Armor of God (Part 3)

“Hey, Who Is It We Are Really Fighting?”

Read: Ephesians 6:12, 13

Let’s review again this principle from 1 Corinthians 15:46 - first the natural, then the spiritual.
The “natural” reason for the Roman soldier to be amor-clad was because A, he needed the protection, and B, he was more often than not engaged in warfare and needed effective offensive weapons.

The Holy Spirit took this image of the fully clad soldier and helped Paul to make spiritual application for Christians involved in battle, or warfare.
Hence verse 12.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

The word “struggle” here primarily refers to a wrestling bout, but also very clearly implies a fierce conflict, or possibly even a war.

In any wrestling bout, each opponent takes time before the bout to know the strengths and weaknesses of each other. Paul realizes this same truth and then lists whom it is, or what the conflict is.

Who is our opponent?

Before he tells us who our opponent is, he tells us who it is not. The Christian is not to be engaged in a fierce conflict among each other or against other people. If that was true, then of course the way to win would be to simply gather the largest, strongest, and best trained people and simply beat up the weaker ones.

But Paul makes it clear that our major conflict is a spiritual one, and he intentionally names our opponents. They are the rulers, powers, world forces and spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (verse 12).

In light of knowing who our opponent is, it is clear why the full armor of God is so essential!

What does the fully armored soldier do?

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

Most of the verbs here in this verse are in the present active tense, and in the imperative mood. That means we are given orders to put on the armor, and to do it continually. And we’ll discover that this is also true in much of Paul’s instructions about wearing the armor.

So it is a command to continually take up the full armor of God, and of course the reason you take up the armor is so that you will be able to do two things: resist in the evil day, and having done everything you know to do, stand firm. (And the “evil day” could in reality be any day in our lives when “warfare” is necessary.)

Take immediate action

I know that there are times of waiting and resting in the Lord. Jesus often took the disciples to a quiet place for this very purpose. But when He was engaged in bringing light and life to a dark and hurting world, He was continually active. Mark’s Gospel highlights this by consistently using the word “immediately,” often indicating to us that Jesus was “busy” about His Father’s business.

Therefore, you and I are to model Jesus. There are times when resisting evil and wrong behaviors or attitudes is what we must do. It is no accident that in the workplace, and in almost every level of our educational institutions, “bullying” is not acceptable. If this is true in the “natural,” should it not be true in the “spiritual”?

Stand firm

And finally, the command to continually stand firm is so needed. Flip flops may be very popular footwear, but “flip flopping” as a follower of Jesus is not what we are to do. Especially when confronting evil!

The weapons we fight with are spiritual

Before we begin to examine the actual pieces of the armor, let me share another scripture that affirms these verses from Ephesians 6.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Do you see the similarity here between what Paul writes here and passage in Ephesians 6? At this point I’m not going to comment any further on these words from this scripture, but Lord willing we’ll visit it later.

We are in a battle

Before we close this post, here’s what I want you to “catch.” Faithful servants, we are in a battle. There will be conflicts, but one of the names for our God is Jehovah Nissi, which may mean, “The Lord Our Banner (or Victor).”

According Isaiah 25:1, the Father has “plans formed long ago in perfect faithfulness.” Christ does lead us forth in triumph, and many times it will be the Lord who fights for us. Will you lend your hearts to embrace this, and then allow the Holy Spirit to equip you for every good work? I know you will.

Blessings and prayers,
Pastor Gene

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1 Comment

Ed Fugee - May 11th, 2020 at 10:07am

Thank you very much for your teachings Pastor Gene.

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