A Bible Study
Don’t hurry through this study.
It’s to be done as in-depth as possible.
A Lesson might take a week to complete. That’s OK. Take time with the scriptures and really meditate and “chew” on them,
asking God for new revelation to come to you through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit and His Word.
Topic: The Armor of God
Ephesians 6:10-19 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). And [pray] also for me, that [freedom of] utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news (the Gospel),
The Belt of Truth: The Roman soldier’s belt was made of leather and was used to gather his garments together, as well as to hold his sword. It gave him a feeling of inner fortitude and strength when tightened. According to Paul’s teaching, the Believer’s belt is truth. Truth is to be his inner strength. It gives him confidence. This can mean “the truth of God” and it can refer to Judeo/Christian doctrines, the specific content of God’s revelation in the Bible. It can mean the truth of God’s Love for us and the truth of who God says we are as His children. The word can also refer to our truthfulness or sincerity of heart. One depends directly on the other. We need to be truthful men and women, and will become that only as we feed on the revealed truths of the Bible. It is important to notice that Paul puts truth first in his list of the believer’s pieces of armor. This suggests that successful spiritual warfare begins with fixing Biblical teaching firmly in our minds and allowing ourselves to be changed in our inward character as a result. As Believers in Messiah, truth comes first, then action. Without truth, without the knowledge of who God is, who we are, what we have become in Messiah, and what we have been called to do by God, we really do not know what kind of activity in which to engage and we are easily vulnerable to satan’s onslaughts and wiles.
The Breastplate of Integrity or Righteousness: The second piece of the soldier’s equipment was his breastplate, which is compared to righteousness. It can refer to the righteousness of Yeshua transferred to the believer’s account, enabling him to stand before God, or it can refer to specific acts of righteousness or righteous character and personal holiness, but the two cannot be separated. Believers have been made holy on the basis of Messiah’s righteousness and therefore must walk in holiness. Being holy means that walking in perfect integrity. Being people of integrity means that we are completely honest, upright and moral. This is something that is so foreign to people in our culture. It means no sexual relations outside of marriage; no lying; no stealing; no cheating on taxes; telling the cashier when she gave you back too much change; not watching tv or movies containing sexual immorality or blatant glorification of evil; not listening to music that stirs up sinful desires; not telling little white lies; doing what we say we’re going to do; not taking home office supplies from work; striving for excellence on our jobs; walking in love with our families; getting rid of fear, anger and other negative emotional response systems; and a host of other things that the Lord will show you as you continue in relationship with Him. Interestingly, integrity also means wholeness and therefore points to God’s desire to repair the broken areas in our lives. He wants us to be healed of past hurts, but we must be willing to do whatever it takes to bring those painful areas to the surface, let Him take them from us and not take them back. It is your responsibility to look at every area of your life and change anything that displays a lack of integrity. The believer actually needs to be holy and walk in total integrity to effectively resist satan. We need to live blameless lives so that everyone can see that we are God’s true children and Yeshua’s faithful disciples. The breastplate also protects our hearts and emotions from the enemy’s schemes. It’s an extremely important piece of God’s armor!
The Gospel of Peace: Many interpret this scripture as our readiness to talk about Messiah. We should remember that it is one thing to know the Messiah and quite another to be ready to make Him known to others. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope you have.” (1 Peter 3:15) The peace also refers to the peace that we have with God through our faith in the Messiah. Once we truly experience that peace in our lives it is something that is so real and tangible, and it is not dependant on our circumstances. God’s peace lives in us and enables us to experience that peace even in times of trial and hardship. We need to strive for that type of empowerment from the Lord. And, we need to introduce others to God’s peace. When we do this we become peacemakers, both between people and God, and between people in general. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5: 9)
The Shield of Faith: The shield referred to here was used by Roman soldiers. It was about 4 ½ feet long and two feet wide and covered most of the soldier’s body. When the Roman soldiers advanced in ordered rows, as they did, the enemy was faced with a solid wall of shields. Paul suggests that our faith should be like that. It should do three things: 1) It should cover us so that not a portion of our person is exposed; 2) it should link us up with the faith of others to present a united wall of defense; 3) it should be able to deflect any fiery arrows the enemy may fire at us. Satan’s arrows may be suggestions of doubt concerning God’s personal love and acceptance of you, or doubt concerning your eternal salvation. They may be suggestions that lead you to resentment or bitterness concerning the way God has allowed others to treat you, or the people who you love. They may be arrows of fear or arrows that push you to display negative emotions. Satan’s arrows may be suggestions of fear that if you obey God, consequences will follow that you won’t be able to cope with, or suggestions that if you do not get angry, things won’t change. When you take up the shield of faith in God, and His love for you, you choose to believe that God will not let you down in any situation. You choose to believe that He is currently at work in your situation and will never leave or forsake you. You will also trust that He causes every circumstance in your life to work for your good. Such faith is like a complete shield around you. No doubt is allowed in, no arrow creates a wound of self-pity or bitterness, no stone makes a bruise of discouragement or loneliness, for God is with you. Such faith quenches all satan’s fiery darts.
