“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11 NKJV).
No man can earn, gain or obtain victory over Satan through his own effort. However, the Lord Jesus Christ has won an absolute victory over Satan and his works and cohorts for all mankind through His death on the cross (Col. 2:15, Heb. 2:14).
Therefore, the believers in Christ don’t need to seek or strive by any religious means to earn, gain or obtain victory over Satan, for the victory of Christ over Satan and his works and cohorts on the cross has been credited to their account.
Paul testifies, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57 NKJV).
As a believer in Christ, you have got the victory over Satan. You don’t need to earn, gain or obtain it by your performance or good works. It is your birthright in Christ as a New Creation. It is part of your heritage in Christ.
The Scripture clearly attests to this truth.
1 John 2:
14 I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one. (NKJV).
1 John 5:
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.
5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (NKJV).
Therefore, you must wage your warfare with a mindset of an overcomer. The devil will always seek to confuse or deceive you into striving for victory in spiritual battles, but you must stand firm in the victory that Christ has already won for you and given to you (Gal. 5:1).
You will always experience defeat or death in spiritual warfare if you don’t fight in victory, as an overcomer in Christ!
However, for you to appropriate, enforce, defend, demonstrate or manifest the victory that Jesus Christ has won for you and given to you through His death on the cross, you must take up, put on, and put to use the whole armour of God or the weapons of warfare which God has prepared for you.
Paul admonishes you to “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph. 6:11 NKJV).
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Eph. 6:13 NKJV).
In the book of Ephesians 6:13-17 Apostle Paul uses the common armour won by Roman soldiers in those days as analogy for the believer’s spiritual armour of warfare prepared by God.
In this piece we shall begin to examine each piece of the whole armour of God prepared for the believers.
First, the Belt of Truth (Eph. 6:14):
In the ancient world, the Roman soldier wore a tunic of loose-fitting cloth. Therefore, a belt was necessary to cinch or gird up the loosely hanging material which was a potential hindrance and danger to the soldier.
The belt was broad and made of sturdy leather. It is usually the central piece of the armour and it holds all the rest securely in place. Also, from the belt hung specialized hooks and holders for holding the sheath containing the sword at the proper angle, for holding the quiver containing arrows, and for holding supplies of bread, oil and water.
Just as the belt is crucial and central to the soldier’s armour, so is “the truth” crucial and central to the believer’s spiritual armour. Without knowing and holding fast to the truth of God’s Word, you are exposed, vulnerable and susceptible to Satan’s lies, wiles, schemes or deceptions.
What is “the truth” the believers must know, believe and hold fast to?
Jesus Christ, the Word of God that became flesh (John 1:1-4, 14)!
The Lord Jesus reveals, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 NKJV).
“There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. “You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.” (John 5:32-33 NKJV).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the complete, ultimate and final revelation of God’s truth to mankind!
The Scripture attests to this truth.
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. (NKJV).
Therefore, any word, teaching, doctrine, idea, principle, or philosophy that does not wholly conform to the person, nature, character, or teaching of Jesus Christ is untruth or falsehood. It is only the word, teaching or doctrine of Jesus Christ that is the truth!
The Lord Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32 NKJV).
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (John 17:17 NKJV).
How do you put on the belt of truth?
Simply by knowing, holding fast to, obeying, walking, abiding or continuing in the word or teaching of Jesus Christ!
Any believer who is not abiding, walking or continuing in the teaching of Christ is not putting on “the belt of truth.” Such a believer is vulnerable or susceptible to the lies, wiles or schemes of the devil, who is the father and source of lies (John 8:44).
Therefore, Paul admonishes us to beware lest anyone cheat or spoil us through vain deceit.
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (NKJV).
John also warns us against entertaining or accommodating false teachers.
2 John 1:
9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;
11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (NKJV).
Second, the Breastplate of Righteousness (Eph. 6:14):
The breastplate was usually a tough, sleeveless piece of leather or heavy material with animal horn or hoof pieces sewn on to cover the soldier’s full torso or body, protecting his heart and other vital organs in the battle.
The believer’s breastplate of righteousness is not his self-righteousness, but the righteousness of God imputed or credited to the believer through faith in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ. The Bible often refers to it as “the righteousness of faith” (Rom. 4:11, 13, 9:30).
The breastplate of righteousness (the righteousness of God) is not based on your good works, performance, or keeping of the law; it is simply a gracious gift of love from God to those who put their faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
This is why Paul refers to the breastplate of righteousness as “the breastplate of faith and love.” (1 Thess. 5:8 NKJV).
Apostle Paul aptly explains this kind of righteousness in his epistle to the Romans.
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference. (NKJV).
30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;
31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.
32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. (NKJV).
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (NKJV).
Just as the soldier’s breastplate protects his heart and other vital organs from the enemy’s attack so does the righteousness of God imputed or credited to the believers through faith alone in the finished work of Jesus protects the believer’s heart from Satan’s attacks.
Your self-righteousness which is based on the works of the law cannot protect your heart from the fiery arrows of guilt, condemnation, doubt, unbelief or fear from the devil. It is only the righteousness of God which is based on the perfect work of Jesus Christ that is solid and strong to shield your heart from the assaults of the devil.
How do you put on the breastplate of righteousness?
Simply by seeing and receiving the righteousness of God as a gift of love through faith in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:21-22 NKJV)!
By believing and confessing that you are indeed the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21)!
By trusting and glory in Christ Jesus as your righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30)!
By holding fast to, standing firm and walking in the righteousness of God (Phil. 3:9)!
Beloved, it is very dangerous to be engaged in spiritual warfare while you are trusting in, holding unto, glory in, or standing on your own righteousness or good works. It is like putting on or wearing a rag to the battlefield as your breastplate, for “all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…” (Isa. 64:6 NKJV).
Therefore, resolve today never to trust and glory in your self-righteousness, or to hold unto and depend on your self-righteousness, good works, or performance for victory in spiritual warfare.
But, let your resolution be the same as that of Apostle Paul who resolved to “be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” (Philip. 3:9 NKJV).
Learn more about how to put on the whole armour of God in the second part of this piece.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness you have prepared for me to put on so as to appropriate, enforce, defend and demonstrate the victory that Christ has already won for me. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me daily to put on the whole armour of God, in Jesus’ name. Amen.