Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
(Ephesians 6:11 ESV)
Before heading out into battle a soldier must be both mentally and physically prepared. He wouldn’t go without his gun, helmet, or body vest. Yesterday we learned that the Christian life is a war. God’s children [John 1:12-13] are soldiers while on this earth.
The opponent is the devil. The Greek word here is διαβολοσ (pronounced: dee-ab’-ol-os) which means “slanderer”. Satan attacks us by lying. In the Garden of Eden Satan tricked (i.e. schemed) Eve into disobeying God by slandering Him [Genesis 3:1-6]. He still uses that same tactic today. All sin stems from doubt about God.
When we doubt that God loves us and has only our best interests in mind we will disobey. All sin is enticing. If it weren’t we wouldn’t do it. But just like the fruit Adam & Eve ate, which looked beneficial, all sin has negative consequences. We may think there is no harm. But we are being mislead by desire [James 1:14-15].
Notice that God does not tell us to fight Satan directly. He tells us to stand against his schemes. If we resist the devil, he will leave us alone, albeit only temporarily [James 4:7]. But to be able to resist we need to be able to recognize when we are being duped.
This is where the armor of God comes in. Armor is protection. God gives us the resources we need to protect ourselves from Satan’s schemes to trip us up. If Satan can out wit us then he has won a small battle in his effort to damage our relationship with God. Once a person has been born-again she is one of God’s children forever. So our relationship with God cannot be broken. But when we sin our relationship with God is strained. Not to mention the consequences of that sin may have long lasting effects on us and others.
Paul will explain in detail what exactly this armor is over the next several verses. But for now its important to note that we need to put on the whole armor. The Greek word for “put on” is ενδυο (pronounced: en-doo’-o). This word means “to clothe”. We are to cover ourselves in the resources God gives us to protect ourselves.
Interestingly, the verb tense here is a command to do something, do it completely, and do it once and for all. Christians are commanded to put on the whole armor of God – not just some of it – and never take it off. We are to go through life wearing this protection because we will need it for the rest of our earthly lives as Satan, and his minions, will never stop trying to get us to sin.
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