Summary: Understanding Gods word
ARMOR OF GOD
I know we have all seen pictures of the Roman Soldiers in their Armor and as they must have appeared to Paul, for as Paul wrote this letter he was in prison or under guard at all times. Indications are that he may have been under house arrest so he may have been chained to a soldier even as he wrote and preached.
So as he described the different pieces of the Armor, it would not have been difficult for him to do.
One thing that he does not mention is that there is no Armor, no protection of any kind for the back of a soldier.
There was a reason for that, no retreat, if you turned to run you were exposed. That was supposed to keep the soldiers facing the enemy.
I preached a Sermon on this same scripture some time ago, and it included a Children’s Sermon. I took a picture of a Knight in full Armor and showed it to the kids and of course they recognized it as a Knight. Then I showed them a Bible and tried to explain to them that the word of god is the Christian’s Armor. It was rather simplistic and I am not sure that they understood just how the words from the Bible could protect people from an attack.
But that is just what Paul is telling us as he says to put on the Whole Armor of God. In order to put on the Whole Armor we need to fully understand just what that armor is, not just a simplistic understanding, but a complete knowledge of Gods word.
Preachers often speak about the spiritual things of the Bible and fail to mention that God is not a Magician, he doesn’t do magic tricks or pull rabbits out of a hat.
Our Battle that Paul speaks of is a spiritual Battle against the prince of darkness. That is real. It is not an illusion.
If you read the paper this morning you know what I am talking about, people are doing bad stuff and there are consequences.
Drugs, alcohol, robbery, burglary, shootings, people being stupid.
I would bet that if you asked, these same people would say they believe in Jesus Christ, and many would say they are Christian.
They were obviously not wearing the Armor; they were felled by the prince of darkness.
We like to think that we are prepared, but we are not. Most of the time our guard is down. At any given time we are vulnerable. Many times we would rather sit at home and watch a ball game instead of going to Church. Every way we turn there are things that get our attention, things that may take us in the wrong direction, and of course it is easy to rationalize and think we are not doing any thing wrong, besides every body else is doing it.
We don’t sit around and think about Jesus like Paul did, we live in a world where we have to work, go to school, worry about bills,
Paul wrote to people just like us, and his reason for writing then is the same as if he were writing today. Be prepared, stay ready and pray. If we are in prayer mode it is awful hard to do anything else.
It’s like driving and talking on the cell phone, one or the other has most of our attention.
Paul said study to show yourself approved, the more we understand the word of God, the better we are prepared to withstand an assault against our faith.
Each piece of Armor that Paul describes is a key ingredient of Christian character development. With the exception of the “sword” which is the word of God, they are all part of our being, a part of what makes us what we are. Paul uses this imagery to demonstrate to us the elements of Christian character building that are necessary to stay faithful and to stay alive in Jesus Christ.
All of the pieces of armor mentioned served a particular purpose, the breastplate to protect the heart, the belt to protect the stomach and to help keep the other pieces in place and to carry the scabbard with the sword. The helmet to protect the head from blows, and heavy leather leg coverings, and shoes that had pieces of copper or brass to protect the feet from spikes and traps. And of course the shield to protect from arrows and thrust from spear and sword. All of this is to do battle with a physical opponent, some one who probably has the same armor and the same intent as any soldier, to defeat the enemy and survive.
Paul alludes to Gods Armor as armor of light shining in the darkness, shining against the prince of darkness. When a light shines at night those are set to do wrong fade back into the darkness where their evil will not be seen.