“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17 NKJV).
It takes taking up, putting on, and putting to use the whole armour of God for the believers to stand against the wiles or schemes of the devil, and to appropriate, enforce, defend, demonstrate or manifest the absolute victory that Jesus Christ has won for them and given to them through His death on the cross (1 Cor. 15:57, Col. 2:15, Heb. 2:14).
Paul admonishes, “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).
One of the major causes of defeat that many believers are experiencing in their battles against the devil is their ignorance to discern, recognize or understand what the whole armour of God at their disposal is and how to put it on and put it to effective use in spiritual warfare.
In the first and second parts of this piece we began to examine the whole or full armour of God presented to us in Ephesians 6:13-17.
Let us recap the four pieces of the armour we have considered so far.
First, the Belt of Truth (Eph. 6:14):
Just as the belt of the Roman soldier in those days was the central piece of his armour, holding all the rest of the armour securely in place and providing for his every need during battle, so is knowing, understanding, holding fast to, obeying, abiding or continuing in the word, teaching or doctrine of Jesus Christ, who is the complete, ultimate and final revelation of God’s truth to mankind, to the believers (John 1:14, 5:32-33, 8:31-32, 14:6, 17:17).
Second, the Breastplate of Righteousness (Eph. 6:14):
Just as the Roman soldier must wear in battle a tough and strong breastplate to cover his full torso and thus protect his heart and other vital organs in battle, so must the believer protect his heart from the flaming arrows of condemnation, doubt, or fear by acknowledging, trusting and glory in, holding fast to, standing firm and walking in the righteousness of God imputed to him because of his faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:21-22, 5:17, 9:30-32, 2 Cor. 5:21, Phil. 3:9).
Third, the Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace (Eph. 6:15):
Just as the ancient Roman soldiers wore boots with nails in them to grip the ground in combat, so must the believer put on the shoes of the gospel of peace – understanding, believing and walking in the consciousness of his eternal reconciliation with God through the blood of Jesus Christ, and seeking to preach, proclaim and propagate the gospel of peace to others (Mk. 16:15, Isa. 52:7, 1 Pet. 3:15, Rom. 5:1, 10, 2 Cor. 5:18-19, Eph. 1:5-6, 2:13-14, Col. 1:21-22).
Fourth, the Shield of Faith (Eph. 6:16):
Just as the Roman soldier always carries in battle a large, tough and strong shield often soaked in water before battle to extinguish the enemy’s flaming arrows on impact and to deflect enemy’s attack no matter from which direction it comes, so must the believer acknowledge and recognize that he has in his heart the faith of the Son of God and exercise this supernatural faith to enforce, defend and demonstrate his victory in Christ (Gal. 2:20, Rom. 10:17, 12:3, 2 Pet. 1:1).
Let us now consider the last two pieces of God’s whole armour listed by Paul in Eph. 6:13-17.
Fifth, the Helmet of Salvation (Eph. 6:17):
The Roman helmet was often elaborately decorated and plumed with brightly dyed feathers or horsehair. The helmet was designed in such a way that blows from sword, hammer or ax would not pierce it to reach, affect or wound the soldier’s head which is the primary target of the enemy in battle.
The believer’s mind (head) is the primary target of Satan in spiritual warfare. The devil always seeks to destroy or weaken the believer’s faith, confidence, and assurance of salvation with his weapons of guilt, condemnation, doubt, fear, worry, or discouragement.
Therefore, just as the Roman soldier always protects his head with his helmet, so must you also always put on as “a helmet the hope of salvation” to protect your mind (1 Thess. 5:8 NKJV).
What is the believer’s helmet?
The hope of salvation!
This hope is not a mere wish, desire, optimism, or expectation of good. But, it is a living and eternal hope, both sure and steadfast, based on the unfailing and eternal promises of God.
This hope does not disappoint!
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (NKJV).
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,
20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. (NKJV).
The believer’s hope is not just a thing; it is actually a Living Person, Christ Jesus! Christ in the believer is the hope of glory.
Paul testifies to this truth.
27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (NKJV).
Therefore, the hope of the believers in Christ transcends this present life (1 Cor. 15:19).
By His great mercy God has “begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” (1 Pet. 1:3-4 NKJV).
Paul aptly presents this truth to comfort the saints in Thessalonica.
1 Thessalonians 4:
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (NKJV).
How do you put on the helmet of the hope of salvation?
By seeking those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God, and setting your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Col. 3:1-2)!
By eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of your body (Rom. 8:23)!
The believer puts on his helmet by “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:13-14 NKJV).
You are not wearing your helmet of salvation when you are carnally or earthly minded. You will become easily weary, discouraged, depressed, and defeated in spiritual battles if you allow your mind to be entangled in or preoccupied with the affairs of this life.
Many believers today are not experiencing victory in spiritual warfare simply because they are carnally or earthly minded – fixing their minds on the affairs and fleeting things of this life.
The Scripture amply warns us against being carnally minded.
6 To be earthly-minded means Death, to be spiritually minded means Life and Peace. (TCNT).
2 Timothy 2:
4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. (NKJV).
22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. (NKJV).
34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
35 “For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (NKJV).
Sixth, the Sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17):
The sword of the Roman soldier was a dreadful weapon. It was short, sharp, lightweight and well balanced. It is used both defensively to fend off the enemy and also offensively to attack and destroy the enemy.
What is the believer’s sword?
The sword of the Spirit!
What is the sword of the Spirit?
The truth of God’s Word revealed by the Holy Spirit to the believer’s heart which is then spoken, declared, prophesied, or proclaimed by the believer in faith!
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (RSV).
21 And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says the LORD: my spirit which is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your children, or out of the mouth of your children’s children, says the LORD, from this time forth and for evermore. (RSV).
How do you take up and wield the sword of the Spirit?
By diligently reading, studying, hearing, imbibing, memorizing, meditating upon, speaking forth or declaring God’s Word in faith when Satan draws near to attack you with fear, doubt, unbelief, discouragement, guilt, condemnation, worry or anxiety!
Beloved, you cannot resist or stop the devil from encroaching on your territory and cause him to flee from you by keeping your sword in its sheath. Therefore, arise today and resist the devil with your sword drawn out – opening your mouth to declare in faith the revealed truths of God’s Word to you and concerning your life, family and situation.
That is how Jesus Christ overcame all the temptation of the devil while he tempted Him in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11).
That is also how Jesus Christ will strike the nations that rejected Him at His second coming.
15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (NKJV).
Friend, arise today and begin to wield or use the sharp sword of the Spirit through your mouth and watch the devil flee from you.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for begotten me to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me daily to hold fast to this hope and to wield my sword effectively in spiritual warfare, in Jesus’ name. Amen.