Jesus Christ Is Lord

Armour of God, Part 1 - Introduction

Copyright © Andrew J. Shreeve 2017

 

10. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. 11. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 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. 14. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15. and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16. above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints

Ephesians 6:10-18

 

The Lord’s has given us His spiritual armour. The Lord’s armour has the potential to make us strong and empowered in the Lord.

 

Spiritual warfare

Armour definition - “Defensive armour is to protect in battle. Armour is used for the apparatus of war, including offensive and defensive arms. Armour includes instruments of war.” (Webster’s dictionary). It is obvious, that if the Lord deemed it necessary to give us His armour, we should view being a Christian as an engagement in spiritual warfare.

 

Letter to the Ephesians - summary

Finally, my brethren (Ephesians 6:10). By using the term ‘finally the Apostle Paul is concluding his letter and exhortation. As the Apostle Paul’s teaching on the armour of God is written in the context of his letter to the Ephesians’ church, we should study the whole of the letter to the Ephesians to rightly divide the teaching on the armour of God. Over the coming six to eight months we will study each piece of the armour. This month’s teaching is introductory, and places the armour of the Lord into context. It includes a brief summary of the letter to the Ephesians.

 

In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul has explained to the Ephesians’ Christians that the Lord has already blessed then with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3); they have been redeemed through Jesus’ blood, and have received the forgiveness of sins. This redemption is by God’s grace (Ephesians 1:8). They, being in Christ, have obtained an inheritance (Ephesians 1:11). They have heard and believed the Word of truth, the gospel of their salvation (Ephesians 1:13).

 

Salvation

The Greek word ‘soteria’, translated salvation in Ephesians 1:13 means: ”rescue, safety (physically or morally), deliver, health, salvation, save, saving” (Strong’s dictionary). ‘Soteria’ is similar to the Hebrew word ‘shalom’ which means: “safe, well, happy, welfare, health, prosperity, peace, favour, good health, rest, all is well, be whole” (Strong’s dictionary). The gospel promises the power of the Lord’s shalom, to those who will believe in Jesus (Romans 10:15, Isaiah 52:7). The gospel of our salvation is the gospel of shalom (the Hebrew word translated ‘peace’ in Isaiah 52:7 is shalom) (Ephesians 1:13, Romans 10:15, Isaiah 52:7).

 

The gospel is the message of the supernatural power of God’s protection and deliverance from the devil, sin and its judgement, sickness, poverty, accidents, fear and eternal death. The gospel delivers God’s power for making us a new, holy, spiritual creation; and provides the potential for physical healing, financial supply, and physical and spiritual safety.

 

When we believed the gospel, we were sealed, or stamped, with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). The Holy Spirit is the initial down payment, or pledge, of our inheritance or heirship, until the redemption of the purchased possession (Ephesians 1:14). The Lord has paid the price, He has purchased us with His blood (Acts 20:28, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The full redemption will be when we depart these bodies of flesh and blood and be with the Lord for all eternity (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).

 

Know the power!

Paul prays for the Ephesians’ church to receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (God) (Ephesians 1:16-17); and to be enlightened to know the hope of His calling, and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18). Obviously, it is important we receive revelation and enlightenment concerning God’s calling and inheritance to us. God wants us to know His power. The Greek word translated power is ‘dunamis’ which means: “miraculous power” (Strong’s dictionary). This miracle power is to us-ward (Ephesians 1:19). This is resurrection power which is available to born-again Christians (Ephesians 1:20)!

 

Christians identified with Christ in heaven

Paul explains Christ has been raised to God’s right hand in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:20), Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under His feet (Ephesians 1:21-22). Paul links the Christian to Christ, quickened us together with Christ… raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:5-6). Paul is emphasising our position, in Christ, which is far above the devil spirits. It is a position of spiritual authority!

 

The new creation

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works (Ephesians 2:8). Our redemption is linked to Christ’s resurrection and our new creation in Christ; it is God’s gift to us! We are created in Christ Jesus unto good works (Ephesians 2:10). We are no longer strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:12). We are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace (Ephesians 2:13-14). In Christ’s flesh, He has destroyed, made idle, the enmity, opposition or hostility, even the law of commandments (Ephesians 2:15). Through Christ we have access unto the Father (Ephesians 2:18). We are now a habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22). The apostle is explaining that Christians are reconciled to the Lord by faith, no longer condemned by the perfection of the law, and are now partakers of all the promises, and covenants, which were given to Israel. In addition, Christians are now the dwelling place of the Spirit of the Lord.

