You do not fight war against flesh and blood, but in a war against princes, rulers and powers of darkness. Therefore take up your weapons of war and claim your victory, that has already been won.
From Ephesians 6:14-16 The 6 Pieces of the Armor of GOD are:
- Belt of Truth
- Breastplate of Righteousness
- Feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace
- Shield of Faith
- Helmet of Salvation
- Sword of the Spirit – The Word of God
Spiritual Warfare Requires Spiritual Weapons
Paul in his letter to the Ephesians uses an analogy of a soldier to illustrate how we must wage war in the spirit. When you are struggling with a situation that you don’t understand, it may just be that your opposition is in the spiritual realm not the physical. Get great courage from the following passage:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 1For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV
The Greatest Trick The Devil Ever Pulled
The Greatest trick the Devil ever pulled is convincing the world that he doesn’t exist. Many people state that they
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to theRevelation 12:7-10 NIV
earth,and his angels with him.
But the War Has Already Been Won
We are living in a fallen world, but the War has already been won. There is a strange thing about prophecies that are from GOD. The strange thing is they MUST come true. Admittedly, this is really the first law of the universe and it can break every other law: “What God says is True.” Think about it before there was light there was “I am”, really before there was time, GOD was. So if God says satan will be defeated, he is defeated. To illustrate how strong prophecies is read and understand this passage below. For background, Jesus is entering Jerusalem on what is known as the triumphant entry. He is riding a donkey down from Mount of Olives a few days before his crucifixion to celebrate the Passover, and the crowds were shouting:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
Jesus Said “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”Luke 19:38-40
Prophecy is so Strong that Stones Would Cry Out
Why would Jesus say that the stones would cry out? This is pretty simple, his entry into Jerusalem was prophecied and that prophecy must be fulfilled. This specific prophecy writen 520 years before Christ and said:
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!Zechariah 9:9 NIV
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Why is There Still Spiritual Battles If the War is Already Won?
The main reason
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.Ephesians 6:14-17
The roman soldier wore around his waste a belt known as the cingulum or balteus. Their belt was critical to their armor because it held the armor together securely. In other words Truth is what holds our spiritual armor together.
What is Truth?
The Word of God is Truth. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, it contains the prophicies that must come true. Admittedly there are things that are sometimes true and sometimes not. But, not for the Word of God it is always True.
Another thing that you might find challenging at first is that Jesus is Truth and Jesus is also the Word.
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.John 1:14 NIV
Likewise to solidify that the Word of God is Truth, Jesus prayed on the night of his betrayal for his disciples.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.John 17:17 NIV
Next we see that that Jesus is Truth, he said it him self.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through meJohn 14:6 NIV
Now to come full circle we must believe that the Jesus = Word of God = Truth and that the Bible is the Word of God writen for our edification and faith. Finally this brings us to another great set of verses.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:14-17
So now you should see that standing firm with the belt of truth around your waste is standing firm in Jesus Christ and in the Word of God.
The Breastplate was very important to the Roman soldier’s armor. The Breastplate protected all the vital organs to include the heart. Without a Breastplate, a soldier could be fatally wounded or killed by a single blow to his torsoe. But with a Breastplate the same attacks would be deflected and glance off the armor. So, this begs the question how is righteousness like a protective breastplate when it comes to spiritual battles?
What is Righteousness?
If you were to look up a dictionary definition of Righteousness, you would find something about moral right or justified. This is not the biblical definitino of rightesoiusness the dictionary definition is more about self righteousness and we want Holy Righteousness. The best way to describe Holy Righteousness is to describe its antonym Sin. Righteousness is the opposite of Sin and likewise Sin the opposite of Righteousness. Sin is disobeying God, so therfore Righteousness is obeying God. You may ask how we as sinners can put on the Breast Plate of RIghteousness against the schemes of the devil, and that answer is held up by the Belt of Truth.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.Romans 3:23-24 NIV
So we again see that the Armor that Paul describes points back to Christ Jesus. Because we have all sinned we need to be given Righteousness as a gift, but like all gifts we must receive and accept them.
