Armor of God – Ephesians 6:19-20

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The Armor of God is essential for winning the battle against spiritual forces of darkness. In Ephesians 6:10-20, the classic Scripture passage on the Armor of God, Paul writes about the various pieces of armor, and then concludes his description of the armor by asking the Ephesian Christians to pray for him that he would have boldness to preach.

In this way, we see that proclaiming the Word of God is also part of spiritual warfare. Paul talks about preaching in Ephesians 6:19-20, the concluding Scriptures on the Armor of God.

The following information was pulled from my sermon on Ephesians 6:19-20, which is a sermon about the Power of Preaching.

When it comes to preaching to others, we tend to think, “If only I had the opportunity to teach a bigger group, then I would prepare better, and teach with more conviction. But if it’s only five or six, why bother?”

Paul doesn’t care if it’s two or two thousand, he is going to preach with accuracy, and boldness because he knows that every person that comes his way has been sent by God.

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Armor of God – Ephesians 6:18

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Just because Paul finishes talking about the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:17, does not mean there are no more elements to it. So far, he has not given us any offensive weapons. Even the Sword of the Spirit was primarily defensive.

In Ephesians 6:18, one of the Scriptures on the Armor of God, Paul provides us with the one offensive weapon in our arsenal: Prayer.

The following information was pulled from my sermon on Ephesians 6:18, in which I discuss prayer as our Secret Weapon.

Paul, if he were writing today, would have written to us about the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Word of God, and finally, in verses 18-20, the air support of prayer, or maybe we could say, the laser-guided smart bombs of prayer. Obviously, this last one I’ve come up with doesn’t really fit in with the Roman Soldier imagery…but the point is that prayer is vitally important to spiritual warfare.

This section on prayer is the third in the book of Ephesians. The previous two passages are found at the end of chapter 1 and another at the end of chapter 3. And in both of these other sections, one of the main things Paul says is that we should be praying for is power. And now, here at the end of his letter, he tells us how our prayers can be powerful. How, in this spiritual war, we can call down the fire power from heaven.

C. S. Lewis wrote in his book Mere Christianity that this world is enemy-occupied territory and that Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. And it is primarily through prayer that much of this sabotage takes place. Prayer is how we spiritually fight back against the enemy. “Prayer is fundamentally a warfare activity.”

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Armor of God – Ephesians 6:17b

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The final piece of the Armor of God is the Sword of the Spirit. Paul talks about it in Ephesians 6:17, which is one of the Scriptures on the Armor of God.

The following information was pulled from my sermon on Ephesians 6:17b, in which I discuss the Sword of the Spirit.

Despite what some people think and what some churches teach, the Sword is not the Spirit. Some people read this verse and think it says that the Sword is the Spirit. A better translation might be “The Sword from the Spirit is the Word of God.” Or “The Spiritual Sword which is the Word of God.”

This sword is not the Spirit, it is the Word of God. This sword is a spiritual sword—not a physical sword, and it comes from the Spirit, but it is the Word of God. It comes from the Spirit because the Spirit is the one who inspired the writers of Scripture to write what they did and to keep the Bible free from all errors. We read in this 2 Peter 1:21 and 2 Timothy 3:16.

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Armor of God – Ephesians 6:17a

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One important piece of the Armor of God is the Helmet of Salvation. Paul talks about it in Ephesians 6:17, which is one of the Scriptures on the Armor of God.

The following information was pulled from my sermon on Ephesians 6:17, in which I discuss the Helmet of Salvation.

The helmet of salvation is God’s helmet which he has given to us, for our use, as His soldiers in this war against spiritual forces.

But what exactly is this the helmet? Well, Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the helmet is salvation.

And in Ephesians, when Paul refers to salvation, he is referring to aspects of the salvation or deliverance from the penalty of sin. He is referring to justification.

And so that is also how we should understand the helmet of salvation in Ephesians 6:17. This helmet which we are to take up and put on is our justification. It is the helmet of justification salvation.

Helmet of Justification Salvation

But why does this matter for the Christian? Especially for the Christian in spiritual warfare? Of what use is the helmet of salvation for the Christian soldier who finds himself or herself in battle?

