you said. Truly amazing.
I love this, Ken. I personally appreciate how Paul not only discusses the pieces that we have at our disposal but the spiritual characteristics and power of each one. These are not symbolic things for us to know about God, they are accessible to us through the Holy Spirit every day. I love all of Paul’s language because putting it on is the first step to applying it. Once we begin to regularly put it on, we can, as you said, “grow in and become skilled at using the whole armor of God.”
I’ve really enjoyed this series and discussion. I know it has been of great encouragement to me to be reminded of so many truths from God’s word about my identity in Christ and the power it holds for my journey and beyond.
I love a lot about Ephesians 6 because it truly demonstrates how we can be one with God regardless of any situation. The metaphor of God’s armor is a beautiful way for us to visualize being surrounded by God’s love and not only protecting ourselves from evil but sharing that protection and God’s word with others. I also love the fact that Paul makes it very clear that regardless of social standing, age, career etc, we all have access to God’s armor if we open our hearts to it and to Him.
Treating others with respect and doing the right thing is so important and is stressed perfectly in verse 8: “Knowing that for whatever good anyone does, he will receive his reward from the Lord, whether he is slave or free.”
We can draw from God’s strength as individuals and as a unit and bring light on the evil in the world. Mutual respect, mutual love, and infinite power and peace from God.
I love this metaphor too, Javaid. It is one of my favorite word pictures in the Bible. I guess I relate to it out of my football background and the importance of properly using the equipment available to be successful.
I appreciate this observation that you made: “Paul makes it very clear that regardless of social standing, age, career etc, we all have access to God’s armor if we open our hearts to it and to Him.” I love that truth as well because it shows that God is no respecter of person’s when it comes to His power and purpose. He gives us all the same access to his armor to fight the spiritual battles every day and to advance His kingdom in the world.
I also like how you tied that in at the end of your comment. As I read it, I could see an army of equipped people from all backgrounds and walks of life with battle armor on pursuing God’s will and fighting the Enemy all over the globe and being victorious. Thank you for sharing this week on A Week in the Life!
There were a lot of great verses in Ephesians 6 and I got another song from this chapter called “True Identity”:
Becoming God’s children, God’s children
God’s children who love our Lord Jesus Christ
Showing his grace, peace, and love
Being God’s servant, God’s servant
We are free, free, free of our chains
We have God in our hearts
Finding our own identity with Him
God was saying to me that He is in our hearts, minds, and soul and that He will never forsake us. We have to trust and rely on him for all things – good and bad. He loves us through it all. I am thankful to the Lord.
Thank you so much for your words this week, Alma! This particular song could be our anthem for the series. Our identity in Christ is one of His children that He made, loves, sent His Son to die for and sustains daily through the Holy Spirit. That reality makes us free to be His servants and free to love, find peace and experience His grace. Just like you, I am so thankful.
In Ephesians 6, learning and knowing who you are as a child of God is so important. Learning to obey God first is where it all begins. His truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. It’s about learning how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life.
Praying first to God (talking to God), listening to Him, then obeying when He gives you instructions is so important. We are to respond to Him, do His will, please Him and He blesses you with His peace. He helps you, gives you strength in all you do because He loves you.
In Psalm 29:11 it says, “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”
I appreciate your insight and perspective, Heidi. Your second paragraph jumps off the page: “Praying first to God (talking to God), listening to Him, then obeying when He gives you instructions is so important. We are to respond to Him, do His will..”
Those sentences should be on repeat for every believer, every day especially the part about not only listening but obeying and responding to God’s call, words, and directives in our lives. In Christ, we have the strength, power, and equipment to live for Him if we will simply take the initiative, act and be victorious.
I want to share what God spoke to me this week. He was saying to me: “I am strong and I want you to be strong. My word is an indispensable weapon. Put on the whole armor I have provided to you. Don’t let worldly things sap your strength. You are more than conquerors. You are in a spiritual battle. The weapons of your warfare are not carnal but mighty in Me for pulling down strongholds. There is a spiritual army under the headship of Satan who comes against you. Stand firm with My armor.
Your victory is rooted in what Jesus did, not what you do. You need My strength and protection to stand against the attacks of spiritual enemies. Satan will try to keep you from fulfilling your mission. When he attacks, you are to stand in Me and not retreat. You can only stand when you are equipped with the armor I have given you.
There is a place for every piece of armor and garments. Putting on the belt prepares you for action. The breastplate of righteousness is your best defense against the spiritual depression and gloom that comes against you. You must be ready with the truth. Faith is a shield protecting you from the fiery darts. The helmet of salvation protects you against discouragement and the desire to give up. It gives you hope that you will be saved. Your sword is My word. The more knowledge you have of it, the better. Pray in all kinds of ways, and on behalf of others. Through prayer, spiritual strength and My armor go to work.”
What this says to me is that spiritual warfare is all around us. We need to be on guard and equipped to go into battle. We must not retreat. God goes before us and with us. He equips us with the armor we need. I need to fill my mind with His truth, and stand firm.
I love how descript and detailed your comment was on the intricacies and nuances of spiritual warfare, Kathy and how God equips us to fight in His power. The part that struck me was the emphasis placed on advancing and not retreating. You said, “When he (Satan) attacks, you are to stand in Me and not retreat… We need to be on guard and equipped to go into battle. We must not retreat.”
I appreciate you pointing out that the armor of God makes us dangerous to the Enemy and that we can live with an active power in God’s strength and don’t always have to simply react to what Satan does or live on the defensive. The word allows us to go on the offensive and never back down.
Today, we had a wonderful time at church. Fist of all, I would like to thank both of our Pastors for the great words from God. As we read through Ephesians chapter 6, God drew my attention to verse 10. Paul says, “In conclusion, be strong in the Lord (be empowered through your union with Him); draw your strength from Him (that strength which His boundless might provides).”
God was saying to me, “Why do you always try to win your own battles? And when you lose them, then you ask me for help. Why don’t you just come to me first and let me take care of it from the beginning?” I learned if we would just ask God first, our battles would be less than we can handle. We always need Him in our lives, so we shouldn’t push Him out of our battles. Just trust in Him.
Sam, I think we should pass the plate or have an invitation or something because that is some good preaching, brother. Yes, why don’t we just go to God first in our battles? Why do we wait until we’re desperate, overwhelmed and burned out before we turn to the only One who is truly able to help us fight? These questions that you raised above should be answered on a daily basis. There should never be a time that we don’t go to God first in our lives no matter the challenge, circumstance or situation.
I absolutely loved this line from your post: “If we would just ask God first, our battles would be less than we can handle.” That’s so powerful, there is really nothing more that can be added to it.
It was so awesome talking about how the battle is the Lords and that it’s better for us and not try to keep taking it from Him. That we can surround our self with the battle or the Lord, it’s our choice. Also, I really liked what Trena had to say about the armor of God. She said that it would be hard for her to put it on her natural body that God has put it on her spiritual body and she is learning to use it.
Thank you God for giving us your armor and helping us to grow in the knowledge of who we are in You and how to utilize everything that You have given us to its fullest.
God is saying, “rather than being at war, the battle is Mine, rest in My peace.”