The Helmet of Salvation: We are saved and need to know it. We are to keep our mind focused on Yeshua, who is seated at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places. He is the author of our faith. In Him we find the truth about our destiny, our ultimate salvation, rather than our present state. Our anticipation of that end will protect our heads in the heat (and often confusion) of the battle. We may have momentary defeats and setbacks but we cannot despair since we know that the final glorious triumph of our King and Commander is assured. The security of the mind is all important. The Helmet helps give us the mind of Messiah. We need to think His thoughts and not “buy into” thoughts placed in our minds by the enemy or our own wrong thinking. When we truly understand the truth about our salvation and we know that we’re saved from the wrath to come, saved from satan’s power, we are free to live secure from apprehension and to be at peace. “Salvation” in Scripture always carries with it the thought of deliverance. Take the helmet of confidence that God will deliver you now, in your present situation and bring you forth with joy. Such assurance protects your mind from all satan’s lies, and from the power of his temptations. For momentary,light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
The Sword of the Spirit: Thus far each piece of the Believer’s armor has been defensive. Here we come to the only offensive piece, and that is our sword, the Word of God. Yeshua said that satan is “a liar and the father of lies” and that “there is no truth in him”. What is an effective and sufficient weapon against satan’s lies? There is only one thing and that is the truth of God, the Bible. We overcome in our spiritual warfare by using specific portions of scripture just as Yeshua did when He withstood satan’s temptations in the wilderness. There is nothing in all life more powerful than the specific words of God. The words of God can save you, give you life and bring you at last to heaven. If we are to resist satan and live in victory as Believers in Messiah, we must take the specific words of God into our minds and hearts. We must pick up this sword of the Spirit, make it ours, and wield it powerfully and with skill.
Our secret resource is prayer. The last thing mentioned in this Scripture passage is prayer. More space is given to it than to any of the other pieces of armor because prayer is of supreme importance. What makes it so important is that the weakest Believer can at any period of his life, at any moment of the day and in any circumstance cry out to God for help, and instantly have the resources of the infinite, sovereign God at his disposal. The importance of prayer is emphasized by the word “all” which he repeats four times, saying that we should pray: “on all occasions”, “with all kinds of prayer and requests”, “always”, and finally “for all the saints”. The human writer of this passage, Rav Shaul (The Apostle Paul) even encourages the Ephesians to pray for him. So, pray for me too! J Pray for yourself as well. Pray to God for your practical holiness in your daily life. Pray for victory over satan’s temptations to sin. Pray on behalf of all Believers who are seeking to win people to Messiah. Pray for all Believers to walk the victorious walk that Yeshua’s life directs us to. Pray for your spouse, your family, your neighbors, your co-workers, the governments and world leaders, pray for all the people you know and on whom you depend for many important things. The importance of prayer cannot be overemphasized! It’s another one of God’s mysteries in our lives. Why the Almighty, Sovereign God wants us to pray is beyond me, but He does. He wants us to take an active role with Him in our lives and the lives of people on this planet. And don’t forget to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem ” too!
Every morning as I’m driving to work I put on the Armor of God. In fact, if I wake up and experience negative emotions or tiredness once I put on the Armor my mood changes and I am empowered in a new and supernatural way for the day ahead.
Here’s a short example of how to pray on the Armor of God. You can take as much time as you’d like to do it. Some people will pray this even before they get out of bed. Do as the Spirit of God leads you to do. Here’s a quick sample prayer (I always start at the top and work my way down…)
“Father God, I come to You in the name of Yeshua and put on Your Armor. Lord I put on the helmet of salvation. Give me the mind of Messiah today. I fix my mind on Yeshua, the author and perfector of my faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross. Help me to think Your thoughts today and not my own, or the enemy’s. Protect my mind. Lord I put on the breastplate of righteousness. Protect my heart and my emotions. Help me make right choices today. I tighten the belt of truth one more notch today Lord. Help me know the truth of Your great love for me even more today. Help me know and walk in the truth of who I am in You and who You are in me. I put on the shoes of peace. Thank you for giving me peace today and giving me opportunities to be a peacemaker. Empower me to share about Yeshua with people today Lord. I lift up the shield of faith. My faith is in You God. I trust You. I believe You. Help me obey You. Thank You that the shield protects me. And Father, I lift up the sword of the Spirit. Fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit, Lord. More of You and less of me today. Put Your Words in my heart, mind and mouth, so that I can be pleasing in Your sight and walk in victory over the schemes of the enemy today. Thank You Father for the blessing of Your Armor to protect me! Amen.”