It obviously can’t mean that they need to be saved, for remember, God only gives his armor to those who already are saved. You do not become saved by putting on the helmet. No, if you have the helmet to put on, you are already saved.

So how does the helmet help the Christian in spiritual battle?

Well, remember, the helmet protects the head, and more specifically, the brain, and so the helmet protects what the brain contains in regard to salvation.

Satan always begins his attack with what a Christian does or doesn’t know. And here, in speaking specifically about the helmet of salvation, Paul tells us that one of the main truths that Satan tries to attack is what we know about our salvation—specifically—whether we have salvation or not.

To put it simply, putting on the helmet provides us with the assurance of salvation. Assurance of salvation is ultimately a matter of the mind. Assurance of salvation is a factor of what you know and Who you know. And of course, all knowledge is contained in the mind.

It is in our head, it is in our brain, that we contain the knowledge of what Christ has done for us. It is in our head that we made the decision to believe in Jesus for eternal life. It is in our head that we know what we have in Christ, and it is in our head that we know we are saved.

To learn more about the Helmet of Salvation, see my sermon on Ephesians 6:17.


Scriptural Books on the Armor of God

Here are some helpful books for learning more about what Scripture teaches on the topic of the Armor of God. Click on a book below to see pricing and reviews.

Putting on the Armor of God
The Armor of God
The Christian Soldier
The Christian Warfare

Armor of God – Ephesians 6:16

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Another piece of the Armor of God is the Shield of Faith. Paul talks about it in Ephesians 6:14, which is one of the Scriptures on the Armor of God.

In this Scripture, Paul writes:

Ephesians 6:16. Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

The following information was pulled from my sermon on Ephesians 6:16, in which I talk about the Shield of Faith.

It is fairly clear from verse 16 what Paul intends the shield to be used for by Christians in spiritual warfare. Paul says, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. To understand what the shield is, it helps to understand the other elements in this Scripture.

The wicked one is an obvious reference to Satan, and the weapons he is described as using here are typical of the type of weapons he prefers. Satan loves covert operations. Though he is the prince of darkness, he masquerades as an angel of light. Though his followers are wolves, they appear in sheep’s clothing. So these fiery darts are the perfect weapon for Satan. He can shoot them from far off. They come in quick and without warning. They cause great pain and great damage if they hit flesh. They can be sent one at a time, or in a heavy hail of arrows.

So with all of these thing in mind, I think that Paul’s reference here to the fiery darts of the wicked one is a reference to the cunning and crafty ways the devil tries to tempt us. Temptations often come when and where we least expect them. They come in quick and without warning. If we fall to a temptation, the sin that results is often very painful and destructive. And the temptations can come one at a time, or in a deadly hail all at once.

And so the only way we can defend ourselves is by having ready the shield of faith at all times. If we are always protected by the shield of faith, none of Satan’s fiery darts can get through whether he sends them at night or at day, whether one at a time or hundreds at a time. Whenever and wherever temptation comes, the shield of faith can deflect them.

And notice that more than just deflect these darts, the shield can quench them. The shield of faith causes the flaming darts to lose their fire and their force.

And it isn’t just able to do this to some of the fiery darts, but verse 16 says the shield is able to quench all of the fiery darts, all the wiles of the devil. Those wiles of the devil are the same thing as the fiery darts of the wicked one here. And the shield of faith can protect us from each and every one of those.

But, just as with all the other pieces of armor, this protection is not automatic. Just as we have to put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and the sandals of the gospel, so also we have to take up the shield of faith.

To learn more about the Shield of Faith, see my sermon on Ephesians 6:16.


Scriptural Books on the Armor of God

Here are some helpful books for learning more about what Scripture teaches on the topic of the Armor of God. Click on a book below to see pricing and reviews.

Putting on the Armor of God
The Armor of God
The Christian Soldier
The Christian Warfare

Armor of God – Ephesians 6:15

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The third piece of the Armor of God is having your feet shod with the readiness of the Gospel of Peace. Paul talks about it in Ephesians 6:15, which is one of the Scriptures on the Armor of God.

The following information was pulled from my sermon on Ephesians 6:15, in which I talk about the Sandals of the Gospel.

Sandals of the Gospel

Just as the sandals helped keep the soldier on his feet in battle, being prepared to share the Gospel with others will help you stay on your feet as a Christian.

