Sermons

Summary: In today's text, Ephesians 6:15-17a, we learn about three more pieces of armor that are part of the whole armor of God.

Scripture

A few weeks ago we began a sermon series in Ephesians 6:10-24 that I am calling, “The Whole Armor of God.”

So far we have examined our spiritual warfare, our terrible enemy, our only strength, and the first part of our shining armor in this warfare. Today, I want to continue examining the second part of our shining armor in this warfare.

So, let’s read about our shining armor in Ephesians 6:15-17a, although for the sake of context, I shall read verses 10-17a:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 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 firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation…. (Ephesians 6:15-17a)

Introduction

In his commentary on Ephesians, Tony Merida says that he thinks that modern readers look at Ephesians 6:10-24 in one of three ways. Some readers love this passage. They love war movies, fireworks, wrestling, and so on, and they find Paul’s “whole armor of God” passage fascinating. Other readers find this section antiquated and ridiculous because of the description of ancient weaponry and warfare. And still other readers find this section of militaristic language fanatical and unenlightened. They have had enough of “holy war” talk and are not sure about fighting devils and spiritual forces of evil.

Of course, as we consider Ephesians 6:10-24, we should bear in mind that this passage is not antiquated; it is ageless. It is extremely relevant for today because humanity has not changed. At the core of all our struggles is a spiritual component, and we need to be clear that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). And in order to be successful in our spiritual warfare against these forces we need to be properly equipped.

Review

Paul lists six pieces of armor in Ephesians 6:14-17. Last time we examined the first two pieces of armor in verse 14 that are part of the whole armor of God. Let’s briefly review them.

I. The Whole Armor of God Includes the Belt of Truth (6:14a)

First, the whole armor of God includes the belt of truth.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:14a, “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth….” The Christian’s belt is truth. This refers either to “God’s truth” (that is, Christian doctrine) or to “truthfulness” (that is, sincerity of heart). Probably both aspects are emphasized in Paul’s use of truth.

Christians must know and understand biblical truth. They must grow in their understanding of doctrine.

II. The Whole Armor of God Includes the Breastplate of Righteousness (6:14b)

And second, the whole armor of God includes the breastplate of righteousness.

Paul wrote in verse 14b, “…and having put on the breastplate of righteousness….” According to Paul, the Christian’s breastplate is righteousness. The righteousness here could be “imputed righteousness” (that is, the righteousness of Jesus that is credited to a Christian so that he is able to stand before God). More likely, however, it refers “actual righteousness” (that is, specific acts of personal obedience).

Putting on the breastplate of righteousness has to do with daily, moment-by-moment obedience to God.

So, the whole armor of God includes the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. These two pieces of armor have to do with doctrine and duty, belief and behavior, truth and obedience.

Lesson

In today’s text, Ephesians 6:15-17a, we learn about three more pieces of armor that are part of the whole armor of God.

Let’s use the following outline:?

3. The Whole Armor of God Includes the Shoes of the Gospel (6:15)

4. The Whole Armor of God Includes the Shield of Faith (6:16)

5. The Whole Armor of God Includes the Helmet of Salvation (6:17a)

III. The Whole Armor of God Includes the Shoes of the Gospel (6:15)

Third, the whole armor of God includes the shoes of the gospel.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:15, “…and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” Kent Hughes describes the soldier’s shoes:

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