This life is hard. It is a broken, sinful world that can be heart wrenching and gut punching. The Christian lifestyle is not one that fits in with the secular world’s priorities. Add to that controversy a battle on the paranormal level and it is clear why the Bible tells us to put on the whole armor of God. We are in a fight!
Paul wrote to the early church in Ephesus about putting on the whole armor of God. These new believers were trying to figure out how to live life now that they were choosing to believe in Jesus and follow His way. Ephesus was a powerhouse church in the area of what is now Turkey. These new found believers had to put on the whole armor of God in order to stand against gossip, followers of the false god Artemis, and even false teachings within their own church.
We may not have a huge temple disrupting our daily Christian lives but we have difficulties living in this broken world just the same. Trying to figure out how to live life in it is hard. No wonder Paul’s letter about the armor of God is in the Bible. God knows we need it. And if it’s something we need to withstand this hard life in this broken world, then it’s beneficial for us to learn how to consistently wear it.
You know you need to study your Bible to grow as a Christian. This FREE Bible study checklist walks you through the steps to quickly, thoroughly study your Bible. Focus better, grow more, and apply your study to daily life using the prompts. Get more out of your Bible study time! Grab it below!
The complete scripture on the whole armor of God can be found in Ephesians 6:10-20.
The Belt of Truth
I’m imagining my cute little skinny braided belt with my high waisted jeans. It’s not really holding the jeans up but it’s a fashionable detail. The belt of truth is exactly the opposite. The truth holds you up.
What is truth? Jesus refers to Himself several times in the New Testament as truth. In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, the light. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John always teaches us that grace and truth came through Jesus (John 1).
Knowing Jesus and having a relationship with Him secures the belt of truth around your waist – to hold you up, even in this life that comes with many trials and tests of character.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
We get dressed each and every day. My eight year old is still whining about why we have to fix our hair every day, but it’s just a fact of life. Just like we have to choose the outfit for the day and put it on (no nudity allowed 😉 ) we have to make the daily decision to put on righteousness.
Righteousness is the quality of being morally right. Do you know what morals the word of God teaches us? What does the Bible say about righteousness?
Matthew 5:10 tells us that those who practice righteousness risk persecution. Doing what is right when it’s not popular opinion is really hard. I don’t know about you, but I want to be liked by others not hated. Still I have to daily decide to do what is right in each situation and trust that His blessings and protection (it’s not called a breastplate for nothing!) will be of greater reward and satisfaction than just doing what I want to do and suffering the long term pain it causes later. Been there. Done that. Learned the lesson!
Where does a breastplate go? It goes over the torso in order to protect your vital organs, including your heart. God’s righteousness does this. Let Him continually mold and change you to reflect His righteousness. Try to do right for His glory. This is hard and I’m not great at it. Thankfully, I’m not left on my own. There is grace and mercy. With Christ, all things are possible. 🙂
Shoes of Readiness
It’s the nice, new pair of shiny running shoes. I have a fondness for cute shoes. The clean cloth, the polished details, the immaculate white shoelaces. It just makes me ready to run! Exercise is always easier in cute, comfortable new running shoes! The armor of God is no different.
Ephesians 6 tells us that as part of the whole armor of God we should put on the shoes of readiness. Readiness that is given by the gospel of peace.
Knowing Jesus and learning the Bible is a process. It takes time building the relationship. It takes study and life “tests” to put it into practice and get stronger in it. This process promotes peace that passes all understanding. Even in the hard times when the world says you should be shattered and lose faith, you’re ok. You’re at peace because you know God loves you and will ultimately take care of you, whatever that may look like. We can trust His will.
The Shield of Faith
The shield of faith is much like peace that holds up even in questionable life circumstances. It’s similar to righteousness being a breastplate of protection of our hearts. The shield of faith will protect us from all the crap that this broken world throws at us.
And you know what? It throws a lot of crap. Family that we love suffer and die from cancer. That absolutely amazing couple loses their babies before they even get to meet them. Children are abused, neglected, starved, sold. It’s heartbreaking. It is the price of sin. Sin fractured this world.
But we can have faith that Christ has paid the ultimate price for sin. That as believers we will one day get to move from this world that suffers from free will and into the perfect realm of heaven to live forever without pain and in the glory of God on High.
We can learn to use the shield of faith by knowing and believing the promises of God. Go ahead and mentally choose to trust God and what He says. This is faith. We can shield ourselves from the enemy throwing lies and doubts and worry at us by actively knowing and trusting the Bible. It is the God-breathed word to us and in it He says that with the shield of faith you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.
Pssst – have you noticed how all the pieces of armor of God are connected to each other? Praying through and working on one naturally makes the others easier to practice as well! Isn’t it cool how He designed it that way?!
The Helmet of Salvation
Ok, I don’t like what helmets do to my hair. There, I said it. I still have to wear one though because I have these eight little eyes looking to me for what to do (four kids, not a spider. felt the need to clarify). Why do I want them to follow my lead and wear helmets? Because I know how vitally important their brains are to the quality of their entire lives. I also know how fragile the brain is and how easily one split second can change someone’s brain forever.
Salvation is Christ’s deliverance from our sins. He redeemed us by paying the price. He saved us from forever being separated from our perfect and holy creator, God. This salvation protects the most vital relationship we will ever have. No matter how many times we fall, our helmet of salvation saves us from permanently damaging this relationship. As a guy at our church says, “Now if that don’t put diesel in your tractor and crank it, I don’t know what does!!” Yup, we’re in Texas. I don’t know a thing about tractors but Jesus saving me from all my screw ups gets me super stoked too.
No set of armor would be complete without a weapon, right? Our weapon is the word of God. How do we use it? We read it. We read different versions of it. Look up words we don’t know in the dictionary. Read commentaries to see what interpretations are out there. Highlight it! Read the footnotes. Study the history to learn the context.
My hope is that you don’t look at this as boring homework. This is exciting! This is the adrenaline rush of training. Soaking in His knowledge and continually learning are such important tools in life. It is a living text that continues to work in your life no matter how many times you read it cover to cover. You can defend all you want in a battle but without a weapon to take out the enemy, the fight will last forever.
Paul doesn’t stop in telling the church of Ephesus to put on the whole armor of God. They secured their belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of readiness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit. Now Paul instructs them to do the following:
- Pray at all times in the Spirit
- Keep alert
- Pray for others
Well Done Warrior
This is a life long training. You’re doing great. You won’t be perfect. The enemy will try to condemn you every time you fail but now you know to use your shield of faith to extinguish that lie and welcome the grace and growth that Christ has to offer. You are loved, you are fierce.
The cool thing about studying your Bible is that the word of God is alive and each time you study it God will show you something new and teaching you something amazing. That’s why it’s so important to get into His word. Once you’re in it, the FREE Bible study checklist helps you get more out of your study time. Focus better and grow more. Grab it below.
Put on your whole armor girl. Every day. Well done warrior.
Praying for you!
- The Battle Plan For Spiritual Warfare Against Doubt and Fear
- Advice on How to Identify False Teachings
- Guidance for the Growing Believer; A Bible Study of 2 Peter
- Bible Teaching From James 1; Building Endurance, Wisdom, and Following the Word
- Quick Bible study notes – 2 Peter 1:12-21; Lessons & Reminders for you