Welcome back. Are you ready for the second half of the message? Was it a long week waiting for this? Great anticipation! Ok, maybe that is like hoping that my kids will spend significant time in pray, studying the Bible and memorizing it without being repeatedly asked and pleaded with to. (I can only hope and pray that might be reality some day)
Ok, so where were we? The Armor of God and putting on the whole armor of God. Let’s look at each verse and each piece of armor.
Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
We will pick apart the armor a piece at a time starting with the echo of stand. This is the third time in the set of verses we hear to stand, to stand firm. I think God is trying to get our attention on this. The first piece of the armor – truth! That is where we need to start too, with truth. God is true and His Word is truth. We can look many places but the only place we are going to find truth is in God, in the Father, in Jesus, in the Spirit. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us discernment and to teach us. I know I just said this, but, are you teachable? Too many are just not teachable and they will not put in the time in God’s Word. Catch two more things with this piece. One, “fastened”. That means to attach it and secure it, a firm grip. We need a strong grip. There was a wrestler for UW Badgers that had one of the best tight wrist grip I have even seen. There were very few that could break the tie once he got your wrist. He was able to control your wrist and hands. It won him an NCAA title. We should be the same way with truth. It should be fastened to our mind and heart. Two, it is pictured as a belt. Surrounding us. It is not a thin belt like we usually think of but a wide belt protecting us. The truth needs to surround us.
The next piece of armor is the breastplate of righteousness. As you think of a breastplate what image comes to mind? This is a jacket of metal rings or plates which is sometimes called a coat of mail. It is a tightly woven jacket that covers from the neck to the waist that can’t easily be penetrated. If you have ever seen a meat cutters glove it is much like that. What does God want this breastplate made out of? Righteousness, that is, do what is right and not just right but right in God’s eyes. The ICBD states it this way, “holy and upright living in accordance with God’s standard,” Well said!
Ephesians 6:15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
Next is footwear. We all know shoes are vital to not only our feet but also our back, hips, knees, etc. We are given a picture of what we should have on our feet – shoes. They are special shoes. They need to be the gospel of peace. In other words we are to be ready to share the truth, the gospel. We are to witness, to evangelize. We are to share the good news, the hope there is in Jesus. That is where peace will be found. Do you know the gospel? Do you have it ready? Do you look for opportunities to share the hope you have in Jesus? Don’t just read that and go on, stop and think about it.
Ephesians 6:16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
The armor is to be put on every day. Too often we leave without full protection and weapons. We were warned earlier in the passage that we are in a battle and here we read we have flaming darts being thrown at us. Thus the reason for the shield of faith needed. Hebrews 11:1 tells us what faith is, “now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Baker BDFK says “Trust in God; belief that God can and will do what He has promised.” MacArthur says, “True faith is not based on empirical evidence but on divine assurance, and is a gift of God”.
Ephesians 6:17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
Verse 17 contains two pieces. First the helmet of salvation. Every piece is vital but think of it. Do you want your head exposed? Of course not. And why did God choose the different pieces to match different things? He had His reason and as I think of this piece and salvation it makes sense. Without salvation the rest has no meaning or need. Make sure you understand salvation, both what it means and the how to. Next in this verse is an offensive piece of armor, a weapon – the Sword of the Spirit. God fights the battles. Read that again. To have the Spirit we must be saved. We are told the Spirit seals us. In the Old Testament times the Spirit came and went but now we are taught by the Spirit and the Spirit lives in us who have received Christ. We are to put on salvation, our own and we are to be ready to share the message of salvation, the good news, the gospel. One more thing, what do we fight with? The Bible and the Spirit, never self.
Ephesians 6:18-20 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
I love the reminder in verses 18-20. We are to pray. Are you serious about prayer? I mean do you set aside time to pray. I mean time with NO distractions? Do you do more than just ask for things? More than for people to be healthy, comfortable, wealthy and to have things? There is a cry for the words we speak to be ones from God’s Word and the gospel. Are you intentional at sharing a verse from Scripture with one that needs to hear it?
Ephesians 6:23-4 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.
Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,