Yesterday I preached at Park EB from Ephesians 6:10-20. The subject was “The Armor of God,” and together we homed in on what the Apostle Paul calls the “Breastplate of Righteousness.”
In this passage, Paul reminds followers of Jesus, that God has given us His own armor to fight our spiritual battle–remember, our enemy is not “flesh and blood” but spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. I know, this sounds like a very foreign concept, if you didn’t grow up in the church, or you are new to Christian teaching. So I addressed the seeming strangeness of spiritual warfare in the first few minutes of my talk.
Here’s the takeaway from this passage: you and I are in the middle of a spiritual battle, against invisible forces that are vastly stronger than us, and completely malevolent. Our only hope is to take up the weapons and equip ourselves with the armor God has provided for us. In particular, we talked about how “practical righteousness” protects our hearts and minds against Satan’s attacks, temptations and accusations.
The crucial piece to remember is two-fold:
- Any spiritual defense must, must, must originate in your relationship to God, and that can only be found through Jesus Christ. It’s Jesus who won the victory against evil, when He conquered sin and death by dying and rising from the dead. And it’s Jesus who empowers His followers to wage spiritual warfare, who continues to win our battles for us, as we put on His spiritual armor and follow Him into battle. If you are not a follower of Jesus, I would urge you to take the claims of Jesus, recorded in the Bible seriously, and put your faith in Him (and I would be happy to discuss this with you more if you want. Hit me up).
- We strengthen our “breastplates” and eliminate gaps in our armor, when we commit every day to living in obedience to the commands of Jesus. And these commands are not burdensome (Jesus is not a tyrant but a loving King) but actually liberating.
- Shirer, Priscilla. The Armor of God. Lifeway, 2015.
- Ephesians 6:10-20
- Jackson Crum’s Sermon on the same passage
- This Iron Man/John MacArthur mashup
Want to discuss this or anything else related to the Bible, God, Jesus or the spiritual life? Shoot me an email at my new address: firstname.lastname@example.org