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Our Christian life is not a leisurely picnic but a fierce battle against a formidable adversary

The Battle

In our sermon series, “Live No Lies,” we delved into the powerful teachings of the apostle Paul in his letters to the believers in Ephesus and their lead pastor, Timothy. We are reminded that our Christian life is not a leisurely picnic but a fierce battle against a formidable adversary.

Paul’s words to his friends resonate with relevance today as he urges us to put on the whole armour of God. He emphasises the need to recognise the true nature of our battle, which is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. This battle calls for prepared Christian soldiers who understand the scale of the spiritual forces aligned against them. He calls us to get dressed for the battle, dressing in what he describes as God’s Armour.

Therefore, take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication

Ephesians 6:13-18The Whole Armour of God

Armour of the King

In the time when Roman soldiers and their distinctive armour were a ubiquitous sight, it is no surprise that the Apostle Paul employed the metaphor of a heavily clad centurion to illustrate the power of God available to the Ephesians. However, it is crucial to delve deeper into Paul’s background to fully comprehend the rich imagery he evokes. As a highly educated Pharisee, Paul’s upbringing and training provided him with a profound understanding of Jewish scripture. His deep familiarity with the Hebrew Bible allowed him to draw upon the references to the armour of the messiah King found in the writings of the prophet Isaiah and the Psalms.

The Belt of Truth: Girded by the Messianic King

In Ephesians 6:14, the apostle Paul mentions the belt of truth as a vital piece of God’s armour. This belt, which symbolises the foundation of our faith, finds its roots in the Old Testament. Isaiah 11:5 speaks of the messianic king being girded with a belt of righteousness and faithfulness, emphasizing the importance of truth in our spiritual journey.

The Breastplate of Righteousness and the Helmet of Salvation: Divine Warrior’s Arsenal

The breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation, mentioned in Ephesians 6:14, draw their significance from the imagery of the divine warrior found in Isaiah 59:17. These pieces of armour represent God’s provision and protection for His people. Just as the divine warrior defended His chosen ones, we are called to clothe ourselves with righteousness and safeguard our minds with the assurance of salvation.

The Feet Shod with Gospel Readiness: Proclaiming the Messiah’s Kingdom

The feet shod with gospel readiness, as described in Ephesians 6:15, echo the feet of those who herald the arrival of the Messiah’s kingdom in Isaiah 52:7. This imagery highlights the importance of being prepared to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. As we proclaim His kingdom, we step confidently, knowing that we are equipped with the truth of the gospel.

The Shield of Faith: The Lord’s Protective Cover

David’s declaration in Psalm 119:114, stating that the Lord is his shield, resonates with the image of the shield of faith mentioned in Ephesians 6:16. The shield provides a barrier of protection against the enemy’s attacks. Our faith in God serves as a shield that defends us from doubt, fear, and spiritual assaults.

The Sword of the Spirit: God’s Weapon of Truth

In Ephesians 6:17, the apostle Paul refers to the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This powerful weapon finds its roots in Isaiah 49:2, where the promised servant of the Lord is depicted as having a sharp sword. The Word of God serves as our offensive weapon, allowing us to combat falsehood, temptation, and spiritual opposition.

Being Equipped

Understanding the Old Testament references behind God’s armour in Ephesians 6:14-17 adds depth and significance to our understanding of spiritual warfare. The belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, helmet of salvation, feet shod with gospel readiness, shield of faith, and sword of the Spirit all draw upon rich biblical imagery. As we embrace these pieces of armour, we can stand firm in our faith, protected and empowered by God’s provision. Let us continually rely on the truth of God’s Word, clothe ourselves in righteousness, and boldly proclaim the good news of salvation, knowing that we are equipped with divine strength to overcome the battles we face with confidence and unwavering faith.

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