Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week, as part of our series on the identity of Jesus, we’re going to study how God protects us.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 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. (Ephesians 6:10-18a ESV)
Now, clearly this passage is one big metaphor! Paul wants to teach Christians something about where their help comes from. He wants them to see the resources God has given them for this life.
First, there is an enemy. He is spiritual, not flesh and blood. This probably scares us! He’s named – the devil, or Satan. He represents everything that is evil and rebels against God’s goodness. And he’s not alone – there are principalities and powers. What are these? Some think they are demons, others think it’s the corrupt systems of the world that perpetuate evil. Either way, the deck sounds like it’s stacked against us.
Good news: Elsewhere, Paul wrote in the book of Romans, “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth nor any other creating thing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God” Some of the same language!
Second, there is protection against that enemy. It’s spiritual too. This should comfort us. We have spiritual protection against spiritual enemies.
Anything less would be, pardon the expression, like taking a knife to a gunfight.
Nice balanced message – Be strong…but wear God’s armour. Be confident, but not self-confident. Be confident in God’s protection and strength. In particular he wants Christians to have stability, by standing firm with these defences!
What are these defences?
- Belt of Truth.
- Breastplate of Righteousness.
- Shoes of Readiness Given by the Gospel of Peace.
- Shield of Faith.
- Helmet of Salvation
- Sword of the Spirit. This one is identified – it’s the word of God – the Bible, and prayer in the Holy Spirit.
Question: What do you think these other defences represent?