Wiehann de Klerk
The Armor Of The Lord
Ephesians 6:10 - "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."
The righteous are those who are bold and courageous, those are the lions that roar. If we think of a lion, it is not scared, not timid, doesn't run away from a challenge, it withstands and stands its ground even when it is pursued. Oftentimes, a lion will sleep in open places, with no fear at all, right in the middle of a field where everyone can see him. There is nothing for him to be ashamed of, he is in right standing with God, all is well. In Proverbs 30:30, we read, "A lion, which is mighty among beasts and does not turn away from any." A lion is not afraid of anything, full of courage and undaunted. It walks with majesty, slowly, and with each step, its shoulders shake with confidence in who he is. Righteous men are as bold as a lion because they know who they are in Christ. In fact, some righteous men, for example, Daniel, has closed the mouths of lions, making physical lions look weak. Righteous men fear God, but fear nothing else. My dad went through a period where he wasn't able to connect with many men, and he said these words to me, and I'll never forget it, "I am a friend of Jesus, and he is my friend." Righteous men are fearless of the agendas of men, and what they could do, and this is because they have angels as their guardians, God by their side and they are empowered by the Holy Spirit. They understand that Christ has overcome the world for them, and therefore, they are fearless of Satan and his powers and principalities. They are fearless as a lion, and in dealing with the hardships and persecutions, they know that it is for a good cause, that Christ is their redeemer, that their armor is proved as powerful, therefore, they have an immense certainty that there is victory and a crown awaiting them. They would rather have no friends, than be a friend with the world, rather only have Jesus as their friend and nobody else. We are called to be lions, confident followers of Jesus, in right standing with Him; confident in the love He has for us; in our interest in Him; in the grace of God in our hearts, knowing that "all things for together for good to those who are called according to his purpose" - Romans 8:28, and therefore; confidently knowing that everything is well indeed, despite the fact that things might not go well in the world, know that we are secure. We are enlisted in the kingdom, to be victorious, to be righteous men like lions, strong and secure in Christ, to "withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" - Ephesians 6:13. Lets put on the armor of God, and prepare ourselves for battle.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness - Ephesians 6:14
The word truth in the Greek is alétheia (ἀλήθεια, ας, ἡ), which means truth in all things, not spoken truth, but divine truth and straightforwardness. What is meant here, with the phrase, "having girded your waist with truth?" Well, the girdle is used to support the body, and to put everything in its place, and does truth of any proportion not intend to do the same, to brace us up, support us, and gird us to steadiness and firm standing? The girdle kept all the armor in its place, and enabled the dress and armor to be steady, consistent and firm, and likewise, truth serves to keep us steady, consistent and firm to our conduct. The gird rendered all the clothing, armor, and weapons compact and firm, and truth does the same, has the same effect upon the mind. A man that has truth is able to make decisions fast, knows what needs to be done, and readily does it, without being hindered or influenced to another direction. A man that lacks truth, well, is unstable in everything he does. As part of his journey, he has doubts, difficulties, sometimes hopes and sometimes fears, constantly entangled in some way or another. Actions by such a man are driven by confusion, shaking and dissolution. Such a man does nothing, or worse, as he wants to be steady, he does what he ought not to do. Therefore, lets keep ourselves intact, steady and firm, by keeping the truth close to us, and girded all over us because "the truth will set you free" - John 8:32. It will set you free, to speak freely, free to act, something that every soldier needs, an ability to make decisions fast.
The word breastplate in Greek is thórax (θώραξ, ακός, ὁ) meaning corslet or cuirass, which was a piece of armor that not only covered the breast/chest, but was wrapped around the front and back of the soldier, covering the body from neck to thighs, and neck to bottom. The Grecian breastplate was generally made of strong metals and elements such as iron, brass and others, to make it hard and able to defy the known weapons at the time. To compliment the strength, the breastplate was polished to such an extent, that it would reflect light, as a means of dazzling the enemy and striking terror in their hearts. To summarize, the breastplate not only seeks to protect the hearts and lungs, and all the other vital functions surrounding that area, but also seeks to terrify the enemy. Goliath as an example was seen as a terrifying opponent, and his breastplate weighed more than 160 pounds (72 kilograms). The reason the breastplate is the element of righteousness is because, just like the breastplate, it is of utmost importance to a citizen in the kingdom. The Greek word for righteousness is dikaiosuné (δικαιοσύνη, ης, ἡ) which means righteousness of which God is the source or author, the condition acceptable to God. It is the principle and practice of righteousness, and the condition of our lives, in other words, our lifestyle as acceptable to God. If we look at righteous men in the bible, like Daniel, it gives us an example of a righteous lifestyle. Righteousness is the integrity, holiness, purity and sincerity of a man, authored by God's righteousness. Man can only be righteous through His righteousness. Just like the breastplate, righteousness defends us - the integrity we have in our lives and the righteousness in our character defends us against the enemy. The reality is that we need righteousness, and this only comes from God, to make us powerfully defensive against the enemy.
Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace - Ephesians 6:15
Many translations of Ephesians 6:15 interpret "shod your feet" as wearing shoes, however, the Greek word for "shod your feet" is hupodeó (ὑποδέω) which means to bind under, therefore having under bound the feet. In other words, Paul was not talking about shoes in general, but rather the military shoes of warriors, feet that are completely bound under. Such shoes were of essential importance to a warrior, they were not a pair of Nike shoes. When you look at the ancient Greek sandals, you can see how well wrapped they were around the leg all the way to just under the knee. There were two main parts to protecting the feet: Firstly, the sandals or shoes were often made out of strong materials near the bottom such as brass, and were fitted with nails to make them extra sturdy, and; secondly, the greaves which were designed to protect them from any danger to their shins. These were fitted to the legs and were made from materials such as brass as well. The shoes were also designed in a way that results in the most mobility. Roman armies were able to march great distances, and strategically move to have an advantageous position in battle. And, what about "preparation" or "preparedness" or "readiness" in this passage? Well, the Greek word for preparation is hetoimasia (ἑτοιμασία, ας, ἡ) meaning foundation, or firm footing. We need to be bound under us so that we have a firm footing and a strong foundation in the gospel of peace, to be fully prepared and ready to fight at all times. "Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace" is all about firm footing in the gospel, to be able and ready to publish the gospel.
A warrior not firmly footed is a warrior who relaxes; a warrior firmly footed is a warrior who is ready for combat.
Likewise, a Christian who doesn't have a firm footing and foundation in the gospel lacks preparedness and readiness. When we are firmly footed in the gospel, we are prepared, for "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" - 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Are you a Christian who wakes up in the morning with your pajamas on and your socks when it comes to your footing in the gospel, or you are fully "bound under" through military assets, and therefore ready with eagerness and preparedness to share the gospel with those who have missed the opportunity to be acquainted with the good news. One thing I love about the bible is how scripture is linked so beautifully toget
Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. - Ephesians 6:16
The thing is that we as citizens in the kingdom "walk by faith, and not by sight" - 2 Corinthians 5:7. In other words, we place that shield in front of us, faithfully proclaiming victory and we "quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one." We know that if we just take that shield, if we just have faith like a mustard seed, we can "say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible" - Matthew 17:20. Nothing will be impossible but what happens if we don’t have that shield of faith in front of us in life? Well, if we don't, it means we are missing out on the power of faith, the power that faith has over the enemy, the ability to ricochet any of the enemy’s attacks. It is by faith that we proclaim that which is unseen as though it is seen, for faith is the "evidence of things not seen" - Hebrews 11:1. In the midst of spiritual warfare, there are principalities and powers that come against you, and then there is Satan who tries to tempt you, but, with the shield of faith, we are proclaiming goodness, and the grace of God over our lives, and in essence, we are placing Jesus right in front of us for "He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him" - Proverbs 30:5.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God - Ephesians 6:17
The helmet of salvation, wow! Doesn't that already say it all. So powerful! The Greek word for take is dechomai (δέχομαι) which means, to receive. In other words, we are not just taking something, we are taking something which is ours for the taking. Salvation and the word of God is freely given to us, all we have to do is take it and use it. The helmet was probably the most important piece of armor, for it is the principal part of the soldier. A deadly stroke on the head, and there goes the command of the entire body. Receive the hope of salvation, and feel His grace right over you, giving you the confidence that you need in battle, knowing that the best is yet to come, and no matter what strikes you, you are saved by the helmet of salvation. The helmets used by the Romans not only protected the head but also parts of the face, and they distinguished the soldier as a Roman soldier. They were very particularly designed, with a red mohawk on the top, and a shiny front face mask. In the same way, when we receive the hope of salvation, we distinguish ourselves as a follower of Jesus, as His royal priesthood. Not only does the helmet protect you but it also distinguishes you. When the enemy sees you, they flee because they look at you once, and see a child of God. So, take that "helmet of salvation", and take the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." The word says in Hebrews 4:12 that the "word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword." The word of God is our weapon - when the enemy attacks you, quote a scripture right back at him, and say to him, the bible says “you will be my footstool" - Hebrews 1:13. The word of God comes from the Holy Spirit, and we can also operate out of the Holy Spirit. Through salvation, we are given the Holy Spirit, but not only that, we can use the word of God, and every word that is spoken to us through it, and through the Holy Spirit, as our attack, and our strength.
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