In the last couple of articles I spoke of the importance of putting on the armor that Paul speaks of in Ephesians. Paul spoke of the necessity of doing this so that we might stand in the evil day. We don’t hear much about the consequences of not doing this for we seem to be living in a day of easy believism.
But Paul’s statement carries with it a warning. The warning is not stated as such, but it certainly is implied in his reason for putting on this armor — “that you may stand in the evil day”. What is the opposite of standing? I know we don’t want to even think about it, because it places a responsibility on us as a believer. But falling is definitely the antecedent of standing in the context of this message. You possibly wonder why I point out these things. You may even think me to be too negative in my writing. So why do I do it?
I seem to take scripture very literally probably much more so than those who claim to be pure literalists. In so doing we must recognize that there is allegory in Scripture; there is hyperbole in Scripture, but where Scriptures meaning is clear there is certain danger when it is twisted.
“Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. Ezekiel 3:17 NASB.
From the time I was a young boy in church, even though I was not in Christ at that time, still I knew that the Word of God was something that I must take seriously.
Since becoming a believer and taking up my abode in Him and He in me the above verse flashes before me often as though it is calling out to me to be diligent to share what the Lord has entrusted to me. And so it is now with the armor for an approaching evil day.
So why is it that salvation is called our helmet? I know that you have heard as have I that in order to be saved belief must pass from the head to the heart, and maybe this is what Paul is telling us with the armor. But it all starts with the head.
What we believe apart from God’s wisdom is foolishness. God’s truth must be sought out, prayed over, understood and guarded. We are what we believe. The mind of Christ (the truth) is to be our mind. Salvation’s helmet is the guardian of our thoughts. We are being led into all truth, and because our thoughts are right we actively engage the remaining armor.
The heart is guarded with righteousness — the breastplate of righteousness. The heart is deceitful beyond measure. It is as we take on the mind of Christ that we gain a desire for His righteousness to be imparted to us. We are nothing without Him. He is our righteousness. He is our breastplate. His mind is our mind. He is our salvation; our helmet. His righteousness is on guard around our heart. But what we hear Paul say is that we are to put on this righteousness. We walk in obedience and love for Him. Sin places holes in our armor. Repentance is a strong patch to cover the holes we create.
We gird up our loins with truth. He is the truth. He is the Word. His word is truth. There is no truth worth knowing apart from Jesus the word of God. Our loins are the center of procreative power. We are instructed to take the gospel to the world. There is only one gospel, one truth with which we are able to procreate a body worthy of the kingdom. We are to make disciples of all who believe. It is right for us to be engaged with the wrongs we see in the world around us. We are no longer of the world, but we are in it as salt and light.
Our final armor is a shield. This shield is our Faith in Him to do what we on our own cannot do. With faith we ward off the temptations from the enemy.
And this engaging of the world around us requires that we wield a sword and that our feet be shod with the gospel of peace. We walk by His light and we take that light out into the world. Our sword comes to us through the Spirit, and it is the word of God that cuts and divides and reveals truth.
“My peace I give to you not as the world gives.” His peace is offered by Him through us to a world that is sick with hatred and pride. A world that is growing more and more evil with each passing year. A world that has heard and mostly the rejected Jesus the truth, the word of God. A world that chooses its own set of morals. And most individuals within this world are choosing to create or even become their own god. But some of these will believe and be given the power to become the very sons of God because some of us His bond servants have adorned themselves in Him the only armor; the only righteousness; the only salvation; the only Truth worth giving over ones life to.
It is my desire to see all those come to know Jesus (the Truth) with whom I am privileged to know on life’s journey. May it be so.