In the last article, we started a series on the Armor of God talked about in Ephesians. We spent our time setting up the reasons Paul writes about the armor and what the armor is used for and what it is used against. Understanding the premise for the armor, and getting into Paul’s head, is crucial in understanding the full reality of the armor. This time, we are going to dive into studying each part of the armor and what it all means. Let’s begin.
Last time we studied verses 10 through 13 in Ephesians 6, so we will begin in verse 14. Before we begin to dive in, we must understand that Paul is not saying we should dress as a knight or something and put on actual armor everyday. This is simply a metaphor that Paul uses to help the Ephesians understand the need to put on this “armor” or this stad against all evil. The Ephesians, and most people around this time, would have been familiar enough with a soldier and what they looked like. Rome made their presence known and the image of Rome probably in most people’s mind was the armor of the Roman soldier. They knew what they looked like and they were not the most loving bunch, especially to the early church. What Paul does with this image of the armor is absolutely amazing. Paul takes the image of a soldier and their armor, specifically, probably a Roman soldier’s armor which would have been the best around and nearly impenetrable to the common folk. What Paul is going to do is compare that soldier’s armor and say that we as followers and believers of Christ have our own armor to stand up with against the evil in this world. As we saw last time though, our enemy is not each other. Our enemy is not other human beings, but rather the darker entities and forces behind it all. Satan and his army is the real enemy which is why we need this armor of God to defend against the forces of evil. We too have an armor to stand up with and it is beyond any human armor and any flaming arrows that the forces of evil can throw at us. We can have and possess the armor of God.
Now, let’s dive in to the description Paul gives us about the armor. Ephesians 6:14-15 says this, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” We must first realize that the first words used before the description is the words “stand firm”. There are so many different rabbit holes we can go into with just these two words, but they are so crucial. This phrase bears the image of a soldier standing tall and strong in the battlefield. It is also important to note that when we are called to stand firm in Scripture, it is often because persecution or something is coming that can knock us off our feet, so to speak (1 Peter 5:9, Galatians 5:1, 1 Corinthians 10:13). In the verse above this one in verse 13 Paul says that we should “put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground”. Standing against evil is what we are standing against. We are standing our ground, standing firm against the forces of evil and temptation. But we cannot forget the application we can learn from this. Persecution, sufferings, and hard times are also what we are standing up against with this armor. This can be the disease we were just diagnosed with, the bills that seem they can’t be payed, a loved one passing away, or the job you just lost. Hardships in life will come. Paul doesn’t say that with this armor on nothing will happen to us and everything will be ok. We are still in a broken world, but with the blessings of Christ and this armor, we can endure the pain and suffering and stand firm till the end. That’s what this armor is all about.