Summary: To establish that the Christian must prepare to be fit-to-fight. Paul gives the saints at Ephesus their operations order to engage the forces of evil successfully. It outlines the enemy situation, rules of engagement, and equipment safeties (protections).
3. The Equipment Safeties
1. This is lesson three in this sermon-series: “Fit-to-Fight,” “The Equipment Safeties,” in “Ephesus’ Operations Order.” This lesson will deal with the saint’s equipment safeties required: for battle in their spiritual warfare, against the wiles of the devil and his allies. We will review Paul’s Operations Order (OPORD) written to Ephesus’ that would enable them: to be fit-to-fight! He wrote: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil,” Ephesians 6:10-11. This begins his final directives to the church. It constitutes an assured victory for them over the “wiles of the devil” in their warfare; and, to all the saints in every age, affording them the same triumph.
2. In lesson three, we will investigate the saint’s equipment safeties or the "whole armor" of God, designed to be worn during their stand against the devil and his allies. Finally, he pens: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God; that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” Ephesians 6:13-17. This is the saint’s battle dress equipment (BDE). The saint’s BDE is worn always to repel Satan’s constant assaults against their faith, hope, and loving obedience to their Captain in battle: the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
3. With this brief introduction behind us, let’s consider the last lesson, in this sermon-series: “the equipment safeties,” outlined in Ephesus' OPORD.
BODY OF LESSON
III THE EQUIPMENT SAFETIES
A. The equipment safeties. Paul now outlines the saint’s equipment safeties. Paul continued: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God; that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand,” Ephesians 6:13.
1. He now outlines the battle dress equipment (BDE), the safety ensemble to be worn by the saints in their OPORD. There were two types of safety equipment; that made up the armor of God: one type was defensive, and the other offensive. We will consider both the saint's equipment safeties. We will review how each piece of armor had its specific function for both the soldier's protection and for the battle that could ensue against certain enemies.
2. Paul makes an analogy of the Roman Centurion’s Armour. He vividly describes each piece of armor and makes an application to the "Armour of God," and how each part of the defensive equipment is designed to be used; and, the protection it affords the saints in battle.
3. The Roman soldier’s armor consisted of 1) the girdle or belt, 2) the breastplate, 3) the greaves (or soldier's shoes), 4) the shield, 5) the helmet, and 6) the sword.
a. It is remarkable that, among all this equipment, there was no protection for the Centurion’s backside; if he were to turn his back upon from the enemy, their backs would lie openly exposed. The Centurion soldiers were Rome’s fighting machine.
b. These armor pieces were designed for defense: the girdle, the breastplate, the greaves (shoes), the shield, and the helmet.
c. Other Roman equipment was used for offensive tactics like the sword, spear, and bow and arrows (Paul did not mention these instruments). These were pieces of tactical equipment carried and used by the Legions following in close pursuit of the enemy, during hand-to-hand fighting, and after overtaking their enemies during their retreat.
5. He may have recalled the Centurions that march with him, when Claudius Lysias ordered, that he be removed from Jerusalem to Caesarea; after Lysias was warned of the Jew’s plot against his life, Acts 23:16-24; Acts 23:25-35.
6. These are the soldiers Paul had in mind when he wrote to Ephesus regarding "the whole armor of God." We will discuss the defensive equipment first, and then the offensive equipment. Just like the Roman Centurion, one piece of his equipment was the sword. Observe--
B. Defensive equipment: We now are at the place in this lesson to address the defensive BDE. Paul continues, stand, therefore--
1. First, “Having your loins girt about with truth,” Ephesians 6:14a. Fasten around your waist the belt of truth. Truth is the foundation of our faith and the fight. The Christian behaves himself: “In the church, which is the pillar and ground of the truth,” 1 Timothy 3:15. It is for truth, whether in battle or bonds, we fight to preserve. The apostle fought: