Put On The Whole Armor Of God


Put On The Whole Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10-18

Spiritual warfare is real.  It is increasingly visible in “this present darkness.”

God wants believers in Jesus Christ to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might” and “put on the whole armor of God” to “stand against the evil schemes of the devil.”

The Lord’s Prayer (Mt. 6:9-13) is to be prayed more than displayed.  Pray this early and often.  It is a winning prayer.

  1. The Struggle (v.10-12)
    1. Parties of the struggle
      1. Satan
      2. Evil emissaries
      3. Christians
      4. Angels
      5. Almighty God
  2. The Size of the Struggle (v.11-12)
    1. Largely due to Satan’s strength.
      1. While it is foolish to elevate Satan beyond reality, it is equally foolish to ignore the great strength of this created being.
      2. Foolishness neglects his presence in this world.
      3. Foolishness neglects his strength.
      4. Scripture teaches that Satan became so enamored with his own strength that He decided to take on God.
      5. Satan is aware of his power and aware of humanity’s weakness.
      6. 1 Peter 5:8 describes him as a “roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
      7. In Luke 11:21-22, Jesus describes Satan, as “one stronger” than “a strong man”.
      8. In John 10:10, Jesus describes him as one with power to “stealing kill and destroy.”
      9. In the Book of Jude we learn that he is apparently even greater in power than the archangel Michael, who “did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgement, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you.'”
      10. Job teaches us that Satan is able to go “to and fro on the earth…walking up and down it.” (Job 1:7)
      11. Job 1:19 reveals that Satan can use weather in His battle against us.
      12. Ephesians 2:2 says he is “the prince of the power of the air.”
      13. In 2 Cor. 4:4, the apostle Paul says that if people don’t believe the Gospel it is because “the god of this world has blinded” them.
    2. This gives us a clear picture of greatness of our struggle.
    3. Satan will stop at nothing to defeat you and me.
    4. It is wise for us to know our enemy to defeat him instead.
    5. The moment we were born again, we left the domain of darkness controlled by Satan and entered the Kingdom of God.  At that moment, our struggle with Satan was engaged with new intensity.
    6. Secondly, our struggle is great because of Satan’s “devices” or “designs”. (2 Cor. 2:11)
      1. Deception – 2 Cor. 11:3, deceived Eve.
        1. 2 Cor. 11:4, Pauls says he can transform himself into an “angel of light”. He can look like he is on our side at times.
      2. Darts – Eph. 6:16
        1. Doubts – faith, salvation, others, Jesus,
        2. Fears – death, injury, loss, personal weakness (through self-examination)
        3. Depression
        4. Confusion – even twisting Scripture
        5. Misery
        6. Temptations
        7. Where do all of these come from?  Satan.
    7. “The evil day” (v.13) – What does this mean?  There are special occasions when the devil seems to be let loose and comes upon us in all the might of his ferocity.
    8. But God doesn’t let those days come without capitalizing upon them.  The great old hymn writer, John Newton once put it to lyric very well.

I asked the Lord that I might grow

In faith and love and every grace

Might more of His salvation know

And seek more earnestly His face,

’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,

And He, I trust, has answered prayer,

But it has been in such a way,

As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favor’d hour,

At once He’d answer my request,

And by His love’s constraining power

Subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel

The hidden evils of my heart,

And let the angry powers of hell

Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seem’d

Intent to aggravate my woe

Cross’d all the fair designs I schemed,

Blasted my gourd and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,

Wilt Thou pursue Thy worm to death?

It is in this way, the Lord replied,

I answer prayer for grace and faith,

These inward trials I employ,

From self and pride to set thee free;

And brake thy schemes of earthly joy,

That thou may’st seek thy all in Me.

    1. This is where Paul the points us to the weapons of our warfare…The way to battle Satan is with the armor of God!
  1. How to Meet the Struggle. (vv.10, 3-18)
    1. Recognize it for what it is…a spiritual struggle.
    2. Look to our Strength in the struggle. (Eph. 6:10)
      1. Nothing else can do it, for the devil is stronger even than the archangel, and who are we?
    3. So we must put on the whole armor of God.
      1. belt of Truth
        1. about Jesus
        2. about Satan
        3. about us (1 John 5:18 – We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.)
        4. about the issues
        5. There must be no doubt or uncertainty about the truth.
      2. breastplate of Righteousness
        1. 1 John 5:19-20 – We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know shim who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
        2. 2 Cor. 5:20
      3. shoes of Readiness from the gospel of peace
      4. shield of Faith
      5. helmet of Salvation
      6. sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God)
    4. Pray in the Spirit
      1. Prayer is the energy that enables the Christian soldier to wear the armor and wield the sword. We cannot fight the battle in our own power, no matter how strong or talented we may think we are. When Amalek attacked Israel, Moses went to the mountaintop to pray, while Joshua used the sword down in the valley (Ex. 17:8–16). It took both to defeat Amalek—Moses’ intercession on the mountain, and Joshua’s use of the sword in the valley. Prayer is the power for victory, but not just any kind of prayer. Paul tells how to pray if we would defeat Satan.
      2. all occasions – 1 Thes. 5:17, pray without ceasing.
      3. all kinds of prayers and requests
        1. There are various kinds of prayers – plea, supplication, intercession, thanksgiving, praise.”prayers and requests” – both words can be translated as prayer.  The distinction here is to draw attention to both the various types of prayer in various locations.The believer who prays only to ask for things is missing out on blessings that come with intercessions and giving of thanks. In fact, thanksgiving is a great prayer weapon for defeating Satan. “Praise changes things” as much as “prayer changes things.” Intercession for others can bring victory to our own lives. “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends” (Job 42:10).
      4. Pray…alert
        1. God expects us to use our God-given senses, led by the Spirit, so that we detect Satan when he is beginning to work.
      5. persevering prayer
        1. Perseverance in prayer does not mean we are trying to twist God’s arm, but rather that we are deeply concerned and burdened and cannot rest until we get God’s answer. As Robert Law puts it, “Prayer is not getting man’s will done in heaven; it is getting God’s will done on earth”.
      6. Pray for all believers
        1. The Lord’s Prayer begins with “Our Father”—not “My Father.” If Paul needed the prayers of the saints, how much more do you and I need them!
      7. Pray for courage
        1. Paul did not ask them to pray for his freedom, comfort or safety, but for him to speak boldly and courageously the gospel.

The apostle Paul did not write this letter from a mountain top of freedom.  He wrote this admonition from within the walls of prison in cold chains.

Sometimes the greatest moments of inspiring faith do not come in the celebration but in the struggle. God knows the struggles we face. He does not leave us unequipped.

He equips us to ”be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”

He exhorts us to “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

Take courage, stand strong, and fight in the Spirit.

The battle is the Lord’s.  He wins.

_________________________________________

Portions derived from:

  • Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (2000). The assurance of our salvation: exploring the depth of Jesus’ prayer for His own: studies in John 17. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
  • Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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