Ephesians 6 is the last chapter of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and in verses 10 to 18 he encourages them to remain steadfast in the Lord. He knew that, as Christians, we are facing an intense spiritual war and we must be prepared. Paul talks about the armor of God, the tools he gives his children so that we can overcome the attacks of the devil.
By dressing and wearing the armor effectively we will be able to face all the traps of the evil one and we will be victorious. Let’s see what Ephesians 6: 10-18 tells us about the armor of God, what it is for, and how we should use it.
Preparing for the battle
The first thing is to strengthen ourselves in the Lord. From it comes our strength! It comes when we recognize that we depend on God, we seek Him in prayer, we read His Word and we listen to His voice.
Then we must get dressed, take the armor, and put it on. This requires initiative, action on our part, and a decision: I do not face my strength but I use the weapons that God gives me. It is an act of humility and total confidence in His power and wisdom.
Jesus has already defeated the devil on the cross, the final battle is won. However, we face spiritual battles every day and we must do it with the weapons that God gives us, not with our intellect or with our physical forces. This is a spiritual struggle and our adversary, the devil, is cunning and will try to discourage us in our walk with Christ. Using well the weapons that God gives us, we will win.
Because our struggle is not against human beings, but against powers, against authorities, against powers that dominate this world of darkness, against evil spiritual forces in the celestial regions. Therefore, put on the whole armor of God, so that when the bad day arrives you can resist to the end with firmness.
(Ephesians 6: 12-13)
The reality is that we are in a constant spiritual struggle whether we like it or not. In 1 Peter 5: 8-9 it says:
“Practice self-control and stay alert, your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour, resist him, standing firm in faith, knowing that his brothers throughout the world are enduring the same kind of suffering.”
We are called to resist, to be prepared for the attack, and firm in the faith. It is an intense struggle, but God does not leave us defenseless. He provides the armor we need to overcome. We just have to put it on and use it!
Keep in mind that it is one armor, not several, and we must carry it in its totality as it equips us to face all the attacks of the devil. We do not wear the helmet today and tomorrow the shield. Do not! The soldiers prepare with all the armor when they go out to battle and we, as good soldiers of Jesus, must do the same.
By using all the weapons that God has provided, we are protected and ready for battle. That is how we will resist firmly until the end until we are with Jesus for eternity.
Ephesians 6 - The Armor of God Explained:
Let’s see a short description of each of the parts of the armor that God has placed at our disposal.
1. The belt of truth
Stand firm, girded with the belt of truth ...
(Ephesians 6:14 a)
The belt that the soldiers wore was wide and served to keep the inner tunic in place while protecting and supporting the body. In the same way, every Christian must know the truth about who he is in Jesus and live an integral life that honors his position in Christ.
The devil will try to deceive us with his lies so that we fail, he may even try to deceive us by inducing doubt in our mind in the power of the goodness and the glory of The Lord God, or he may try to deceive us by compromising our identity. We must remain firm in the truth that we are children of God, and we will be transformed by Him and saved from eternal death. Nothing and no one will snatch us out of His hand (John 10:28).
How to use the belt: fill your mind and your heart with the truth of the word of God. Cultivate a deep friendship with God through prayer. Strengthen your spirit every day praising God and spending time with Him. Live a wholesome life and be truthful in all your actions and words.
2. The breastplate of justice
... protected by the breastplate of righteousness ...
(Ephesians 6:14 b)
The armor was attached to the belt and protected vital organs. A chest wound can be deadly and that’s why the soldier must cover it well. We must also dress ourselves with the justice of God that we have through Jesus. We are justified by our faith in Christ (Romans 5: 1-3). The battle against temptation and sin is not won by our own righteousness. We win it by remembering who we are in Jesus and by standing firm in that reality.
When God looks at us, he sees Jesus in us. We must also focus on the work of God in our lives, keep our eyes on Jesus, not our past without him, and not on our emotions or the mistakes we make.
How to wear the breastplate: remember your identity in Christ, that thanks to him you have been justified and belong to God for eternity. Do not create the accusations of the enemy when it brings to your mind the sins of the past as if they defined your present. Nor do you believe when he tells you that you can not overcome any temptation. Ask God to help you to see yourself as he sees you, to remember the power that he grants you to overcome, and to act always as he wishes you to do.
3. The shoes to proclaim the gospel of peace
... shoes with the disposition to proclaim the gospel of peace.
