The Bible says in Ephesians chapter 6:10-12, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Life is a war, a spiritual war. We are Christian soldiers. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Captain of the hosts of God the Almighty is our captain. And we stand on the spiritual battlefield called the earth, the only front between the bastions of hell and heaven. In these verses of Ephesians chapter 6 God has given us very important and detailed information on how we can be prepared and equipped so that we can wage a successful warfare against the devil and the legions of darkness.
Verses 10-12 tell us 3 basic truths that we must keep in mind as we face the spiritual battles and temptations each day. Verse 10 says to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. And sanctification is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Why does the Bible say to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, and not ourselves? Because every man is a sinner. Romans Chapter 5 gives us 3 words to describe man; without strength, ungodly, and a sinner. I am without strength, I am ungodly, and I am a sinner. Jesus said in II Corinthians 5:9, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. There is an old hymn that goes; I am weak but Thou art strong, Jesus keep from all wrong. Even though we are weak and incapable, and so often filled with fears and doubts and lusts of the flesh; if we have faith in Jesus Christ then we have the infinite and unlimited power of God to give us victory over the temptations of the devil and victory over our own sinful flesh. And we can be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. I John 5:4 says, For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. It is only by the grace of God that we can do anything. If you have learned to rely on the grace of God and not yourself then you made a great step in successfully running the race that God has set before you.
Verse 11 tells us to put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. The word wiles means deception. Satan has 3 ways that he primarily tempts us; by getting us to doubt the promises of God, by getting us to doubt the character of God, and by getting us to put our own desires above the will of God. But God has given us armor and weapons that we may both defend against the attacks of the devil and that we may attack the devil. And because the armor of God is just that, of God and spiritual, it will never wear or fade away or become unusable. Because just as verse 12 says, our warfare is not physical but spiritual, we need spiritual armor. When you look at the world around you, you will see governments that fight each other over land and power; you will see organizations religious and secular that oppose each other over land, money, power, and traditions. But our warfare is not for or against the physical things of this earth but is against the spiritual; light against darkness, good against evil, and truth against that which is not true.
Verse 12-17 tells us of this armor of God that we have been given by the God of all grace. Verses 13-14 says, Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins gird about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.
Truth is the most important thing in the World. Each moment of the day you either think thoughts that are true or thoughts that are of the devil. You either walk in the light having fellowship with God and the brethren or you walk in darkness stumbling at ye know not what. To have our loins gird about with truth means first, above all, to have our sins confessed so that in our heart, mind, and spirit we may be in fellowship with God, who is the source of all truth. I Peter 1:13 says to gird up the loins of the mind. The loins of our mind should be girded about with truth. The things that we think about and the things that we believe better be accurate with the teachings of the Bible otherwise we will not have our loins gird about with truth. And if our loins are not gird about with truth, then when the devil whispers words of doubt and lust into our ears we will fall into sin, marring our testimony and weakening our faith. II Timothy 2:15 says, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. To gird your loins about with truth you must diligently study the Word of truth everyday.
Verse 14 says to put on the breastplate of righteousness. In the days of old, when people wore armor into battle, the breastplate was a very important piece of armor because it protected the chest. Most wounds to the chest in those days were almost always death blows. There are two kinds of righteousness; positional righteousness and provisional righteousness. Positional righteousness is the righteousness of justification. When we are saved we have the position of standing in Christ. Galatians 2:20 says, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now life in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. We, the children of God, have the righteousness of Jesus Christ keeping our souls as white as snow. Isaiah 1:18 says, Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. When Jesus Christ was baptized and the Spirit descended upon Him as a dove the voice of the Father shouted from the eternal glories of Heaven, This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. God was pleased with Jesus because Jesus always said, not My will but Thine, Lord, be done. And Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law. If we have the position of being in Christ, the positional righteousness of Christ, then God the Father looks down on us from the eternal glories of heaven and He smiles and says about you and me This is My beloved Son, in whom I Am well pleased.
And then there is provisional righteousness. This is a righteousness that is directly related to our sanctification. Our provisional righteousness is based upon how consistently we follow the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit moment by moment of each day. Its not a righteousness based upon our following of the law because Jesus abolished the law. Ephesians 2:15 says, speaking of Jesus, Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances. If you follow the Spirit of God, the Holy law of God will be kept because Jesus fulfilled the law. But if you follow the law, the law will not be kept and your provisional righteousness will be destroyed because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. I John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But anytime that we do fail in our provisional righteousness Jesus will always forgive us because He already paid the penalty for our sins. Do not listen to the devil when he says that God could not possibly forgive you for that sin, Jesus will always love you and He will always forgive you, if you only ask. Romans 11:29 says, For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. God has given the gift of forgiveness and he has called us to be children of God, therefore He will always forgive and restore unto us our provisional righteousness.
