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Armor of God – Part 2

August 30, 2020

Armor of God – Part 2

Passage: Ephesians 6:14-17
Service Type:

Armor – Part 2

Eph 6:10-20


Prayer out of the song...


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Today, I’d love for all of you to stay standing as we read God’s word together, and here’s how we’re going to do this – I’d love for those of you watching online to do this with us. Grab a Bible if you have one close by, even if you’re at home, I invite you to stand as we read the word together, and I mean together. So turn to Ephesians 6, and we’ll read verses 10-18. 


Ephesians 6:10–18 (CSB): 


10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength.


11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. 


12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. 


13 For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 


14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, 


15 and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. 


16 In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 


17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the word of God. 


This is the word of the Lord – PRAYER


We’re four weeks into our series called Contend for the Faith, now, where we’ve been looking at the battle that is the Christian life, and for the Christian life. If you’ve been around church for a while, we call this spiritual warfare. And when we talk about spiritual warfare, what we mean is that a battle is taking place in our minds and in our hearts between faith and fear, between hope and hopelessness, between grace and earning, between truth and perception. We’re talking about a battle between light and darkness, truth and deception, that is fought every day on the battlefields of our homes, our churches, our marriages, our workplaces, and our down time. 


We saw our mission is to fill the earth with the glory of God, and we also looked at our enemy, that we’re not at war against flesh and blood, it’s not other people. Our battle is against powers of darkness in the heavens.


For this reason, we’re told to put on the full armor of God, so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. Be found faithful! V13 says, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. And third, we also started to look at who is on our team, but understanding those who have trusted Christ for salvation are raised with him, seated with him in the heavens and given every spiritual blessing, where he is FAR ABOVE ALL RULERS AND AUTHORITIES. So leading our team is the King of kings – he’s even King over the enemy’s king. 


This isn’t a fair fight between two equal powers. Light makes darkness disappear. But darkness can’t make light disappear. 


The night before last week’s sermon, I felt like I was getting pounded by the enemy. This week I felt it again. And I realized, putting on the armor doesn’t mean Satan will leave you alone. Putting on the armor means you expect to take some hits. You expect to be shot at. But you know you have a solid defence when that happens so that you aren’t taken out. 


So let’s look at our armor now, our defense against the enemy’s attack. Next week we’ll look at the offense, but today we’re on defense.  (9:53)


14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, 


So here is our first piece of armor: the belt. In those days, everyone wore robes. So when you were going to run, or head into battle, or do some strenuous activity, the first thing you had to do to get ready for action is take the bottom of your robe, hike it up, and tie it around your waist. Some of your translations call this “girding up your loins.” Then you could tie a belt around it so you could move freely in battle and not trip over yourself. The belt would hold the sword as well, fastening it to your person. So that’s the picture we have. 


Here’s Pauls train of thought:

1:13 – you were sealed w/ the HS when you heard the word of TRUTH, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. Believing requires hearing the truth. You can’t believe what you don’t hear. The truth is Eph 1 and 2: 

  1. You were dead in sin. You chose sin, you earned a death sentence, and owed a debt you could never repay. 
  2. But God made a way for you to be made alive, by sending his Son to live your life, take your death, and giving you his life. 
  3. He has now welcomed you (a former enemy) to his dining room table, not as a visitor but as a son or daughter. You don’t even have to strive to keep it. He is keeping you


That’s the truth.


Paul is saying that the first thing believers need to do is to get ready to move into battle, and author RC Sproul continues that thought by saying: “That which makes it possible to move without tripping over yourself, is truth.”1 So the analogy here is that if your life is not held together by the truth of the gospel, you are running through life with your pants around your ankles. Every little thing that happens in your home will trip you up. Every political change will trip you up. The threat of sickness will trip you up. I’m not saying those things aren’t important or don’t matter, but they don’t have to trip us up. 


So, truth is like a belt that keeps our life from falling apart, and that truth is Jesus. Col 1:17 – He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.


14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest...


Next up is righteousness. Wear it like armor on your chest. First of all, the plate of armor on your chest protects your vital organs. Your heart, your lungs, your kidneys. In modern terms, it’s a bulletproof vest. In spiritual terms, there is something needed to protect your heart, your emotions… the center of what makes you a person = your identity. And what Paul applies to that need is righteousness. There are even more verses in scripture about righteousness than truth. 


Again, though, staying with Paul here in Ephesians:


In Ephesians 4:24, Paul says we are to put off the the former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.


