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.
THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD
- There is an enemy of the Christian soldier. It is Satan. He is real and he exerts strategies to wage war on all believers by means of deceit, craftiness and all sorts of various tricks. He knows your weakness because of your habits and he uses them against you.
I Peter 5:8 – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
Luke 22:31 – “And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.’”
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 – “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
Eph 6:12 – “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.”
- We must put on the armor of God.
Eph 5:16 – “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
- because of the onslaught of evil that is all about us
- because of the temptations and trials that confront us
- because of the barrage of evil
- because of the lateness of the hour
- We must withstand the evil and prepare ourselves … with the whole armor of God.
Romans 13:12 – “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us 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 in God for pulling down strongholds.”
I Timothy 6:12 – “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
- There is an enemy of the Christian soldier. That enemy is Satan and his evil works.
- The lust of the eyes is one way that he tempts us:
- Outlandish dress
- Satan will present something so appealing that the believer is doomed unless he is clothed in the protective gear that God has provided for us.
James 4:1-4 – Amplified Version – “WHAT LEADS to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members? You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask. [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures. You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God.”
Romans 6:19 – “I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”
Eph 2:2-3 – Amplified Version – “In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God]. Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.”
John 8:44 – “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Romans 6:16 – “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”
- The forces of evil are the rulers of darkness, they blind the minds of men lest they believe the glorious gospel.
- Think for a moment of all the wickedness and evil, the wrong and selfishness in the world.
- The divisions, prejudice, favoritism immorality, arrogance, bitterness pride, hate, anger, war killing arguing, stealing, cursing, favoritism, divisions, lying, backbiting, and gossiping.
- The list could go on and on. The evil of man consumes the papers and airways every day. Do we not all know better than to behave in this matter? There are enough good people out there that could change the world if we would, but the sad thing is the church is often not much better than the world.
Ephesians 6:12 – “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.”
I John 2:15-16 – “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”
- Another strategy of Satan is to send a false teacher. We must never forget that Satan is not a fiery red person with horns, a pointed tail and a pitchfork. He is the living being in the spiritual world who is able to appear as an angel of light. He has ministers who walk about as ministers of righteousness. However, their righteousness is not of Christ. Their message of self-righteousness will doom your soul. It is based on human goodness and works, ego and self image, personal development and growth, self improvement and correction of the mind and will. Such messages appeal to the flesh. However they cannot deliver man out of the evil darkness.
2 Corinthians 2:11 – “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
2 Corinthians 11:3 – “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 – “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”
Ephesians 4:14 – “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.”
Ephesians 6:11 – “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
2 Thessalonians 2:9 – “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.”
Revelation 12:9 – “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
- The forces of evil are powerful forces
- The forces of evil are numerous
- The forces of evil are organized into a satanic hierarch
- However, there is a greater force, a force for good, a higher force…It is the power of God that is able to change and empower man.