Tuesday in the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

Ephesians 6:14-18

Those Pieces of Armor

Having put on the armor of God, Paul moves to the individual pieces of that armor.  Of course, he is speaking metaphorically, but that in no way diminishes the reality of the battle that believers must endure and the power of the heavenly weapons they must wield against the forces arrayed against them.  And those forces so arrayed against us are the demonic forces which Paul has already denoted as “cosmic powers,” the world which is under the dominion of those powers, and our own sinful nature.  Against these, we must be constantly on guard and engage in the power of the Spirit if we shall know victory and peace.

“Stand,” Paul cries.  This is the first order of business—to determine that one shall fight.  One cannot gain the victory without fighting.  The first piece of armor the believer must don is the “belt of truth.”  The Christian does not believe in fairy tales, nor does he see the truth he believes as one among many in a cafeteria of religious choices.  The believer must believe that he stands by the truth of God revealed in His word.  Though the world may belittle him and think him hopelessly backward and intolerant, he cherishes the truth and prays that God would take him ever deeper into it.  Next is the “breastplate of righteousness.”  I think it fitting that the piece of armor that speaks of righteousness covers the believer’s heart.  Ours is a faith which must speak and act righteous deeds grounded in our being made righteous through the blood of God’s dear Son.  Then we have the shoes we must wear ever ready to go with the “gospel of peace.”  Isaiah 52:7 tells us, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news…who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’”  Christians do battle by being ready to share the good news as opportunity permits.

Next, the Christian must put on the “shield of faith.”  Its usefulness is to “extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.”  The devil is not throwing softballs at us; he aims to kill us.  Only faith—the knowledge that we stand with the Holy One—can extinguish those flaming darts.  The “helmet of salvation” is our hope of victory.  The war is already won; these are skirmishes before our Lord comes to rule with a rod of iron.  We fight as victors behind our Champion.  And finally we have as a weapon the “Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  Does this weapon sound weak compared to guns and tanks?  Then Listen: By His word, God created the world, and by His word, He shall slay the wicked and smite the nations.  Satan’s arsenal is truly pathetic in comparison.

F. F. Bruce whose work I used for help on this devotion closes his comments on this section:

When John Bunyan described the equipment which Christian received in the armory of the House Beautiful and used to good effect against Apollyon on the next stage of his journey, he drew on this passage in Ephesians, and noted that no armor was provided for the back, so that at the approach of Apollyon Christian had no option but “to venture and stand his ground” (NICNT, 410).

Nor do we have any other option.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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