Last time, I wrote it under the title “The Devil, Our Enemy.” As Christians, we must remember that the devil exists and that we are currently in the midst of a spiritual battle. We are also called to fight. The enemy is not a person, but an evil spirit, the devil.
The devil is the one who wants to destroy people. The first important thing is to know that there is indeed an enemy, the devil, and that he is busy working to destroy humanity. If we do not believe in the devil’s existence at this stage, we have already lost to his schemes. There are two important things to keep in mind. First of all, we must not underestimate the devil. But there is no need to fear the devil unnecessarily.
On the other hand, it is God who is trying to save people. And the church and Christians are chosen to cooperate with God in saving people. What is the church? The church is the “bride of Christ” (Ephesians chapter 5). The Church is given the position of his wife in relation to her husband, Jesus Christ. The church is also “God’s army” (Ephesians chapter 6). Look at the Bible.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.
23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
Paul in writing
My seminary teacher said this. “The church (Christian) is someone who wears a wedding dress and goes to the battlefield to fight.” This is an expression that the church is the bride of Christ and at the same time a soldier of Christ. It left a deep impression on me.
We can overcome the devil and cast out demons. The Lord Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission. Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). This command holds promise. The following signs will accompany those who believe: that is, cast out demons in my name (Mark 16:17). We cannot defeat the devil on our own, nor can we cast out demons. But through Jesus Christ we can be victorious, and demons can be cast out in the name of the Lord Jesus. Because Jesus has already defeated the devil.
God equips us with the armor of God so that we can be victorious (verse 11). We must wear that armor. Even if we receive armor, it is meaningless if we don’t wear it. Being on the battlefield empty-handed is dangerous. And it is safer to wear all the armor, not just a part of it.
Even though the apostle Paul was in prison, Roman soldiers were always watching over him. I think Paul used his observations of Roman soldiers as reference for writing “The Armor of God.” Six pieces of armor appear in verses 14-17. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
① Belt of truth
Tightening the belt is the basis for arming ourself. It also makes us brace yourself. I did judo in my high school class, and when I tightened my obi, I felt braced myself.
Jesus Christ is the truth. The Lord Jesus said. “ I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), whereas the devil is “the father of lies.” He lies and deceives people. Adam and Eve were deceived by the devil. The devil is a great deceiver. He said to Eve. “Eat of its fruit you will never die.” But what were the facts? Adam and Eve first died spiritually, then physical death came. The devil tells us lies, and he seeks to destroy us.
Therefore, in order not to be deceived by lies, we take on the truth, Jesus Christ, as our belt. Truth brings us freedom and liberation. The Lord Jesus said: You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free (John 8:32).
② Breastplate of justice
The breastplate protects the heart. We need protect our heart. The devil accuse us. It attacks our self-image. “You’re no good,” “You’re a failure,” “You’re not blessed.”
Even if we become Christians, we risk having a distorted identity. Don’t let feelings of inferiority or defeat control our mind. Because that’s a lie.
Indeed, if we look at ourselves, we may not be able to do it. We certainly cannot boast of our righteousness. But thankfully, we are justified through the cross of Jesus Christ. Sins are forgiven.
A person is not justified by works. We are justified solely by faith in the Lord Jesus. Now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
This is a promise. The devil attacks our hearts, but it is important to protect our hearts by having a self-image (identity) in Jesus Christ.
③Fill your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
Mobility becomes important in battle. If the shoes don’t fit our feet at that time, we’ll be in trouble. Wearing shoes is preparation for the gospel of peace. The devil tries to create various kinds of hostility. The first thing to do is to be at enmity with God and hostility to people. Unfortunately, there are divisions and sects within the Christian church.
First of all, it is important to have peace with God. That is the peace that Jesus Christ gives us. We can only have peace with God through our Mediator, Jesus Christ. There is no other way. And the Lord Jesus destroyed all kinds of hostility.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. (Ephesians 2:14-16).
We believe that through Jesus we can be united both inside and outside the church.
“Christ on the Cross” / by Giotto
We have a mission to share the gospel. It is the gospel of peace. The good news is that we have peace with God through Jesus Christ. It is important to be prepared to share this gospel.
④Great shield of faith
The devil shoots fiery arrows. The devil shoots arrows of doubt, fear, disappointment, and unbelief. At that time we can prevent it with a shield. Faith is trust in God.
God said to Abraham, the father of faith: “ Do not be afraid, Abram, for I am your shield, and your reward will be great ” (Genesis 15:1). All he had at this point was the promise of more descendants. . All the peoples of the earth will be blessed in you (Genesis 12:3). But what actually happened was that Abraham had no children. Not only that, but both Abraham and his wife Sarah were getting old.
However, Abraham trusted God and continued to believe in God’s promises. As a result, Isaac was given to them. After that, Jacob was given to Isaac, and the nation of Israel was born. And the Savior Jesus was born from Abraham’s descendants. It is true that the whole world is now blessed by Jesus Christ, who was born as a descendant of Abraham. Faith that continues to trust God is important.
⑤ Helmet of Salvation
A helmet protects the head. The most important thing for us is salvation. Be reconciled to God and have peace with God. Our sins are forgiven and we are justified before God. Eternal life is given. It is important to be confident in this. Remember that our sins have been washed away, sanctified, and forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross, and stand firm in the assurance of our salvation without wavering. That confidence protect us.
⑥The Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit
It is the only offensive weapon. Only through God’s Word, we can overcome the devil. We cannot defeat the devil with this world’s knowledge and experience, morality and religion, wealth and power.
The Lord Jesus provides us with an example. Like Adam and Eve, Jesus was tempted by the devil. How did Jesus respond? He spoke the words he had stored up to the devil. He said, “It is written in the Bible.” And he repelled the devil by saying, “Stand back, Satan.”
Don’t argue with the devil. Adam and Eve talked with the devil and were led to doubt God and His Words. Satan asked “Did God really say that?” Eventually, they succumbed to the devil’s temptation.
There is a revival going on in China, but because Christianity is banned, there is a lack of Bibles. What they do is they memorize the Bible. It is amazing. What should we do if we are tempted by the devil? Follow the example of the Lord Jesus. He declares, “It is written in the Bible.” Jesus says: Satan, stand back!” Don’t argue with the devil. If we argue, we will lose because he is a fraud. Instead, we use the sword of God’s Word to drive out demons.
Obey God. And stand against the devil. And the devil will flee from you (James 4:7).
Next, in verses 18-20, we read about prayer. If we add prayer to the six pieces of armor, we get seven. Seven is a perfect number in the Bible. Numbers in the Bible have meaning. Since 7 is a perfect number, I think it means that we are fully armed by adding prayer. One day, the disciples were unable to cast out demons. The Lord Jesus appeared there, cast out the demon, and set the man free. At that time, the disciples asked Jesus a question. “Why couldn’t we drive them out?” Jesus answered. “ Nothing of this kind can be cast out except by prayer” (Mark 9:29) .
Paul urges us to “pray for all the saints.” Paul had experienced the power of prayer. We too want to experience the power of prayer and the power of God. If we try to pray on our own, we may not be able to pray and we may get tired. So what should we do? Pray in the Spirit, says Paul. The Spirit also helps us in our weakness. We do not know how to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings that are unspeakable (Romans 8:26) .
Let’s put on all seven pieces of armor that God has provided. We can overcome the devil through these weapons of God.