PUTTING ON THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD (Part 1)
No man can gain victory over Satan through his own effort. However, the Lord Jesus Christ has won an absolute victory over Satan and his cohorts for all mankind through His death on the Cross and His triumphant resurrection from the dead (Col. 2:15, Heb. 2:14).
Therefore, believers in Christ don’t need to strive or struggle by any religious means to gain victory over Satan, for the victory of Christ over Satan and his 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 it by your performance or good works. It is your birthright as a new creation in Christ. It is your heritage in Christ.
The Scripture clearly states 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!
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 and resurrection, you must take up, put on, and put to use the whole armour of God or weapons of warfare which God has prepared for you.
The Scripture commands 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.
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First, the Belt of Truth (Eph. 6:14):
In the ancient world, the Roman soldiers 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 clearly states, “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!
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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.
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 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, the father and source of lies (John 8:44).
Paul admonishes you to “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.” (Col. 2:8 NKJV).
John also warns, “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. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” (2 John 1:9-11 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 on the cross.
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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).
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.
33 As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” (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 on the cross 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 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 on the cross that is 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)!
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 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).
Third, the Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace (Eph. 6:15):
The ancient Roman soldiers wore boots with nails in them to grip the ground in combat. Some had toe’s spikes and built-in spurs with which to do damage to the enemy.
The believer’s shoes or boots is “the Gospel of Peace.”
The Scripture states, “Be ready with the good news of peace as shoes on your feet.” (Eph. 6:15 BBE).
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7 NKJV).
Just as the Roman soldier always had his boots on in the battlefield, so must you “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15 NKJV).
How do you put on the shoes of the gospel of peace?
By understanding, believing and walking in the consciousness that you are now and always at peace with God and acceptable to God in Christ, not based on your self-righteousness, good works or performance, but based on your faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for your sins!
Paul aptly explains this truth that we are completely and eternally accepted to God in Christ.
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (NKJV).
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (NKJV).
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight– (NKJV).
You are putting on your shoes of the gospel of peace when you acknowledge and hold fast unto Jesus Christ as your peace and relate with God as one who has been reconciled to God through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Paul testifies, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation.”(Eph. 2:13-14 NKJV).
“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5:10 NKJV).
Many believers today are losing in their battles against the devil because they are not always putting on their shoes of the gospel of peace – they are not walking in the consciousness of their eternal reconciliation with God through the death of Jesus Christ.
You are not putting on your shoes of the gospel of peace if you don’t walk or live in this world as one who is perfectly loved and accepted to God in Christ Jesus!
Beloved, not only must you always rejoice and bear in mind that God is no longer angry or mad at you, having been eternally reconciled to God through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, you must also always be prepared to share, preach, propagate, or publish the gospel of peace for others to hear, know, understand and be reconciled to God.
The Lord Jesus commands you to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15 NKJV).
Paul also affirms, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:18-19 NKJV).
Discover more pieces of God’s whole armour for the believers and how to put them on in the second part of this piece!