The Armour of God
As a young child I recall many colouring-in-sheets and activities during church that were related to the armour of God, described in Ephesians 6. I recall these activities so vividly because the language used by the Apostle Paul in that passage to describe the armour is reminiscent of what a Roman soldier would wear, and I loved Roman history (I was a bit nerdy).
More recently, I’ve found myself back in Ephesians 6, but this time for different reasons. It is a great reminder of the spiritual defenses we are equipped with as Christians to take our “stand against the devil’s schemes” (v.11). I won’t copy it all out here, but I encourage you to read Ephesian 6:10-17 sometime soon.
The imagery used is a helpful reminder that we are engaged in a battle and it give us indispensable instruction about how to prepare for and face the trials which are sure to come. To put it simply, we prepare by relying on God, and we fight through reliance on him!
In the armor of God, we find the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and finally, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. What strikes me about each of these is that all of them are given by God—we don’t make our own armor, we are equipped by God himself!
And not only are we given defensive armor, we are also given an offensive weapon—a sword; the Bible, the Word of God, which is “alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). With God’s Word we are not only guarded against ‘the devil’s schemes’, but we can take a stand and fight—not in a physical battle, but in the ongoing spiritual war, in which Jesus has already won victory in the resurrection, and which he will end when he returns again.
So, as we live life in a world which is broken by sin, and often face challenges and opposition as we seek to follow Jesus, this passage is an encouragement and a reminder for us. We are equipped by God with spiritual armor to stand firm in his power, and we have in our arsenal the Word of God—a sword more powerful than any human weapon. Indeed, we are equipped by God with His armour, to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (v.10).