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!Romans 5:17 NIV
When we as soldiers in a spiritual battle don’t always know what the terrain will be like. Just as a Roman soldier needs shoes to protect his feet from ruff terrain and stand fast against the enemy, we too need sturdy foundation to stand on.
What is the Gospel?
The Greek word translated gospel is euaggelion which means “good news.” There are many times in the bible this word is used: the gospel of the Kingdom, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of the grace of God and, the gospel of peace.
The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.Mark 1:1 NIV
So the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God are the Gospel, the good news. Accordingly when confronted with a spiritual battle you must stand firm grounded in the Gospel of Peace.
So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.2 Thessalonians 2:15
Up until now Paul describes the Armor of God only as things that are worn. Now he describes the shield an it is different. Paul says the shield is something we must take up. We can’t just put in on our arm, we must raise it up. This is a piece of armor we must use. Accordingly, Faith like a shield is an active part of our Armor against spiritual attacks.
What is Faith?
The book of Hebrews Chapter 11 describes faith so well and give many examples of biblical faith. It starts with a description of faith then gives a chronilogical list of examples of faith.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not seeHebrews 11:1 NIV
The reason faith is active and the Shield of Faith must be taken up, is because your faith will guide your actions. You make hundreds of decission every day, many are small and have been programed into you routine, these take no concious thought. Even these small decision can be bad if you have developed bad habits. You have other decision that take some concious thought, like what to eat or what to say. But, even these can be set in habits. Then there are bigger decisions that take a lot of thought and hopefully prayer and wise council. It is in all these decission, habits and action we see how strong our faith is.
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”James 2:14 James 2:18-19 NIV
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
The Roman Soldier’s helmet, like a soldier’s helmet today, protects their head from the enemies attacks. Like football helmets today that have the team logo, you could also tell that Roman Soldier’s vs another armies soldier by the helmet. The Helmet of Salvation sets you apart, it outwardly demonstrates what team you belong to.
What is Salvation?
Salvation is to be saved or delivered from something. If you were a captive and then rescued, your recuer would be your salvation. This is not just hypothetical for we are all captives of sin, sentenced to death in need of salvation. Biblically salvation is being saved from the punishment of eternal death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:23 NIV
Your helmet of salvation provides great protection against the enemies attacks, since most of the attacks we suffer spiritually are manifested mentally and physically. You must take comfort in your salvation. Knowing who you belong to, that you were bought for a price and you can’t be taken back.
A Sword can be used for defense, but it is not really a piece of armor. Obviously a sword is a weapon. The Roman gladius is known as “the sword that conquered the world.” Accordingly, the swiftness of the gladius in close quarter combat made Roman warriors lethal. This double edged sword with a tapered point could pierce through even heavy metal armor. Just as the Roman Soldiers primary weapon was a sword, our primary weapon is the spirit.
What is the Word of God?
We discussed the Word early when we discussed the Belt of Truth. There you saw how Jesus was the Word and the Truth. Additionally Jesus is the Spirit.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV
But now we are not just talking about the Word, we are talking about the Word of God. The Word of God is the scriptures, the holy Bible. To see how they can be a weapon against the schemes of the devil we can see how Jesus uses the Word of God against the Devil when he was tempted in the wilderness.
The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”Mathew 4:2-4
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
Here the devil temps Jesus’s flesh and Jesus attacks the devil with the Word of God, Deuteronomy 4:4. Then Satan tempts Jesus again.
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:Mathew 4:5-7
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
Next the devil temps Jesus ego and again Jesus attacks the devil with the Word of God, the words from Psalm 91:11,12. After this attack the devil attempts to temp Jesus with wealth.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”Mathew 4:8-11
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e”
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Finally the devil gives up after Jesus defeats him with the Word of God from Deuteronomy 6:16.