In Ephesians, Paul instructs the church to put on the whole armor of God. He then lists the following components of the armor: truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God (which is the sword of the Spirit). This is often treated as a list of individual things or qualities that we get from God to use to be effective in the battle. But, …. I want to bring your attention to one word:
Paul does not tell us to put on pieces of armor fromGod. He tells us to put on the armor OF God. This same Paul who wrote to the Ephesians also wrote to the Galatians and he told them that it was all about Christ. He starts off the book asking why they were allowing others to turn their focus away from the simple faith in Christ to false doctrines. Then he writes about how the law and the prophets were given as schoolmasters for the sole purpose of bringing us to Christ. He concludes chapter three by stating that those who through faith have been baptized into Christ (in other words, salvation), those have put on Christ.
In other words, the armor of God that we wear is Jesus Himself. God the Father doesn’t just send us a care package with random, disjointed pieces of armor. He wrapped up everything He knew we’d need and sent us the total package in the form of His Son.
Jesus is the Whole Armor of God that we wrap ourselves in, consider:
Loins girded with Truth– When the Bible speaks of loins it is referring to the reproductive regions of the body. Jesus said that He was the only Truth and the only way to the Father. There is no rebirth, no life, and no growth to the heavenly Kingdom outside of Him.
Breastplate of Righteousness– Righteousness is right standing with God. This is the only real protection for our heart. Being right with God comes only when we are clothed with His Son. “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.”
Feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace– There is no peace with God without surrender to His Son. The shod feet signify that once we’vemade peace with Jesus, we need to go around and spread it to everyone around us. We become His messengers.
Shield of Faith and Helmet of Salvation– I am saved by yielding to the faith of the one who loved me. Jesus knew He could conquer death. He knew there was a joy waiting for Him on the other side of the cross as He provided salvation for all who wanted relationship with Him. Thank God it didn’t all hinge on our faith. Our shield is the Savior who never wavered, never backed down and who still today will wash us white and make us new if we’ll let Him. It gives my mind great peace to know that Jesus paid the sin debt that I couldn’t pay.
The Sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God)– There is nocompetition within the Godhead. They work together with an unmatched unity. The Bible teaches that when God searched through heaven looking to save us, finding no one else to do it, His own strong right arm reached down and won Him the victory. The Holy Spirit inhabits us and then continually draws us to Christ. This process doesn’t stop when you get saved. There will be an eternity of the Holy Spirit wooing us to be more in love with Jesus (just like He and the Father are). The Sword that the Spirit of God wielded to win the battle and now teaches us to rely on is the living Word of God, Jesus Himself.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: Father God, as we commit ourselves to keep “Looking unto Jesus”, teach us to see the Bible as more than just collections of stories or words of wisdom. There is an overwhelming theme that bursts to life from the pages, HIS NAME IS JESUS. Help us Father to know your Son more intimately. Holy Spirit, reveal to us, in us, and through us the glorious nature of Jesus. Thank You Lord Jesus so much for the challenge and the invitation to come unto You and know you more. You exceed anything that we could plan, think or ask. Have your way in our lives. We love You. Amen.
Paul also tells the Romans to “put on Christ.” So, Who are you wearing today?
Your nature or His?