v. 10: be strong,
v. 11: put on...take your stand
v. 13: put on...be able to stand...to stand
v. 14: stand firm
v.16: take up the shield
v. 17: take the helmet...
v. 18: and pray in the Spirit, be alert...always keep praying
As Believers there are three of the pieces of armor that we already have on. These are established by our position in Christ. These are referenced in past tense within the verses.
- having girded - belt - Truth
- having put on - breastplate - Righteousness
- having shod - shoes - Readiness/Peace
The last three items - shield, helmet and sword - we are told to take up (as in we don't necessarily already have them). These three items help us to continue to win the battle.
A few additional items that may help in understanding each of these pieces of armor and how to don and wield them.
Breastplate - God justifies us with His Righteousness. The enemy will often tell us, "You are not good enough to be a Christian." My answer is, "That does not matter."
Romans 8:33 - Who will bring a charge against God's elect?" - I am God's elect!
We are in Christ, so we are already forgiven. We are the righteousness of God in Christ
2 Corinthians 5:21 - God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
To confess (homologeo) means to acknowledge or agree. As Believers we don't confess to be forgiven, we are already forgiven. We confess in order to clear the way for the fruitful expression of righteousness in our daily lives.
Shoes - Peace/Unity
In the Body of Christ, common doctrine is not the basis for fellowship; common heritage is. We are all children of God. I've found some of the brothers and sisters in Christ who I've come to depend on and trust the most are the ones who I see eye to eye with the least in regards to doctrine. That is okay, we are still part of the same body and love one another.
Helmet - Salvation
I am a child of God, and nothing can separate me from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35)
People experiencing spiritual conflict tend to question their salvation or doubt their identity in Christ. I know, I for one have struggled with this alot in the past. I've often thought of myself as being a "fake Christian" and thought fellow Believers were able to see right through me and see me for the fraud I was. This was a lie from the enemy to keep me from being effective for the Lord. As long as I was worried about whether I was truly saved and concerned with how other Believers saw me, I was not able to focus on God and the battle at hand.
Sword - Word/Spirit
In this verse Paul uses rhema instead of logos for word. "Spoken Word" is what this means. Why is this important? Satan is a created being and does not know exactly what we are thinking. He can make some pretty good guesses at times, but he can not read our thoughts as God can. This is important for two reasons:
- When rebuking the enemy, especially when using Scripture as Jesus did, do so out loud. The enemy can't hear your thoughts, so you need to speak the Word of God against him out loud, just as Jesus did when he was tempted.
- Your unspoken communion with God is your private sanctuary. The enemy can not eavesdrop on you.
I recommend reading all of Ephesians to better understand who God is and who you are in Him. I'll be adding more from the previous chapters in Ephesians soon. I believe this is critical because without understanding who you are in Christ, the armor does not fit correctly. Incorrectly fitting armor leaves gaps for the enemy to sneak in and deal some devastating blows.