Our passage today is from the last chapter of Ephesians. It is eight critical verses from the Apostle Paul’s final letter to the church in Ephesus. If you recall, Paul begins his letters (so, the first three chapters of Ephesians) with doctrine, and then his final three letters (or chapters) focus on practical application. In today’s letter, Paul boldly tells us how we need to be living as followers of Christ.
If you followed the “Rise Up” sermon series with Curtis Tumicki, you may remember on Sun, Dec 19th that Curtis’s message was on “Strategize Your Plan of Love”. During that message, Curtis took us to today’s passage, Ephesians 6:10-17: The Whole Armor of God. He pointed out that God instructs us, through Paul, to put on six pieces of armor; five of the pieces are defensive and One piece (the Word) is offensive. ALL six pieces are to be used together and continuously for our protection and guidance under the authority of Almighty God.
Paul begins today’s passage by telling us to build up our strength. We know that our strength can only be found in Christ (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). So, Paul goes on to tell us that we need to put on ALL of the armor that God gives us because it is our only way to stand up against the Devil. In this verse, Paul doesn’t say…”hey, so the armor can hang out in your house until you think the devil is around, and then you can dust it off, and put on whatever pieces you think you might need”…NO, he tells us to put it ALL on, and that we are NOT to take it off, because we are not fighting against things that are easily seen. Rather, we are battling wicked spiritual forces of darkness, and the battle goes on at all times.
Below, you will find that I included the image that Curtis used during his message. I think we can agree that the metal armor does not appear to be very comfortable. However, Paul firmly instructs us in verse 13 to “put on God’s armor now!” He doesn’t tell us that we can leave the helmet off until we see danger because it’s too heavy and hot outside to be worn 24/7…or, that we can pick up the sword and shield when we feel like it’s the appropriate time of danger. No, Paul knows that God has not only designated the proper armor for every “good solider of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3), but that He also created ALL six pieces to be used together for our spiritual protection and guidance during every breath that you and I take on this earth. Friends, here’s a list of your armor, and please do NOT remove any part of it:
Belt of Truth (Defensive Weapon) – To stand firm in the Word of God
Breastplate of Righteousness (Defensive Weapon) – To protect from the evils of this world
Shoes of Readiness (Defensive Weapon) – To leave a righteous trail of the Good News of Jesus for others
Shield of Faith (Defensive Weapon) – To extinguish the arrows of the Evil One
Helmet of Salvation (Defensive Weapon) – The guiding foundation of the good solider of Jesus Christ
Sword of the Spirit (Offensive Weapon) – The Word of God used to attack the Evil One
Ephesians 6:10-17 (GNT)
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power.11 Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks.12 For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.13 So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.
14 So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate,15 and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace.16 At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One.17 And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you.
Prayer: Jesus, Thank You for Your protection against the darkness of this world. Help me, Lord, to keep on every piece of the armor that You have so graciously given to me. I pray for your continuous guidance within my life. I ask all of this in Your Precious and Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.
Written by: Jennifer Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant