Put On The Armor of God Today

Paul indicated in Ephesians 6 that the Christian life is a battle. Twice he referred to the whole armor of God. In verse 11, we are instructed to Put on the whole armour of God. In verse 13, he said to …take unto you the whole armour of God,… While this may seem repetitious, it is not. Each of these instructions is specific and unique. The first purpose of the whole armor of God is for the sake of the war that is being waged against us. In this particular passage, there are several principles that need to be pointed out. Each of these principles is critical to our understanding of spiritual warfare. 

We must put it on. This is not a suggestion. This is a command. Often, children want to make their own decisions concerning what to wear, whether it be for an event, for school, or even for church. In most cases, much to their dismay, one of their parents (usually the mom) will deem the outfit inappropriate for the occasion. Most parents, if they are like mine, would then instruct their children to go to their rooms in order to take off what they were wearing and to put on the appropriate clothing. They would not do it for their children. They would insist that they do it themselves. It was not a suggestion. 

Such is this command. It is not the only time we are told to put off and put on. We are also told to put off the old man and to put on the new man. The emphasis is on the fact that we are to do this ourselves. 

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (Colossians 3:12-14) 

If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:21-24) 

In Ephesians 6, we are told that we should put on this armor. We may not feel like it. We may not want to wear it. It is, however, our responsibility to put it on. Christians cannot wait until God equips them. If a Christian wants to be what God wants, he must dress himself. Many Christians treat the armor of God far too casually. Every truth Paul taught previously is for naught if we do not obey this command. 

It must be the whole armor. As an adult, I enjoy wearing a suit and tie most of the time. There were times, though, as a child when I was not excited to wear a suit. I would put on the dress shirt and the suit pants, but I would not put on the tie and jacket. My parents would tell me to put on the whole suit. 21 

That meant that I was to put on the right shoes, the right pants, the right belt, the right shirt, the right tie, and the right jacket. It was the whole suit. 

The same is true with the armor of God. We are not to put on what we think we need at the moment. We are to put on the whole armor. Each piece of that armor is essential and works in conjunction with the others. Many Christians are partially dressed. They have put on some parts of the armor while neglecting to put on other parts. Some are defeated because they have failed to put on one or more pieces of the armor necessary for battle. 

It must be the whole armor of God that we put on. It must be God’s armor. The reason some Christians are vulnerable is that they are replacing individual pieces of armor with inferior things. Some of these are not necessarily bad in and of themselves; however, they are not sufficient as the armor we need for warfare. It must be God’s armor, not man’s. For example, consider the girdle of truth. The Bible says, …having your loins girt about with truth,… God gives us a clear indication as to what type of girdle we should wear. We may be putting on man’s philosophies rather than God’s Truth. While these philosophies may seem spiritual, they are inferior as a part of the armor of God. Satan will tempt us to use substitutes, knowing he cannot defeat us when we are protecting ourselves with God’s armor. 

Putting on the whole armor of God enables us. The Scripture says that if we put on the whole armor of God, we will be able. The whole armor of God enables us to stand and battle against Satan. The purpose of the armor is not for show. It is not so that others will see that we are wearing the armor. The purpose of 

the armor is so that we can fight. We must realize the purpose so that we take seriously the importance of putting on the whole armor of God. Sometimes, Christians are more concerned with looking good to other Christians in the battle than they are with being properly dressed for the battle that we are fighting. The armor is not there to impress. It is there to enable us to fight. 

Some tend to struggle with this concept due to a misunderstanding of its purpose. We do not live our lives to impress but to conquer. We do not wear the armor to march in a parade but to win the battle. Sadly, many who have been reared in Christian homes refuse to put on the armor and leave the battle because it is not flashy or impressive. Perhaps the reason some people do not put on the armor of God is that they have no intention of fighting. They want a Christianity of show or one of convenience and ease. “Authentic Christianity” is a buzzword used by many in religious circles today. There is nothing more authentic than the armor of God. Truly authentic Christianity will always be a battle. 

Putting on the whole armor of God enables us to stand against the wiles of the Devil. The purpose of the armor is not to “stand up to” but it is to “stand against.” We are engaged in spiritual warfare. It is a battle. The Christian life is not merely self-defense. Some Christians use deflection as their means of defense. That is not the purpose of putting on the whole armor of God. Sometimes we must be on the offense. We must fight against the wiles of the Devil. A wile is defined as “a trick or stratagem practiced for ensnaring or deception; a sly, insidious artifice.” We are to do more than merely deflect Satan’s wiles. We are to defeat them and to stand against them. We are to battle against his deception. 

If we do not grasp this, we undoubtedly will not see the importance of putting on the armor. We are in a war to win, not a war merely to withstand. Before we defeat our foe or finish our course, we must realize the necessity of putting on the armor.

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by pastor greg neal

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