Monday, 14 November 2016
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
In order to explain the words of the previous verse, Paul now introduces the thought of protective armament, both for offensive and defensive uses. His words were that we are to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” In order to do that, we are told to now, “Put on the whole armor of God.”
The Greek word for “whole armor” is panoplia. It equates directly to our modern word panoply. It is only used twice in this chapter and once in Luke 11:22. It signifies “a complete set of defensive and offensive armor (weapons), i.e. everything needed to wage successful warfare; (figuratively) the full resources the Lord gives to the believer so they can successfully wage spiritual warfare. In this way they do not fight for victory – but from His victory!” (HELPS Word Studies).
We are to determine what the “armor of God” is, and then to adorn ourselves with it. Paul will detail and explain each implement which comprises this armor. From that, we are to pay heed to his words, applying these concepts to our spiritual lives. This “armor of God” corresponds to what he spoke of in Romans 13. First he said –
“Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12
The “armor of light” is the “armor of God.” It is contrasted then to that which belongs to the devil and which belongs to darkness. In explanation of “the armor of light,” Paul continued on in Romans 13 –
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:14
Everything which Christ embodies and displays is what we are to pursue. His humanity was sinless and perfect; we are to pursue this. His deity is absolute holiness; we are to strive to likewise be holy. We are told to pursue Christ by adorning ourselves in His light, and adorning ourselves in what His human/divine nature signify. Paul’s instructions in this are so “that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
The Greek word for “wiles” is methodeia. It is only found here and in Ephesians 4:14 which spoke of the “deceitful plotting” of those opposed to the truth of the gospel. It indicates “a predictable (pre-set) method used in organized evil-doing (well-crafted trickery)” (HELPS Word Studies).
As a great parallel to what we are seeing in Ephesians 6, Ephesians 4 continues on with the words –
“…but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—“ Ephesians 4:15
We are to put on the whole armor of God so that we “may grow up in all things into Him who is the head.” We cannot do this unless we are properly dressed in the armor of God in order to stand against the wiles of the devil.
What is implied in this verse is that those who do not put on the whole armor of God will not be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Instead, they will remain “children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14).
Life application: In order to mature in Christ, and in order to defend against the attacks of the devil, we need to properly prepare ourselves. Paul will explain what the “whole armor of God” is in the coming verses. Let us pay heed to these words and then apply them to our lives, soberly considering that the devil is there and ready to attack us at our weakest points, and in our weakest moments.
Lord God, Your word shows that the devil is real, and that he relishes in weak and untrained Christians. In our failure to learn Your word and apply it to our lives, we are like children who are easily tossed back and forth by every crazy wind of doctrine that comes about. We follow conspiracies, we get misdirected in our theology, and we take our eyes off of Jesus. What a shame that we are willing to spend countless hours searching out crazy websites full of nonsense, and yet are unwilling to immerse ourselves in Your word. What a shame. Help us to reprioritize and redirect ourselves to Your word. Amen.