Eph 6:10-18 is a passage we have preached and taught several times. It’s about the whole armor of God. The purpose of this armor is to protect us from the devil in a fight. He’s trying to knock us out and we are to stand therefore.
In Eph 6:10, the strength and power we need for the fight are the Lord’s. We have no strength or power of our own upon which we can depend in this fight. The devil is just too strong and too powerful for us to defend in our own strength and power, 1 Pet 5:8. David said, “I will go in the strength of the Lord God,” Ps 71:16. When facing an enemy, Jehoshaphat prayed, “we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee,” 2 Chr 20:12.
In Eph 6:11 we are to put on the whole armor of God. You cannot fight in this battle with only part of the armor. You need all seven things that Paul mentions in this text. The ultimate objective in this fight is “that ye may be able to stand.” In battle, soldiers can be confused about the battle plan. That’s why Paul told us what our orders are. We are to stand. Our enemy is the devil and he will use his wiles to get you to fall, sit down, retreat, quit, run, throw down your weapon, fight against each other or anything besides stand.
In Eph 6:12, our fight is not against flesh and blood, although men and women often work with the enemy to knock you out. An old prophet was used to defeat a young man of God in 1 Ki 13:14-26. Our fight is likened to wrestling. You’re going to go round after round with the enemy. And you must stand therefore. He can’t defeat you if you stay in your place and on your feet. In this battle, we face the full force of our enemy. He attacks with his principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places. He has successfully attacked and infiltrated the body of Christ, Christian colleges and seminaries, Christian homes, and churches, and he has attempted to decimate the Bible with modern translations.
In Eph 6:13 you are instructed to “take unto you the whole armor of God.” In other words, the equipment you need for the fight has been offered to you, but you must take it and put it on. Some Christians are afraid to arm for the fight out of fear that they will draw the attention of the enemy. They are noncombatants. They are conscientious objectors. They are not soldiers, 2 Tim 2:3-4. You cannot “withstand in the evil day” if you are unarmed. We are to take the “whole” armor of God and prepare for battle. We are to withstand in the evil day. We know the day is coming. We are to do everything we can in the strength and power of the Lord and in the whole armor of God to stand. Paul said, “having done ALL, to stand.”
In Eph 6:14-18 Paul lists the armor with which we are to stand. This is the armor of a first century Roman soldier. This is the armor of an infantryman. This is the armor of a soldier who meets the enemy face to face. The whole armor of God includes:
Truth – Eph 6:14 – two of the devil’s main weapons are lies and deception. You should know this because he is a liar, Jn 8:44, who deceives the whole world, Rev 12:9. He lied to Eve and he deceived her in Gen 3. He lied to the Lord Jesus Christ when he tempted him in the wilderness, but Jesus knew he was lying and stood on the truth. Paul mentioned “the wiles of the devil” in Eph 6:11. The devil will take the Bible and twist it into a lie to cause you to fall. Hymenaeus and Philetus fell for a lie, 2 Tim 2:17-18. The Sadducees erred in the scripture, as well, Matt 22:29. The trouble with most people is that they have the same attitude toward the truth that Pilate did in Jn 18:36-38. The closer we are to the return of Jesus Christ, the harder it is to stand because deception grows worse and worse, 2 Tim 3:13; Matt 24:4.
Righteousness – Eph 6:14 – another way the devil attacks is through lust and sin. Jesus Christ was tempted to sin in all points as we are, yet without sin, Heb 4:15. If the devil attacked him by tempting him to sin, he is surely going to do the same thing to us. The defense against these attacks is righteousness. We have the righteousness of God when we get saved. And the way to put on this breastplate is to yield to God’s righteousness in us rather than to the sin in our flesh, Rom 6:16-19.
