Putting On The Armor

Satan’s first objective is to blind the mind of the unbelieving (see 2 Corinthians 4:3-4). When that fails, his next objective is to deceive, tempt and accuse believers. Satan’s aim is to “prove” that Christianity doesn’t work, that God’s Word isn’t true, and that nothing really happened when we were born again. Because our struggle is against spiritual forces of wickedness, we need to know how to protect ourselves.

Westerners have a strange reaction to the notion that unseen demons are present, but so are germs, which they can’t see either. Approximately 200 years ago we didn’t even know that germs existed. Doctors didn’t wear surgical masks, sterilize their equipment, scrub before surgery or use antibiotics. Consequently, a lot of people got sick, and the average person died before they were 50. Now that we know there are germs, what should we do? If we become germ-oriented and start looking for them, we will become hypochondriacs. The appropriate response is to live a healthy life. Our immune system will protect us if we get enough sleep, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.

There are demons in this world! So, we must live a righteous life. Yet if that is all we have to do, why do we need to even know about them? For the same reason we need to know there are germs. If there were no evil spirits, there would be no need to put on the armor of God, to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, or to stand firm and resist the enemy. Ignorance and passive resistance will leave a lot of people in bondage, sick and dying (physically and spiritually).

When we put on the armor of God, we are putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. “So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh” (Romans 13:12-14).

We are only vulnerable when we live according to the flesh, which is why we are to make no provision for the flesh. Satan has nothing on Christ (see John 14:30), and to the extent that we put on Christ, the evil one cannot touch us (see 1 John 5:18). There is no physical sanctuary or place where we are spiritually protected, and there is no time when it is safe to take off the armor of God. Our only sanctuary is our identity and position in Christ (see Ephesians 6:10).

Putting on the armor of God requires an active participation on our part. We cannot passively take our place in Christ. As Paul describes the armor of God, he admonishes us to “be strong” (Ephesians 6:10), “put on” (verse 11), “take [our] stand” (verse 11), “stand firm” (verse 14), “take up” (verse 16), “take” (verse 17), “pray” (verse 18) and “be alert” (verse 18). “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground” (verse 13). The purpose for armor is to stop penetration, and we become vulnerable if we do not assume our responsibility to stand firm in our faith.

Dr. Neil

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