Protect the feet in advance for the battle. The enemy can place sharp objects or traps to make us fall and prevent us from moving forward. The enemy’s goal is to prevent us from going out to proclaim the gospel of peace. It can attack with temptations, complexes, a sense of inferiority, anxiety, people who make fun of us and our identity and our path ... the list is long. But in Christ, our feet are firm and ready to carry the gospel of peace. We take steps and gain ground (lives) for the kingdom of God because he enables us and because we ourselves have experienced his peace once and now we are returning to that very peace so that we may abide in it permanently.
The kingdom of God is one of justice, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). That is the message we must proclaim. Yes, it is indeed a war, but the weapons that God gives us are not of this world and may seem illogical. We do not win by imposing or altering ourselves; We win by living full of his peace and taking it to all those around us.
How to wear shoes: Let the peace of God fill your heart every day. Spend time with Jesus and strengthen your spirit. Do not let the enemy’s traps impede your progress and effectiveness. Affirm your feet, ask God to give you courage, and share his gospel of peace with all those around you.
4. The shield of faith
Besides all this, take the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the burning arrows of the evil one.
Here Paul not only mentions the part of the armor but also tells us why we will use it. The shield referred to was a large one that covered and protected the entire front of the soldier. It was sturdy and covered in leather because sometimes the enemy attacked with lighted arrows and the leather acted as a protective insulator.
With the shield of faith, we can put out all the arrows that the evil one shoots at us. The attack of the devil can come from any place, for that reason, it is important to be alert to be able to place the shield in the precise place and to protect us.
One of the weapons that the devil uses frequently is experienced as doubt. It encourages us to doubt God’s power, love, or kindness. As we exercise our faith and affirm ourselves in what we know about God and his work in us, those attacks lose their effectiveness and we advance in our walk with Jesus.
How to use the shield: feed your faith by reading and memorizing the word of God, spend time with God. Fill your mind with the truth about him and who you are in him so you can use that truth when doubts come.
5. The helmet of salvation
Take the helmet of salvation ...
(Ephesians 6:17 a)
The helmet protects the head. Fill the mind with the certainty of our salvation. We have to live each day the very life that God wants us to live as His children, anchored in that certainty and with our hearts full of gratitude.
We are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, to proclaim the wonderful works of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2: 9). That is our reality and that is our purpose. Let us not allow the devil to put in our minds doubts about our salvation. We are saved by faith in Christ (Galatians 3) and no one can take that salvation away from us.
How to wear the helmet: Remember that you are saved by faith in Jesus and that nobody can change it. Live in trust and obedience the life that Jesus wants for you. Combat with the word of God the doubts about your salvation or the temptation to feel that you do not deserve His love or His forgiveness. He loves you, He saved you countless times, and you are His for eternity.
6. The sword of the Spirit
... and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
(Ephesians 6:17 b)
This is the only weapon of attack, the others are rather defensive. The sword serves both for defense and for attacking the enemy. The word of God illuminates our path (Psalm 119: 105) and enlightens our minds with the teaching of the gospel. With the sword of the Spirit, we defend ourselves and face the attacks of the enemy (such as lies and deceptions) while attacking him with the truth. Remember the example of Jesus when he was tempted. How he used the word effectively to overcome the temptations of the devil (Matthew 4).
“Certainly, the word of God is alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, it penetrates to the depths of the soul and the spirit, to the marrow of the bones, and judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. “
We fight bad thoughts, doubts, and false teachings by filling our minds with the message of the Bible. The devil will try to deceive us, but if we know the word of God well we can affirm ourselves in the truth and continue to be active in the battle without fear.
How to use the sword: Study the Bible, memorize it, learn to use the word of truth effectively. Fight the lies with your truth. Keep the word of God and live a life according to what He asks.
The importance of Ephesians 6 Prayer
The Christian soldier prepares for battle, gets stronger, and receives his orders through prayer. The communication with God, our Commander, must be constant to strengthen us and receive His orders with the strategy that we must follow.
We must not only pray for our struggles, challenges, or difficulties, but we must support our brothers in prayer when we see a brother struggling against any sin or doubt, or if he is going through suffering or persecution. We should support him with our prayers and encourage him.
Do you want to win in this spiritual war? Dress every day with the armor of God. Spend time in prayer before Him, study His word and stay alert to the attacks of the enemy.