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What is the full armor of God?

According to Ephesians 6:12, the struggle with Satan is spiritual, and so no real weapons can be used effectively against him and his henchmen. We are not given a particular list of Satan's strategies. However, the verse makes it abundantly plain that if we faithfully follow all of the directions, we will be able to stand and win regardless of Satan's approach.

Our armor's initial component is truth (verse 14). This is understandable, given that Satan is referred to as the "father of lies" (John 8:44). Deception is high on God's list of things that are considered abominations. One of the things He mentions as "detestable to Him" is a "lying tongue" (Proverbs 6:16-17). Thus, we are commanded to put on truth for our own sanctification and deliverance, as well as the benefit of those to whom we bear witness.

Additionally, we are instructed in verse 14 to put on the breastplate of righteousness. A breastplate protected a warrior's vital organs from potentially lethal strikes. This righteousness is not the result of human efforts of righteousness. Rather than that, it is Christ's righteousness, imputed by God and received by faith, that protects our hearts from Satan's accusations and charges and protects our very being from his attacks.

Verse 15 refers to the feet being prepared for spiritual combat. During combat, an adversary may occasionally place harmful impediments in the way of advancing soldiers. The concept of preparing the gospel of peace as footwear exemplifies what we need to march into Satan's area, cognizant of the pitfalls, with the message of grace that is so critical to bringing lives to Christ. Satan has erected numerous impediments to the gospel's spread.

The shield of trust mentioned in verse 16 renders Satan's planting of doubt over God's faithfulness and the truthfulness of His Word useless. Our faith — of which Christ is the "author and perfecter" (Hebrews 12:2) — is like a golden shield: it is priceless, solid, and substantial.

In verse 17, the helmet of salvation refers to protection for the skull, which is crucial for maintaining the viability of a vital component of the body. We could argue that our way of thinking deserves to be preserved. The head is the seat of the mind, which, having grasped the certain gospel assurance of eternal life, will reject false doctrine and succumb to Satan's temptations. The unsaved individual has little chance of surviving the blows of erroneous theology because he lacks the helmet of salvation and his thinking is incapable of distinguishing spiritual truth from spiritual deceit.

In verse 18, we are instructed to pray in the Spirit (that is, with the mind, heart, and priorities of Christ), in addition to donning the whole armour of God. We cannot overlook prayer, as it is the conduit through which we get spiritual power from God. Without prayer, without reliance on God, our spiritual warfare efforts are fruitless and ineffective. The complete armour of God—truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer—are the instruments God has given us to overcome Satan's attacks and temptations spiritually.


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