If you are not really clear what the Gospel is, and if you don’t really know how to share the Gospel with others, then in all likelihood, you don’t really know if you yourself have believed the Gospel, or if you have believed the right thing, or believed enough.

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Armor of God – Ephesians 6:14b

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The second piece of the Armor of God is the Breastplate of Righteousness. Paul talks about it in Ephesians 6:14, which is one of the Scriptures on the Armor of God.

The following information was pulled from my sermon on Ephesians 6:14b.

The Breastplate of Righteousness

Just like the belt of truth, we must understand first of all, that the breastplate of righteousness is Gods. When we put it on, it is his armor we are putting on. In Isaiah 59:17, we read that God wears righteousness as a breastplate. And Isaiah 59 reveals that this righteousness is not the positional, imputed righteousness that God gives to all believers the moment they believe in Jesus for everlasting life. Instead, it is the practical, day to day righteousness that God expects and desires all Christians to live by. It is living the holy life.

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Armor of God – Ephesians 6:14a

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The first item of the Armor of God is the Belt of Truth.

In a sermon on Ephesians 6:14, I taught the following about the Belt of Truth.

To talk about the belt for the Christian, let’s just take the way the soldiers used the belt and try to discover what similarities there are between it and truth. Paul says this is the belt of truth.

Therefore, this first and vital piece of the armor for the Christian in spiritual warfare is truth. To stand strong in this battle, we must know the truth, and live by the truth. Only in this way will the rest of our armor stay on, and only in this way will we be protected in this battle. This is because the belt of the truth keeps the breastplate tight, it keeps the tunic up and out of your way so you don’t get tripped up or slowed down. It provides you with a place to keep your sword. Without truth, we are easily tripped up by Satan’s lies. Lies, no matter how big or how small, are the things that destroy lives and relationships and futures. One little lie was what Satan used in the garden of Eden to destroy the future of all mankind.

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Armor of God – Ephesians 6:12

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The following is from a sermon I preached on Ephesians 6:12, which is a Scripture about the Armor of God, and specifically about who we are fighting against in spiritual warfare.

The Scripture says this:

Ephesians 6:12. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Our Struggle is not against Humans.

Before Paul tells us the titles of the foe we wrestle against, he first reminds us who are struggle is NOT against. He says we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Obviously, this is a reference to other humans like ourselves. Throughout Scripture the term flesh and blood is used as a way of referring to other members of the human race (Gal 1:16; Heb 2:14).

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Armor of God – Ephesians 6:11, 13

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Unless you have been professionally trained, the idea of going to war probably scares you. Especially when the foe is a spiritual force which cannot be seen.

I mean, really, what chance do you think you have against the devil and his demons? Could you shoot them with handgun? Strike them down with a sword? Pummel them with your fists?

When it comes to battling wicked forces, how do we stand a chance?

The bad news is that we really don’t stand a chance of winning this war. But the good news is that we don’t have to. Why?

Because the war has already been won.

Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus defeated sin, death, and the devil. The war has been won, the enemy has been defeated.

And yet why are we still under attack? Because the devil is in retreat, and on his way back to the dark hole he came from, he wants to wound an injure as many people as he can.

Don’t Fight! Just Stand Your Ground

So this is why when Paul writes about the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-20, he says nothing whatsoever about fighting. Instead, we are to simply stand on the ground that Jesus has already won for us. We do not have to advance; we only have to defend our piece of ground.

This idea is seen over and over in the opening verses of Ephesians 6:10-20. In Ephesians 6:11-14, Paul calls us to stand four times. That is all we must do. Stand. The devil is fleeing for his life, and he wants to injure and knock us down on his way by, but if we have a firm footing, with the spiritual armor upon us, and our shield raised, we can protect ourselves from his retreating attacks.

So you want to be victorious in Spiritual warfare? Don’t do something. Just stand there!

Click here to learn more about Ephesians 6:11, 13.


Scriptural Books on the Armor of God

Here are some helpful books for learning more about what Scripture teaches on the topic of the Armor of God. Click on a book below to see pricing and reviews.

Putting on the Armor of God
The Armor of God
The Christian Soldier
The Christian Warfare