Friday, July 01, 2005

The Full Armor of God

.... In our previous section, we quoted Isaiah 26:3:

.... "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."
.... When we submit to God and trust in Him, we resort to the very essence of our faith relationship. Faith means that God speaks, and man believes God, so we are always talking about a submissive standing. And this faith becomes the shield that the enemy cannot penetrate (Eph 6:16). This brings us to the concept of the full armor of God:

.... "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints– and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel."

(Eph 6:10-19)

.... The full armor of God that Paul has described is metaphoric. Each piece of armor is actually a facet of our abiding in Christ, so here is the intention that should be breaking through the metaphor:

.... "let us put on the armor of light . . . put on the Lord Jesus Christ."

(Rom 13:12-14)

.... The purpose of the armor is to wage warfare, which is done through prayer (v 18-19). Our prayer is not addressed to the devil in the form of a binding him, dismissing his errands and assignments, etc. (no one in the Bible ever prayed to the devil), but to the Lord Himself, in the form of a petition (as in Acts 4:29,30).
.... Furthermore, in Ephesians 6, Paul tells us about the actual battlefield involved. In a ‘defensive’ sense, we are to pray on behalf of the saints with all perseverance and supplication, that they may stand against all the wiles of the devil (vs 11,18). But in the ‘offensive’ sense we are to pray that the gospel may be freely preached.
.... The gospel, in fact, is the arena in which the devil most dreads to wage warfare (2 Cor 4:4). The world is blinded in darkness, and he does his best to keep it that way (Matt 13:19). When he succeeds, people remain under his influence or sway (1 John 5:19).
.... But when we pray and the door of faith is opened to unbelievers, we truly advance on Satan’s kingdom and displace him. Jesus told us that the gates of hades would not prevail against us, and gates are a form of defense. So Jesus is actually telling us that through proper warfare we will possess the gate of our enemy (Matt 18:18; Gen 22:17).
.... No wonder Satan puts so much effort into corrupting our understanding in this area! But the time has come to stop playing into his hands, and awake from the darkness of deception, that Christ may give us light (Eph 5:11-16).

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