Ephesians 6_11-17      The Full Armor of God

Rev. David Holwick  G

First Baptist Church

Ledgewood, New Jersey

February 16, 1992

Ephesians 6:11-17


THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD



  I. Whole armor of God.

      A. Armor in English suggests defensive items.

          1) Tower of London.

               "Tower" is actually an ancient castle in London.

                  The main hall is filled with suits of armor.

                Most are very short - maybe four and a half feet.

                  Henry the VIII's is about as far around as it is high.

          2) Armor gave total protection.


      B. "Armor" in Greek goes further.

          1) Defensive armor.

              a) In Isaiah 59:17, God himself has this armor on.

              b) He now gives that same capability to Christians.

          2) Offensive armor like a sword.

              a) Christians need to be protected.

              b) They also go on attack.


II. Christian life as a pitched battle.

      A. Illustration:  Fort Riley, Kansas, military demonstration.

          1) Real battles are a series of engagements.


      B. Christian struggles aren't conquered in an hour or a day.

          1) Death, illness may drag on for weeks.

          2) Depression and loneliness can come in waves.

          3) We must withstand attack after attack.


      C. With God's help we will remain standing.


III. Spiritual armor.

      A. Girded about with (belt of) truth.           6:14

          1) "Gird the loins" means hike up outer shirt.

              a) Loose-fitting, all the way to ankles.

              b) Run or fight in it, trip up.

              c) Girding it into belt prepared soldier for action.

          2) Bible characters said to gird up loins.

              a) Israelites did so at first Passover as they escaped

                   Egypt.                                    Exodus 12:11

              b) Elijah when he outran King Ahab's chariot.  1 Kings 18:46

              c) Christians should gird up mind.             1 Peter 1:13

          3) Double-meaning of truth.

              a) Truth of heart, or sincerity.

                  1> Half-truths and compromises may ease you out of awkward

                        circumstances.

                  2> But they don't equip you for Christian action.

                  3> And they set you up as a hypocrite.

              b) Truth of doctrine.

                  1> Christians can't be effective unless they know what

                        God's truth is, and uphold it.


             During the persecution of the church in the Soviet Union,

                some of the church leaders advocated compromise.

             They said it was even acceptable to lie if it meant the church

                would be saved.


             Alexander Solzhenitsyn challenged this reasoning.

             "How can the planned destruction of the spirit and body of the

                church under the guidance of atheists be the best way of

                   preserving it?

             Preserving it for whom?  Certainly not for Christ.

             Preserving it by what means?  By falsehood?  ...

             Solzhenitsyn's advise can be summed up by his famous

                admonition:  "Live not by lies!"


             He believes strongly that the moral corruption in Soviet

                society is caused by widespread lying and deceit.

             It will be reversed only when each individual determines to

                live by the truth.

                                                                    #1516


             ((Account of how East Germans are looking into their secret

               police (Stazi) records.  One woman found out her husband

               had informed on her.  She divorced him and warned others,

               "If you can resist it, don't look in your records."))  #1812


      B. Breastplate of righteousness.                6:14

          1) Protected vital areas like the heart and lungs.

              a) Also covered the back. (overlooked in "Pilgrim's Progress")

          2) Meaning of "righteousness."

              a) Can mean justification - God gives us right standing.

              b) Here probably means upright living.

                  1> Compare "weapons of righteousness" in 2 Cor 6:7.

                  2> Also use of "righteousness" in Eph 4:24 and 5:9.

              c) (Could mean both, since one leads to the other.)


          3) Once our conduct slips, we leave a weak spot that the

                enemy can penetrate.

              a) (Viet Cong and sappers illustration)

              b) Don't let temptation get a foothold.

              c) Don't flirt with sin, and it won't control you.


      C. Feet fitted with gospel of peace.            6:15

          1) Shoes are important.

              a) Thistle is national symbol of Scotland.

                 Reason?


                 In an ancient battle the enemy attacked at night.

                 To ensure surprise, they even took off their creaky shoes.

                    They crept up the hillside in total silence.

                 Until they stepped on the thistles!

                 Their screams woke up the defenders and the kingdom was

                    saved.

              b) Battles have been lost because of lousy shoes.

                  1> (Movie "Glory!" shows importance of shoes to soldiers)

                  2> Swords and helmets are useless if your feet are sore.

          2) Christians should be shod with the gospel of peace.

              a) Few things should make you lighter on your feet than

                   the confidence that you are the bearer of good news.

              b) The best news in the world:  We can have peace with God

                   and with each other, because Jesus died on the cross

                     for our sins.


      D. Faith is our shield.                         6:16

          1) Not "above all," or more important than other equipment,

                but indispensable addition to rest.


          2) Shield is not a little round one, but the large one which

               measured four feet by two feet, big enough to protect the

                  whole body.

              a) Fiery darts - among most dangerous weapons.

                  1> Short arrow dipped in tar, thrown or shot.

                  2> When darts hit shield, it would sink in and go out.

              b) Spiritual counterpart of darts.

                  1> False guilt.

                  2> Doubt, disobedience, anger, fear.


          3) Faith can deal with the darts of the devil.

              a) Faith lays hold of the promises of God in times of

                    doubt and depression.

              b) Faith lays hold of the power of God in times of

                    temptation.


      E. Salvation as a helmet.                       6:17

          1) (Illustration:  Iraqi helmet)

          2) God's saving power is our only defense against the enemy of

               our souls.

          3) Since our salvation is a gift from God, and not from our own

               doing, we can have complete confidence in it.


      F. Sword of the Spirit.                         6:17

          1) Sword is short one (machaira) used in a close personal

                encounter.

          2) Every Christian has received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

              a) Not limited to Pentecostals.

              b) Spirit brings inner power from God and assurance that

                    we belong to God.

          3) Sword is further identified as the Word of God.

              a) Bible is both a weapon of defense against sin, and a

                    weapon of attack against sin of world.     Hebrews 4:12

              b) We can never win God's battles without God's Book.


IV. Equipped Christians.

      A. Christians must have:

          1) Truth.

          2) Total obedience to the will of God.

          3) Happiness of being able to spread his gospel.

          4) Faith.

          5) Salvation.

          6) The Word which God's Spirit has given us.


      B. We must pick it up, put it on and use it.


      C. How well-equipped are you today?



Copyright 2017 by Rev. David Holwick

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