“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”Ephesians 6:10-11
I thought I had seen the passage in Ephesians 6 on the full armor of God from just about every angle. When I was in Christian retail, I sold Full Armor of God play sets and coloring books to parents. I handed Armor of God Bible studies and curriculum to teachers and Bible study leaders. I’ve been exhorted to mentally put on the full armor of God before arising in the morning. While these tools may help me visualize this passage, they don’t seem very effective in the daily heat of the battle against very real spiritual forces of evil that seem to never relent.
The key to understanding what Paul is saying with these images may be in verse 10: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” I was surprised to discover a mention of God’s armor in Isaiah 59:15b-17. In this context, the Lord seeks justice against our foes. However, only He is righteous enough and true enough to put on His armor, so He fights for those who repent of their sins. To stand firm is to put on Christ—His truth, righteousness and salvation!
“Putting on spiritual armor simply means that we continually clothe ourselves in the Lord, relying on His gifts and graces to resist temptation.” (R.C. Sproul)