By Scott Brown
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Waverly
The Christian life is a battle. This is something that needs to be said again. Walking with Jesus is walking to battle! Paul gives an illustration the Ephesians would be all too familiar with, as a major Roman city.
Each piece of armor Paul describes as a picture of the spiritual armor we must have in order to do battle with our true enemy. There are three things about a soldier’s armor that really help to accent this incredible text.
First, the soldier’s armor was a symbol of identification. Sports teams wear the same uniform so there is a clear distinction between teammates and opponents. As we walk together in battle we can know our fellow soldiers by the armor they wear and the opponent they fight.
We can also be reminded that we are a part of a grand army of God with all those who have gone before us in the faith. As a soldier I fight together against the enemies with my brothers, not alone. A Roman soldier’s uniform communicated powerful authority as an agent of the emperor.
The Christian’s armor communicates that we, too, walk under and are empowered by the authority of our King.
The armor helped others to see who you were and whose you were. It’s the same way for the Christian. As we put on the armor of God it serves as an identifier for others to see clearly that we belong to Jesus.
Next, the armor is for protection. A soldier with incomplete armor would never stand a chance in the fierce battles they faced.
Likewise, our enemy is ruthless, carefully taking aim at the weakest points in our armor to do whatever it takes to destroy our witness, disqualify our ministries, and bring death to every good and godly thing.
May we stand firm, fully equipped with the right spiritual armor. I’ve said often that Paul neglects to mention any rear armor for the believer because God never commands retreat. May we never turn and run from the spiritual battle before us but do all to stand firm in the faith.
Finally, the soldier’s armor is for action. Studying through this with a group of men, I heard one of them wonder aloud at the obvious weight and unwieldiness of this armor. He reminded us that the armor was not for comfort but for conquering. Putting on armor carried purpose and action.
We are in a never ending war against all the spiritual hosts of wickedness, our culture under their sway, and even our own sinful flesh. Let us put on this armor and stand ready to battle against these enemies together. Withstand in the evil day, having done all to stand firm.