Ephesians 6: 12-18
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Paul described God’s spiritual gifts to us in a very practical way so that persons who read his letter would immediately understand. In his analogy, he is in no way suggesting that Christians should take up arms and march to war. I frequently see the armor of God portrayed as a Crusader on horseback. Paul would have been horrified.
The armor of God is not to be used to beat people into submission. The armor of God are those things God offers to us so that we will have eternal life and not fall to temptation to the things of this world.
We are to put on the full armor of God, not just one favorite part but all of it. The armor of God consists of God’s word and God’s truth found in the gospel; righteousness found in our ongoing, lifelong relationship with Christ; a spirit of readiness to serve and offer a gospel of peace and love to a hurting world; a faith that will lead us and guide us and be our rock through the trials and tribulations of life; and the knowledge that we have eternal life because of our faith.
These things, coupled with constant prayer in the spirit, are the foundation of our spiritual lives.
May the love of Christ be with you
Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)