Verse 15 says, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. If you are saved then you already have the Gospel of peace written into your heart. In the days when the N.T. was written most people traveled on foot everywhere they went; even from town to town. The basic idea is that we should always be prepared to share the Gospel with those whom we come into contact with. I Peter 3:15 says, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
Jesus died for all. And the Gospel is for all. When you go to the store, when you go to work, when you go to school and anywhere and everywhere that you go, be ready to tell the world that Jesus Christ lived, died for your sins, and rose again the 3rd day. Why is it that some people are not as bold in speaking the Gospel as they should be? Because instead of being ashamed for their sins they are ashamed that Jesus has died and forgiven them of their sins. Are you ashamed of the glory of God? Or are you ashamed of your own sinfulness? And most importantly remember that the Gospel means good news. If the Gospel is such great and wonderful news, eternal life and peace with God to the believer, then we should have our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.
Verse 16 says, above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked. The most important possession in the world is faith in Jesus Christ and faith in the promises of God. There are many wonderful promises of God to give us a shield of faith. Romans 8:28 says, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. I Corinthians 10:13 says, There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Jesus said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. And there are many, many more wonderful promises of God. When Satan throws the darts of doubt and fear and the darts of lust and temptation and the darts of persecution at you; if your faith in the promises of God is like a house founded on a solid rock then the winds and the waves will beat against the house of your faith and you will stand tall all night through the storm until the sun rises in the morning to give you light. John 5:4 says, For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Verse 17 says, And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. The helmet is the most important piece of armor that a soldier could wear into battle because it protects His head. Just about any blow to the head is a death blow. If you have salvation by repenting of your sins and trusting in Jesus Christ, then you cannot be defeated. You may fail from time to time but Jesus Christ has bought you the victory through His own blood that was spilt for you. Jesus said in John chapter 10:27-29, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Fathers hand.
Because salvation is by the grace of God, it is based on the work of Jesus and not our works. Therefore we cannot lose our salvation. Once saved always saved. The devil wants you to doubt your salvation when you sin. But if we could lose our salvation then salvation would be based on what we do and not on what Jesus has done on the cross. Probably one more reason Paul the Apostle compared salvation to a helmet is because a helmet is placed upon the head and our head contains our minds. It is with the mind that we can think about and meditate upon the light of the Word and especially upon our salvation. If we would only think about and appreciate our salvation more we would have all the motivation we need to serve God in this life. When you stand in the lions den, when the fiery trials of this life burn hot against your skin, and when you walk though the valley of the shadow of death you have nothing to fear and you can sing the praise of God our Father, the Father of glory, because Christ has forgiven you of your sins. He will never leave you or forsake you. And God your Father, who loves you so very much, holds the world in His hands, and He holds your hand in His. And He is always here to guide you step by step, breath by breath, until He frees you from the chains of this physical world and calls you home to Him where He will talk to you face to face just as a man talks to his bride.
When Adam and Eve tasted of the forbidden fruit, they sinned and were separated from God. They died spiritually. The word death literally means separation. Genesis 3:7 says, And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. Romans 3:23 says, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Because we are all sinners we are separated from God. We are dead spiritually. We are naked spiritually; we are without the armor of God. Romans 5:12 says, Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: And Romans 5:15 says, But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
If you do not have the armor of God, if you do not have the helmet of salvation, then you are in danger of being devoured by that old lion the devil and you are on your way to hell where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. Romans 10:13 says, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. In all human souls is the leprosy of sin. Sin will eat away your personality. Sin will vex your soul and devour your flesh. But even though we have all failed miserably at the law of God, Jesus Christ the Lamb of God perfectly fulfilled the law. He suffered the cruel death of the cross and He took upon Himself the punishment that we deserved for our sins. Jesus Christ died and rose again the 3rd day and ascended to heaven to be with the Father for eternity. One day we will all die. If you do not have Jesus in your heart you can pray to Jesus right now and ask Him into your heart. Salvation is the free gift of God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Salvation cannot be earned, it can only be accepted. Those who put their faith in Jesus Christ are freed from the guilt of their sins. Jesus brings freedom from the chains of the law and freedom from the bony hand of death. If you trust in Jesus Christ then you will become clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and clothed in the armor of God. If you trust in Jesus Christ, one day you will step beyond the doorway of death and into the loving arms of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for eternity without end.
Copyright; 2002 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved