WALK STRONG — FIGHTING THE ENEMY WITH THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD
I. (:10-12) SPIRITUAL WARFARE REQUIRES GOD’S STRENGTH AND GOD’S ARMOR
A. (:10) Be Strong in God’s Strength
“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.”
B. (:11a) Be Protected in God’s Armor
“Put on the full armor of God”
C. (:11b-12) Understand the Enemy / Don’t Underestimate the Enemy
1. The Enemy is Deceitfully Tricky — The Crafty Devil
“that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”
2. The Forces of Satan are Extremely Powerful — much stronger than flesh and blood
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness”
3. The Enemy is Shockingly Wicked
“against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
II. (:13-17) PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD AND STAND FIRM
A. (:13) Goal: Resist and Stand Firm
“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.”
6 Different Pieces of the Armor of God:
B. (:14a) The Belt = Truth
“Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth”
1)’Gird the loins’ means hike up outer shirt.
a) Loose-fitting, all the way to ankles.
b) Run or fight in it, trip up.
c) Girding it into belt prepared soldier for action.
2) Bible characters said to gird up loins.
a) Israelites did so at first Passover as they escaped Egypt. Exodus 12:11
b) Elijah when he outran King Ahab’s chariot. 1 Kings 18:46
c) Christians should gird up mind. 1 Peter 1:13
C. (:14b) The Breastplate = Righteousness
“and having put on the breastplate of righteousness”
Wood: “The ‘breastplate’ (thorax) covered the body from the neck to the thighs. Polybius tells us that it was known as a heart-protector. Usually it was made of bronze but the more affluent officers wore a coat of chain mail. The front piece was strictly the breastplate, but a back piece was commonly worn as well. In Isaiah 59:17 we are told that Yahweh himself put on righteousness like a breastplate. In this context dikaiosyne (‘righteousness’) stands for uprightness and integrity of character. But this moral rectitude and reputation for fair dealing results directly from the appropriation of Christ’s righteousnes…”
D. (:15) The Boots = Peace
“and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace”
Kent: “The feet are what carry the soldier to the battle. Feet properly shod enable the soldier to march long distances and to fight without slipping or stumbling on rough terrain. Spiritually, the Christian is to be shod with the ‘preparation of the gospel of peace.’ He achieves a confident readiness for the conflict through the peace of God provided in the gospel. A recognition that the good news of salvation has provided peace with God and thus all that we need for spiritual victory furnishes us with calmness for the conflict.”
Hendriksen: “‘Am I prepared to fight?’ is the next question. In other words, Have I shod my feet with ‘readiness derived from the gospel of peace’? The meaning of this expression has been much debated. Nevertheless, the following facts must be admitted:
a. In order to promote facility of motion over all kinds of roads Roman soldiers were in the habit of putting on ‘shoes thickly studded with sharp nails’ (Josephus, Jewish Wars VI. i. 8). Thus, one important reason for Julius Caesar’s success as a general was the fact that his men wore military shoes that made it possible for them to cover long distances in such short periods that again and again the enemies were caught off guard, having deceived themselves into thinking that they still had plenty of time to prepare an adequate defense… Accordingly, proper footwear spells readiness.
b. A person who experiences within his own heart the peace of God that passes all understanding , the very peace which the gospel proclaims, has been delivered of a great burden. The conviction of being reconciled with God through the blood of Christ gives him the courage and the zeal to fight the good fight. If the gospel, accepted by faith, had not given him this peace, how could he be prepared to engage in this battle?
c. The fact that this readiness is actually derived from the gospel whose message or content is peace is clear from such passages as 2:15, 17; cf. Rom. 5:1.”
E. (:16) The Shield = Faith
“in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one”
Holwick: ” Shield is not a little round one, but the large one which measured four feet by two feet, big enough to protect the whole body.”
F. (:17a) The Helmet = Salvation
“And take the helmet of salvation”
G. (:17b) The Sword = The Word of God (the only Offensive Weapon)
“and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”