Order of the Armor of God
Armor of God, Bonus Lesson
Other lessons in the Minecraft version of this study:
Other lessons in the non-Minecraft version of this study:
As I prepared my study on the armor of God in Ephesians 6, I kept asking, “Is there a reason that the armor is put on in this particular order?” I saw one article online that said that this is the order that Roman soldiers would put on their armor. Maybe that’s true. I’m not a historical scholar. But honestly, that doesn’t really make sense to me. For example, why would you pick up your shield before you put your helmet on? Doesn’t it make more sense to have all your armor on first and then pick up your shield and sword as you are ready to head out? At least, that’s the way I would do it. So I decided to think through what each of the pieces of armor represent to try to figure out an answer to my question.
First, we put on the belt of truth. Truth has to come first. It is the foundation of all other pieces of the armor. We have to be able to recognize truth and distinguish truth from lies (1 John 2:21). Deceitfulness is one of Satan’s primary weapons (John 8:44), so if we can’t distinguish God’s truth from Satan’s lies, then we won’t have the ability to see why we need Jesus in the first place, or why we should avoid a certain sin. This is one of the foundational problems with our society today. Some people (even some who call themselves Christians) are unwilling to accept the truth of the Bible and what the Bible calls sin. Some are unwilling to believe the truth that Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 3:16-17). Some are unwilling to believe the truth that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven. We must recognize that Jesus is the truth (John 14:6) and that believing that truth will set us free (John 8:32). Without recognizing these truths, the rest of the armor doesn’t matter.
Once we recognize the truth, we learn the inevitable truth that according to God, we are not righteous, leading to the second piece of the armor of God: the breastplate of righteousness. Righteousness is the primary thing that separates us from God—he is righteous and holy (Isaiah 6:3), and we are not (Romans 3:10-11). The Bible says that all our righteous acts are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We have to recognize the truth of this separation between us and God, and we have to realize that there is nothing we can do to ever be righteous in God’s sight on our own (Philippians 3:8-9).
Third, we fit our feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Once we realize the truth about our own unrighteousness and God’s perfect righteousness, we are open to hearing the truth of the gospel—that Jesus died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), then conquered sin and death when he rose again (Romans 6:9-10).
Fourth, we take up the shield of faith. The Bible says that belief comes from hearing the gospel (Romans 10:17), so the shield of faith falls naturally after hearing the gospel. If we recognize our own depravity and then hear about the price Jesus paid on the cross and the power of his resurrection, we have faith that Jesus has the power to save us (Acts 4:10-12).
And that leads us to the fifth piece of armor, the helmet of salvation. If we have faith in Jesus and his work on the cross, then we will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). It’s as easy as that.
Finally, once we are saved, then we receive the sword of the Spirit. The Bible is clear that the Holy Spirit only dwells in believers (Ephesians 1:13-14) and the power that we receive from the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:7) and from reading and studying God’s word (Hebrews 4:12) are the primary offensive weapons we have to defeat sin in our own lives. The Holy Spirit is the one who transforms us into God’s image (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
This progression supports how an unbeliever would recognize truth, believe in Jesus, and receive the Holy Spirit. Then once you are a follower of Christ, all of these pieces of armor work together constantly and consistently to give you victory over sin. Each piece supports the others. Without faith and salvation, God won’t see us as being covered by Christ’s righteousness (Romans 3:21-22). We need faith to believe the truth of the gospel (Hebrews 11:1), and we need the Holy Spirit to help us distinguish Satan’s lies from God’s truth. Without being able to discern truth from lies, we won’t be able to recognize the true gospel compared to all the false gospels that are out there (1 John 4:1-3). Without the Holy Spirit, we won’t display the graciousness that is required to live at peace with others and show them the beauty of the gospel (Galatians 5:22-23). Through the armor of God, we have been given the perfect roadmap for life in Christ.
The other thought I had during this study is that although the primary purpose of the armor is to stand against Satan’s attacks, this armor also protects us from God’s wrath. The Bible says that if we choose the world over God, we are enemies of God (James 4:4). Isn’t it just like God that while we were still his enemies, he gave us the very armor that allows us to no longer be his enemy (Romans 5:10)? The Bible says, even while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Just like he sent his Son to die in our place (John 3:16), he gives us the armor that will protect us from his fiery wrath (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). It is only through salvation in Jesus that we can be saved (Romans 10:9). It is only through Jesus’ blood covering our sins that God can see us as righteous (1 Peter 2:24). And it is by being covered by Jesus’ righteousness that we are ultimately saved from eternal separation from God (Romans 5:18-21).
What will you do now with this information? Will you accept Christ and be covered by his righteousness? Or will you continue to allow Satan to win the battle in your life?
If you have any questions about being saved, please post your question in the Comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.