The Armor of God

Full Armor of God
The Full Armor of God protects us against Satan's attacks. Danita Delimont / Getty Images

The Armor of God, described by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18, is our spiritual defense against attacks by Satan.

If we were to leave home every morning dressed like the man in this picture, we would feel pretty silly. Fortunately, that's not necessary. The Armor of God may be invisible, but it's just as real, and when used properly and worn daily, it provides solid protection against the enemy's onslaught.

The good news is that none of these six pieces of the Full Armor of God require power on our part. Jesus Christ has already won our victory through his sacrificial death on the cross. We only have to put on the effective armor he has given us.

Belt of Truth

Armor
Roger Dixon/Getty Images

The Belt of Truth is the first element of the Full Armor of God.

In the ancient world, a soldier's belt not only kept his armor in place, but it might be wide enough, as a girdle, to protect his kidneys and other vital organs. Just so, the truth protects us. Practically applied to us today, you might say the Belt of Truth holds up our spiritual pants so that we're not exposed and vulnerable.

Jesus Christ called Satan the "father of lies." Deception is one of the enemy's oldest tactics. We can see through Satan's lies by holding them against the truth of the Bible. The Bible helps us defeat the lies of materialism, money, power, and pleasure as the most important things in life. Thus, the truth of God's Word shines its light of integrity into our lives and holds together all of our spiritual defenses.

Jesus told us "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6, NIV)

Breastplate of Righteousness

Breastplate of Righteousness
The Breastplate of Righteousness symbolizes the righteousness we receive by believing in Jesus Christ. Medioimages / Photodisc / Getty Images

The Breastplate of Righteousness guards our heart.

A wound to the chest can be fatal. That's why ancient soldiers wore a breastplate covering their heart and lungs. Our heart is susceptible to the wickedness of this world, but our protection is the Breastplate of Righteousness, and that righteousness comes from Jesus Christ. We cannot become righteous through our own good works. When Jesus died on the cross, his righteousness was credited to all who believe in him, through justification. God sees us as sinless because of what his Son did for us. Accept your Christ-given righteousness; Let it cover and protect you. Remember that it can keep your heart strong and pure for God.

Gospel of Peace

Gospel of Peace
The Gospel of Peace is symbolized by sturdy, protective footwear. Joshua Ets-Hokin / Getty Images

Ephesians 6:15 talks about fitting our feet with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace. Terrain was rocky in the ancient world, requiring sturdy, protective footwear. On a battlefield or near a fort, the enemy might scatter barbed spikes or sharp stones to slow an army down. In the same way, Satan scatters traps for us as we're trying to spread the gospel. The Gospel of Peace is our protection, reminding us that it is by grace that souls are saved. We can sidestep Satan's obstacles when we remember "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16, NIV)

Fitting our feet with the readiness of the Gospel of Peace is described in 1 Peter 3:15 like this: "... always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear ..." (NIV) Sharing the gospel of salvation ultimately brings peace between God and men (Romans 5:1).

Shield of Faith

Shield of Faith
Our Shield of Faith turns aside Satan's flaming arrows of doubt. Photodisc / Getty Images

No defensive armor was as important as a shield. It fended off arrows, spears, and swords. Our Shield of Faith guards us against one of Satan's deadliest weapons, doubt. Satan shoots doubt at us when God does not act immediately or visibly. But our faith in God's trustworthiness comes from the unassailable truth of the Bible. We know our Father can be counted on. Our Shield of Faith sends Satan's flaming arrows of doubt glancing harmlessly to the side. We keep our shield held high, confident in the knowledge that God provides, God protects, and God is faithful to his children. Our shield holds because of the One our faith is in, Jesus Christ.

Helmet of Salvation

Helmet of Salvation
The Helmet of Salvation is vital protection for our minds. Emanuele Taroni / Getty Images

The Helmet of Salvation protects the head, where all thought and knowledge reside. Jesus Christ said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32, NIV) The truth of salvation through Christ does indeed set us free. We are free from vain searching, free from the meaningless temptations of this world, and free from the condemnation of sin. Those who reject God's plan of salvation battle Satan unprotected and suffer the fatal blow of hell.

1 Corinthians 2:16 tells us that believers "have the mind of Christ." Even more interesting, 2 Corinthians 10:5 explains that those who are in Christ have divine power to "demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (NIV) The Helmet of Salvation to protect our thoughts and minds is a crucial piece of armor. We cannot survive without it.

Sword of the Spirit

Sword of the Spirit
The Sword of the Spirit represents the Bible, our weapon against Satan. Rubberball / Mike Kemp / Getty Images

The Sword of the Spirit is the only offensive weapon in the Armor of God with which we can strike against Satan. This weapon represents the Word of God, the Bible. "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12, NIV)

When Jesus Christ was tempted in the desert by Satan, he countered with the truth of Scripture, setting an example for us. Satan's tactics have not changed, so the Sword of the Spirit, the Bible, is still our best defense. Commit the Word to your memory and to your heart.

The Power of Prayer

Power of Prayer
The Power of Prayer lets us communicate with God, the Commander of our life. Mlenny Photography / Getty Images

Finally, Paul adds the Power of Prayer to the Full Armor of God: "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." (Ephesians 6:18, NIV)

Every smart soldier knows they must keep the line of communication open to their Commander. God has orders for us, through his Word and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Satan hates it when we pray. He knows prayer strengthens us and keeps us alert to his deception. Paul cautions us to pray for others as well. With the Full Armor of God and gift of Prayer, we can be ready for whatever the Enemy throws at us.

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Zavada, Jack. "The Armor of God." ThoughtCo, Oct. 23, 2017, thoughtco.com/the-armor-of-god-701508. Zavada, Jack. (2017, October 23). The Armor of God. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-armor-of-god-701508 Zavada, Jack. "The Armor of God." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-armor-of-god-701508 (accessed April 21, 2018).