10 ¶ Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
In our own strength we are no match for the devil. Therefore we must be strong in the Lord and have on the whole protection of the Lord. The devil's devices – first to cause us to doubt the truth of God's Word – then to disobey it. From the garden til today – the same strategy. The current condition of this chaotic world is the result of his success. Yet in I John 4:4, 'greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.'
The Armour (7 parts):
1. Girded with the truth of God's whole counsel – the Bible.
2. Breastplate of righteousness – not ours, but that of Jesus imputed to us and in us through faith by grace.
3. The feet shod with peace to spread the gospel of peace.
4. The shield of faith in God's promises – especially in our eternal Savior Who has overcome the world.
5. The helmet of salvation – the hope – full in assurance unto the end (Hebrews 6:11), and unto eternity with God and His Christ.
6. The sword of the Spirit, the word of God – individual scriptures pertinent to any particular situation or attack. The best example – when Jesus defeated the temptation by satan in the wilderness. Jesus defeated him by quoting the appropriate Scripture – the truth always defeats lies. (Matthew 4:4,7,10.)
7. Praying always – persevering prayer – for ourselves and also for others.
II Corinthians 10:5 – 'casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing it into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.'
What parts of our present culture exalt themselves against the knowledge of God's truth, which is Jesus Christ? More things than those that uphold God's truth. If you made a list of all the things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God's truth, you would have to include nearly everything that is advertised, especially on tv. A great deal of things that pass for science, are only unprovable theories. Humanism and all other evolutionary ideas about man are unprovable and imperfect-able.
The only way not to be sucked into this way of thinking and therefore living is to be firmly grounded in God's truth, which is found in the Bible. The New Testament reveals the truth about sin, and the only remedy – Christ Jesus. It also tells us how to live a life of loving, giving, and sharing, which brings with it joy and peace with God and man. A daily portion of the Bread of Life keeps our mind, soul, and spirit nourished and healthy and strong. It gives us direction, guidance, courage, and conviction no matter what conditions we might face.
If we don't do this, we are so easily distracted by everything the world throws at us. We will end up doing what everybody else is doing. Our time and energy will be used up with no beneficial results.
Scripture says, on the contrary, we must redeem the time, for the days are evil. Take stock of your day. How much time do you spend on basic needs, or worrying about them? These needs include sleep, food, shelter, and clothing. How much time is spent on a job, or working at home? How much time is spent on leisure, doing whatever pleases you? These may include tv, sports, travel, and fleshly desires. How much time is set aside for God? This may include Bible reading and study, meditating on God's will for your life, praying for others and yourself. How much time is spent seeking opportunities to help others, or share your faith, and follow through? This could be at any time or place – wherever you are and whoever you are with.
What is God's will for you? He wants you to grow and mature to become more like His Son. Jesus' life is our guide. Not that we can do what He did in His miracles and power over nature, but in His love and compassion for the lost, the hurting, the lonely – anyone in need. He never turned anyone away. He gave everything He had – even His life. He did that everyday, all day. He also shared His knowledge of the Father and the truth about the Salvation of His Sacrifice.
When we are doing our best to live God's will in our life by depending on His Spirit within, His Word of guidance and promise, constantly in communication with Him in prayer, there is no person or force in the universe that can defeat us. Jesus has already overcome the world. The Armor that Paul describes has been given to every believer and can only become stronger as we become closer to God through Jesus and the Comforter He has given us, both now and forever more. Amen.
The armor was an illustration of a spiritual reality. It happens automatically. It protects us automatically. It is invisible; it is spiritual, but real. God provides it; we use it; we are in God's hand and no one plucks us out of His Hand. All God's promises are as certain as His Word is true and faithful. Amen.
This article was written by my father T.O.D. Johnston, who was licensed to preach the Gospel by Paran Baptist Church in Lake City, SC, on May 26, 1979. He has been a student of Scripture since 1972. Be sure to visit the author's full list of Bible Study Lessons by book for all of his free lessons.