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Part Seven

The Believer’s Armor and the Spiritual Battle

Ephesians 6:10-20: (Vs 10-14)

The Text

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 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.

13 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.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Brief Recapitulation

Verse 10 tells us the source of our strength. It is of the Lord. We are to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We are to be obedient to Him. As we are faithful to God, we may make the same claim that David did to Goliath the Godzilla as he approached him with a slingshot, five stones, and the power of the Lord, “...The battle is the LORD’s...” (I Samuel 17:47).

Verse 11 gives the command to appropriate the resources and the purpose for their application. We are to put on the whole armor of God. If we do not employ the complete armor, our cruel and cunning adversary will make the most of the weakest area. This lack could possibly ensure our defeat. The purpose of implementing the armor is in order that we may be able to stand against Satan’s wiles or treachery.

Verse 12 relates a description of the enemy with whom we battle. Our foes (plural) are: spiritual, not physical, governments, authorities, world rulers of this darkness, and the spiritual things or forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (lit. “in the heavenlies,” (same phrase found in 1:3; 1:20; 2:6; 3:10). It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that we do not want to face this type of opponent in battle in our own strength.

Verse 13 reiterates the command to appropriate the resources in light of the description given in verse 12. It also tells the purpose of our armor in light of the magnitude of the enemy. The purpose is that we would be able to stand in the evil day. What is the evil day? Possibly it is referring to the day in which we are attacked. The attacks could be more or less vicious on various days.

Verses 14-17 describe the resources: Stand therefore—

Having your loins girt about with truth,

Having on the breastplate of righteousness,

Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,

Taking the shield of faith,

Take the helmet of salvation,

Take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.

Verse 18 speaks of prayer, the way to apply the resources. Praying is what we are to do in conjunction with putting on the armor and during the battle. Therein lies the source of our power.

Verses 19 and 20 present the ultimate goal in the battle; to faithfully proclaim God’s message of salvation (John 15:8;I Thess. 2:4; Gal. 1:10).

The description of the enemy with whom we battle:

12 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.

This is a spiritual battle. We cannot use physical armour and weapons against a spiritual foe. We cannot even become completely knowledgeable of our enemy. We can choose to be obedient to the One Who has chosen us to be a soldier (II Tim. 2:4). He has divine knowledge of the enemy and his strategies. We can apply God’s infinite knowledge and wisdom as we obey His word. We need to put our armour on and not get improperly involved in a dominion in which we are ill-suited to survive. Some have fooled around with the occult and suffered greatly for it.

Though this battle is against our spiritual adversary, it can manifest itself in the physical realm. To discover God’s good and acceptable and perfect will, we must still present our bodies a living sacrifice, and not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1,2). Though Satan is much more powerful than we are, we have no need to fear. “...Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (I John 4:4; See also James 4:7).

The reiteration of the command to appropriate the resources, and the purpose of them in light of the magnitude of the enemy.

13. 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.

The “wherefore” refers back to the description of our enemy in verse twelve. Since the enemy is spiritual, powerful, evil, etc. we need the benefit of the whole armor of God. The implication of this verse is that if we do God’s work God’s way, then we have done all that is required of us. The results are up to the One who has chosen us to be a soldier (II Tim. 2:3,4).

The description of the resources (vs 14-17).

14. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Verses 11 and 13 both tell us to take the whole armor of God so that we will be able to stand in this spiritual battle. Starting in verse 14, we are commanded to stand, and are given details concerning each piece of armor that we are to put on. We are told to make use of each piece of armor then we are given the particulars how we may obey this admonition. The armor is individually explained in some detail.

The first piece of armor that we are to appropriate is “...having our loins girt about with truth.” “Loins” is used in the KJV Bible to describe the part of the body between the ribs and the hip bones. It is the place where the girdle was worn (Exodus 12:11; II Kings 1:8; Jer. 13:1; Matt. 3:4), and the sword was fastened (II Sam. 20:8). Since Oriental garments were worn ungirded about the house, to gird up the loins signified preparation for vigorous action (Exodus 12:11; I Kings 18:46; Job 38:3; Prov. 31:17; Luke 12:35; I Peter 1:13). (The New NIV Dictionary of the Bible).

