Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The Armor of God (Ephesians 6)

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, and against the rulers of the darkness of this age" (Eph. 6:12a).

The apostle Paul exhorts believers in Ephesians 6:10–11 to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Satan has the knowledge and the ability to cause even the greatest saints to stumble. Therefore, we must be on our guard against his attacks.

Paul tells us how to guard against this subtle serpent who seeks to lead us down the wrong path. First, you must stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. Satan tries to deceive us with lies. If you are not grounded in the truth, you can be easily led astray. Second, Paul instructs Christians to put on the breastplate of righteousness. Not only are we saved from eternal damnation by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, but we have the Holy Spirit who enables us to do what is right. If you are walking in ungodliness, you fall prey to the Satan’s schemes. You put yourself back into the shackles from which Christ has freed you. Be a slave to righteousness, not to wickedness.

Third, you are to fit yourself with the Gospel of peace. The Good News of Christ offers hope—hope that strengthens us in our battle against Satan. We also have the shield of faith. God has given us many promises—eternal life, preservation, forgiveness, and freedom in Christ. When you walk by faith, you will not fall into the pit of fear and despair in which Satan so often tries to trap unwary travelers. When you put on the helmet of salvation, you have the peace of knowing that all your sins are forgiven, that Satan has no claim on you. You have a new king, the King of heaven who protects His people and leads them in holiness.

Lastly, take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, our Lord overcame with the Word of God. The Scriptures give you abundant ammunition to battle temptation. Paul also reminds us to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” When you go to God, asking for strength and wisdom to stand firm, He gives you that strength and enables you to be strong in His mighty power.

Read 1 John 4:4 and James 4:7. How can you overcome Satan? Think about how you can practically “resist the devil.” Review the armor of God listed in today’s lesson. What piece do you find weak in your own life? Focus on that one piece, endeavoring to strengthen it so that you can stand firm.