Good evening. Last week we began the series on the Armor of God, because I believe it is important for us as I stated to discuss Paul’s writings to the Church of Ephesus about our need to fully grasp the defensive and offensive power that the Lord has for us as we are engaged in spiritual conflict.
And just to highlight a few things briefly from last week, we tore into the first three verses in the Book of Ephesians chapter 6 starting with verse 10.
“10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. 12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.
In versed 10, the Apostle Paul was speaking to the church of Ephesus about activating their faith, to believe in the truth that they were empowered, with authority in Christ to live an overcoming supernatural life. Strengthened, (as in be strengthened) or be strong, having explosive ability, something I failed to add last week. The word Strong in the Greek, comes from the word “endunamoo” is a compound of the word en and dunimus which means explosive strength, ability and power. Dunimus is where we get the word dynamite from. So the Apostle Paul was explaining to the Believers in Ephesus who they truly were in Christ. He was saying, “Hey! Do this!” Live your live in the explosive power given to you.
In verse 11, the Apostle Paul states that you must put on whole the armor of God, so you can stand. I brought up the Greek Word Pan Hopla (All Arms), and the Greek Word Panopolia which morphed to the English word Panoply. Put on the full panoply of God so you can stand. Panoply meaning armor that is of a splendid spectacular display. An armor that is glorious, and outstanding, a step up above the others. To us, a supernatural God given armor.
Paul telling the Church of Ephesus, to invest in and surround yourself into the whole armor of God that is a tool, and a weapon that is given by God, so that you will be of power to stand against the “trickery” of the devil.
Verse 12, the Apostle Paul is saying, “For we profit not by remaining in a hard struggle against the carnally minded human nature.” Or in other words, don’t waste your time fighting against fleshly things because our fight is against the things of the spirit, and the spiritual fight we are in has an order and an authoritative hierarchy.
Namely, first a “Principality” ruled by a prince, one who has power and authority, but only over a limited area. Like the prince over Kenosha.
Next “Against authorities” and some versions use the word powers who is a “A super non-human potentate or magistrate who has delegated influence and power within a jurisdiction.” In Rome this term could be given to an Emperor or a King.
“Against world rulers of darkness of this age” We discussed the word, “kosmo-kratōr” kos-mok-rat'-ore, a world ruler, being Satan. So you have Satan, then Authorities, then Principalities, the spiritual hierarchy we war against.
And lastly, “Against the spiritual powers of wickedness in the heavenlies.” “Pneumatikos” phyoo-mat-ik-os, non-carnal, supernatural spirits, or Fallen angels who did not keep their first estate; who fell from the heavenly places, but have their station in the regions of the air.”
So we know that we have been enabled and have the authority in Christ to stand against the trickery of the devil, and we know what we fight against, spiritual forces of evil and not the flesh. Even though at times we feel we fight the flesh, right.
So now we are going to specifically look at the Armor of God our protection, but also our offensive weapon.
So let’s begin with verse 13.
Ephesian 6:13 “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. “
I like to use the KJV here for this because of the wording.
So the Apostle Paul tells the believer first to take up the whole armor of God.
Or as in the Greek Paul says “Because of this” or because of these evil spirits, alluding to verse 12 of who we war against, “take up” the panoply of God. I’ll use that term again. Panoply meaning an armor that is glorious, and outstanding, a step up above the others.
“Take up”, or “take unto you” in some versions, in the Greek, is the word “ana-labete”. Another word for take-up also used “ana-lambanō”.
The word “Ana” means to repeat an action, to do something again, or do it like you once before but with intensity. The Greek word labete, means to receive or to take. So analabete means in Paul’s text for a soldier to reach down and pick up their armor, put it on and use it again like they have done before previously in their life. In other words, you may have once laid down your spiritual armor, but you must now make the choice to reach down and pick it up and use it again. Lambano another word used, means to violently seize. In otherworld’s, put on your armor again with intensity of purpose to use it.
So now that we have purposed intensely to re-armor ourselves, we use it to withstand in the evil day. So that we may have the power or might to oppose and resist “anthistēmi” in the Greek, “having done all”, “katergazomai”, “kat-er-gad'-zom-ahee” having completely accomplished with the goal to finish by any means with intensity, to stand. Basically you’re preparing yourself to stand. Preparation with the Gospel of peace. We’re coming to that. Say 2x.
The word “stand” in verse 13, is the same word and meaning “stand” in verse 11 meaning to abide - to not tolerate and continue without fading, to hold up, to set-up, to stop or restrict, to place or posture yourself in an active position or posture. So to stand as an active movement.
So, verse 13 paraphrased in the long version, “because of the spiritual forces from verse 12, with intention, put your supernatural compounded powerful armor back on that you previously wore and used. Use it again with the power to oppose and resist with intensity, to complete the goal or purpose in front of you by any means, by actively abiding to restrict, uphold and posture yourself to resist the evil one. Stand armored in supernatural power. Okay, did you get that long winded paraphrasing? Verse 14.
Ephesians 6:14 “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,”
Ephesians 6:14 begins the “how” of standing with what we will need to stand, the actual armor and weaponry of God.
Verse 14 begins with “stand therefore”, same word for stand as in verses 11 and 13. Actively abiding by having around your waist, or a loin or waste belt, a belt of truth.
The Roman Soldiers wore a belt, and that belt was central to the soldier’s armor. It held a dagger called a Pugio and a Sword, the soldier’s main weapon, the Gladius. It also held strips of armor that hung down in front of the soldier almost down to his knees. The belt was wrapped around chain mail a line of defense against arrows, and a layer of body armor that it supported in some cases. The belt was of utter importance to the soldier as it held everything up.
Our Belt is the Word of God. The Word is the basis of all truth. It holds everything up for the Believer. The promises of God that move us ahead to stand. We use this instrument of warfare to prepare us for the battles of life ahead of us. The Word of God can sooth us, but can also be used as an offensive weapon.
The loins in the Greek concerning the belt is the word “osphus” means reproduced or multiplied creative power produced internally that we are to wrap around ourselves. The truth that is wrapped around us is not hidden, not concealed, but is openly expressed in power. As we look at it, the truth of the Word of God, is in us, and is powerful, but that power is manifest outside of us, when we speak it, or when God displays it through signs wonders and miracles. And we may think, that this is just a belt, but we have to look at our God. In Him, nothing is just a small something. Everything is wrapped up in the power of His being that He has given to us to push back darkness, every piece that is part of the whole has indestructible power, and they work together to make us invincible in warfare. We must understand that when we wrap ourselves in the Word of God, because of the truths in it, we are too powerful to be defeated or overcome.
Romans 8:37 “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Continuing with verse 14, “having on the breastplate of righteousness…”
“having on, or having put on” the Greek word “enduo” meaning to be endowed with, having an array, wearing an elaborate impressive display, a breastplate of righteousness.
The Roman breastplate was the soldier’s largest piece of armor because in reality it protected all his major organs from the front to the back. It protected the soldier against all manner of assault. It was made to hold up under pressure, but also made to be worn daily. Our breastplate, protects our spiritual heart to be worn at all times.
And for us to put on the breastplate of righteousness, as stated earlier, we must first have the belt of truth firmly in place. Without truth, our righteousness will be based upon our own attempts to impress God. Those self-attempts could lead to legalism or self-condemnation. Even though, “Romans 8:1 says that we have no condemnation in Christ Jesus.” We choose instead to acknowledge that, apart from Him, we can do nothing, from Jesus’ words in John 15:5.
And what is righteousness?
Righteousness is an act of justification. Justification is an action showing something to be made right which in legal terms signifies an acquittal. It a judicial act of God, by which He pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ, and He accounts, accepts, and treats the believer as righteous in the eye of His law.
Justification is not the forgiveness of a man without righteousness, but a declaration that he possesses a righteousness which perfectly and forever satisfies the law, namely, Christ's righteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21, “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. “
So we are righteous because of what Jesus did for us on the Cross, and our faith secures our righteousness.
So the breastplate of righteousness guards our heart for us to be secure in the truth of our salvation that comes from Christ Jesus. That we would secure ourselves in the truth of God’s Word that nothing would penetrate our hearts outside of this truth.
Because that truth is power, and that power is secured in the knowledge of God that moves us to stand on His promises.
All in all, verse 14 tells us, “Abide therefore without wavering moving forward, and wrap yourself with the internal creative spiritual power of truth of God’s Word, that holds us together and holds up the protector of our hearts that secures us in the truth of our salvation and the power of God so we have no fear of moving forward.
The broadness of the Greek descriptions brings the truth and breadth of God’s truths for us. As I have said many times, God is not a box, and neither are His promises toward us, nor does He limit the anointing on us to present His Kingdom here on this earth. Everything in His Word is at our disposal.
Ephesians 6:15 “ and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
The Roman soldier’s shoes were a mixture of metal and leather in two parts. They were definitely not made for bringing peace. They were definitely created for war. The shoes were made of leather, and the tops of the shoes had metal woven into them for protection. Primarily Brass. The bottoms of the shoes had nails sticking out of them to provide traction and to be used to kick, wound, or even kill. Nice huh? The second part of the shoe was a separate piece because they were worn together, they are called grieves that protected the front lower leg.