 

Paul was called to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8). And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery… God, who created all things by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:9).

 

Know God’s love

Paul prays that the church will know the love of God (Ephesians 3:14-19), that we might be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19).

 

 

Practical - Christian relationships

Chapters 4 and 5 of Ephesians teach how we should live as Christians: with love and unity (Ephesians 4:2-3). We are all given gifts (Ephesians 4:7). Paul explains about the five-fold ministry gifts, which are to perfect and build up the saints in the unity of the faith and knowledge, so as not to be deceived. But to speak the truth, and be edified, in love (Ephesians 4:11-16).

 

Christians are to put off the corrupt, old way of living (Ephesians 4:17-22). Rather, Christians are to know who they are in Christ, newly created in holiness and righteousness (Ephesians 4:23-24). Christians are to stop lying and being angry, are to resist the devil, are to stop stealing and should work, are to stop bad and worthless talking, are not to grieve of the Holy Spirit, and are no longer to hold bitterness (Ephesians 4:25-31). Rather, Christians are to be kind, tender hearted, forgiving, and are to walk in love (Ephesians 4:32-5:2). Christians are not to partake in sins (Ephesians 5:3-15), or to get drunk, but rather are to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-19). Paul then gives instructions for relationships: marriage, children, servants and masters (Ephesians 5:22-6:9). Then, finally, Paul comes to the subject of the armour of God.

 

Context of the armour

The context of putting on the whole armour of God is: we are blessed in Christ, power is available to us, and we are raised with Christ far above the devil spirits. The armour is given to us to help us receive the Lord’s power and love, and also be empowered to live a holy life, resisting the devil spirits. Through the armour, we can fulfil our mission to successfully preach the gospel to the Gentiles, so all men might be saved (Ephesians 3:8-9, 1 Timothy 2:4).

 

Through the armour, we can be strong in the Lord and the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10). To stand against the wiles (trickery, lying in wait) of the devil we will need to put on the whole armour of God. Notice ‘put on’ something we must do; and ‘whole’ full armour, all of it (Ephesians 6:11).

 

The implication is if we do not put on every piece of the armour we may be vulnerable to attack from the devil spirits and not experience the fullness of the Lord’s power and love, and we may yield to the devil and not walk in the holiness the Lord has for us. Putting on the whole armour of the Lord is critical to our success!

 

The Christian life is a wrestle against spiritual chiefs, powers, rulers, influences, Satanic rulers of the darkness of this world, wicked, and evil depraved spirits in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 6:12). With the whole armour, we can resist and withstand these devil spirits, and their works which include: unbelief of the Scripture, hurtful, evil, influences of poverty, disease, moral evil and guilt (Ephesians 6:13). There are six pieces of the Lord’s armour, which we are to put on: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God (Ephesians 6:14-17). Being fully armoured will lead us to effective prayer, and then to the bold preaching of this glorious gospel (Ephesians 6:18-20)!

 

Conclusion

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians’ Christians, Paul explains what Jesus Christ has attained for believers in Christ, including: access to God’s power, love and covenant promises. Paul explains that the basis of this blessing is our identity in the new creation in Christ Jesus. The blessings contained in the new creation are God’s gracious gifts to us, received through faith in God’s covenant promises. Once explaining our new identity in Christ, Paul then explains that Christians should live and behave in the light of their new identity.

 

Paul concludes his letter by emphasising that Christians are in a spiritual battle against devil spirits. To be successful in this spiritual battle, to receive the blessed power and love which Jesus has made available to Christians, to resist the attacks of the devil spirits, and to successfully reveal Christ to the Gentiles, Christians need to learn how to put on, and use, the whole armour of God.

 

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Andrew Shreeve Ministries is led by the Holy Spirit, committed to the integrity of the Word of God, walking by faith and focused on preaching the gospel to all nations...

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