The Journal of Biblical Accuracy
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The armor of God

In the article “The Devil and his devices” we gave much information about our enemy the devil. We continue here to see what God has provided to us to effectively fight this enemy: the armor of God. The specific parts of the armor of God are described in verses 14-17 of the sixth chapter of Ephesians.

Ephesians 6:14-17
"Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God."

As it can be seen, there is nothing missing from this armor. It is really a complete armor. Also, the task that is assigned to each part of the armor is not accidental and bears its own significance. Let’s therefore examine this armor in more depth.

1. "having girded your waist with truth"

The first instruction concerning the armor of God is to gird our waist with truth. Understanding the role of a girdle in a physical armor will help us to understand the significance of the girdle of truth in the armor of God. The role of the military girdle is explained by J. M. Freeman1 as follows:

"The military girdle was......a strong belt, designed to sustain the body, and at the same time to cover such portion of the abdomen as might be unprotected by the cuirass. Some girdles, indeed, seem to have been a constituent part of the cuirass, intended to fasten it more firmly. The importance of the girdle as a piece of armor is seen in the fact that thorough preparation for the fight is called "girding on".

The job therefore of the girdle was to keep the body fastened for the fight. Indeed, girding the waist was necessary for the fight that would follow. Passing now from the physical armor to the armor of God we are told to gird our waist with truth. This waist is not the physical one but the "loins of our minds" (I Peter 1:13). The girdle that qualifies for this purpose is truth and as John 17:17 tells us: the Word of God is truth. In other words, we will not be ready for the fight, with the girdle fastened, as long as we have not "girded" our minds with the truth, the Word of God.

2. "having put on the breastplate of righteousness2"

The second part of the armor is the breastplate of righteousness. As it has already been mentioned in the article “Saved and righteous by faith”, this is not our own "righteousness" through our good works. The Word of God says that good works cannot make us righteous (Romans 3:28). The righteousness that the Word of God is speaking about is the righteousness that we received in the new birth, when we believed that "Jesus is the Christ" (I John 5:1) i.e. the Messiah, the Savior. It is this God-given righteousness that is the breastplate of the armor of God. Since the job of the breastplate is to protect the breast and especially the heart, as long as you have put on this breastplate - i.e. as long as you have put deeply in your mind that you are righteous before God now and forever, without works - you will have your heart (the deeper part of your mind) guarded from such things as condemnation and other similar devil-caused diseases that are results of a self-righteousness idea about our relationship with God.

3. "having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace"

The third part of the armor of God is the shoes. As we know, shoes are needed to facilitate movement. In the case of the armor of God, the shoes that we should put on is "the preparation of the gospel of peace". Putting on these shoes means that we are ready, whenever the provider of the armor calls us, to move for the preparation of the gospel of peace.

Sometimes it is easy to put other things before the interests of the gospel. Thus, when God calls us, we are too far to hear Him because we have our minds on "other commitments" such as job, family, studies etc. God does not say that you should not have a job or you should not have a family. In contrast, He will provide you with the best job and the best family because He wants you to have the best. However, you should ensure that your primary concern is and will continue to be God and His interests. This does not require you to stop working or studying. What it requires is to have your "ears" open to God to see what God wants. You can study or work and still keep God and His Word, the gospel of peace, as your primary interest. It is then, that you will have put on the shoes of the armor of God.

4. "above all taking the shield of faith"

The fourth part of the armor is the shield of faith. Faith means I believe what God has said in His written Word or, if it is for a specific situation, through the revelation manifestations3 (word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits). Taking the shield of faith simply means to believe what God has said. Knowledge of the Word is not necessarily faith. You may know all the Bible and still you may not have believed it. However, knowledge is a prerequisite of faith. Without having knowledge of the Word what are you going to believe? Your ideas? Religion? These are not going to profit you. Only by believing what the Word of God says, you will have protection equal to the protection that a shield gives to a warrior.

5. "and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God"

The final part of the armor of God is an offensive one and is no other than the "sword of the Spirit". The genitive that is used here is the genitive of origin and means the "sword that comes from the Spirit" i.e. the sword that comes from God Who is the Spirit. This sword is the Word of God.

For one more time, we can see how important the accurate knowledge of the Word of God is. Obviously, the knowledge that is meant here is not simple head knowledge. It is knowledge that has passed from the outer parts of the mind to the heart. The more Word you have put in your heart the sharper the sword that you have. And as Hebrews 4:12 says: "the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword". The Word of God is the best offensive weapon that we could have and the only one by which we can beat the enemy.

6. "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world"

I believe that with the article “The Devil and his devices” by now we have gained a lot of information about the enemy, his practices and the way that we should face him. Probably the information may be a bit shocking, especially to those of us that were raised with the idea that the devil is a myth or with the idea that he is harmless. Clearly the Word of God does not support these ideas. The devil is and will continue to be active. He will disappear forever only when he will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).

However, in the meantime we are not unprotected. God has given us His armor so that we may be able to stand against the devil. God is far greater than the devil and despite the fight that may go on the focus of our minds must be on God and His power and not on the devil and his awful character. The Bible does not give the information that we read to bring fear upon us or to make us devil-conscious but to make us aware of what is going on.

As I John assures us, the One who is in us, which is God in Christ in us, is greater than he who is in the world i.e. the devil.

I John 4:4
"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because HE WHO IS IN YOU IS GREATER THAN HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD"

God is greater than the devil. That's why God promises in His Word a victorious life in a world that is not ruled by Him. Though He is not the ruler of the world, He is far greater than the ruler of the world. See also what Romans 8 say:

Romans 8:35-36
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "for your sake we are killed all the day long; We are counted as sheep for the slaughter"

Famine, persecution etc.. A lot of negatives! However the passage does not stop there:

Romans 8:37-39
"YET IN ALL THESE THINGS [i.e. famine, sword, nakedness etc.] WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM WHO LOVED US. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"

God has not promised that a famine will never happen in your area. What He has promised however is that during a famine or any other negative thing that the ruler of this world may engineer, God will not only preserve you but He will also make you MORE THAN A CONQUEROR as you trust Him. The life that He has for you is not a life oppressed by the devil. This was the life that we had before we believed. He has for you a life that is more than abundant. II Corinthians says:

II Corinthians 2:14
"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place."

God will always lead you in triumph, as you look to Him and His Word. However, once more we must make clear that this does not mean that "evil days" will not come for we know from the Word that they will come because there is an enemy. Nevertheless, even in this case, when you do what the Word says (you are sober and vigilant, you put on the whole armor of God etc.) God will lead you to triumph. He will always do His part. But we also have to ensure that we do our part and we are not ignorant of the devil's devices.

 

Anastasios Kioulachoglou

 

 

 



Footnotes

1. See J. M. Freeman: "Manners and Costumes of the Bible", Reprinted 1972 by Logos International, p.164

2. The third issue of this magazine spoke extensively about the breastplate of righteousness

3. However, what comes from the operation of the revelation manifestations cannot be in disagreement with the written Word.