“Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul encouraged the church to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of God’s almighty power (Eph. 6:10). How may the believer access God’s strength in order to be strong in the Lord? Paul answers that question beginning with today’s text.
Paul begins with a command to believers in Christ: Put on (ἐνδύω; endyo). It is an aorist middle imperative. It means the believer is to do everything they personally can to obediently clothe and dress themselves.
With what? With the whole armor of God. The phrase whole armor (πανοπλία; panoplia) means a complete set of instruments for offensive and defensive warfare. The phrase of God (θεός; theos) means that the armor spoken of is solely originating and sourced from God.
What exactly is the purpose of this armor of God? Paul answers this question with a purpose clause which concludes the verse. The apostle states that you may be able to stand.
The individuals in question are believers in Christ. By putting on God’s armor believers in Christ may be able (δύναμαι; dynamai) or have the ability to stand (ἵστημι; histemi) or to make a stand. Against who, or what, are believers to stand against?
The answer is against the schemes of the devil. Schemes (μεθοδεία; methodeia) are the wile, strategies and craftiness of the devil. The word devil (διάβολος; diabolos) literally means a diabolical one. He is our adversary who is wicked and a slanderer. It is he that believers in Christ are commanded to resist. We effectively resist by putting on God’s whole armor.
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “The proper equipment with which to fight the Enemy is God’s armor (Eph. 6:13). This armor could be three different things. It could be the armor God supplies to His people, for He strengthens us to live for Him (Ps. 18:31–32). It could be the armor that the Lord wears to battle His foes (Isa. 59:15b–17). Or this armor could be God Himself, as Scripture uses terms such as truth and righteousness, which we wear as armor (Eph. 6:14), to name the Lord (Jer. 23:6; John 14:6). Actually, the armor of God likely encompasses all these possibilities, for they are not mutually exclusive. God supplies us with Himself in order to strengthen us against Satan. Standing in Him, we can successfully live out the implications of the gospel.”
Beginning Monday of next week, we will begin to examine each piece of armor the believer is to wear for the holy war. Have a blessed day as you fight the good fight of faith (I Timothy 6:12).
Soli deo Gloria!