PUTTING ON THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD (Part 2)
The born-again believers are not fighting in spiritual warfare to earn, gain or obtain victory over the devil, but to appropriate, enforce, defend, demonstrate or manifest the victory that Jesus Christ has already won for them and given to them through His death on the cross (Col. 2:15, Heb. 2:14).
It is simply a display of ignorance, pride, or spiritual immaturity for any believer to be striving to win or gain victory over the devil through his own effort!
Many believers today are not experiencing a daily victory over the devil because they are seeking to earn, win, gain or obtain victory through their self-righteousness, fasting and prayer, religious works or performance and not through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
You can only gain victory over the devil through Jesus Christ!
Paul states, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57 NKJV).
In the first part of this piece we began to examine the whole or full armour of God (listed by Paul in the book of Ephesians 6:13-17) prepared for the believers to take up, put on, or wield so as to appropriate, enforce, defend, demonstrate or manifest the victory they already have through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Let us recap the two pieces of the armour we have considered so far.
First, the Belt of Truth (Eph. 6:14):
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.
The believer’s belt is the truth, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God that became flesh (John 1:14, 5:32-33, 14:6, 17:17).
The believer puts on his belt of truth by knowing, understanding, holding fast to, obeying, abiding, walking or continuing in the word, teaching or doctrine of Jesus Christ (John 8:31-32).
You are not putting on your belt of truth when you don’t hold, esteem or regard the word or teaching of Jesus Christ as the final authority and standard in every matter or subject!
Therefore, 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).
Second, the Breastplate of Righteousness (Eph. 6:14):
The Roman soldier always wore in battles a tough, sleeveless piece of leather or heavy material as a breastplate to cover his full torso, thereby protecting his heart and other vital organs in battles.
The only strong, tough and perfect breastplate that can shield the believer’s heart from the fiery darts of guilt, condemnation, doubt, or fear is the righteousness of God imputed to the believer through faith in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ.
This is not self-righteousness which is based on the works of the law, but the gracious gift of righteousness that God bestows on those who put their faith in the perfect and finished work of Jesus Christ (Rom. 4:11, 13, 5:17, 9:30-32, 10:4).
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).
The believer puts on his breastplate of righteousness by acknowledging the righteousness of God as a gift of love to him through faith in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:21-22); by believing and confessing that he is the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21); by trusting and glory in Christ Jesus as his righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30); and by holding fast to, standing firm and walking in the righteousness of God (Phil. 3:9).
Let us now consider more pieces of God’s whole armour for the believers and how to put them on for the purpose of appropriating, enforcing, defending and demonstrating the victory of Christ over the devil.
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.”
Paul states, “Be ready with the good news of peace as shoes on your feet.” (Eph. 6:15 BBE).
Isaiah also states, “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, not based on your self-righteousness, good works or performance, but based on your faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for your sins!
Apostle Paul amply attests to this truth in his epistles.
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).
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. (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.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace. (NKJV).
10 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.
11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (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 always 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, accepted and favoured by God in Christ Jesus!
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, 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 explains that God has given you the ministry of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
19 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. (NKJV).
Fourth, the Shield of Faith (Eph. 6:16):
The Roman soldier’s shield was made of six layers of thick animal hide or skin specially tanned and woven together, thereby making them as tough and durable as metal yet relatively light weight.
The leather shields are often soaked in water before battle so that the enemy’s flaming arrows would be extinguished on impact.
The large rectangular shield carried by the Roman soldiers in Greek was named “a door” because it looked like the soldier was carrying a full size leather covered door behind which he could safely stand. The soldier uses the shield to deflect attacks no matter from which direction they come.
The believer’s tough, strong, durable and large shield that can deflect and quench every flaming dart or arrow from Satan and his cohorts is what Paul refers to as “the faith of the Son of God.”
20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (NKJV).
The faith of the Son of God is the supernatural faith of God imparted to the heart of the believers at the point of the New Birth by the Holy Spirit through the preaching or teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul testifies, “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ.” (Rom. 10:17 RSV).
The faith of the Son of God is a precious gift of God to every believer in Christ. Every believer has in his heart the same supernatural faith that was in Jesus Christ and His early apostles.
Paul attests to this truth.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (KJV).
Peter also affirms this truth.
2 Peter 1:
1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. (NKJV).
How do you take up the shield of faith?
By acknowledging, admitting or recognizing that God has given you the supernatural faith, the faith of the Son of God, at the New Birth!
By exercising or using the faith of the Son of God you already have!
By holding fast unto or standing firm on God’s promises regardless of what you see or feel in the natural!
By choosing to walk by faith and not by sight!
Beloved, if you depend upon your natural senses in spiritual warfare, you will always experience defeat. But, if you take up the shield of faith, putting your complete trust or confidence in the love, faithfulness and power of God to keep His promises or words regardless of what you see or feel in the natural, you will quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one and demonstrate the victory you already have through Christ Jesus.
Therefore Paul admonishes, “Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” (Eph. 6:16 NKJV).
Arise today and begin to exercise the faith of the Son of God in you!
Learn more about how to put on the whole armour of God in the third part of this piece.