Summary: This message is intended to bring the realization and importance of being Spiritually ready and equipped for spiritual battle.
GET DRESSED FOR BATTLE
As military troops prepare for battle, they are given equipment to not only help them fight in battle, but also to survive injury or death. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Paul gives instructions (not suggestions) to suite-up or” Put on” the Full Armor of God. This armor was in comparison with the armor of the Roman soldier that Paul was chained to in prison. Also in vs. 10, Paul tells the Ephesians Church to draw on, and be strengthened by the Lord. These are awesome and necessary instructions for Spiritual Battle, and more importantly Spiritual Survival.
A. Paul’s first instruction for Spiritual Battle in vs. 1 is “be strengthened and draw spiritual strength from the Lord".
• First we need to note, that our only source of strength can come from only one place…The Lord!
• Second we need to be spiritually strong. Spiritual weakness almost always results in spiritual defeat!
B. Paul’s next instruction: Put on the Full Armor of God, piece by piece.
• First piece of Armor is The Belt of Truth: (vs14)
This was a big leather belt the Roman soldier hung his sword on, and held his tunic back out of the way. It also pulled, and held all the other armor together securely.
God’s truth, is the “glue” or source of our character and integrity. As Christians, truth holds it all together. Lying and deceit are weapons of the enemy.
• Second the Breast plate of Rightness:(vs.14)
The breast plate of the Roman solder was made of metal and leather.
It protected the solder’s vital organs.
“Righteousness” refers to our right standing before God. Our morals and Christian conduct. God’s righteousness protects the internal organs of our spiritual body from being harmed by the enemy.
• Third item of armor is, the Sandals of readiness: (vs15)
These were a half-boot worn by the Roman soldier.
Made of leather, and fitted with steel studs like cleats that kept the solder from being pushed out of formation while in battle. Stand Firm!
Readiness represented firmness or steadfastness.
The Gospel of Peace represents the solid foundation on which the Christian stands in the fight against evil. God’s peace must be present to enable us a clear mind in the heart and heat of battle.
• The forth piece of armor was the Shield of Faith: (vs16)
This was an oval shaped metal (iron) shield. It was covered with layers of wood, and linen or animal hide. During battle it was soaked in water. When the enemy launched their fiery arrows at the Roman soldier, the wet fiber would extinguish the burning arrow. Fiery arrows where not meant so much to kill, but to cause panic and cause the soldiers to break formation, thus singling them out and making them more venerable to be killed. We as Christians need to keep our ranks tight and together. We must fight as a single body.
• The fifth item of armor was the Helmet of Salvation: (vs.17)
This was a metal head covering lined with felt-like material, or sponge, that gave a great deal of protection to the soldiers head. It buffered or softened blows from the enemy.
God’s salvation offers the believer spiritual life, and protection. The mind (brain) is the heart of our spiritual thoughts, decisions, and behavior. God’s salvation protects our mind with an iron clad protection now, and for eternity.
• The sixth and final item of battle isn’t armor at all but a Sword. The Sword of the Spirit which, is God’s Word: (vs17)
This piece of equipment is the only item in the arsenal of the soldier that is used to advance in battle, and not for protection.
It was not so much a sword as it was a dagger. Easy to handle, and maneuver. It was primarily for stabbing, and for the soldier’s personal use in battle. Used in a “One on One” battle. What is extremely import to note- God’s Word, the Sword, was carried on the belt. This was the Belt of Truth. The two go hand in hand… God’s Word is Truth.
We need to use our sword, God’s Word, to advance the Gospel.
Know your weapon well, and be skilled in using it.
• The final item for battle was Prayer:
This wasn’t part of the armor, but it underlies the whole process of Spiritual warfare. Our prayers also need to be guided by the Spirit of God. This after all is Spiritual Warfare.
Is your Spiritual Armor in place and up to date? Are you ready for battle? The enemy does not take a rest. Be ready and always at your Spiritual best.
Pastor Dwight Hord … IM4HIM