Eph. 6 | Readiness for Battle

“Therefore put on the full armor of God,
so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Eph. 6:13

“Now the true soldier of Christ must always be prepared
to do battle for the truth, and must never, so far as lies with them,
allow false convictions to creep in.”

Origen

Several years ago, my daughter and I watched The Princess Bride. At the time, my daughter pursued a degree in communications with an emphasis on film and cinema. She explained the sword fight scene between Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and Westley (Cary Elwes) is considered one of the greatest sword fight scenes in all of cinema history. I remember reading about the intense training both Ewles and Patinkin underwent to prepare to film this scene. (There were no stunt doubles, and Patinkin actually became better with his left hand than his right). If they went through that much training for a staged swordfight, can you imagine the training of a true swordsman to prepare for a REAL battle?

Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the whole armor of God. As I reread that passage, I thought about the training a soldier must go through to prepare for battle. It isn’t enough to simply put on the armor, grab the shield and start swinging the sword. You must train! You need to learn how to keep the shield up in front of you while skillfully wielding the sword. Even though it takes no special skill to put on the helmet, the breastplate, belt, and the boots, practice while you are wearing them is essential. Remember young David when he went to fight Goliath and Saul wanted to put his armor on David. David said in1 Samuel 17:39: “I can’t go in these, because I am not used to them.” You must be accustomed to having the armor on AT ALL TIMES, in order to be able to fight.

So, let’s look at the weapons that make up the armor. (Chapter 6:14-1

1. The Sword of the Spirit (vs. 17b) the Word of God. 

This is our only offensive weapon. When tempted by the devil, Jesus used the Word to fight back. He quoted scripture. In order to be able to do that, one needs to learn and study the Scripture. When discussing how a believer presents himself to God, 2 Timothy 2:15b states he is one who: “correctly handles the word of truth.” Acts 17:11, tells us to be like the Bereans who searched the Scriptures daily to see if these things were true.

2. The Shield of Faith.

This is our first defensive weapon and the only one we actively use. Hebrews 11:6, says that without faith it is impossible to please God. And in Romans 12:17, “The righteous will live by faith.” The entire 11th chapter of Hebrews speaks of the great heroes of old who accomplished great things because of their faith.

The rest of the armor we simply wear. These are all traits that God is growing in us as characteristics of the life that has been reborn. And we must be growing in these attributes in order be effective disciples.

3. The Helmet of Salvation

Living as one who knows who they are in Christ with the confidence that they have been saved.

4. The Breastplate of Righteousness

Living in surrendered obedience to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

5. The Belt of Truth

The soldier lives a life characterized by integrity.

6. Shoes for your Feet

 The warrior’s feet are fitted with the readiness to bring the Gospel of Peace. It is the power of the Gospel that gives us the ability to be able to do the work of the kingdom.

One cannot live for themselves and then suddenly try to live the ‘Christian life’ when challenges come. This is simply the way a follower of Christ needs to live all the time. So let’s do as Paul commends us in Ephesians 6:11:

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

LET’S SUIT UP!

 

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