The Armor IS Jesus!!

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.”  Ephesians 6:11

I had to speak on the armor of God and serving in his army recently.  In preparation I did much reading and studying and am amazed at what I found.

I have had plenty of Bible teaching and have been familiar with this passage of scripture for years.  I had a bit more than a basic understanding of it, but the depth of the understanding after another week of study has excited me!

The armor IS Jesus!!

That is what I found.  Every piece of armor has it’s foundation in Christ and when we “put on” Christ, we are suiting up for the battle against “rulers, authorities, world powers of this darkness, and spiritual forces of evil” (list taken from Ephesians 6:12).

Look at the first piece of armor we are called to put on: belt of truth.

Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

A few chapters before this statement, Satan is described.  John 8:44, “You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.”

Jesus is our belt of truth that stands against the lies of Satan.

The next piece of armor is the breastplate of righteousness.

If you do a search of the word “righteousness” in a concordance or online resource (like Biblegateway.com) you will find hundreds of references to the word throughout scripture.  In Romans alone there are 29 references to “righteousness”!

Romans 3:21-24  “21 But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed —attested by the Law and the Prophets 22 —that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Over and over again we read in scripture that true righteousness comes through Christ – it is not a righteousness of our own.

Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.”

In other words, we cannot gain righteousness by obeying the Ten Commandments.  If we could gain our own righteousness through following the law (the Ten commandments) Christ’s suffering and death on the cross would have been pointless.  I don’t think God does pointless things.

Jesus is the righteousness that covers our unrighteousness.

Next we are called to suit-up with sandals of readiness for the gospel of peace.

For this one I think it is necessary to understand what Roman soldiers in the Apostle Paul’s day wore on their feet for battle because that is what Paul most likely was comparing the “readiness for the gospel of peace” to.  The shoes worn by a Roman soldier in that day were a sandal that had very thick leather soles.  These soles were studded with small nails to provide stability in hand-to-hand combat.  I think because of this, Paul’s point is not being ready to run and bring the gospel as much as it is to be grounded in the gospel.

The gospel is simply this, the good news of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and the restoration and peace it brings between God and man.

Isaiah 6:16 also calls Jesus our “Prince of Peace”.

We can stand firm in the gospel of Jesus, our Prince of Peace.

The shield of faith is next.

This one is bit tougher to nail down with specific scripture.  Faith is huge, but the one we have faith IN is even huger (nice word, eh?).

Ephesians 6 mentions that the shield of faith is what you use “to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one”.  What is Satan (the evil one) again?  A liar.  I believe his flaming arrows are going to be lies that he hurls at you.  The shield of faith is our trust that Jesus is who he says he is, that he did what he said he did, and that he is going to do what is yet to be done.

Jesus is our truth that we hold to by faith to stop and obliterate Satan’s lies before they even settle on us.

The helmet of salvation is a favorite of mine.

I Thessalonians 5:8 adds a dimension to this.  “But since we are of the day, we must be sober and put the armor of faith and love on our chests, and put on a helmet of the hope of salvation.”

Not only is our helmet of salvation, but it is the HOPE of salvation.  Just as the helmet defended the head, the hope of salvation will defend our thoughts and mind.  We have a hope, we have a savior.  We can dwell on the truth of that hope already being fulfilled in Jesus rather than on Satan’s doubts and lies.

Again, Jesus is our helmet of salvation.

The final piece of armor, the sword of the Spirit, is our first weapon!  Up to this point all the pieces have been for defense.  This one is for attack!

Ephesians 6:17 tells us right away what the sword of the Spirit is.  It is the Word of God.

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

I encourage you to read the entire first chapter (even the entire book!) of John.  He is talking about Jesus here.  Jesus is the Word of God.

We also have the Bible, which we call the Word of God, which tells about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God’s son.  Through it, we learn the full and complete story of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  It is the true, inspired word of God.

Again, what is the main weapon of the enemy?  Lies!!  What is in the Bible?  Truth!!  Truth about whom?  Jesus and his father and those whom he created.  Truth is the weapon against lies.

Do you see the connection of Jesus throughout all the armor?  Isn’t it amazing?

I think the most powerful application we can make about the armor of God is this: to put on the armor, we must first establish a relationship with Jesus Christ.

There is no protection against our enemy without first putting on Christ.

Once you’ve “put on” Christ, you must continue to KNOW HIM, and then KNOW HIM MORE!

My favorite verses are 2 Peter 1:3-4, “3 For His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 4 By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.”

I think these verses fit perfect with Jesus being our armor.  Here’s why: Christ Jesus is the embodiment of God’s own glory and goodness.  Through Jesus, God has given us very great and precious promises.  Through Jesus and these promises we can share in the divine nature and escape corruption from sin.  That divine nature is the power of the Holy Spirit.  All of this cannot be gained any other way than through Christ.  Again, it’s all about Jesus!  Satan’s schemes are intended to keep us in sin.  Through Jesus, our armor, we can stand firm against Satan’s schemes and stay out of sin.

Wow!  Doesn’t that excite you?  It sure does me!

One last bit of practical advice I want to leave with you at the close is this:  memorize scripture and use it!  Again, our only weapon is the Word of God.  Knowing scripture off the top of your head is a great weapon when doubts and lies begin filling your head.

I have used scripture to refute the lies that have given me a mindset prone to sin.  I have used promises given in scripture to remind me where my strength comes from, where my hope comes from, why I should have courage, or just who I truly am in Christ.

A final favorite passage of mine is James 4:7, “Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.”  So often when I am locked in a mind battle concerning lies vs. the truth, I just say out loud, “Heavenly Father, I submit to your will!”  Of course just saying it without deciding it firmly in your heart does nothing, but when you truly do submit in your heart to God’s way and say it out loud, there is power!  Many battles have been won on a personal level for me just by submitting my faulty thinking to God and letting his way rule.

I think Jesus did a similar thing in the garden of Gethsemane.  He is about to be arrested.  Being fully God and fully man, he knew what the future held and he knew the pain that was in it.  If you think the sacrifice Christ made on that cross was an easy-breezy one, you need to read his agonizing prayer offered up just before the process finally got rolling.  His words in Luke 22:42 are, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me—nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.”

If Jesus found strength to face the cross by submitting, think of the strength you and I can find in that very same way!!

So submit, suit-up, and be a mighty warrior!

*Scriptures taken from the Holman Christian Standard version)

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~ by trubyjohnsonwrites on 03/10/2010.

One Response to “The Armor IS Jesus!!”

  1. thanks for coming by my blog to read my review of Jen AlLee’s book. you’ll want to order that ASAP…it’ll speak to you.

    and thank your writing group for the referral! i’m trying to get the word out about my site…trying to increase followers and page views….so thank them for that.

    if i can ever help you out with a character, email me!
    jeannie
    The Character Therapist

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