Dressed for Battle (II)
November 22, 2015 Series: Ephesians: Rooted and Renewed
Passage: Ephesians 6:14–6:17
(Note: Due to technical difficulties, the sermon audio quality degrades at 13:45. A backup recording had to be used for the rest of the message. Our apologies for the quality loss.)
Paul’s main admonition in this passage is for believers to stand firm and be strong in the Lord by putting on the full armor of God. And the armor of God is basically putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. In this passage Paul lists six different pieces of armor, five of them are basically defensive in nature and one, the sword of the Spirit, which Paul identifies as the Word of God, is offensive in nature. We will explore these pieces of the armor by exploring them under four headings. (1) Confidence in Truth. Our confidence is in the truth of Word of God and the message of the gospel because it is true. (2) Committed to Justice. The next two pieces of armor have to do with righteousness and peace. The good news that God is committed to restoring shalom. (3) Covered by Faith. Believers are told to take up the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. It is interesting to note here that we are to take an active role in taking up these pieces of armor to be protected against our spiritual enemies. And finally (4) Contend With the Sword, which is the sword of the Spirit the very Word of God. We contend against our spiritual enemies not with our own weapons but with the weapon of the Word of God.
We need to note that putting on the armor of God is putting on Jesus Christ. Earlier in the letter Paul wrote, “And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). And to the church at Rome he said, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14). The entire armor is gospel-centered, where the truth is the truth of the gospel, and the breastplate of righteousness includes the righteousness of Christ imputed to believers. And the shield of faith concerns appropriating the gospel promises God has given us, including the very helmet of salvation.