Today is the last post in the In Christ Series as you can see by the title we are talking about the Armor of God. If you have read this passage before and/or heard messages on the armor before I humbly ask that you not pass over this post, not because I have some great new things to share with you, but because I may look at some aspects of it in a different light.
Holy Spirit, I ask that as people read this post they would have fresh eyes to see and hearts to receive the truth you have for each individual person in this post today.
I want to begin by looking at Ephesians 6:10-13 in the New Living Translation and I want us to specifically notice the language of victory. “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”
Too many times people look at it like its a fair fight, its really not, the devil is already defeated, Jesus defeated him when He rose from the dead.
Don’t allow language like “evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in heavenly places”. Don’t allow the enemy to use the language of Scripture to scare you.
When Jesus was tempted the devil misused Scripture to get Jesus to jump, I believe the devil was really hoping Jesus would fall to His death, but the enemy said to Jesus, God will give His angels charge over you so you wont get hurt. Jesus responded with Scripture, don’t test God.
We too, can respond with Scripture because directly after those words we read, “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”
Have you ever seen a football game that all week people are talking about how one team will dominate the other in an easy win and when game time comes, they still have to play the game, the underdog may get a few scores, but in the end it was a blowout just like everybody had been saying.
That’s kind of what I’m talking about, we are the favored team, the enemy may get a few scores in some temptations but we will ultimately have the victory. For those saying, what about when it goes the other way, don’t mess up my good illustration 🙂
When we look at the armor we must come from a place of victory not a place of uncertainty or defeat.
We will notice the lack of back covering, I believe that is because we are never to run from the enemy but face him, defeat him, and take ground from The Kingdom.
Look at verse fourteen, now reading from the NIV, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,” Truth is the Word of God, in John seventeen, Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified (set apart) by the truth.
The Word is what keeps us from sin, Psalm 119:9, 11 AMP “How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed and keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to it]. (11) Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
We stop the lies of the enemy by believing truth, the only truth is the Word of God and there are times when the enemy presents facts that aren’t truth.
One of the most useful things to the enemy has been to get Christians to call themselves sinners and to say things like I’m a sinner saved by grace. That is not true, I am not A sinner, I WAS a sinner, Christians may at times sin but we are not living or should not be living in perpetual sin.
This leads us to the second greatest lie of the enemy which is, even though we are saved Christians will sin daily. We cannot find any validation for that in the Scriptures.
Go with me to Romans chapter six, if you do not have your Bible out right now I ask you to get it so you can mark this in your own Bible.
Romans 6:1-7 NIV “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? (2) By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (3) Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (4) We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (5) For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. (6) For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— (7) because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”
The new life mentioned in verse four is the life of holiness. The body ruled by sin, or the old man “represent[s]…the whole pattern of sinful living before conversion, as well as the spring/root from which it comes…the scope goes beyond the past life of sinful activity. Putting off the old man and putting on the new points to the ultimate plan of God for the Christian: a divine cure for the acts of sin.” (The Wesley Study Bible).
Romans 6:11-14 NIV “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (13) Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. (14) For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”
We do not have to sin, we do not have to live in bondage, this is the fulness of THE BLESSING, this is the privilege of the sanctified life (or the Spirit-filled life).
The point of the Armor of God is to equip us to live the life of victory, that is the Christian life, the victorious life, not the life of defeat, not the life of debt, sickness, fear, unforgiveness. The victory life, the more than enough life, the holy life, the sanctified life, the healthy life, fulfilled life, this is the life we have been called to live!
Verse fourteen continues and mentions the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate protects the heart, and a breastplate of righteousness enables us to have a right heart. We are to guard our heart from all unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, and hatred.
Proverbs 4:23 NIV “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Psalm 51:10 NIV “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Ezekiel 36:25-29 NIV “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. (26) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (27) And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (28) Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. (29) I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you.”
This what happens when we are sanctified or filled with the Holy Spirit, our heart becomes purified. To be sanctified simply means giving all of yourself to The Lord. Many people know Jesus as Savior, but there are places of the heart they have yet to give to Jesus, sanctification is simply letting Him in “that last room” it is a full devotion to God.
To be sanctified is to simply surrender all of yourself to the work and direction of the Holy Spirit. After the moment we make that decision we grow in that sanctification daily, this is also known as the life of holiness.
Isaiah 35:8 tells us that believers are to walk on the highway of holiness.
We know that Malachi 3:6 tells us God does not change and Hebrews 13:8 tells us Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. Having this established in The Word we no that God’s intention for His people has never changed and His intention for us has always been to be holy as He is holy, we see this in both Covenants in Leviticus 20:7 and 1 Peter 1:16.
Going back to Ephesians, the next piece of armor mentioned is the shoes of the Gospel of peace. This speaks of the importance of ministering the Gospel which is the love of God, the Gospel of peace is to walk in love.
Verse seventeen using the shield of faith. What is faith? Hebrews 11:1 AMP “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”
Faith stops the fiery darts of the enemy, what are the fiery darts of the enemy? Lies, lies of fear, doubt, and unbelief.
Faith believes, faith receives, faith talks, it declares those things that are not as though they are.
Mark 11:22-24 NIV “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. (23) “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. (24) Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Faith is words, what we have faith in we speak, our words either agree with the enemy or they stop the enemy. Declare victory over sin, don’t come into agreement with it by saying how hard something is to overcome. Don’t say you can’t meet your bills, declare God meets all your needs according to His riches and glory. Don’t speak the doctors report, declare His report of healing.
We receive when we pray, we must believe that and speak that, we can’t pray then talk like we don’t have an answer, that statement of doubt cancels out the prayer of faith.
Ephesians verse seventeen tells us to take the helmet of salvation, having right thoughts. Salvation makes us new creations and at that moment we need to begin renewing our minds in the Word of God and thinking according to Philippians 4:8, whatever ever things are good, righteous, praiseworthy, and of good report think on these things.
Lastly, taking the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. As said a moment ago the Word in our mouth stops the enemy. The Word in the mind stops the worry of the mind, the declaration of the Word stops the doubt flowing from the world.
The Word in our minds, ears, and mouth, and lived out in our life stops the enemy. Mental ascent does not stop the enemy, a heart and mouth full of faith does.
Many say they have faith but what they choose to think about, listen to, and speak of many times shows a life of fear, doubt, and unbelief, and not the life of faith.
We will finish with this, verse eighteen, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
Mark eleven told us faith and prayer must be connected and the Word and prayer must be connected. While prayer is not a “piece” of armor it is part of the armor.
Use your armor, use every piece of it! Line up with the Word, have a right heart, walk in love, live by faith, stop the lies of the enemy and think on the Word, and declare the Word out of your mouth.
In wrapping up the message on the armor and the In Christ Series we will close with a final Scripture.
James 4:7-10 in The Message Paraphrase, “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.”
That is the in Christ life of victory!