10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
We are not fighting against people.
We are wrestling with Satan, we are standing against his schemes. He is a liar, and a mis-user of the truth. Can we get ourselves to submit to God’s will and Satan to submit? I believe we can.
We are called to stand firm.
We see that Satan is a liar, (roaring lion) a manipulative foe who does not have the power to overpower us. If he had the power to destroy us directly, we would be destroyed. The battle that we experience is inside, it is spiritual, mental, emotional etc. He is a trickster.
Paul tells us to be strong in God’s power. God has real power. Paul tells us to put on God’s armor. God tells us to stand up against Satan’s schemes.
Let’s talk about putting on armor.
- Putting on Armor is a Metaphor
- Armor protects from your enemy
Obviously armor does not work unless you wear it, or use it might be a better term for us. If you are ignorant that you have it, then that is also a problem. So, we have defenses against the schemes of Satan that we are given by God that He means for us to use because God does not plan for His children to be defeated by His enemy. And we should expect for the God of the universe to give really good armor.
- These armor pieces are spiritual realities
Putting on armor means you rely on those things to perform their proper function.
To rely on the reality of these things is what it means to put on armor.
If you do not rely on these spiritual realities, then you will not have the benefit of them! And Satan’s tactics relate to us not using the armor. He cannot defeat the armor, he can just get us to not use it.
- How do I put on this armor?
You don’t make this armor work. It works. You just have to put it on!
We have to know what the spiritual realities are. And then we must live in them, we must trust them. Current example: Boys stuck in the cave in Thailand. They are trapped by water. But they have others to help them. And they have oxygen and equipment provided that will keep the water from drowning them. They will have to trust in order to have their lives. They can stay in the cave and die slowly, or they can make the hard choice to trust.
- The Realities of God’s Armor
- A belt of truth
The schemes of Satan attack the wisdom of God. Knowing the truth makes us strong!
Basic and foundational, holds other things together.
And allows you to be strong. Allows you to attach other weapons.
What is the truth that God has left with us?
Jesus Christ is our truth. Truth about life and the best way to live.
“I am the light of the world.”
“I am the way, the truth, the life.”
The Word of God became flesh and lived among us and we beheld His glory. He is full of grace and truth.
If Jesus is not your source of truth about how to live best, then what is? The desire of your heart? The desire of your neighbor?
When attacked by the schemes of Satan, respond with the truth!
Matt 4: 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
Deuteronomy 8: Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
- A breast plate of righteousness
Romans 7 resolved by Romans 8!
What does a breast plate do?
And what is righteousness? A right standing with God.
Jesus Christ is our righteousness!
The significance of our righteousness is the destruction of the concept of deserving and the concept of should.
I Cor 1: 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
II Cor 5: 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Romans 3: 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
Hebrews 10: 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
- The Gospel protects our feet
Roman army had good footwear. Therefore, they were able to move freely and quickly.
Ability to move with agility. Strength to stand. A firm foundation!
Knowing and believing the gospel does this for us. We stand in the gospel! The gospel works in little and big ways. They way to life is in losing our lives to God. Strength is found in weakness. Life is found in death. Wisdom is found in foolishness, greatness is found in being servant of all. We are first when we are last. Etc.
And it is the gospel of peace with God. But, there is conflict with enemy forces because of it. If we leave the gospel, then we leave the conflict behind, but the internal conflict with God is far worse than conflict with Satan!
The gospel is also the power of God for salvation. We do not fight against people, but we can win them non-the-less. Gospel of peace. If all submit first to God, then submission to His will and each other because of Him is a pathway to peace. This pathway will only come through the gospel!
- Faith is our shield
Very simply, arrows are shot from a distance with an intent to wound. Arrows can be circumstances, lies, or troubles of many kinds.
Think of arrows as whatever might cause us to fear. What if, what if, what if, what if…
Faith keeps us settled with God. Faith brings God near. Faith makes the arrow ineffective!
Where does faith come from? It comes from God, it is settled in His character and promises. Trust God. Follow Jesus. Life will result.
- Helmet of salvation
What does a helmet protect? Is that important?
What lies are counteracted?
What do you need to know?
Jesus has died for my sins personally.
- I have no condemnation because I am in Christ.
- I am loved and nothing can separate me from the love of God. Romans 8: 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 3: And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
How important is it to you that you are confident in your relationship with God? How important is it to you that you are loved?
- The Bible is our offensive weapon
Again, we are not fighting against people! Consider Jesus tempted by Satan:
Matt 4: 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
Jesus quotes Scripture.
Then Satan quotes Scripture to Jesus, taken out of context, Jesus quotes Scripture back giving balance.
Jesus quotes Scripture.
You need to understand Scripture in breadth! Some may take it out of context. Keep the big picture in mind!! We are meant to reflect the image of God, to enjoy His provision as our blessing and feed on faithful obedience to Him. This will cause us to come under pressure from others. We do not wrestle with them, but with Satan! And we use the truth of Scripture to guide our behavior.
Example: Eve in the garden:
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
What is the truth about God? God created everything good. He has provided all that we need for life. We have plenty to be grateful for. I will trust His word and if I have any questions, I will ask Him.
These spiritual realities are yours to rely upon so that you might be strong when you come under attack. They are true whether or not you rely upon them, but if you believe a lie, you give that lie power in your life.
Satan is a threatener. God is a doer. Satan does not have the power to carry out the lies and threats that he spews out. Therefore, you are called to resist the Devil. You are to stand firm in the face of life’s troubles and the Devil’s lies.
Truth, Righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the Bible
The reality is that we belong to God and are called to trust in Who He is and What He has done for us. We are followers of Jesus Christ. We are firm.