Today we are going to take a closer look at the gospel armor Paul refers to starting in Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil, and again in v13, Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. v14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, v15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace,v16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missles of the evil one. v17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. v18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.
First notice there are six pieces of armor: 1. loins girded with truth 2. breastplate of righteousness 3. feet shod with preparation of gospel of peace 4. the shield of faith 5. helmet of salvation 6. sword of the Spirit, the word of God. Six is the number of man, carnal, fleshly; man was created on day six. But our armor is complete when we consider that the glory of the Lord is our rear guard. Isaiah 52:12 But you will not go out in haste, nor will you go as fugitives; For the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. And again in Isaiah 58:8 Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. This latter scripture has to do primarily with fasting, as Isaiah 58 is the most extensive teaching on fasting in the bible. So you can see from that how important fasting is in spiritual warfare; in fact, in some cases of spiritual warfare fasting is the only way to defeat the demons. Jesus declared in Matthew 17:21 "But this kind (in reference to a demonic stronghold in the boy's life) does not go out except by prayer and fasting." And so with our armor strapped on and the glory of the Lord, the God of Israel going before us and behind us, we are now seven, the number of completion; we are ready for battle.
Now to inspect closer each individual piece of armor. What are the pieces of armor? In the physical sense they are all pieces mostly made of metal and buckled and strapped onto the body. In the spiritual realm, they are the essence and presence of Jesus Christ, made manifest in us by the power of His blood and the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit in our life. Remember Paul reminded us in Eph. 6:12 for our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities and so forth. You are in a spiritual battle, beloved, so start analyzing everything in your life in terms of an invisible spiritual battle. In most cases you won't see the enemy ( some people do have the gift of seeing the demonic angels), but you will know he is around by feeling his attacks on you, your family, or your church, or nation. You may even have dreams and visions, or even nightmares, where the enemy comes to terrorize you and try to take you out, make you weak or sick, angry, or whatever. So we know him by his destructive actions in ourselves and our family, and the people we interact with everyday.
If we put on Jesus in the form of the gospel armor, who can defeat us? No one or nothing. Paul sums it up in Ephesians 1:20 which He(God) brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, v21 far above ALL rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. v22 And he put ALL things in subjection under His feet, and gave him as head over ALL things to the church, v23 which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all. Jesus is far above all things, even all things that are bothering you and me. Praise God! Tomorrow we'll get to that inspection of each peice of the gospel armor. May God bless you and guard you today. In Christ, Jim