Why would the Apostle Paul use a battle implement to talk about peace?
Because Peace can be used as a weapon. The word “shod” means to bind. So you bind the shoe to your foot, as well as bind the greave to your leg. You tie them up. Like tying your shoes up. We bind them tightly so they will not slip, or move.
But shod means more in reference to your shoe or foot, it means you bind something under your foot or under your feet from the word “hupodeō” in the Greek.
What we are doing in this verse is that we must firmly tie peace around our lives. It must be firmly in place. When we war, we do not war in anger, we war in an attitude of peace. Because we have prepared ourselves. “Hetoimasia” is the Greek word for preparation. It means to make ready. So we make ourselves ready by covering ourselves with the peace of God through His Word, and by being in His Presence, worship and prayer.
Another Greek word for preparedness is “etoimasin”, and when used in reference to Roman soldiers, it means they had their shoes tied tightly so they would have a firm footing. A solid foundation. Peace creates a solid foundation because when we have the true peace of God on our lives, it means that we have laid our lives down to allow Him to take control and we have total confidence in Him to fulfill His promises to us even when we are in a fight.
Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.”
When you think of it, when we are at peace, we have fully come under the protection of God. We are not trying to do anything in our own strength. God is our offensive weapon. So peace becomes a weapon for us.
So Ephesians 6:15 in the Bradley paraphrased version, “we prepare ourselves to come under the peace of God so we can bind it to us so we will stand on the firm foundation of the Good News of Jesus Christ.” Amen!
Ephesians 6:16 “Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
The Roman shield. The word in the Greek. Theron. It means door. A Large door. The Roman shield was multi-layered. Thick leather on wood. Leather when wound up and dried could be as strong as steel. There shields were nearly impenetrable.
The shield was very important in the protection of the soldier and had to be taken care of daily by applying oil to the leather. If the leather dried out, it could cause the shield to break in battle.
When the Roman soldiers fought together in battle, they would lock their shields together called a shield wall, and they would just walk over their enemies, as the shield wall was impenetrable. So it was also used as an offensive weapon. They would walk ahead with shields locked and thrust their gladiuses their short strong swords through the cracks in the wall and wipe out their enemies.
Another interesting note, before battle, the soldiers soaked their shields in water. In doing so, when the enemy shot flaming arrows, the wet shields would extinguish the flames. This is like cool!
The Apostle Paul used a great example in his text.
So the Apostle Paul is saying, “In order of (first you’re going to take the shield of faith because you are now engaged in battle), and each and every man should take up and violently seize and obtain a large shield (like a door) and (be convinced, believe and have confidence, have faith), wherewith or with which, in the Greek (where you will take a fixed position in a place or time, get ready for battle) where you will be of power, to extinguish, or quench the fire, of inflamed anger, greed, and lust, like missiles thrown by the wicked.
Wicked in the Greek being the word “ponēros” meaning by those who anguish, which is the root of the word, who are hurtful and evil, diseased, basically those of the devil. We shield ourselves against this evil.
What is the shield of faith, again, it is the Word of God? The central most thing in our life. The Word of God is our faith, it is our shield, it is our life, and it protects us from everything.
Jesus when confronted by Satan after his 40 day fast shot down Satan with the Word of God. That is our example of truth and example of power.
Our shield is a renewed mind. And our minds are renewed by the Word of God. Nothing can come up against the shield of truth, because nothing can come up against the Word of God. It quenches any fire from our enemies because of the truth.
The Roman soldier took care of his shield so it would not fail, we must take care of ours. We must ever be in the Word of God to know it, to be able to breath it, speak it, to cast down any vain imaginations against us or our Lord. It is our covering. It gives us supernatural faith. Crazy Faith. It causes us to walk in the anointing we have received. We saturate our shields with faith, and put out the fiery missiles sent against us. We also use it as an offensive weapon to walk over our enemies and thrust them with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
The Apostle Paul told Timothy in 1Ti 1:18, “This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.”
Well, we hold our shield, our faith in good confidence in the Word of God that we believe in. Maybe like Timothy, we have been prophesied over. We stand on those promises. We stand on those words. Because those are Words from God. Our shield of faith because we believe.
To end this 2nd teaching of this series. We must know the Words of God. We must know its truth. It is a shield about us. It holds us up. We can aggressively stand because of it. The Word gives us life and life more abundantly. We should know its power, know the truths and promises in it, and believe that in any situation we are in, that we have total confidence in God that we are shielded from the ugliness of this world and have power against, not just to fight, but through the Gospel of Peace, bring life to others. We are in a fight, but we win. We must use the tools that God has given us in Jesus name to save and heal the orphans. Amen!