How to Put on the Whole Armor of God
April 6, 2021
5 Mins to read
Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesian church from a jail cell. While he was imprisoned, he would have gotten a firsthand look at the type of armor that the Roman soldiers who guarded his cell wore. Perhaps their armor helped him to draw the comparison between the warfare that the soldiers were dressed for and the battle that we face in the spiritual realm.
Paul closed his letter to the Ephesian Christians with the importance of the armor of God. In Ephesians 6:10, he referred to this information as the “most important truth” of his letter to them. Before we dive into understanding how to put on the whole armor of God, let’s take a look at what Paul said facilitates our need for this spiritual armor.
Ephesians 6:11-13 (TPT)
Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser! Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage. Because of this, you must wear all the armor that God provides so you’re protected as you confront the slanderer, for you are destined for all things and will rise victorious.
Paul makes it clear that as Christians, we are engaged in spiritual warfare at all times. Our enemy is not with flesh and blood, but instead we wage war against the powers of darkness that seem to have taken over our world. When you turn on the news or scroll through your social media feed, you see the evidence of this evil presence. The hatred, racism, animosity and unrest that is running rampant in our current age are a direct result of people being influenced by the presence of evil. However, those people are not our enemies. No matter how much we may disagree with them, Christians are not at war with unbelievers. Instead, we are called to battle against the accuser (Satan) and his hoard of demon-gods. Once people are delivered of the influence of these evil spirits, they subject themselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Our role as believers is to put on the whole armor of God and wage war in the supernatural through prayer, God’s word and other means to bring deliverance to the captives.
Now, let’s take a look at each component of God’s armor and understand how we can better play our part in God’s divine plan for our world.
Ephesians 6:14 (ESV)
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.
The Belt of Truth: Society would have us to believe that truth is relative. In a world that encourages us to “find our own truth” and encourages us to believe whatever makes us feel good in the moment, it’s crucial that we hold everything together with the truth of God’s word. Jesus referred to Himself as “the truth” in John 14:6.
The Armor of God
In ancient times, the belt that soldiers were did more than carry their weapons. Instead, the belt served to hold the entire suit of armor together. That’s what embracing the truth of Jesus Christ does for us. When we wrap ourselves in His truth, the only truth, the entirety of God’s armor covers us from head to toe. Putting on the belt of truth means that we fill ourselves with the truth of God’s Word because it is the ultimate authority on all matters.
The Breastplate of Righteousness: The breastplate that Roman soldiers were had multiple purposes, but the primary goal was to protect the heart of the person wearing it. It is equally as important that we guard our hearts. That doesn’t mean the physical heart that pumps blood to the rest of the body, but rather our innermost being.
Proverbs 4:23 says that we should “guard our heart because all the issues of life spring out of it.” That means that what gets into our innermost being dictates who we are and what we do. When we protect our heart with God’s righteousness, that means that only the things of God get into our innermost being.
Ephesians 6:15 (ESV)
And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
Having on the shoes which are the Gospel of peace ensures that we are ready to share the Good News of Jesus Christ anywhere we go with anyone we come in contact with. Again, it’s vital to know that the people who are involved with all of the chaos that has seized our world are being used as tools by the evil one. That’s not to say that they are demon possessed, but rather that they are not operating under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Our job as Christians is to share the Gospel with those people so they can be delivered. When we have the shoes of the Gospel, we carry God’s truth with us everywhere we go and are prepared to share it with anyone we come in contact with.
Ephesians 6:16 (ESV)
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.
In ancient times, Roman soldiers would cover the front of their shield with an animal skin and then soak it in oil. That oil ensured that the shield was saturated and when enemies would shoot flaming arrows at them, they would be extinguished.
In the Christian world, the oil always represents the anointing of the Holy Spirit. When we carry the shield of faith, it means that we believe everything that God says about us and about our circumstances. Since we are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), our faith is wrapped in His divine anointing. When Satan shoots his fiery arrows against you, they are extinguished by your faith.
Ephesians 6:17 (ESV)
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The Helmet of Salvation: Your mind has a great impact on everything about your life. It dictates the way that you perceive things and your feelings about them. If you want to guard your mind, Paul says that you should put on the helmet of salvation. If you walk around with the knowledge that you are one of God’s children, you can rest in the truth of His Word, which includes the promise that no weapon formed against you will prosper (Isaiah 54:17).
The Sword of the Spirit
Satan has no offense against the truth of God’s word. After Jesus’ baptism, He went into the wilderness for a period of fasting. When Satan believed that He was weakened by His hunger, he came to tempt Him. Three temptations of Satan were met with the same response from Jesus: “It is written…” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). Jesus used the truth of God’s Word to combat the lies that Satan was speaking to him.
You and I are called to do the same thing. We have a real enemy in the spirit realm, and we are called to combat him with the power and the truth of God’s word. Our enemy is not natural, and neither is our weapon (2 Corinthians 10:4). When we know the truth of God’s Word, we can stand against the lies of our enemy.
The armor of God covers everything other than the back of the believer. Why? Because we are never called to retreat in this battle against Satan and his evil forces. Instead, we are anointed for battle and armed with God’s armor. We are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37) in this battle against the evil one.
A Closing Prayer:
God, I know that You have a divine purpose for my life. While I may never be able to completely change the direction that society seems to be going, I can carry Your truth to the people I come in contact with. Help me to better protect myself with the knowledge of my salvation and Your righteousness covering my heart. In Christ’s name, Amen!