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 firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts. Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. Ephesians 6:13-24
I love the way Paul ends his letter to the Ephesians. The imagery he uses is wonderful. I think part of my love for these verses is how it affected our son Daniel. I don’t know many young boys that can resist the image of the soldier girded for battle, not many older boy either. Here Paul uses the Roman soldier to illustrate how we are equipped to fight the battle for the lost.
The Roman soldier was the most feared fighting man of the time. His armor was designed for maximum efficiency in fighting. The belt of the Roman soldier held all his armor and weapons together just as God’s truth holds us together as the body of Christ. The breastplate protected the soldier’s vital organs just as Christ’s righteousness protects us. The soldier’s sandals protected them over rough terrain and were such that they did not easily come off so the gospel protects us over the rough terrain of life. The shield protected the soldier from the blows of battle as our faith protects us from the blows of life. The helmet protected the head and the mind, just as our salvation protects us from hell itself. The Roman sword was meant for close quarter fighting it was his best offensive weapon just as the Word of God is our weapon against the evil one and we need to use it in close quarters with unbelievers to help them discover the truth.
We need to keep and use all the weapons in the arsenal God has given us to protect ourselves and the spread the word to the world. Now, one thing more about the Roman soldiers armor, it only protected the front. If the soldier turned his back to the enemy he was in danger. That was when he was most venerable. So too, we need to march forward in our faith turning neither to the left or the right and never turning back to our old lives.
We need to be able to say at the end that we fought the good fight, we have all the weapons we need we have no excuses.
Have a blessed day,