Vol. 17, No. 26 – July 1, 2018
Summary and Conclusion to The Full Armor of God.
In vs. 14, we were first told, once again, to “stand firm,” which means to hold our ground against the assaults of the enemy, Satan and his cosmic system.
This truth, ALETHEIA, is speaking to both the person of God, the attribute of veracity of all three members of the Trinity, and secondly, His Word, Bible Doctrine. We are exhorted to know God by means of knowing His Word. When we know His Word, we know Him, and have tremendous power and resources to stand firm against the evil one.
John 18:37, “Therefore Pilate said to Him, ‘So You are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice’.”
John 1:17, “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”
Jesus Christ is, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” for salvation because, “no one comes to the Father but through Me,” John 14:6.
John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
Isa 65:16, “Because he who is blessed in the earth will be blessed by the God of truth; and he who swears in the earth will swear by the God of truth.”
Psa 85:10-11, “Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 11Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.”
Psa 25:5, “Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.”
Psa 86:11, “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.”
- God is righteous.
- He imputed His righteousness to us at the moment of our conversion, being born again.
- His word is righteous.
- We are to walk in righteousness by applying His word to our lives.
- We are blessed by God’s righteousness through His grace pipeline because of the imputed righteousness in us, especially when we walk in His righteousness.
2 Cor 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
1 Cor 1:30, “But by His (God the Father’s) doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom (truth) from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”
Rom 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Phil 3:9, “That I may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”
Mat 6:33, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
“Feet” speaks to our daily walk in Christ; in His righteousness and truth. The key word there was “preparation,” HETOIMASIA that means, “readiness, preparation, or equipment.” In other words, we are to be continually prepared and ready to witness the gospel of peace through our words and our lives, our Christian conduct.
1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”
Psa 119:1, “How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD.”
Psa 119:101-104, “I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. 102I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me. 103How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.”
Psa 119:105-106, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 106I have sworn and I will confirm it, that I will keep Your righteous ordinances.”
Heb 12:13, “And make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”
Isa 52:7, “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” cf. Rom 10:15.
This also was the first piece of armament that was given a purpose, “to extinguish all the flamming missiles of the evil one.”
The Book of Ephesians has much to say about faith, including:
Eph 1:15, “For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints.”
Eph 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Eph 3:12, “In whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.”
Eph 3:17, “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love.”
Eph 4:5, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
Eph 4:13, “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”
Eph 6:16, “In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Eph 6:23, “Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Therefore, those who have faith in the Lord are commended:
- We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, (i.e., our entrance into the spiritual life by faith).
- Faith in Christ gives us boldness and confident access to the Father, (i.e., our prayer life of faith).
- Christ is at home in the heart of faith, (i.e., our walk in faith).
- We have One Faith, (i.e., positional unity in the Body of Christ).
- We are to attain a unity of faith with the brethren, (i.e., experiential unity in the body of Christ).
- We are protected by the shield of faith, (i.e., the guardianship that is faith).
- God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and Paul desire us to have faith, (i.e., their hope of faith for us).
Rom 1:17, “For in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith’.”
Heb 10:38, “But my righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”
Gal 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
2 Cor 5:6-8a, “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord –7for we walk by faith, not by sight.
1 Tim 6:12, “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
The shield of faith is necessary to halt the destructive tempations, “flamming missles/arrows,” of Satan from pentrating the soul. The Roman soldier’s shield used in analogy here, was a very large shield. Faith is a very large and important aspect of protection for the spiriutal life.
This helmet is given to protect our head, the place where we do our thinking. It is designed to protect our thoughts, heart, mind, and soul. When we understand our salvation, we have this protection experientially in time. This knowledge of salvation includes our Past Salvation, the day of our conversion; our Present Salvation, our daily deliverance from sin and evil; and our Future Salvation, the eternal inheritence waiting for us in heaven. Equiped with this knoweldge and assurance, we are able to defend against the tempations of evil thoughts and practices, and remain walking in the righteousness of God.
Titus 2:11-14, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; 14who gave Himself for us, in order that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
Phil 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you (Past) will perfect it (Present) until the day of Christ Jesus (Future).”
Heb 9:28, “So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.”
