The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
The Bible says the devil is like a roaring lion that prowls around looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Make no mistake, he is a terrible enemy, and he is stronger than we are in our own power. But just like David facing Goliath, we do not fight with our own power. God is always with us and He has given us HIS weapons to battle with.
The Armor Of God (Ephesians 6:13-17)
So put on all of God’s armor. Evil days will come. But you will be able to stand up to anything. And after you have done everything you can, you will still be standing. – Ephesians 6:13
Did you hear what the Bible called our weapons? It is God’s Armor. We just learned a story about armor. Let’s look back at the armor that Goliath was wearing.
He had a bronze helmet on his head. He wore a coat of bronze armor. It weighed 125 pounds. On his legs he wore bronze guards. He carried a bronze javelin on his back. His spear was as big as a weaver’s rod. Its iron point weighed 15 pounds. The man who carried his shield walked along in front of him. – 1 Samuel 17:5-7
That is some heavy-duty armor. Who remembers what David’s armor looked like? He didn’t wear any. David tried on Saul’s armor, but he didn’t like it, so he went to battle Goliath with just a sling and five stones. Yet David won the battle! I believe David was wearing the armor of God. Let’s look at God’s armor.
So stand firm. Put the belt of truth around your waist. Put the armor of godliness on your chest. Wear on your feet what will prepare you to tell the good news of peace. Also, pick up the shield of faith. With it you can put out all of the flaming arrows of the evil one. Put on the helmet of salvation. And take the sword of the Holy Spirit. The sword is God’s word. At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit. Pray all kinds of prayers. Be watchful, so that you can pray. Always keep on praying for all of God’s people. – Ephesians 6:14-18
The Belt of Truth: The soldier’s belt, or harness, held all of his weapons and armor together. For the believer, truth holds our spiritual armor together.
The devil hates the truth because it shows him for what he is: not at all like God, and defeated by Jesus. The Bible calls Satan the Father of lies (John 8:44). Most of us in this room speak English. If we went to Spain, the people there would speak Spanish. In France, they speak French. Well, when Satan speaks, guess which language he speaks. He speaks “lie.” The Bible says that lying is his native language (John 8:44). Satan lied to Eve, the first human he ever spoke to. And he hasn’t stopped! He still lies and tries to deceive Christians.
The truth is what God gives us so that we can tell what the devil’s lies are. When someone gets a job at a bank, they have to learn how to tell real money from fake, or counterfeit, money. The way they are trained is by spending hours and hours learning what a real dollar bill looks like. They feel it, and examine it with their eyes. They get to know a real dollar so well that when a fake bill comes along, they know it is not the real thing. Just the same, if we know God’s truth inside and out, we will never fall for one of Satan’s lies.
Notice what Jesus calls Himself: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” We cannot put on truth until we have put our trust in the One who is Truth – Jesus (Romans 13:14). By abiding in Him and in His word, our minds become lined up with truth. We will be armed against the devil’s lies.
The Breastplate of Righteousness: In a suit of armor, the breastplate guards the soldier’s heart and other very important organs. Without a solid breastplate, a soldier would easily be killed with one blow from the enemy’s sword or arrow.
Being righteous is being right, perfect, or without sin. God is righteous. The only way for us to be righteous is by having faith in God’s provision, Jesus, who died to take away our sin. We put on the breastplate of righteousness when we put our faith in Jesus.
The Bible says that at one time, Lucifer walked with God and was blameless, until unrighteousness was found in him (Ezekiel 28:15). Now Satan is the enemy of righteousness (Acts 13:10). He hates all things that are right or sinless.
Not only is Satan the father of lies, but he is also called the great accuser (Revelation 12:10). To accuse means to tell a judge that someone has done something wrong. He actually goes to God to accuse Christians of doing wrong. He constantly tempts us to sin, then he tattletales to God when we sin, and even makes up lies to accuse us when we don’t sin. Isn’t that rotten? This would be like if you went into huddle group this morning and your leader wasn’t there yet. You saw a plate of cupcakes on the table. Another girl was there and she said, “Our leader said these cupcakes are for us to eat. Go ahead and have one.” So you eat one, then your leader walks in. The girl points at you and says, “She ate your cupcake!” Or, worse yet, if you didn’t eat one and she said that you did.
Satan’s scheme is to accuse us. But if we have put on the breastplate of righteousness by placing our trust in Jesus, all of our sins are wiped away. There is no way for God to see us as unrighteous! When He looks at us, He sees what His perfect Son did for us.
Footwear of the Gospel of Peace: Every good soldier needs solid footing. Who can tell me what kind of shoes a football player wears? Cleats. Why does he wear cleats? To grip the field. Say: Cleats have little spikes underneath that grab into the dirt and grass. This gives him sure footing not to move when he wants to stand still, and allows him to run faster when he wants to move. Without cleats, the player would slip all over a wet field.