The same was true of a Roman soldier. He would pull his tunic so that his garment would not be in the way when he was in battle. Paul is telling us that we must be prepared and committed for battle.

The command to have our “loins girt about with truth” probably has reference to at least two facets of the Christian’s life: truth in content and truth in character.

Truth in Content

In Jesus’ intercessory prayer He stated to His Father “Thy word is truth.” (John 17:17). We are born again by the “word of truth.” (James 1:18). We are also told that we should be “rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Tim. 2:15).

God’s Word is “quick (living), and powerful, and sharper that any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow.” (Heb. 4:12). It is “given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Tim. 4:16,17).

Jesus said that He Himself was the Truth. “...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

We are to be “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” Heb 12:2). “...Our sufficiency is of God” (II Cor. 3:5).

We are told to “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ...” (Romans 13:14). We shall later see more parallels between Jesus and the items of armor.

Truth in Character

“...Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” (Romans 12:17).

What is the number one excuse given by people for not coming to church? The church is full of hypocrites. (Hypocrite was the term used for a play actor, hence, one who acts falsely). Though that is probably a true statement, (the church is full of sinful people like you and me, Jer. 17:9), the same can be said of the shopping mall, our place of work, the people who manufacture our TV shows, etc. This fact does not seem to hinder our attendance in other areas. I have, on occasion, told a person giving that excuse that they should come to church anyway, because we could always use one more hypocrite.

Because there is validity to the criticism, we should look at ourselves (I Cor. 11:31) and see if we are contributing to the problem. We are not talking of getting more people on the church rolls, but of people not trusting Christ on account of our poor example. Let us not rationalize away our sinfulness.

Many religious groups and individuals have practically adopted the world’s philosophy of, “The end justifies the means.” This mentality was dramatically manifested in the actions behind the term, “Jesuit Casuistry.” In the 1500’s, the Roman church tortured and murdered thousands of Christians because they stood for God’s word and would not submit to the Pope’s authority. The justification used for this was that it was for God’s glory that people should come into the Roman church, by force, if necessary.

Do we exhibit the same mentality, but on a different scale and in a more “acceptable” manner? Have you ever been seriously offended by a believer who was unethical toward you? If so, you should be forgiving and continue to grow through this (Eph 4:32; Matt. 18:21,22). Many people do not make that choice and become casualties in the spiritual battle. We should evaluate our lives in the light of God’s word (honestly), and make serious choices in our lives to right any area in which we are “fudging.”

We are to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Jesus came to bear witness (testify) unto the truth (John 18:38). We to do the same (Acts 1:8).

Some Verses Concerning Truth

God’s Spoken or Written Word is truth

Joh  17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

The Gospel is truth

Ga   2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Eph  1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Ga   2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Col  1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

We are saved by belief of the truth.

2Th  2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

1Ti  2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Jas  1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

God’s Living Word (Jesus) is Truth

Joh  14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

2Co  6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

Joh  8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Joh  8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Jesus and Truth

Joh  1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Joh  1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Eph  4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

We are to:

Worship in Truth

Joh  4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Joh  4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Rejoice in truth

1Co  13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Speak the truth

Eph  4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Eph  4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Rightly divide the truth

2Ti  2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Walk in Truth

2Jo  1:4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

3Jo  1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.

3Jo  1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

And Obey the truth

1Pe  1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

God’s Holy Spirit is truth

Joh  14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Joh  15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Joh  16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

1Jo  5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

Men suppress and disobey the truth

(Believers and Unbelievers)

Ro   1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Ro   2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

Ga   2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Ga   3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

Ga   5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

1Ti  6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

2Ti  2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

2Ti  3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2Ti  3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

2Ti  4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

1Jo  1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

We are to live honest lives.

Ro   12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Ro   13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

2Co  8:21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

2Co  13:7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

Php  4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

1Th  4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

1Ti  2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Heb  13:18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

1Pe  2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

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