1 Thes 5:8-11, “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.”
Rom 5:9-11, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, (Present Tense Salvation), we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him, (Future Tense Salvation). 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, (Past Tense Salvation), we shall be saved by His life, (Future Tense Salvation). 11And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Present Tense Salvation), through whom we have now received the reconciliation, (Present Tense Salvation).”
In this we learned of our:
1.) New Situation; our legal status has changed. We have acquired new rights and responsibilities as a result of our union with Jesus Christ because of our Redemption, Justification, Adoption, and Reconciliation.
2.) New Self; to be “In Christ,” undergoing inward renewal, 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15, to live for Christ, designated by a new power and a new orientation to life.
2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
1 Peter 1:23, “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.”
Rom 12:1-2, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Eph 4:22-24, “That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
Col 3:9-10, “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.”
3.) New Steps, as a result of our rebirth, union with Christ, and gift of Christ’s Spirit we are expected to live differently, that is behavioral change we are to undergo as a result of our salvation with the result of producing Divine Good, the Fruit of the Spirit, because of the Christ-like nature that is developed within. This is the demonstration of our salvation to God and to a lost and dying world.
Rom 6:4, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
Col 2:6, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”
Gal 5:25, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
1 John 2:6, “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”
1 John 3:9, “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”
1 John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
Here, we saw that the “sword” is from the source of God the Holy Spirit, who empowers and enables us to wield it, and that the sword is the “Word of God,” (RHEMA HO THEOS), Bible Doctrine resident within your soul. This armament is both defensive to stop the personal assault of the evil one, and offensive to set him a flight. James 4:7, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Cf. Mat 4:11. With the Word of God, we both defend against the inward and outward temptations to sin, and stop them from becoming consistent future temptations that lead us astray. Instead we walk in Christ but the power of the filling of God the Holy Spirit, producing Divine Good.
1 Cor 2:13, “Which things (Bible Doctrine) we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual with spiritual.”
John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
Therefore, when we put on the whole armor of God, we have guidance and protection from the schemes of Satan and his cosmic system and live the victorious life of Christ.
What about the soldier’s back? Although the breastplate had to be wrapped around the backside, Paul does not make note of any equipment for the backside. It is interesting that in the book “Pilgrim’s Progress,” Bunyan says because the Christian has no armor for his back, the best option is to hold his ground. And when we put on the armor of God, we too can hold our ground against the evil one, as we advance spiritually in our own lives and advance the gospel into the world, (Satan’s cosmic system). But, if we turn our back to the enemy and run away in fear, worry, anxiety; sin, we are most vulnerable. Therefore, when we face our enemy, (temptations in our soul), head on with the armor of God, we are able to hold our ground, defeat the enemy, and win the victory of the battle over our thoughts, mind, heart, and soul, experientially.
As we have noted at the beginning of this study, these virtues connected with the Armor of God have previously been mentioned by Paul in the Book of Ephesians.
- Truth, Eph 1:13; 4:15, 21, 24-25; 5:9.
- Righteousness, Eph 4:24; 5:9.
- The Gospel, Eph 1:13; 3:6; of Peace, Eph 2:14-18; 4:3; 6:19, 23.
- Faith, Eph 1:13, 15, 19; 2:8; 3:12, 17; 4:5, 13; 6:23.
- Salvation, Eph 1:13; 2:5, 8; 5:23.
- The Word of God, Eph 1:13; 5:26.
Likewise, the OT speaks about “The Armor of God,” as most commentators observe, the clearest allusion made by Eph 6 is to Isa 59:17, where the Lord God Himself puts on His battle garments including righteousness as a breastplate and a helmet of salvation. The Lord has a sword in Isa 34:5-6; 66:16, and the coming Christ has righteousness and faithfulness, (EMUNAH, also meaning “truth”), as a belt around his waist, Isa 11:5, and with a mouth like a sharpened sword (CHADH CHEREV), Isa 49:2. Looking at the wider OT, we find that the Lord is often found giving Himself to His people as their shield, Gen 15:1; 20 times in the Psalms, even as their shield and sword together, Deut 33:29.
Gen 15:1, “After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great”.”
Psa 3:3, “But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.”
Psa 5:12, “For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.”
Psa 18:2, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Psa 18:30, “As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”
Psa 28:7, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. “
Psa 33:20, “Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.”
