Armor of God #3
Tonight will be the last of our series on the Armor of God. We have torn apart Ephesians chapter 6 verses 10-16, focusing the last time we met on verses 13-16, talking about the actual armor spoken about by the Apostle Paul.
For a quick overview from the last times we met, lets reflecting on Paul’s words paraphrased in the Greek beginning in verse about us taking up the armor of God:
Verse 10, “Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength.” The Apostle Paul spoke about us activating our faith to believe in the truth that we are empowered with authority in Christ to live an overcoming supernatural life.
Verse 11, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.” The Apostle Paul tells us to invest in and surround ourselves in the supernatural armor of God that is a tool, and used as a weapon so that we will be of power to stand against the “trickery” of the devil.
Verse 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.” The Apostle Paul tells us that we have been enabled and have the authority in Christ to stand against the hierarchy of satanic forces led by Satan, and that we know that what we fight against are spiritual forces of evil and not the flesh. Even though some attacks may be from people, they are just being led by evil spiritual forces.
Verse 13 from two weeks ago “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”, The Apostle Paul is telling the Church, “With intention, we are to put on our supernatural powerful armor on. Using it with the power to oppose and resist with intensity, by any means, restrict, uphold and posture ourselves to resist the evil one. Actively standing, armored in supernatural power. “
Verse 14, “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,” The Apostle Paul is telling us to abide therefore without wavering, be strong, moving forward, wrapping yourself with the internal creative spiritual power of the 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. Remembering that the belt of truth, the Word of God holds up everything.
Verse 15, “and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” We are to 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. We tie the Word of God closely to our hearts in preparation to be in peace because we battle not in anger, but in the peace that passes all understanding because we know who goes before us, the Lord God Almighty. What do we have to fear?
Verse 16, “Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” 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 Its truth. Our shield has strength, because of our faith.
Verses 10 -16 that we have read, sum up to:
We are to activate our faith and believe in the truth, and we activate our faith by consuming the Word of God. We wrap ourselves in it. We bind it around us. Like shrink wrap. We actively believe that we have been enabled by God and given the authority by Jesus to stand against the spiritual forces of evil in this day. That God has given us everything we need to overcome this world and the evil that we come against daily. That we have at our disposal, great supernatural weapons to forcibly quench the fiery arrows of the enemy. All of this wrapped up in the Word of God. Cool huh?
We have the powuh! But do we believe it enough to use it?
We are going to finish up with the last two verses concerning the Armor of God, verses 17 and 18. Verse 17 continues with the last piece of armor, the helmet, and the weapon of choice, the sword, and Verse 18, another and most important battle implement; Prayer.
Let’s begin with verse 17. The Apostle Paul says, “and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,”
In other word “take hold of”, the “perikephalaia” the thing that is tightly fixed around the head in order to protect it. A Helmet. The Roman soldier never went into battle without a helmet because the weapon of choice by his enemies was the battle axe. No helmet usually meant no head over time.
So we take hold of the thing that protects our head, the helmet of salvation, salvation in the Greek, sōtērion, means “defender or defense”, we take hold of the helmet of defense. The Greek word Soterion’s root word is soteria meaning rescue or safety to be delivered or saved. So we take this helmet of defense or safety, we put it on. The helmet protects our head; it protects our mind.
The enemy wants to destroy our minds. He wants us to put our minds on things that are not on the things of God. He wants us distract us out of the fight. He wants our minds on fleshly things. Fear, worry, hurt, work, anger, lust, and the list goes on. The enemy knows that our minds can take us out of the fight if it is not renewed daily in the Word and promises of God. Our foundation is our salvation. So we must be vigilant to renew our minds in the Word of God.
1Co 2:15 “People who are guided by the Spirit can make all kinds of judgments,”
In some versions it says, “he who is spiritual, appraises all things., and some say “will judge all things.” Basically it is saying, he who is supernaturally regenerated will discern in the Spirit.
So the covering of the helmet of salvation puts us in a position of spiritual power of the mind led by the spirit to keep our minds directed onto the things of God.
Also Holy Spirit is ever on our minds to lead us into truth. Our salvation, our safety and defense, keeps us from being trapped in the strongholds the enemy lays out for us.
The Apostle Paul states in 2Corinthians 10:4-5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
and take the sword of the spirit.”
A renewed mind directs our thoughts to be captivated by the things of God and not this world.
The word for sword in the Greek in Ephesians 6:17, and just mentioned in 2 Cor 10:5, is “machaira” which means a knife or a dirk, a small sword. Figuratively it means war, or judicial punishment. Machaira’s root is “mache” whose meaning is battle, (figuratively) it means controversy: - fighting, to strive against something. In the Hebrew it means of those in arms, those in combat. Those who fight. Those who quarrel. A fight with words.
