Before we talk about what the armour of God is, why do we even need to put it on?
Armour is something that’s only used during war or fighting. So when Paul tells us to put on the armour of God in Ephesians 6, we are essentially being told to prepare for battle.
We are specifically warned that our battles are not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:11-12).
Putting on the armour of God is therefore how we should respond to the evil we face like temptations and doubts thrown our way by the enemy.
With that in mind, let’s look into what are the six elements that make up the armour of God.
1. Belt of truth
The enemy often uses lies to deceive and tempt us.
We see that in Genesis 3, where, as a serpent, the devil twisted God’s word and tricked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. We see it in Matthew 4, where he tempted Jesus three times.
While Eve had fallen into the temptation and eaten the forbidden fruit, the Bible shows us how Jesus fought off the devil’s temptations – by having a clear understanding of God’s Word and truth.
Therefore, we need to be grounded in the truth of God to withstand the attacks and temptations from the enemy. We have to read the Bible and know it well, and we have to know God and His character well.
2. Breastplate of righteousness
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
In Ephesians 6, the righteousness that we are called to put on is not a righteousness that is earned through our deeds, but Christ’s righteousness that is imputed to us through His work on the cross.
The devil often uses shame to attack us because shame makes us question our identity. When we have sinned against God and fallen short of His glory, we feel ashamed to be called God’s children and be in His presence.
Am I truly righteous? How can I be called a child of God? Such lies could eventually cause us to walk away from God if we come to believe that we no longer deserve His love and grace.
That’s why it is important to know the truth, and to wear the breastplate of righteousness that the Lord of Hosts has given you!
Nothing can change our identity as children of God because it is solely through Christ that we are made righteous (Romans 5:19).
3. Readiness from the Gospel of Peace (shoes!)
The word “readiness” reminds us of the eagerness and preparedness that every believer should have when it comes to sharing the Gospel.
This eagerness comes from recognising the Gospel as the power of God that can bring salvation to whoever that believes (Romans 1:14-16).
We must be ready to share the Gospel as it is the ultimate answer that will bring love and peace to the whole world. Indeed, the Gospel is the only answer to sin, which is responsible for every problem in the world.
This means that in our daily lives, we should actively look out for opportunities to share the Good News with our family, classmates, colleagues and neighbours. We should be ready!
4. Shield of faith
As believers, it is not sufficient that we just know about God or what He has done; we need to put our faith in Him.
We must trust that God does everything for our good (Romans 8:28) and that He will fulfil what He promises (Romans 4:20-21). That is a great shield to hold up against anything life may throw at us.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. Even at times when our circumstances tell us otherwise, we can choose to put our faith in God because of His faithfulness and His unchanging character.
We are assured that as long as we put our faith in Him, even “faith as small as a mustard seed” can move mountains (Matthew 17:20-21).
5. Helmet of salvation
“My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.” (1 Samuel 2:1, NASB)
When we face trials and difficulties in life, remembering our salvation brings us comfort because it reminds us of the hope of eternal life.
Knowing that we are saved eternally and that nothing on this earth can take us away from God, we can find courage to face whatever life throws at us.
6. Sword of the Spirit
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
The Bible tells us that the only offensive weapon we have as followers of Christ is the Word of God.
Not only did Jesus demonstrate how He used the Word of God to fight off the temptations from the devil in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), He also showed us how He was still remembering God’s Word when He was hung on the cross (Matthew 27:46). Jesus held on to the Word of God until His very last breath!
If Jesus could rely on God’s Word after He was tortured, scorned and was dying on the Cross, we can trust that the Word of God is certainly powerful and sufficient to sustain us through any challenges that we may face in life.
It is interesting to note that when the Bible calls us to put on the armour of God, we are told to do so collectively as a body of believers.
The “you” used in Ephesians 6:11 comes from the word hymeis in Greek, which means “you” in a plural form. A more accurate translation would be “you all”.
In one of his sermons, my senior pastor, Pastor Jeff Chong from HOPE Singapore, suggested that Paul was referring to the testudo formation of the Roman military when he talked about the armour of God.
The image of the formation suggests that we as believers are all called to put on our armour and stand together; we are to look out and take care of one another as we face spiritual battles.
In my pastor’s words, “As we seek to live for Christ, as we want to have victory in this journey called Christian pilgrimage, we need to stand together. We need to learn to do this together.”
Even when the journey feels long and hard, may we remember that we are never called to do this alone, and that God has given us a spiritual family that we can journey with (Acts 2:42-47).
- What is one element from the armour of God that stood out to you?
- What is one step you can take to grow in putting on the armour of God?
- Who are the people who can stand together with you and support you in your journey of faith?