The gospel – Eph 6:15 – ultimately the devil wants us to quit witnessing with the gospel of peace. Though Jesus Christ died to save all men and will save all men who believe on him, they don’t believe unless they hear the gospel preached, Rom 10:13-15. So, the devil wants us to quit preaching the gospel. We can’t quit; we must stand and preach. Paul said, “necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel,” 1 Cor 9:16. The Pharisees and elders tried to stop the apostles from preaching the gospel. Peter said, “We ought to obey God rather than men,” Acts 5:29. Paul tried to wipe out the men and women who were preaching the gospel. They just kept preaching. Then when Paul was saved, they tried every way they could to make him stop preaching (2 Cor 11:23-28). He stood, instead. And we must stand. We must be prepared (with the preparation) to preach the gospel every day.
Faith – Eph 6:16 – we can’t see the devil. All of those enemy forces in Eph 6:12 are invisible. And our commander, the Lord Jesus Christ, is invisible, 1 Tim 1:17. So, we must have faith to stand. John said, “this is the victory the overcometh the world, even our faith,” 1 Jn 5:4. Lack of faith was the trouble the disciples had when they couldn’t cast the devil out of a little boy, Matt 17:20. Lack of faith caused the disciples to panic in a storm, Matt 8:26. Lack of faith caused Peter to sink, Matt 14:31. Our faith in the Lord must be strong enough to not doubt him in a fight or we will fall. He said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” Heb 13:5. We must trust him to quench every fiery dart the devil throws. We are among the heroes of the faith in Heb 11. Trust God.
Salvation – Eph 6:17 – unfortunately many Christians that know they are saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit end up living like the devil. The assurance of salvation should encourage you, instead, to stand against the devil since you know you will never be with him in hell. He is your enemy and you are his. A Christian soldier should never defect to the other side. With the assurance of salvation you should fight to the end of your life out of honor and loyalty to your Saviour. Like Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” Phil 1:21. Peter said that you should “rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy,” 1 Pet 4:13. You’re on the winning side.
The word of God – Eph 6:17 – the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, Heb 4:12. 1 Pet 1:23 says the word of God liveth and abideth forever. Jesus Christ defended himself against every temptation of the devil in the wilderness by quoting the words of God. He quoted Deut 8:3, Deut 6:26, and Deut 6:13. After the third strike with the scripture, the devil left him. Therefore, we are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and resist the devil steadfast in the faith, 1 Pet 5:6-9. The devil started his temptation against Eve by raising doubt in her mind about what God said, Gen 3:1. Paul said, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” Rom 10:17.
Because the word of God is so powerful, you know that the devil has brought his greatest attacks against God’s words. The principle reason that there are so many English translations of the Bible has nothing to do with making the words easier to understand. It has everything to do with changing those words to reduce their power. The devil easily convinced men to participate in this operation by appealing to their covetousness (money) and desire for recognition (scholarship). The devil, like enemies in battle, has been trying to knock out our greatest weapon against him. We, as Bible believers, must stand against the devil’s attacks on our sword. We must, instead, use the Spirit’s sword of the word of God to stand and withstand his attacks.
The world will accuse you of every kind of phobia to shame you as you stand for the Bible against their sins. Don’t let their name calling back you down. The truth is they are Bibliaphobic and Theophobic. So, proclaim the words of God boldly.
Prayer – Eph 6:18 – as one preacher said, “We stand by kneeling.” Prayer is a tremendous benefit in this fight. We can call upon the Lord for special assistance in the same way that soldiers call for air support in a fight with the enemy. Prayer is also a great way for us to assist others in their fight to stand. Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for him to be bold in preaching. Isn’t it interesting that prayer and the word of God are two of the most effective weapons in this fight and they are two of the most neglected things in many people’s lives. Is it any wonder that the church ends in apostasy before the Lord’s return?
Conclusion: You are in a fight whether you want to be in it or not. When you received Jesus as your Savior, you set yourself up to be attacked by the devil and his forces. You may refuse to fight and, thus, you won’t have much trouble from your enemy. But if you decide you’re going to stand, you’ll have your hands full. Make sure to take this whole armor of God and stand therefore.