So we are in a battle, at war in the Spirit with words. The Words of God. So we speak the Words of God when we are against something, against anything that goes against creation, against life that is contrary to life as it should have been in the Garden of Eden, against life that is contrary to life in heaven. We speak the Word and its life giving power into situations as if in battle, as if we are in combat bringing war to those things that appose what is right in the eyes of God.
When we look at the machaira, the sword that the Apostle Paul referenced, it was a sword used by the Romans that was about 19” long. Not that long really if you have held a sword.
The average sword of the day was between 30” and 39” long. It is written that this Roman sword was the most brutal of the five different swords that they used. Razor sharp on both sides, and the tip was the deadliest because of its shape, because it was curved up. This two edged sword inflicted the worst injuries out of all the swords used. When the Roman Soldier stuck it into his opponent, he would grasp it with two hands turning it. When he pulled it out, it pulled the intestines right out of their opponents. Sweet huh?
It was a weapon of terror. It was actually called the “slaughter knife.” The Greeks had one, the earlier Celts had one, and the Arabs, but the Romans used it its full potential.
Now why would the Apostle Paul use this terrifying weapon as his reference? Probably because the description of this weapon spiritually is the most brutal when describing its power against our enemies in the spirit. The enemy is “gutted” when we speak forth, breathing the Word of God. Breathing out the all-consuming supernatural power of the Word of God.
When Jesus spoke the Word of God to Satan after his 40 day fast even when He was weak, the word implied is famished/starving, it says in Matthew 4:11, “the devil left Him.”
That same spoken Word power that still causes our enemy to flee. And let us be clear that when Satan was attempting to tempt Jesus, he didn’t flee on his first attempt. Jesus kept on bringing the Word until he left. We do the same. We continue to persevere.
The Sword of the Spirit, is the Word of God!
In the Greek word for the “Word” as in the Word of God is “rhema”. I believe we have heard that before. A rhema word, is an utterance. It can be a word brought individually, collectively or specifically. It describes something that is spoken clearly. God’s Word revealed, by declaration through the Holy Spirit.
The root of the word “rheo”, describes it as a word that is poured forth.
The new Testament uses this word to carry the idea of a quickened word. A Word from the Lord. A Word that has power because it is supernaturally given and the Word is alive with no doubt. It is a word that has been spoken before.
Jesus spoke of this in John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
When we receive a rhema word, the believer knows that they have heard from God, because it is a Word released with power into our hearts and mind and it lines up with the Word of God. A word we have probably read, or heard that that brings truth.
So we then, speak the Word that that has been divinely brought to memory in us, and we use it like a two edged slaughter weapon to pierce darkness in the spirit realm. To cause change. Make things right. Bring healing, break strongholds. Regenerate life.
That is why we must not be silent in prayer, nor silent when speaking the Word that the Holy Spirit gives us. When we speak the Words of God, we speak the power of the Word into a situation. Even if the enemy is trying to cause doubt, we speak the Word to destroy lies. If the enemy is trying to bring fear, we speak the Word that we do not have a spirit of fear.
When there is sickness, we speak against the spirit of infirmity and bring healing. There is power in the Words of God, and it cuts like a two edged sword.
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
In this verse in Hebrews, the word represented here is the word “Logos” in the Greek. “For the logos of God…” Logos is the systematically laid out Words of God spoken by Him through divine expression by the Holy Spirit that was given to men, with its fulfillment represented by Jesus Christ. To us, the Words that God has already spoken that is living and powerful. The Words of God that Jesus has fulfilled and has passed to us to continue in. It is from these established words do we then receive the rhema word. Words that we have heard, but are brought to our remembrance through the Spirit of God.
The sword spoken of in Hebrews 4:12 is the Machaira, the same Roman short sword spoken if in Ephesians. A two edged sword.
Let’s look at the phrase two-edged. It is taken from the Greek word “distomos”. Di, “dee” means two or twice. Stomos is the Greek word for mouth. Funny huh? So compounded, two-edged is actually “two-mouthed” in the Greek. A two-mouthed sword?
Two mouthed. A Word coming from the mouth of God that is known, and the same Word, a rhema Word coming from our mouths. The spoken Word of God cuts through anything when delivered by a son or daughter of God in faith.
There is nothing in creation as powerful as the Word of God, and one who wields it in the name of Jesus in faith.
The Apostles knew it, even the people of their day knew it, and it’s time that we operate in those Words to save a lost world so that people will see God.