Deut 33:29, “Blessed are you, O Israel; who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, who is the shield of your help and the sword of your majesty! So your enemies will cringe before you, and you will tread upon their high places.”
As such, we see that the “whole armor of God” is a picture of Jesus Christ. And, the important aspect of this armor that we have available to us is that the pieces of equipment are all Christ-like virtues that we are to take on as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For example:
He is The Truth, John 14:6,
He is our righteousness, 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:21.
He is our Gospel of peace, Mark 1:1; Eph 2:14.
His faithfulness makes possible our faith, Gal 2:20.
He is our salvation, Luke 2:30.
He is the Word of God, John 1:1, 14.
And because of our union with Jesus Christ from the moment of our conversion, this means that when we believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we received the armor of Christ. Yet, at that time we did not know how to use it. Therefore, God has given us instruction in both the OT and NT regarding how to put it on and use it.
Paul told the Romans what to do with the armor, Rom 13:11-14: wake up, cast off sin, and put on the armor of light. We do this by putting “on the Lord Jesus Christ.” By faith we put on the armor and trust God for the victory by our daily appropriation of it; His Word, the mind of Jesus Christ, cf. 1 Cor 2:16.
1 Peter 1:13 (NKJV), “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
The Armor of God is Christ the LORD. William Gurnall who wrote 1700 pages on the armor of God put the matter very succinctly when he commented: “By armor is meant Christ.” Paul’s whole letter to the Ephesians, as all his letters, has been dominated by Christ. This is in continuity with the OT where we find that the LORD is our salvation and our righteousness, Ex 15:2; Jer 23:6.
Ex 15:2, “The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.”
Jer 23:6, “In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness’.”
It is perfectly consistent with Paul’s thought that we should put on Christ and clothe ourselves in him, Rom 13:14; Gal 3:27.
Gal 3:27, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves (positionally) with Christ.”
Rom 13:14, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ (experientially), and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”
As we have seen in our study of these passages, the Roman Soldier analogy tends slightly towards seeing the pieces of armor as passive instruments with the soldier (you and I) as the active fighter. In contrast, if we see the Armor of God as the OT armor of God, (The YHWH / Lord Himself, Christ Jesus the Lord), then it is closer to the mark to see us as the passive ones and God as the active One. He has given and is giving us His armor. He is giving us Himself. He is surrounding us as a hedge, wall of fire, a fortress, and a shield. Yes, we have seen the imperative moods in these passages to “put on” and “take up” and “stand firm.” We do need to walk in the calling we have received, Eph 4:1. But, it is first and foremost something received, a gift, the gift of Jesus Christ in our lives because of God’s greater grace for the Christian.
Therefore, do not turn Ephesians 6 into a series of things for us to do. That is “fig leaf” armor. We need the armor of God. We need to put on Christ and glory in His sovereign grace.
“According to Ephesians 6 believers need to be armed with God’s own righteousness if they are to be protected against the blows and arrows of their spiritual enemies… The position of power and authority with Christ to which they have been raised is greater than that possessed by their mighty supernatural enemies. As they appropriate this salvation more fully and live in the light of their status in Christ, they have every reason to be confident of the outcome of the battle.” (Peter O’Brien, The Pillar New Testament Commentary.)
When, King David put off his armor and returned to his palace, he was in greater danger than when he was on the battlefield, 2 Sam 11, (Operation Bathsheba). As it notes in vs. 1, “Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, …. But David stayed at Jerusalem.” The point is, we are never out of the reach of Satan’s schemes, so we must always be prepared to stand firm and never be without the whole Armor of God.
Therefore, what has been written and taught from the illustration of the Roman soldier is spiritually true and edifying. Let us rejoice in what Ephesians 6 is clearly saying about the Divine armor that we, the Church, have been given and let us put on Christ. The soldier is to dress, and to stand, and to handle shield and sword against the world-rulers of this darkness and their leader, the Devil himself. And, as we will see in the next section of Eph 6, we, the soldiers, are enabled and commanded to keep in ceaseless communication with The Lord’s own blessed Commander, God the Father; a communication which no siege can interrupt, the wireless connection we have with heaven that we call prayer.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#18-066 – 18-067
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I Welcome You to the Eternal Family of God !!!