1 November 2020 (Trinity Twenty-First Sunday Morning Prayer) Ephesians 6:11
In the past weeks, we meditated about the Grace of Jesus, our understanding about Jesus and redeeming the time. We have all received the Grace of the Almighty Father. The gracious Lord God sent His only begotten Son who laid down His life as the Passover Lamb and made a new covenant with us by His blood. He sent us the Comforter Holy Spirit to reprove the world of sin, righteousness, judgment and bring to remembrance whatever Jesus taught. One-time salvation is not sufficient to inherit eternal life. We are separated from God every time we commit sin. We must repent and confess our sins to be cleansed with the blood of Jesus Christ to inherit eternal life. Once we have received the Grace of God, Jesus expects us to resist the devil, bear fruits for Him, endure till the end and not grieve the Holy Spirit. As the days are evil, we should redeem time by being sober and vigilant, resisting the devil, listening to the Holy Spirit and watching and praying. Resisting the devil is something we should do every day of our lives. Today, I would like to meditate on how we can resist the devil. In St. Pauls epistle to Ephesians, chapter 6, verse 11 says, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”.
Based on this verse, I would like to meditate on two questions: 1) What is the armour of God? and 2) Why do we need the armour of God?
1) Why do we need the armour of God?
We are living in a world dominated by the spirit of darkness. Lucifer knows that he will not win the Lamb of God in the final war. But it does not stop him from deceiving people to be on his side. His focus is on separating those who are saved from God’s presence and destroying their relationship with God. His aim is to make them fall spiritually and lead them to spiritual death. Ephesians 6:10 encourages us to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might”.
Jesus only can strengthen us to fight the spiritual battle against Lucifer, his angels and his cunning plans. We are called to overcome temptation by watching and praying. Jesus expects us to follow His footsteps and resist the devil to endure till end. Ephesians 6:11 encourages us to “Put on the whole armour of God, that” we “may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
James 4:7 says that when we resist the devil, he will flee from us. Our Christian life is a spiritual battlefield where we fight the fallen angel and his schemes every day. That is why St. Paul says that we need armour of God to fight against the devil. He says in Ephesians 6:12 why we need the armour of God. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ephesians 6:13 says, “take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” We who are soldiers fighting for Jesus require the armour of God to stand in the battlefield. We require the armour of God to fight against the devil and his schemes. We require the armour of God to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might to stand against the wiles of the devil.
2) What is the armour of God?
Ephesians 6:14–17 says about the armour of God: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”.
We need the armour of God to stand in the battlefield. The armour of God has many parts: belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet and sword.
- A soldier’s belt is a very important piece of armour. It holds other weapons and sword that the soldier uses in the battlefield. We should gird ourselves with truth which is the word of God. The Word of God strengthens our spiritual backbone and enables us to be prepared to fight the spiritual battle.
- Breastplate of righteousness covers the upper part of our body and protects a few important organs including the heart. Proverbs 12:28 says “In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death.” In the same way, if we walk in the way of righteousness, our souls will be protected from death.
- The terrain of the battlefield will be rough and uneven, and the soldier’s shoes should be good enough for the soldier to wear for his battle. The shoes should be always ready because we will have to fight on the spur of the moment. The gospel of peace equips us to travel over rough roads as we carry the gospel to others.
- The shield of faith helps the soldier to defend himself from the arrows and other weapons. It also helps a soldier to move forward in the battlefield. Trust or Faith on our God acts as a shield and protects us from Satan’s traps and temptations. It helps us to move forward in our Christian spiritual life. Hebrews 10:38 says “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him”.
- The helmet covers the soldier’s head and protects his head from injury. Salvation is very important and protects us from losing our souls. Bible says our salvation comes from God. Acts 4:12 says “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” We will be saved from death when we receive salvation from Jesus Christ. All these pieces of the armour are for the soldier to defend himself.
- The sword of the Spirit or the word of God is the only weapon that the soldier uses for both defense and offense. Hebrews 4:12 says that “the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword.” Jeremiah 23:29 says that the word of God is like a fire and hammer that breaketh the rock. Jesus overcame all the temptations by devil only by the Word of God. We should be equipped with the Word of God and use the Scripture to both defend against attacks on truth and to “destroy strongholds” of false beliefs.
A soldier requires the entire armour of God to fight in the battlefield. Each piece of the armour protects the soldier in his fight. We are familiar with the battle between the Israelites and the Goliath. In 1 Samuel chapter 17 verses 5–7 we read about his armour. Goliath had a helmet on his head, wore a very heavy coat, greaves of brass upon his legs, a target of brass between his shoulders and a heavy spear. One bearing a shield went before him. But David’s stone hit Goliath’s forehead and he fell upon the ground. this Goliath wore a helmet but his forehead was not covered properly. From this we know that it is very important to have the right piece of armour covering us appropriately to protect us in the battlefield.
While wearing the armour of God, it is also required to pray always. Ephesians 6:18 says: “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.” We are called to be people of prayer, in both good and bad times, not in hard times only, when trouble surrounds us and courage fails us. We should pray not only for ourselves but for our fellow soldiers of the cross all over the world.
Today, we believers are also soldiers in the spiritual battlefield fighting for the kingdom of God. Every day, we have to fight in the spiritual battlefield against the devil and his cunning schemes. We should have the armour of God to fight with the spirit of darkness. Head is the most important part of the body and the helmet protects the head. Similarly, salvation is the most part of our Christian life that leads us to eternal life. Goliath lost his life because his head was not appropriately protected. If our salvation is not sealed in Christ, we will lose eternal life. It is the role of the Comforter Holy Spirit to guide and convict us. The Holy Spirit leads us to repentance and salvation every time that we commit sin. The Holy Spirit leads us in the right path so we are fully equipped with the armour of God.
Let us self-examine the armour that we are wearing. The soldier will have complete protection only if he is wearing all the pieces. Are we wearing the armour of God? Are we wearing all the pieces? Are we wearing the belt of truth? Are we protected with the breastplate of righteousness? Are our feet ready to carry the gospel? Are we carrying the shield of faith and sword of the Spirit? Are our heads protected with the helmet of salvation? Are we praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit? If we do not have any of the pieces, we can receive it only from our Lord.