Ephesians 6: The Armor of God

Note: Ken Boa spends the first part of this lesson finishing up his teaching on Ephesians 5. The section on the armor of God begins at 34:39.

Paul concludes his letter to the Ephesians by exhorting his readers to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). As believers our struggle is not against “flesh and blood” (i.e., other humans), but against spiritual opponents who seek to subvert and destroy the knowledge of God. This is spiritual warfare, and we must be ready to stand firm and resist “in the evil day” (6:13). We do so by putting on the full armor of God.

Donning Our Defensive Armaments

Given our fight is not against other people but against spiritual enemies, we are not to fight with the weapons of this world but with a spiritual armament given by God. 

We are to gird ourselves with truth. Just as a Roman soldier’s belt holds the rest of his attire together, all we do is to be held together by the truth of God. In following Christ, we wear the righteousness of God as a breastplate, protecting our heart and bringing to shame those who ridicule those of us who are in Christ (cf. 1 Peter 3:16). We protect our feet by walking in the way of the gospel, bringing peace with God to those who are far off. With the shield of faith, we look to God and trust Him, recognizing that the battle belongs to Him. No weapon (fiery darts) can do anything to separate us from God or the eternal life He’s promised. 

By focusing on the salvation we have in Christ, we put on the helmet of salvation and protect our minds (cf. Romans 12:2). We must always remember we have been saved from sin and death through no work of our own, but through that of Jesus Christ on the cross. 

Donning Our Offensive Armaments

A breastplate, helmet, shield, and shoes are all protective armaments. But Paul mentions offensive weapons as well. 

The first offensive weapon in the Christian armament is the sword of the Spirit, which represents the word of God. This sword is unlike the ancient-medieval weapons of old, but is 

“sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV). 

Finally, without metaphor, Paul describes the last piece of the Christian arsenal: prayer. We are to be steadfast in prayer, yielding ourselves to God and making petition and supplication on behalf of all the saints. Through prayer we are given the privilege of participating in the purposes of God because God answers prayer.

Equipped for Ministry

The Word of God and prayer are the offensive weapons we use to defeat the enemy. With these weapons of spiritual warfare, we replace lies with truth, darkness with light, and hatred with God’s love. Taken together with the armor of God, the Christian is fully equipped for the work of ministry and will be able to stand firm in the “evil day” (Ephesians 6:13).

This teaching is based on Ken Boa’s Handbook to Scripture

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