We begin to look at the Armor of God. In Paul's letter to the Ephesians he focuses on the great truths of being in Christ. He talks to us about what it means to be a believer, to belong to the Lord, to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. In the first three chapters Paul shows us our position, or our place, that we have been given as we sit with the Lord.
1. [Eph 1:3 NKJV] 3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,
In chapters four through six, Paul then turns to our walking with the Lord. God has chosen us to be Christ's representatives on earth. Paul challenges us to live lives worthy of the calling we have received.
2. [Eph 4:1 NKJV] 1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
We spent three weeks looking at our adversary. We looked at everything from his creation and fall to his methods of operation against both the world that is lost and the saints that know God. We learned he is a strong, clever, subtle kind of enemy. If we hope to know our full potential and position in Christ, we have to know there is a battle.
Paul's solution towards the end of chapter 6 (Ephesians) is to say to us, if we live as close as we can to Jesus every day when the pressure of these attacks fall upon us, we will instinctively reach for what we are most comfortable with.
Our sitting in Christ (a positional truth), and our walking with Him (a practical reality) is opposed by the warfare that seeks to keep us from standing in Christ and thus the armor of God provides is found in Ephesians 6:14-18.
[Eph 6:14-18 NKJV] 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--
Paul begins this section leading up to the armor with some important injunctions.
3. [Eph 6:10-18 NKJV] 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places]. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--
4. What are we obligated to put on in v11? ___
5. According to v12 our battle is not with man but with ___
6. Verse 13 tells us to put on the whole armor of God so that we may ___
7. What do we need to do according to v18? ___
How can anyone pray on all occasions? One way is to make quick prayers a habit to respond to every situation. Another way is to order your life around God's desires and teachings so that your very life becomes prayer. You can make prayer your life and your life prayer. The very fact that armor is available shows the danger of the battle. Yet God who loves us knows just what we need.
Verse 10 tells us we need to be strong in Him before seeking to use this armor He provides. It is His armor, provided by Him and we must know Him and then we can stand in the strength and protection this armor provides. To wear this armor is to appropriate God's provisions by faith.
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Phillippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
It is the armor that will need to be worn daily in this world
1 Cor 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
That is especially true after great victories when our guard can be let down. Look at the attack on Jesus
[Mat 4:1-11 NKJV] 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' " 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In [their] hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' " 7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.' " 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " 11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
or the stumble of David (2 Samuel 24) or Paul's thorn in the flesh (2 Cor 12) and its purpose.
Everything we need God has provided here (2 Peter 1:3), and so it is vital we wear each piece, the whole armor (Eph 6:11). Some may emphasize one piece over another, some strong in some areas and yet tremendously weak in others. But we truly need it all! Don't think you can handle Satan by yourself.
[2Pe 1:3 NKJV] 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that [pertain] to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
[Eph 6:11 NKJV] 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
The armor falls into six pieces in all and two distinct categories: the first category being those things always worn and introduced by the word having. The second category of items that are put on when needed, introduced by the word taking.
8. What is the first piece of armor that we must have in verse 14?
[Eph 6:14 NKJV] 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
The function of the belt was to provide mobility and freedom when needed for running or fighting as the long tunic most often worn was cinched up through the belt, freeing the legs and arms. We read of it at the first Passover (Exodus 12:11), and Jesus mentions it in the context of the disciples being ready for Him when He comes again (Luke 12:35-37). The belt that girds us prepares us to move and keeps us ready. Spiritually, it is Truth that girds the saint.
[Exo 12:11 NKJV] 11 'And thus you shall eat it: [with] a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It [is] the LORD's Passover.
[Luk 12:35-37 NKJV] 35 "Let your waist be girded and [your] lamps burning; 36 "and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 "Blessed [are] those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down [to eat], and will come and serve them.
So in our warfare we must always be prepared and ready to move at a moment's notice. Spiritually applied we are given some further insight, because this isn't a girdle or belt to fight, but verse 14 says to gird your waist with truth. The word truth in the Bible always has two applications: 1. An objective truth 2. A subjective truth.
From a subjective standpoint this word means "truthfulness or sincerity of commitment; to have a heart for the Lord despite the cost".
9. In our warfare with the enemy, we are made ready by sincere commitment to Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2). Have you made a sincere commitment to Jesus Christ?
List some things that have kept you from fully committing to Jesus:
[Heb 12:1-2 NKJV] 1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares [us], and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of [our] faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This truthful sincere commitment will keep us solid when persecution comes from the enemy. When Paul wrote his last letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 2), he said, "you should endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus. No one in war would entangle himself with the affairs of this life, so that he might please him who enlisted him to be a soldier."
10. With this piece of armor comes that dedication to win. Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-25. In comparison to the athletes of our day who give all to be the best, what are you doing in terms of sincere diligence to be sure you will find victory in Christ?
[1Co 9:24-25 NKJV] 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain [it]. 25 And everyone who competes [for the prize] is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a perishable crown, but we [for] an imperishable [crown].
Objectively the word truth speaks of the final authority of the Word of God, and when it is used in that context it speaks to us about having our minds and understanding readied with a clear understanding of, and commitment to, the authority of the Word of God. Gird yourself with a truthful commitment to the Lord. Also, gird yourself for the battle by having a clear understanding of God's Word or having confidence that His Word means what it says. You will always stand fast and withstand the attacks of the enemy when you stand upon God's Word.
If you have a deeply settled conviction about the scriptures you're not easily moved. So when the enemy comes along to pervert the truth we are ready with our mind. First piece of the armor is to gird your waist and always be ready to move into action with a sincere commitment and complete confidence in God's Word.
11. Do you trust God's Word as the final word? Are you learning it? and memorizing it?
12. What attitudes or actions in your life need to change to help you live out the truths in today's lesson and scriptures?