The Bible tells us to wear the Good News of Peace to give us sure footing. Again, this piece of God’s armor is only found in Jesus. Through Jesus, we can have peace with God. Because we chose to sin, we became enemies of God (James 4:4). But when we choose to accept what Jesus did, we are made right with God. We are no longer enemies with God! Belief in Jesus is the ONLY way for us to have peace with God. The Bible says, “There is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.” (Acts 10:36b NLT)
Also, there is peace within our soul, which is rest and the lack of fear. This peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of each believer (Galatians 5:22).
It may seem strange that “Peace” is needed for spiritual warfare. But the peace that Jesus brings, which is peace with God, and lack of fear, are vital in battling the devil’s schemes. Satan wants to rob believers of peace by placing doubts in our mind. He knows that if we doubt God’s power or promises, we will surely slip, and he will gain ground. We must remain firmly planted in the peace that Jesus gives us.
Consider what happened with Eve in the Garden of Eden. Satan planted seeds of doubt in Eve’s mind. Eve doubted God’s love for her, believing that He was holding back some good from her. Without sure footing, Eve’s doubt caused her to stumble, and Satan gained tremendous ground!
Shield of Faith: The soldier’s shield is a defensive weapon. In other words, he doesn’t hit the enemy with his shield. Instead, the shied protects him from the enemy’s attack. If the enemy shoots arrows at him, he holds up the shield to keep the arrows from hitting his body. Just the same, the Bible says that our shield of faith can put out the flaming arrows that the devil fires at us. Think about what we have learned about the devil’s schemes today. Ask: What do you think the flaming arrows might be? Lies, doubts, accusations. Say: Satan will fire anything at us that he thinks might work. Whether it’s lies about God, doubts about whether we are really saved, accusations against God or us, he will try it. But our faith, our trust in God, keeps those arrows from hitting our heart or mind.
Amazingly, even our faith is not something that we come up with. God gives us the faith that makes us right with Him and guards us from Satan’s tricks (Romans 12:3).
The Helmet of Salvation: The helmet protects the soldier’s head. No soldier would go into a war without a helmet. It protects his head from a crushing blow. Likewise, we would never stand a chance against the devil without first having salvation. Salvation is being saved from death and separation from God. The only way for us to have salvation is by placing our trust in Jesus’ payment for our sins on the cross.
The Sword of the Spirit: Here we come to a weapon that is offensive. That means that the soldier uses it to strike his enemy. The Bible says that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. This is the Bible. Did you know that one of the wonderful things that the Holy Spirit does is that He reminds us of Bible verses that we have learned? When you are in a situation where the devil is trying to attack you with doubts or lies, the Holy Spirit will tell you the truth, and remind you of verses that you know (John 14:26, 16:13). The Bible calls that your spiritual sword! The more we study God’s word, the more ammunition we put in our arsenal.
The word of God is living and active. It is sharper than any sword that has two edges. It cuts deep enough to separate soul from spirit. It can separate joints from bones. It judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
Prayer: Our last weapon might not seem like a weapon at all, but it certainly is! The Bible tells us to pray by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. How powerful is the Spirit of God? When the prophet Micah talked about being filled with power from the Holy Spirit, he used a word that means “warlike energy” (Micah 3:8). The apostle Paul uses the word dunamis to describe the power of God’s Holy Spirit within us (Ephesians 3:16). This is the same word that we get the word dynamite from. Now, tell me, would the power of dynamite help you fight a battle? Every person who believes in Jesus is given the same power that performed miracles and raised Jesus from the dead! (Ephesians 1:19-20) We are told to tap into this power to pray at all times and on every occasion. We are instructed to use this amazing power to pray for believers everywhere.
Notice that we need to wear the FULL armor of God (Ephesians 6:13). All of these pieces are linked with one another, and they are all ours because God gave His Son for us.
Because this is a spiritual war, we cannot expect that the devil will attack us with weapons we can see, like a sword (2 Corinthians 10:4). We can’t see spiritual things. The devil attacks us by tempting us to sin, deceiving us, discouraging us, and accusing us. If he can get us to sin, he puts us on the path of destruction (Isaiah 59:7). If he can deceive us or discourage us, we will not serve God and we will not share God’s good news with others.
If we don’t put on God’s armor, by putting on Jesus and remaining with Him (Romans 13:14), the devil’s evil plans will terrify us, just as Goliath scared the Israelites. However, when we remain with Jesus, we can rest in His power and strength and know that nothing stands a chance against a God so powerful that even His voice controls all of creation.
Through Jesus, God has provided everything we need to stand against the devil’s plans.