It's like buying new shoes. You can’t put on the new ones until you’ve taken off the old ones.  There is an old righteousness, and old identity that we carry before we are believers. Maybe it’s the City you grew up in, or the work that you do, or the result of the last personality test you took, and that’s what you use to protect your heart. When someone hurts you, or you hurt someone else, you throw up the victim card - that’s just who i am.  But in Christ there is none of that. We have been given CHRIST’S IDENTITY. child of God. Loved. Holy. Righteous. That’s the protection for your heart. When someone you love hurts you, and you take that shot to the chest, your protection isn’t “hey, look you’re strong, you can handle this, you’re a lion, girl wash your face and get up” — that’s not helpful! The armor you need in that moment is that your Savior stands with you and for you, and his righteousness has earned you a place in his family, and he weeps with you and stands with you and you don’t have to be knocked down by what people say about you true or otherwise, because you know what the blood of Jesus says about you! The armor you need when the enemy hits you with an old familiar sin is not, “God I promise I’ll try harder and not let that happen again.” Arrows go right through that. That’s paper armor. What you need to put on in those times is the righteousness of Christ - “yes I have stumbled over that same rock yet again, but the blood of Christ says every single lustful thought, including that one, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more! Yes it’s what I did, but praise God that’s not who I am! Because Jesus stood in for me in life and death, God looks at me as if I’ve never sinned even once!”


The analogy here is that if you don’t have Jesus’ perfect obedience, his right-ness, applied to your life, then you are vulnerable to the darts of the enemy. You will think your relationship with God depends on your perfection. You will think God can’t love you because of something you’ve done or not done. You’ll think your ability to withstand temptation is what God approves of, and you will exhaust yourself trying to be perfect, and you will crash in despair. To put on the righteousness of Christ is to understand that he didn’t just die for you, but he lived for you. His perfect, sinless life is applied to you just as much as his death. And the good news is that no matter hard of a blow you take from the enemy, or a spouse, or child, or coworker, teammate, it doesn’t have to shape who you are. 




15 and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. 


Up until the modern era, the single most important aspect of warfare was the march. In our Civil War, Stonewall Jackson was widely recognized for his incredible ability to move troops quickly and strategically from one place to another. When the army had good shoes, they could cover a lot of ground quickly, but if they were lacking in shoes, trying to wrap their feet in random things to keep them warm or stable, they were incredibly slow, or, as experienced in Korea in the 1950’s, sometimes the guns of the enemy weren’t the primary problem for American soldiers – it was their own feet which were wet and frozen because the shoes weren’t adequate for the conditions that sometimes were the greatest enemy. 


For a Roman soldier, the shoes included everything up to the knees. They would guard against briars and thorns in rough places, and give you traction to stand your ground. No sandals, no traction. Slip and slide, etc. So footing is incredibly important. 


And here Paul says our footing is readiness for the gospel of peace. So first of all, what is the gospel of peace? 


Eph 2:13,14 – But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace… v 17, he came and proclaimed good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who are near. 


My son Jackson and I spent a couple hours in a courthouse last summer because he and some buddies went out on the river one afternoon and the DNR found some things that were out of line with the boat they were borrowing, and we ended up at the Johnson County courthouse. And you sit there knowing that they can throw the book at you if they want. But then the prosecutor walked up and said, “we’re going to throw out the case. You’re free to go.” That’s great news! Where tension sat, there was now peace. What was held against us was released. And how amazing is it to hear that news!?


That’s the picture of the gospel! Jesus came to earth to tell  any who will call on him for salvation, “Hey the charges against you have been dropped! You’re free to go into all the world and tell them the same thing!” 


The analogy here of shoes, is that we are to live with our shoes on. Live with your shoes on, ready at all times to carry a message of hope and peace, even when it’s rough. 1 Peter 3:15 says we should always be ready to give an answer for the hope we have, so that when the opportunity comes to share the gospel with someone, we’re not slipping around like a newborn giraffe, making excuses and well I mean, God loves you, and um…  but we are ready. 


The opposite of having the shoes of readiness on is where God saves me and I’m good. Kick up the feet, live my life. We belong to the Story of God, where God wants the world to be filled with his glory. Jesus showed us what that looked like. He was never too busy for people’s questions. He was never too involved in his own work to let someone interrupt him. That’s having your shoes on. Always ready. 


That doesn’t mean we have to have the answers to ALL the questions. No one does. But we can certainly have the answer to some questions. Remember - you first believed because you heard the truth. 


16 In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 


Faith is simply the act of trusting God. It’s believing what we can’t see. And when the enemy throws arrows at us, faith covers us from head to toe. Paul says multiple times in Eph 1 and 2, it’s by grace through faith we are saved. Faith is continuing to believe that God is good and that he is sovereign (in control). 


