Key Verse: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
EVERYONE WHO DEVOTES himself to righteousness soon learns that the Christian life is a warfare. The more determined a believer is in pursuing holiness, the greater will be Satan’s efforts to destroy him. (I Pet. 5:8,9) It is for this reason that Paul admonishes us to utilize the resources provided by the Lord in order to be successful in combating the enemy. “My brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”—Eph. 6:10
Our Key Verse indicates the necessity of putting on the divinely provided armor in order to withstand the devices of the wicked one. We can be fully protected only by utilizing each element of the protection that is supplied for us.—vss. 11-13
Paul then enumerates the various necessary pieces of our armor, commencing with the girdle of truth: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.” Through the power of the Holy Spirit, and imbibing the principles of consecrated living fortified by a concerted effort to be directed by God’s will, we will be strengthened against the wiles of the devil. We are also directed to put on the “breastplate of righteousness.” This relates to our justification, which results from faith in the efficacy of Christ’s shed blood, and our acceptance as sons of God based upon the imputation of his merit to cover our imperfections.—vss. 14
Next we are to be shod with the sandals of peace. (vs. 15) It is through the power of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of God’s purposes and plans for us that we may have this sense of inner tranquility, despite the opposition we receive from the world, the flesh, and the Adversary. The natural disposition is to retaliate against those who oppose us. This can only be overcome when we realize that our focus must always be upon understanding that it is through much tribulation that we may enter the kingdom. Our study and imbibing of God’s precious promises will enable us to experience this state of mind.
The “shield of faith” is also a needed component of the armor to protect us in this evil world—”Taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (vs. 16) Throughout history, all who have received blessings from God, demonstrated faith that he would reward them for their fidelity even though they lacked full knowledge as to how he would accomplish his designs. The spirit-begotten believer should be filled with faith and never lose confidence as to the glorious outcome following this night of sin.
The “helmet of salvation” relates to the intellectual understanding of God’s plan of salvation. Our knowledge is strengthened by the study of the Scriptures, through which we may appreciate the wisdom, justice, love and power of our Creator to accomplish what will be “the desire of all nations.” (Hag. 2:7) The “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” is the only offensive part of our armament in that it may be used to counteract errors. However, it is to be employed in a loving manner, so that we are not harsh in criticizing others who may not have been enlightened by God’s Word.—Eph. 6:17