What Is the Armor of God?

Forestier, CC Image courtesy of Mike Bishop on Flickr.

The Armor of God is essential to our spiritual walk because it protects us from so many things that create doubt or pull us away from God. The temptations of the world around us can so easily make us forget our faith. When Paul presents the armor of God to the Ephesians, he means for them to understand that we are not alone and that we can stand strong in the face of temptations or a world view stands against our faith.

The Armor of God in Scripture

Ephesians 6:10-18 - Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 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. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 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.

Belt of Truth

Roman soldiers wore a belt that held important weapons to any warrior. It was essential for any warrior when they went into battle because it stored all the weapons. When we talk about the Truth, we talk about God being the truth of everything. He is our foundation and we can do nothing without Him. When we wear the Belt of Truth, we are armed for a spiritual fight against things that tempt us, pull us away from our faith, and harm us spiritually.

The Breastplate of Righteousness

A soldier's breastplate was designed to protect his vital organs from damage in battle. It was often made of tough leather or metal pieces. A breastplate was most effective in close combat, and the figurative idea of the breastplate protects the heart, which represented the mind, and the bowels, which was where emotions were said to reside. When we put on this piece of the armor of God we protect our heart and mind from the damage that spiritual warfare can do to us. When we put on the breastplate of righteousness we live with our eyes on God so we can be obedient to Him.

Shoes of Peace

Good shoes were essential to a warrior. It may seem odd that they would be considered part of the armor of God, but without the right shoes, a warrior would lose his stability in battle. Many Roman soldiers studded their sandals to grip the soil (like cleats in sports) or lined them to keep their feet warm in cold weather. For us, stability comes from the Word. The word is durable, it protects us from outside elements by giving us knowledge. It prepares us to face any situation. Sometimes spiritual warfare can send our world into chaos, but putting on the shoes of peace can keep us stable and strong in an every changing world.

Shield of Faith

Shields were an important part of a soldier's armor. They could be used on an individual basis to protect himself from arrows, swords, spears, and more. They could also be combined together to form a massive shield for a marching army. Shields also came in various sizes to move easily with a soldier or to protect the entire body. A soldier trusted his shield to protect him from flaming arrows and more that would rain down. This is why the shield is an important part of the armor of God. When we put on the shield of faith, we tell God we trust Him to give us strength and protection. We trust that God will protect us from the lies, temptations, doubts, and more that can steer us away from the Lord.

Helmet of Salvation

The head is very vulnerable during battle, and it does not take much of a blow to inflict a great deal of damage to a person's head. A soldier's helmet was often made of metals that covered thick leather. There were cheek plates that protected the face and a piece on the back that protected the neck and shoulders. The helmet made the soldier feel more secure from the blows made by an opponent. That security is what the helmet of salvation provides for us. In spiritual warfare, there are things that will discourage us. We see so many bad things in the world that work to create doubt or steal our joy in the Lord. When we struggle with our faith, we must learn to not give in to discouragement. It is important that we continue to fight and rely on God to protect us in those times.

Sword of the Spirit

Roman soldiers usually carried two swords used for attacking his opponents. Soldiers usually carried a dagger and a larger sword used for combat. The larger sword was designed to easily be pulled out and used with one hand. When we find ourselves combating those that come against our faith, we need a light and effective weapon to use. That weapon for us is the Holy Spirit. He speaks to us so that we do not forget the building blocks of our faith. The Holy Spirit reminds us of our bible studies and memory verses so that we are armed with the Gospel. He whispers God's word and guidance into our hearts.