  • US/UNITY: Faith is best practiced in community. That’s why we gather together to sing and worship and hear the word. It’s why we get into smaller groups, Community Groups in homes, where we learn each others’ stories. Then, when the enemy attacks, we can hold shields next to each other to create a fortress on the spot that can move quickly, and defend the weak/injured. 
  • Here’s what I mean: A couple weeks ago a friend calls me and says Hey I’ve got this opportunity that’s come my way, and I’m feeling overwhelmed and inadequate, I’m freaking out a little bit. I feel like everyone there is going to wish I did things differently, and that I’m going to let everyone down. 
    • First of all, do you hear the fiery darts of the enemy whizzing around? “You’re inadequate. You’re going to fail. People will probably think you’re terrible. And because people are probably already unhappy with you, you should do everything yourself.
    • To practice the shield of faith in that moment is not to say “Oh, come on. You’re strong, man. You deserved to lead this. You are creative, fun, and people love you – you’ll do great.” That’s terrible. It might make you feel good for a second, but it just adds more pressure. 
    • To hold up the shield of faith for someone else is to say, “Listen, we’re all weak and inadequate. Don’t forget Jesus didn’t die for you because you were good at event planning. Jesus died for you because you were worse than inadequate – you were dead in your sin. And he’s given you an opportunity today to give someone else hope, to point someone else to Jesus. And even if you fail and the whole group says “never ask her to do that again”, you are already loved and accepted by the one person who will never abandon you, and your significance and purpose comes from him – not from the event. So go, have fun! Do your best and leave the results up to Him.”


That’s totally different. That’s holding up my faith next to theirs, when theirs might be weak and some arrows are getting through. And the truth is, we’re all in that position from time to time. That’s why it’s important to have gospel-centered community, where people can speak truth in love to you like that. 


Which brings us to the last piece of defensive armor: 17 Take the helmet of salvation... 


There is a change in the Greek here from “taking up” the shield of faith. This time, instead of taking up meaning to pick up and carry, this time the meaning of the word “take” means to accept or receive something. Salvation, like all the other armor, is something we receive from the Lord. 


Salvation is rescue, deliverance from something, so how is salvation applied to us? Scripture 


I know we’re sticking with Ephesians for other scriptures, but Paul also writes one other place about the armor of God. In 1 Thessalonians 5:8, he says, let us be self-controlled and put on the armor of faith and love, and a helmet of the hope of salvation. 


The helmet protects the brain, the seat of wisdom and knowledge, and Paul seems to say the hope of salvation, that we’ve

  1. Been saved from the penalty of sin
  2. Been saved from the power of sin
  3. And will one day be saved from the presence of sin

...means we can guard our thoughts by remembering our future salvation. We remember that this world is not our home. That the things that seem monumental in this life are just blips on the radar of eternity. The helmet of the hope of salvation is what should keep you from going crazy in an election year. Sure it’s important and as a citizen of the USA, you should educate yourself and vote your beliefs. But the helmet of salvation reminds you that there is a greater kingdom coming. There is a greater King, a Savior, who will rescue us from the corruption and darkness and struggle that we experience in this life. 


In a battle, if you don’t wear your helmet, a headshot will take you out pretty quickly. When Christians start acting like this world is their home, it’s like taking your helmet off. We’re going to spend the entire next sermon series, from Sept 13 through the end of January studying 1 Peter, and learning in no uncertain terms – this world is not our home. 


So let's wrap this up: Put on the armor of God. What is the armor of God? What elements make a person a Christian? 

  1. Truth – If you think you can make up your own truth as you go along, you’ll trip over every little thing that comes your way. Jesus is the truth holds all things together like a belt. 
  2. Righteousness – If you think you are good enough of a person for God to accept you, or that you can get to heaven because God will give you the benefit of the doubt, you are wearing paper armor. Only the perfect obedience of Christ is good enough for God, and at the cross of Jesus it is offered to you. Take it! Put it on. 
  3. Readiness for the gospel of peace – God didn’t choose to make things right with you so you could kick back and carry on with your life. Your life belongs to him, and you live with your shoes on – ready to go where he calls, even if it’s rough, and proclaim the good news. 
  4. Faith – If you believe that God is either powerful or good, you’ll get destroyed by the enemy’s darts. But if you believe he works all things together for his glory and our good – you can block the darts of the enemy. 
  5. Hope of salvation – If you think this world is all there is, it only takes one arrow from the enemy lodged in your mind to get you thinking all kinds of nonsense. Jesus showed us with his ascension that this world is not our home. It is temporary. We have hope that one day he will return to save us from this corrupt world, and that hope is like a helmet to protect our minds. 


My prayer for you today, River City, is that you would not wait another minute. If you are missing one of those pieces, put it on. If you’re not sure how, or want to talk more, please hunt me down afterward, or after the song, there will be a phone number on the screen you can text and we’ll be in touch. 






  1. Sproul, R.C., The Purpose of God: Ephesians (Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1994) "https://ref.ly/o/purposegod/225043?length=141


Poole, Matthew: Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible, Volumes 1-3 (Broadway: Robert Carter and Brothers , 1685) "https://ref.ly/o/commholbbl/21333222?length=148


Brown, David; Fausset, A.R.; Jamison, Bobby: Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871)