Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. 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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
“BE STRONG” IN THE LORD (IN THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT)
Ephesians 4:16 – “That He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His spirit in the inner man.”
Isaiah 40:31 – “But those who wait for the Lord (who expect, look for, and hope in Him) shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up (close to God) as eagles (mount up to the sun); they shall walk and not faint or become tired.” The Amplified Version
Ephesians 4:20 – “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”
Colossians 1:11 – “We pray that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory (to exercise) every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy.” The Amplified Version
“PUT ON” THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD
- Why are we, the soldiers in Christ’s army, instructed to put on the whole armor of God? Because we are in a spiritual battle. We are not fighting a physical battle. We don’t need knives, guns, tanks, bombs, planes and so on to fight this battle. We need spiritual armament.
- Here in this command we are to “put on the armor of God” and the very next command we are to “take up the whole armor of God.” What is meant? Let us read this same passage from the Amplified Version
Ephesians 6: 11-13 – “Put on God’s whole armor (the armor) of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies), that you may be able successfully to stand up against (all) the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood (contending only with physical opponents), but against despotism, against the powers, against (the master spirits who are) the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere, therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day (of danger), and, having done all (the crisis demands), to stand, (firmly in your place).” The Amplified Version
“TAKE UP” THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD
- “Stand” with a girdle of truth.
- “Stand” with breastplate of righteousness.
- “Put on shoes” (your foundation) of the Gospel.
- “Take” the shield of faith.
- “Take” the helmet of salvation.
- “Take” the sword of the Spirit, the word of God.
- “Praying always” with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.
- “Be watchful” with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
- Many sermons have been preached from this passage and there are many different thoughts about what each of the different pieces of armament mean. Without going into great detail I believe what the Bible is trying to tell us is that we must have the whole armor of God. The shoes won’t help if we forgot the breastplate and that is where we receive an attack. Likewise the helmet left off and everything else in place will not keep us from sustaining a head injury. We must have all the armament that God demands for us to be a successful soldier.
- Truth, righteousness (or right living before God), a basic under-standing (the foundation) of the Word of God, faith, salvation, the Word of God (the meat of the Word where it spells out in detail our privilege in Christ), all covered with prayer and supplication and watchfulness with perseverance and supplication for our brother and sister soldiers will sustain us.
1 Peter 5:8 – “Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring (in fierce hunger), seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”
Psalm 3:3-4 – “But you, O lord, are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of His holy hill.”
Romans 8:37 – “In all things we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us.”
Isaiah 54:17 – “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me says the Lord.”
- Everyone of the commands tells us something to do. Put on, take up, stand, stand, put on, take, take, praying always, be watchful are all commands of action. Many Christians come to know the Lord and do nothing except warm a pew and soak in the worship and message. A sponge does the same thing. However if the sponge soaks it all up and is not put to work, it does one of two things. It either dries up and is not good for anything, or it becomes soured and begins to stink. The reason for the action commands is evident. We are in a war and you must act. No soldier came back from the front lines of the battle without having performed some type of action.
- You, the Christian, must be a man or woman of action. You must remember to get involved in the battle. There are no desk soldiers in God’s army. There are only soldiers of action.
- Notice the particular type of action in these action commands.
- “Take up” the whole armor of God indicates we must not leave any of God’s armor off. We must put it all on. We must take all of God’s instructions. Pick and choose and you will lose.
- Twice we are told to “stand.” Why? We must stand for the truth. We must stand for right living before God and man. If it is against God’s Word, then it is wrong. I don’t care how much we try to justify what we are doing. It doesn’t matter what everybody else is doing. If God’s Word says do not, we better listen to what it says. Society, or the signs of the time, should not dictate to us morality and right and wrong. God’s Word is our only rule of law.
- “Put on” indicates we are to clothe ourselves with something. Since we are to “put off” the old life style, then we must “put on” the new life style. We can only do that with a basic understanding of the Word of God.
- Three times we are told to “take” which indicates that we must reach out for, we must grasp, we must exert energy to obtain. No soldier ever won a fight without taking charge of the situation. That is exactly what you must do. You must take charge of the situation and defeat the enemy through the power that God has given you.
- There is no way we can over emphasize the power of prayer. The passage says here that we should be “praying always” with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. Prayer is spiritual warfare. A soldier enters the conflict fully dressed and armed for battle. Something else is needed, is essential. Confidence, assurance and courage are needed in the battle and they only come by way of prayer.
Romans 13:12 – “The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light.”
2 Corinthians 10:4 – “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.”
1 Timothy 6:12 – “Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life, to which you were summoned and (for which) you confessed the good confession (of faith) before many witnesses.”
2 Timothy 2:4 – “No soldier when in service gets entangled in the enterprises of (civilian) life; his aim is to satisfy and please the one who enlisted him.”
Matthew 7:7 – “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
Colossians 4:2 – “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”
1 Chronicles 16:11 – “Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually.”
- We are told after all these varying commands to “be watchful.” All the armor in the world will not help us if we do not watch. Further, we are to watch in “perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” Why? Because they are going through the same battles you are going through.
- W – Watch your WORDS
- A – Watch your ACTIONS
- T – Watch your THOUGHTS
- C – Watch your CHARACTER
- H – Watch your HEART