Updated: Jun 5, 2019
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 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 firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." - Ephesians 6:10-17 (ESV)
There are battles going on right now around the world with men and women fighting against evil like that of ISIS. However, there are battles going on right now against evil in our homes, in our workplaces, right in front of us!
Although we may not actually be able to see it, there is spiritual warfare going on all around us! How can we fight this type of warfare when we can't see our enemy?
Ephesians 6:10-17 equips us with the armor of God that allows us to defend ourselves and fight against the evil that we cannot see.
The armor of God is not actually physical armor but uses metaphorical armor to represent spiritual armor. It wasn't uncommon for people to see Roman soldiers back when the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians. So using the armor of soldiers of that time helped people to understand the correlation to spiritual armor. To help illustrate the armor of God, I will be using modern day armor to help explain the armor of God.
1. Belt of Truth
"Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth..." -Ephesians 6:14
Truth: something that is true or fact.
We all know the saying "fight fire with fire." We cannot fight evil with evil. Satan will always win if you try that. That's why truthfulness and moral integrity are essential to fighting evil, especially the Truth that is Jesus Christ. My battle belt is essential to my kit. I have nearly everything I need which includes my sidearm, extra mags, light, trauma kit, etc. For most of us, belts are essential even to our daily wardrobe. Just as a belt is essential to keeping your pants up, so is truth essential to defending yourself against evil.
2. Breastplate of Righteousness
"...and having put on the breastplate of righteousness" -Ephesians 6:14
Righteousness: being morally right or justified.
There are a lot of useful things that you can put on your plate carrier. I have a Haley Strategic D3 chest rig that can hold a multitude of things and a Source Tactical hydration carrier in the back. Most importantly, the plate carrier holds the ballistic plates that protect your vital organs. Righteousness protects your heart in the fight against evil.
3. Shoes of Readiness by the Gospel of Peace
"and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace." -Ephesians 6:15
Peace: freedom from disturbance.
Proper footwear is necessary for battle or even just running and gunning. You're certainly not ready for battle if you're barefoot! I have never served in the armed forces so I do not know how it feels to leave for deployment. I can only imagine the anxiety and anticipation that builds up. I have much respect for those who serve in the military. The Gospel (that is the Good News of Jesus Christ) gives us peace in our readiness to fight against evil. It gives us peace to know that no matter what battles we fight today, Jesus has already won the war against the devil and against sin and death. So put on the peace of Jesus Christ just as you would put on your shoes in preparation for battle.
4. Shield of Faith
"In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one" -Ephesians 6:16
Faith: Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
With the evolution of war and combat, soldiers no longer fight with arrows, swords, and shields. A shield protected soldiers of the past from arrows and swords. Today, body armor protects soldiers from bullets. And just as body armor gives protection from bullets, faith in our Lord gives protection from attacks from the devil.
5. Helmet of Salvation
"and take the helmet of salvation..." -Ephesians 6:17
Salvation: deliverance from harm.
Sin has separated us from God. God is holy and perfect so no sin can ever be allowed in His presence. God loves us and didn't like us being separated from Him, so He sent His Son to die for us. Since Jesus is perfect, His death paid the penalty for all of our sins. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, we can receive His gift of salvation. Those who receive His gift of salvation are delivered from the penalty of their sin. Helmets offer protection for your head. The helmet of salvation gives us confidence in battle knowing that we are saved and have been delivered from the penalty of our sin. Modern day helmets also have mounts for night vision optics which allow for soldiers to see clearly in the dark. Because of the salvation we have through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit gives our minds clarity and guides us through spiritual darkness.
6. Sword of the Spirit
"...and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." -Ephesians 6:17
The Word of God: the Bible!
There are 6 pieces of the armor of God. The first 5 pieces were for defensive purposes. Now God arms us with an offensive weapon, the Bible! Soldiers no longer arm themselves with swords but with guns. We all have our opinions on the best battle rifle and debates still continue on AR's vs AK's. Make no mistake, there is nothing better nor is there any substitute for the Word of God in the fight against evil! So you better be reading and studying the Bible if you're going to be fighting evil! The devil can even use Scripture to tempt us (as he did with Jesus in the desert), so you better know your weapon better than the enemy!
Spiritual warfare is constant and takes place daily in our lives! So make the armor of God part of your EDC!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vinh Luu is a pastor who serves the Lord in California, USA. Pastor Vinh has no military or law enforcement experience, but enjoys using a common interest in firearms to share the love of Jesus and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.