So Ephesians 6:17 is saying, “take the helmet of salvation”, take hold of the defender of your mind, the helmet of defense, and put it on to protect you, and “take the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God”, or take the breath of God, (talking about the Spirit now) pneuma in the Greek, the Holy Spirit into battle, make combat, and fight using the Words of God.
So looking back through the last weeks series and today, in summary the Apostle Paul is saying:
We are to activate our faith in the Word of God and believe in it.
We wrap and bind ourselves in it
We are to actively believe that we have been enabled by God and given the authority by Jesus Christ to stand against the spiritual forces of evil in this day.
We are to believe that God has given us everything we need to overcome this world on a daily basis.
We are to use the supernatural weapons given us to forcibly quench the fiery arrows of the enemy.
That all of our weapons of warfare offensively and defensively come from faith in the Word of God.
So the Apostle Paul ends with,
Ephesians 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
The Apostle Paul ends with, “Pray to God earnestly”, proseuchomai, pros-yoo'-khom-ahee, pray toward Him. Fix yourself on him and pray in belief on every occasion, thoroughly, make your prayers complete in the Holy Spirit, speaking the Breath of God. Pneuma again.
The word pneuma, means breath, a blast of breath, of the super human and divine nature, the nature of God and the Holy Spirit, and I believe it means praying in the Holy Spirit. Tongues.
This is me. Others interpret it differently, but for me, I believe Paul knew what praying in the Spirit meant. I mean, how else do you pray in the Spirit? If you are praying in a super human divine nature and not in the flesh, what does that represent?
But continuing, “to that end, be awake, be diligent, have persistency, with your prayers, and petition God for all other believers. All the others who are blameless, sacred, and consecrated.
The Apostle Paul caps this section of teaching, telling us to pray. Again when we pray, when we receive unction from the Holy Spirit, we speak forth the Words of God. We cover others who are in the fight with a supernatural shield. The verse states in some versions to make all types of prayers and supplications. So the delivery can be for a defensive nature or an offensive nature. To trip up, or throw down. In the Spirit to pray out the promises of God’s Word into the situation.
And thinking about offensive prayer, the Romans had a great offensive weapon not mentioned in Ephesians, it was a spear called the Pilum. It had a long thin neck of steel, that went back to a short wooden throwing handle. Most Roman soldiers carried it. When they advanced into battle on a battle front, when they got close enough, they would throw this spear. This spear would do two things, one it could spear and injure or kill an opponent, but Two, if it did not hit the opponent directly, it usually hit their shield. Which it was designed for.
The opponents would raise their shields to stop the Pilum, but the Pilum was made to go through a shield and not allow the opponent to pull it out due to how it was made. So the opponent had to drop the shield leaving them defenseless. They were defenseless against other spears, arrows and nasty little swords, so either they had to retreat, or be killed. Pretty inventive I would say.
Well our offensive prayers in the Word of God and in the Spirit de-shield, disarm and cause the retreat of our enemies like that spear. It has the power.
Defensively our prayers would be like the Roman Soldier that when up against archers. They would enclose their whole troop from top to bottom in a shield wall. We are doing the same in prayer. And all of us need that prayer. Especially as this church is called to pull people from the fire, and called to pray down strongholds interceding for this city, and others.
So finishing this study, I don’t about you, but through out it all, every verse seems to call us back to one thing. The power of the Word of God.
The power of the Word of God for the believer, not only how it dramatically changes our lives, but how much of a covering it is for us, and a weapon it is to the believer.
The Apostle Paul was showing the church that they were covered, protected, but were also empowered by the Word of God. That nothing could stop them from their mission because of it. God wanted them to use His Word not only for spiritual growth, but to use it against the enemy, the devil and all those who were in legion with him so His kingdom would be real on the earth.
The church today needs to understand who they are in Christ, and what they possess through the Word of God. We are to change the world around us with it. And while we do that, we will use it to battle those who do not want change. Those who want to keep a worldly status quo. We use it to break strongholds.
So as God gave man the earth to have dominion over it, He has given us His Word to take dominion, and reconcile it back to Him even with opposition is present. When we look at Ephesians 6:10-18, it is all about battle, warfare, and armor, and offensive weapons. But really looking at it, we battle on our knees, speaking out the promises of God in full confidence that He will do what His Word says he will do in whatever situation we have been called to intercede for.
The battle is not ours, it is the Lord’s, and He uses us here on this earth to restore order and bring highlights of heaven into situations by speaking His Word. But we need to walk in confidence that we are covered, bound in the Word and promises of God, that when we are sent out to bring life, we have knowledge that the truth of His Word will be out front, and evident to a lost and dying world. We are covered and empowered to shine brightly.