WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 12, 2020
TOPIC: PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil” (Ephesians 6:11 New Living Translation).
In the New King James Version, the word armor is used five times in the New Testament. The word occurs first in Luke 11:22 with regard to the biding of the strongman.
Luke 11:21-22 says, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils” (New King James Version).
Apostle Paul used the word four times in the New King James Version of the New Testament. Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary says armour is employed in the English Bible to denote military equipment, both offensive and defensive.
Paul was not a military officer or a commander in an army. He was a minister of the gospel. Yet, in his writing, he used the word armour to convey a message to the church. His use of the word tells us the kind of person he was and his understanding of the Christian faith and the ministry.
Paul saw Christians as being involved in spiritual warfare and, therefore, should have the mentality of soldiers. If soldiers are fighting a war and they have the mentality of civilians, they have lost. Apostle Peter said, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9 New King James Version).
Paul described the armour in relation to Christians in different ways. In Romans 13:12, he calls it the armour of light. In 2 Corinthians 6:7, he calls it the armour of righteousness. Also, in Ephesians 6:11, 13, he refers to it as the armour of God.
As I’ve pointed out before, the armour consists of both offensive and defensive weapons. Paul was most probably using the armour of a Roman soldier to describe how a Christian should prepare and conduct himself in his spiritual walk and warfare to avoid becoming a casualty in spiritual warfare.
Paul said in Ephesians 6:10-13, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (New King James Version).
The phrase “the whole armour of God” indicates that the armour is not one piece of weapon. There are different parts – offensive and defensive. Paul wasn’t talking about the physical armour but the spiritual. Paul said the Christian must arm himself with both offensive and defensive spiritual weapons and went further to name what constitutes this whole armour of God.
Ephesians 6:14-16 says, “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (New King James Version).
Paul continued: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (verses 17-18 New King James Version).
Christians shall do well to pay attention to the counsel of Paul. One, two, or three weapons are not enough for us to be victorious as Christian soldiers. We need a full complement of the weapons of our warfare. We need the offensive weapon as well as the defensive. Each has its own function.
We must put on the belt of truth, body armour of God’s righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. We must engage in prayer and supplication, watchfulness, and perseverance.
Beloved, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil” (Ephesians 6:11 New Living Translation). The devil is an experienced strategist and trickster! He will outwit you if you fail to put on all of God’s armour that Paul listed. You cannot withstand in the evil day if you don’t put on the whole armour of God. You must do this to be able to stand and keep standing.
You shall defeat the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, the mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and the wicked spirits in the heavenly realms if you put on the whole armour of God.
The child of God is not fighting the devil in his own strength; he is only enforcing the victory of Jesus over the devil on the cross. “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15 New King James Version).
In another reference to the armour which a Christian should put on, Paul said in Romans 13:11-12, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (New King James Version).
There was an urgency in Paul’s spirit as he wrote this letter, urging the Christians in Rome to wake up as their salvation was nearer than when they first believed. They were to cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. The New Living Translation refers to this armour as “the shining armor of right living.” (Romans 13:12). Paul sends the same urgent message to Christians today.
While talking about how he tried to show himself as a true minister of God, Paul said, among other things, that he did this by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left (2 Corinthians 6:4, 7). The New Living Translation renders verse 7 thus: “We have faithfully preached the truth. God’s power has been working in us. We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and to defend ourselves.”
What does the Bible mean by righteousness in this context? The New Century Version renders the verse thus: “We use our right living to defend ourselves against everything” (verse 7b). Earlier in Ephesians 6:14, we saw the breastplate of righteousness as part of the whole armour of God. Righteousness is “Holy and upright living, in accordance with God’s standard” (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary). Righteousness is both right standing before God and right living among men.
Right living is a requirement for having a blameless ministry (2 Corinthians 6:3). Right living is both an offensive and defensive weapon. Paul told Timothy, a man of God, to pursue, along with other things, righteousness (1 Timothy 6:11). Again, what’s the meaning of righteousness in that scripture?
The New Living Translation gives us a clearer meaning. In place of righteousness, it uses “what is right” (1 Timothy 6:11). Pursuing righteousness is following what is right. Montgomery’s New Testament refers to it as integrity. The New Century Version says, “Live in the right way.”
Hear Paul again: “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22 New King James Version).
As a child of God or a servant of God, put on the armour of righteousness – the armour of right living, the armour of integrity. 1 Peter 2:12 says, “Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world” (New Living Translation).
Matthew 5:16 says you should let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. A child of God or a minister of God must be an example of doing good deeds (Titus 2:7).
Put on the whole armour of God so that you will be able to fight against the wiles of the devil, his evil tricks.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: In the name of Jesus, I put on the whole armour of God and I stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the devil. Satan shall not take from me my whole armour. Father, I put on my amour of light; darkness will not cover me in Jesus’ name. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I shall live in the right way.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947