What is the purpose of Armour? Obviously it is for protection, but let’s be honest. Most of us will never need the knight’s helmet or sword. We’re probably never going to need a shield to protect us from real arrows being shot at us from an enemy.. But, everyone that is seeking to earnestly serve God does need the Full Armour of God.
This life can be brutal and if we aren’t protected by His armour we subject to powers that we can’t even see. The most potent force we will ever face can’t even be seen. Think about what Paul wrote in Ephesians 6, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Those spiritual forces will use anything and everything against us to keep us away from God.
The first thing Paul mentions for our protection is the belt of truth. What is truth? Jesus said, “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” As a believer in Christ, we should know the Truth. Jesus himself told us what the truth is. A non-believer will think we are crazy, but Paul also told us about that in 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Next is the breastplate of righteousness. Got Questions.org gives a much better description of the breastplate than I can. We are made righteous through the blood of Jesus. Paul writes about this in Chapter 3 of Philippians, “More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having my own righteousness from law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God on the basis of faith.” Christ makes us righteous, and our works are evidence of our belief.
From there, Paul writes about our feet being fitted with the readiness that comes through the gospel of peace. Having the belt of truth, Christ, and being made righteous through him, having proper shoes allow us to move in battle. Those powers of darkness mentioned earlier will attack and we must be able to move or stand firm. Got questions explains the purpose of our feet being fitted with readiness both as offensive and defensive. Those shoes will help us stand firm in the gospel when we are in battle against the enemy but they also help us move to share the gospel of peace with others.
Paul then goes on to take up the shield of faith. We have our belt of truth on, wearing the breastplate of righteousness, with shoes to move. Now we have a shield to protect us. We are constantly being attacked by scientists, professors, teachers, and others that do not believe. Remember what Paul said about the message of the cross being foolishness to those who are perishing. Knowing this protects you from those that willfully want to attack such as some scientists and some professors. And, when sharing the gospel, you will be attacked by those that don’t believe and are unwilling to believe. In some parts of the world, you will even be persecuted or killed. That, I believe, is how those martyred could go to their death in peace.
Then there is the helmet of salvation. What a beautiful thing, the helmet of salvation. This is the assurance that no matter what happens in the battle, in life or in death, our salvation is secure. Nothing on this earth can take that away from us unless we allow ourselves to be led astray. This cannot happen if we have the final piece of Armour which is the sword of the Spirit. The Word of God.
Today, unlike any other day, scripture is at our fingertips in most parts of the world. Unfortunately not all. Paul, Peter, John, and Jesus warned us that there would be false teachers. False teachers are in great supply. Paul in one of his letters to Timothy went as far as to say that people would gather around them teachers that will teach what itching ears want to hear. So not only are there false teachers. There are those that seek them out because these teachers will teach what they want to hear versus what they need to hear.
Maybe the early believers had an excuse. Unlike us because they didn’t have the Bible accessible to them through apps on a phone or a computer. Today, in an instant, we can look up scripture to verify what the teacher is teaching or see if they are misleading by taking the words out of context. Whether they were intentionally taken out of context is between the teacher and God. But, we should always be on guard, realizing that there will be those that “peddle the gospel for profit.” And, the sword of the Spirit is our defense.
Stand Firm in God’s Armour!