Armor of God Series, Part 1

The Armor of God

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the LORD, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour 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 6:10-17


Throughout the Bible we find references to familiar things and activities which our Lord used to illustrate spiritual lessons. Many of Jesus’ parables used word pictures, such as sheep, seed, sowing and reaping, tares, chaff, goats, rams, etc. So it is, with the armor of God, mentioned in the 6th chapter of Ephesians.

How does armor portray a lesson for the Christian? Paul used the illustration of the Christian’s battle against his enemies—the worldly spirit, fleshly tendencies, and evil itself, as well as against principalities and powers in high places, such as the Devil and his angels. (Eph. 6:12) It could be most frightening to think that Satan and his host are ready to do battle with mere human beings.

What chance would we have against these spirit beings so much more powerful than we? The Lord’s people know that alone and unaided by God there is no way they could win against them alone. But we have his promise to be with us, and to provide us with all that is necessary to conquer in every battle: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.”—Zech. 4:6

Paul wrote to Timothy: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (II Tim. 2:3,4) A soldier’s armor is essential in order for him to be victorious in his battle to the death.

Why do we need the whole armor of God? Each piece of the armor of God is designed for a particular purpose, to protect us from another maneuver of the Adversary, to defend our faith and our hope from his advances, and possibly even eventual destruction by Satan. Only equipped with the whole armor of God, can the forces of evil be defeated. This is the reason we must be fully protected by the armor which God provides us as soldiers in his army.

The Breastplate of Righteousness—Ephesians 6:14

Our them text is: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” (Eph. 6:14) In the olden days when men engaged in hand-to-hand warfare either as footsoldiers, or mounted on horses or camels, it was necessary for them to wear armor, and sometimes even their animals wore armor! The breastplate was primarily a covering of the torso, and as such, it protected the heart and other vital organs. The breastplate was fashioned of gold, iron, or sometimes from tough leather. The degree of flexibility depended, of course, on how it was made, and how its parts were fastened together. Probably a modern version of a breastplate would be a bullet-proof vest.

This breastplate represented righteousness. In this illustration, it is God’s righteousness that would protect the vital organs of the New Creature from danger. Because the Christian is reckoned perfect or righteous through his faith in Christ as his ransomer, he is striving to be worthy of this justification, by walking righteously. This protects him from many circumstances which ensnare the average man. Unless he is following closely in Jesus’ footsteps he can be drawn into danger, and even actual life-threatening situations—mental, moral, and physical—not only threats from evil men, but from the Devil and his angels who wish to destroy them.

This text may be familiar to you: Matthew 6:33. The words of our Lord were: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” He had been telling his disciples to avoid anxious thoughts about the things of the world, and his wise council set the proper priority.

What is righteousness? Righteousness is keeping the commandments of God, because he is the source of all righteousness. He is holy and all his attributes are holy—his Spirit—the whole fiber of his being—is entirely perfect, flawless. His Word is also holy, righteous, perfect, because he speaks his righteous thoughts to us in his Word through the messengers he used—the prophets of old, and the apostles and disciples of Jesus’ time.

We read concerning the protection of the breastplate: “Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness, because of mine enemies: make thy way straight before my face.” (Ps. 5:8,9) This would be an appropriate prayer for us to offer. It would show that we recognize our enemies—and that we recognize our need for the Lord’s righteousness to protect us from these enemies.

Zephaniah 2:3 reads: “Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” This is a very practical application of keeping the shield in its proper position to protect ourselves.

The Apostle Peter said: “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? … For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” (I Pet. 3:12,13,17) We realize that sometimes the Lord does permit us to suffer for well-doing if we need such an experience to prepare us for the work we will do in the kingdom.

“Cast away from you all your transgressions whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezek. 18:31,32) Life is dependent upon the possession of righteousness; this thought is emphasized throughout the Scriptures.

We have enemies surrounding us, just as did our Lord Jesus. How quickly the Adversary attacked him after his baptism! Just as soon as he came up out of the River Jordan, the Adversary was there to tempt him. Ps. 5:12 says: “For thou Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” What great and ever-ready protection the Lord provides the New Creature with the breastplate of righteousness!

Click here to go to Part 2
Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |