Putting on the Whole Armor of God
and the Battle Against the Dragon
by Karl M. Kindt III
Ephesians 6 and Romans 13:14
314 308 7075
Soldiers of Christ, arise,
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength
Which God supplies
Through his eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of Hosts,
And in his mighty pow’r,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.
Stand then in his great might,
With all his strength endued;
But take, to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God.
Please note this website is a work in progress - a work you can help me finish.
Jonathan Edwards Best Explains Why We Are to Put on the Whole Armor of God in A Sermon he Preached
To read this whole sermon click below
Although the armor of God is not mentioned by 'name' in Edward's sermon about our total dependence on God for our redemption, it spells out point by point the total dependence of man upon God for his salvation, justification, sanctification and redemption. Satan seeks to deceive us into thinking we contribute to our salvation, that there is something left for us to do, that we are responsible for our own salvation. Satan knows this is not true and he seeks to rob the redeemed sinner of the joy and the peace of the salvation God has gained for man and seeks to derogate God's glory by suggesting there is something missing from what God has done for us that we must add for us to be saved. Putting on the whole armor of God means humbly confessing and joyfully believing we are sinners not only saved by grace but kept by His power and might and enabled to persevere through all that Satan will try to do in our lives through his demonic agents and those he uses and their false but fiery darts. Believing He has graciously done it all, there is nothing left for us to do and that even the faith we have that He has done so is a gift to our hearts from Him (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Also please, please read Edward's sermon on this site regarding Safety in ChristRomans 13:14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
We read in Acts: Acts 28:16 When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.
Hence, as Paul wrote his letters from his imprisonment, there was this Roman soldier guarding him. Paul is inspired by the Holy Spirit as he views this Roman guard in his Roman armor to think of himself as a soldier for Christ, to think of us as soldiers of Christ in His Kingdom and then to think of the armor that we have been given by God to wear as we serve as His soldiers.
King James Version (KJV)
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Romans 13:14 "
The Apostle here is speaking not to unbelievers but to those who have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ for he uses the term "brethren." These are those who know they are miserable sinners saved by, not their own righteousness, not by their own power, not by their own strength, but by the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. He speaks to the brethren an admonition to be strong IN the Lord and IN the power of HIS might. Trust not, he tells them, in your own strength to take the stand against the enemy, the real enemy they face. What, then, is this strength and power of our Lord which we can be assured to possess for this battle? What kind of strength and power with which He endues the believer? Elsewhere in this letter to the brethren in Ephesus he has written to them of that power and that strength and now reminds them of it here. He told them earlier about this power and strength: 3:20"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." So this power, this strength is not something we can some how work up in us, it is His power that worketh in us. His power that works in our souls to enlighten us, the power of the Holy Spirit that gives us wisdom in the face of the enemy, the power of the Holy Spirit to work in us to transform us from one degree of likeness to another of our Lord Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6). So the enemy is Satan and the power we are urged to remember is His power working in us as we confront this dragon of evil. We are knights of Christ and lest we forget that we have Him working in us, that we have His power to overcome Satan at our beck and call, Paul warns us to remember this mighty power that worketh in us.
The Wiles of the Devil:
A very important scheme of Satan used to attack us pertains to the reason why there is death. Satan would have us believe that death is natural. He would have us believe that God used death to create us. Satan wants us to believe that the process God used to bring about we human beings was a process called by scientists 'the survival of the fittest', a process through which, Satan claims, God mutated primitive versions of human beings into we modern stock. Satan wants us to think that God used death and natural selection to bring about the evolution of human beings - hence death itself is 'natural' and the method God used to create us and we ought not think of death as bad, just His way of getting us up to where we are - we have 'evolved' from primitive creatures who themselves evolved from lower forms of life. Satan says to our modern age, if you wish to be considered enlightened, believe that death is the mechanism God used to evolve us out of inferior beings, less intelligent, beings called Neandrathals or by other names. We humans are the pinnacle of God's creative use of mutations and then death of those less fit to bring us into being. So Satan would have us jetison the Biblical teaching that death is a consequence of sin, Satan would have us believe that there is a god who chose to kill off inferior beings to bring about human beings. He would have us eschew the Biblical teaching that death is the awful terrible ugly consequence of our first parents rebellion against God. He would have us think our Lord Jesus Christ terribly deluded when He thought He had to die for our sins to save us. Instead, Satan would have us believe that those ideas were not really the Lord's ideas - Satan wants us to believe in a different Jesus, one of Satan's own invention. Satan would have us think that we are 'saved' by coming to know that death is the way we came to be created, not a punishment for wickedness and rebellion against God.
But God has given us a Helmet of Salvation. God the Son became flesh so He could die for our sins and rebellion. He has saved us by dying for us. He has defeated death by allowing Himself to be put to death for our sins then raising Himself from that death to save us from death. If death were such a good thing, then Satan why did our Lord Jesus dread it, why did He sweat blood when contemplating dying for us, why did He want to destroy death, why did He raise Lazarus, why does He promise to raise our bodies from the dust?
The Helmet of Salvation protects us against Satan's attempt to get us to believe that death is a good thing and John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosever believeth in Him shall not perish but hath eternal life."
HOW THE ONE WHOLLY ARMORED FIGHTS THIS IDEA:
The Scriptures teach death is a consequence of rebellion, not a good thing whatsoever and that if it is true that God used death to 'evolve' us then death is not a consequence of sin, but a method God used to make us come to be and our Lord Jesus would be wrong about why we die, deluded about His love that permitted Himself to be put to death for our sins and rebellion, wrong about the resurrection.
2. Our righteousness is like a filthy rag - the Devil's idea is that we ought to take pride in the 'good we do' and not be so hard on ourselves, after all we are only human.IF YOU HAVE on the armor you will respond with:
I wear His righteousness before the eyes of our Father in Heaven and the Holy Spirit is actually not finished with me yet, He has started this good work in me and is growing my new nature and one day it will be finished (Phil. 1:6 "For I am sure that He who started this good work in you will carry it on until it is finished on the day of Christ Jesus.")
3. Satan especially likes to present to our minds the idea that "yes God has a love for you but it is dependent upon your obedience to Him - you are not totally dependent upon God for your salvation - you must have faith and that faith is something you have to create in yourself and so if you believe in God then good for you, wow, that is fantastic, look at you! Look at how you got yourself to believe when so many others do not, now you can look down your nose at those who don't believe." But Jonathan Edwards in a sermon points out to us that we are totally dependent upon God and such total dependence glorifies God - that even our faith is a GIFT of God - Ephesians 2:8-10 "it is a gift of God lest any man should boast"
So don't we see that IF we have faith in Him, His death for us, His resurrection, His gift to us of the Holy Spirit, His production in us of the fruit of His Spirit - love, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, self-control - all of this is a result of His Spirit producing in us what God wants us to be."
The emphasis in this message is on the words "put upon the WHOLE armor of God" because Satan wants us to think that at least some part of our battle against Him must be our responsibility, that, yes, God has provided us with so much, but in the end there must be something for which we are responsible and in which we are not dependent upon Him for our protection against the wiles, the tricks.
We are dependent on Him for our salvation, for our righteousness, for knowing the Truth, for having His peace in us, for having a weapon to fight tempation and bring others into God's Kingdom, for shielding ourselves against those fiery darts. Satan's biggest most dangerous trick is to get us to think that we don't need the whole armor, just some parts of it, to get us to believe that we are NOT totally dependent upon God for our salvation, for our redemption, for our sanctification, for our resurrection, for our peace of heart and mind. There MUST be something WE must DO for ourselves, there must be a part of our recreation as new creatures for which we are responsible.
No. Paul tells us, there is nothing in us upon which we ought to rely in our battle against Satan and His tricks. He is a wily creature who so wants us to think that we have it in ourselves to, at least to some degree, fight him, oppose him and that God wants us to be at least to some degree, on our own against the evil one.
We are totally dependent upon God and need all of His armor if we are to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Satan's trickiest trick is to say 'well YOU are responsible at least for putting on the whole armor - you must put it on - you are the one who has to put it on - God will not put it on you Himself - otherwise why would Paul tell you "put on" - that is your responsibility - and you must do this everyday, YOU are the one who must get the armor each morning, put it on and make sure you don't take any of it off.
The problem with this idea from Satan is that Paul doesn't say "put on the whole armor of God" about regular armor, but about armor made of God's love for us, about armor that is put on, not by our exertion but by relaxing in our Lord. We put the armor on by NOT by any exertion on our part, but by the realization that we are totally dependent upon God for our salvation, our santification, our faith, our peace, and for His truth. If we put on the armor of God it is because He has caused us to realize that we are totally dependent upon Him and we put on the armor of God by giving up upon ourselves and that giving up upon ourselves is a gift from Him. So as paradoxical as it sounds, we put on the armor of God by His grace, He is our armor bearer, He is our squire, He is the one who will put it on us. We will NOT put Him on as our armor and this command by Paul is meant to drive our souls to Him who is our righteousness. Think of it for a moment, we are to put on His righteousness - that means we simply realize by His grace we don't have any at all and are totally dependent upon Him for His righteous life. He is the Lord our Righteousness and we simply STOP trying to make ourselves righteous - and even our faith that He is our righteousness is a gift from Him. So there is in this passage about the armor of God a mystery. We need to put on the armor of God but He is actually the one who meets that need for us and puts it on us.
God the Holy Spirit moves in us and causes us to realize that we are totally dependent upon God for our righteousness, our salvation, our peace, the truth, our weapon God's Word, our shield the faith He has given us. The way this armor is put on by us is by the Holy Spirit moving in us and causing us to realize that apart from His death for us, His gift to us of faith.
Once upon a time there was a young man who graduated from Andover Newton Theological School and was on a mission, he believed, from God, but unfortunately his ideas about our Lord, the Scriptures and what his mission for God should be were from Hell, not Heaven. Oh he learned these ideas from professors at the seminary and Oh he was sincere in his dedication to convince God's people that they were naive in thinking that Jesus is all the Scriptures say He is. He was taught and believed that the Bible is full of additions to the words of Jesus, that scribes and others added to His words, changed them, misquoted him and he was taught something called REDACTION CRITICISM, read a texbook by Norman Perrin that taught him how to try to get back through the additions in Scripture to the real Jesus of history. But sincerity of beliefs when the beliefs are wrong is deadly and from the devil and so this young pastor became a secret agent of Satan though he himself did not even believe there was a devil or demons or spiritual powers working against God and using him as heir agent.
So here comes an agent of Satan, a pastor to a church named Salvator United Church of Christ. He has been called by the pulpit committee to preach a trial sermon. He knows he has to be careful because in the interview he had with this committee he was asked questions about his view of the Bible and many other questions that indicated this congregation had some real fundamentalists who needed some real help being set free from their simplistic child-like faith. So he was very clever in the way he answered their questions and though he thought the Scriptures were full of errors, contradictions, and downright dangerous ideas, he would bring these up very slowly over the course of the time he would be with them and carefully after he became their pastor.
After all, in his seminary training at Andover Newton and at Eden Seminary, he had his eyes opened to how we can’t really know what Jesus said or did. The church had so added to the words and changed them that it really took an expert with a scholarly education like he had to sort through the accretions, to do something called redacation criticism. Oh he loved that book by Norman Perrin that showed him how the Gospels contradict each other, how the scripture is really just a spring board for the church, not some infallible innerant document produced by God. It was a required text in the course about Biblical Criticism. His professors reminded him, the writers of Scripture were humans like all of us, so how could they produce for God an infallible inscripturation of His words or a record that was without error when they themselves were fallible men?
So his trial sermon was clever oh so clever. It didn’t reveal to them his low opinion of Scripture, but instead he chose a text of scripture that everyone agreed was safe - I have forgotten what it was now but it must have been very very clever because these fundamentalists fell for it. They voted to call him as pastor, or at least most of them did. There were some who voted for him because they themselves had their doubts about many things the Scripture said, especially this business about us needing Jesus to die in our place for our sins. So the congregation was a mixture of those who believed in a child like trusting way in the Scriptures and the Lord Jesus and those who, like him, were sophisticates and thought that the best kind of religion is a pick and choose sort where you choose the teachings that you like and ignore the rest of it.
So the conflict was about to begin. He preached his first sermon to them in August of 1976 - it was a spiritual battle - and this pastor was bound and determined he would be victorious. He would help them, even the fundamentalists, come to open their minds and hearts to all sorts of new things. He was one of those who, before the UCC even thought of the idea of quoting Gracie Allen “don’t put a period where God has put a comma...” or came up with the slogan “god is still speaking’ was assured in his mind that there is no way to really know for certain truths about god - you just have to listen to your spirit - listen to the ideas that come to you and your generation and not get stuck thinking that God has once for all revealed His will. How simplistic. How unsophisticated. How silly they were and how dangerous it was for them to believe there were fundamentals everyone must come to believe. The only fundamental, in his opinion, was to always hold your beliefs tentatively and be aware that you could be wrong about this or that and you should be open to having your mind changed on just about anything.
But in the battle that began, he found out he was up against a formidable enemy. For the previous pastor of this church was Pastor Jesse Pohlman, a pastor who not only believed the Scriptures were the infallible Word of God but who preached it and a pastor who had started Bible study groups in many of their homes during the week and who had met with them to help them do something that protected them against this enemy of the gospel. He had taught them to put on the whole armor of God and they were more than ready to stand against the devil who had brought this pastor into their midst to try to destroy their faith in our Lord and His love for them, His virgin birth, His resurrection, His righteousness given to them, His salvation won for them, His truth He had revealed to them. The people of God in this congregation were real soldiers in God’s army and they not only were protected from this shepherd of the devil but they were equipped to go on the attack and they did so.
But they did so in a very very special and loving way and they wielded the sword of the Spirit out of love for him and eventually they won. He came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as His Savior, he came to know that the God of the Universe who created everything out of nothing was fully capable of producing using, even using fallible men, a fully infallible and innerant recording of His words and His will and His love
The first thing that happend is that he had to go to prayer/bible study home groups. Hey this was not just a Sunday morning glad to see you congregation. They wanted him to come to their homes to pray with them and study Scripture with them. The previous Pastor, Jesse Pohlman, had started these home prayer, Bible study groups and taught them well about putting on the whole armor of God.
He noticed that they were very loving people, they loved him? They soon, however, began to question him about his beliefs and why didn’t he believe the Lord was born of the virgin Mary (one of his Christmas Eve sermons!), how could he be so certain that there were errors in Scripture and if the Scriptures are to be selectively believed in then how can we trust our own judgement and so on and so on.
They were ferociously on the attack on all fronts but most of all they pushed him to think over his own personal sinful life and at one point after his sinful desires and thoughts and events brought him to a crisis and he was driving his car to a hospital to visit a parishoner and he prayed “o Lord if you are real, if you are my Savior, please come into my heart” and of course our Lord did so and then this pastor from Satan became a one who preached the gospel and began to oppose the Satanic ideas he had promoted.
He even called members of the first church where he served who he had taught as confirmands and sought to make sure they knew the Lord Jesus is our Savior and King and that Scripture is not in error in any way and that the Creator of the Universe out of nothing could surely preserve an accurate record of who He is and what He has said and done.
Then this pastor decided that there were other pastors like him out there seeking to pervert the faith of believers, he went on the attack - he brought to an association meeting a resolution that he asked the delegates to vote on “Whatever the Bible says is true, is true.” It went down to defeat. A pastor came up to him afterwards and said “what has happened to you?” I will tell you how I know you are wrong - because you are so certain you are right” the pastor said are you sure about that and he said yes.
Well you see the armor of God protected members of this congregation against these deviish ideas = here they are:
1) salvation is something you can’t be sure of - certainty that you are saved is dangerous - arrogant, etc. and it is dangerous to believe so badly about yourself that you are a depraved sinner who can only be saved by the Lord Jesus dying in your place and suffering for your sins, But the Helmet of Salvation these parishoners were wearing told them otherwise “For God so loved the world...”
So here are the wiles of the devil, those tricky ideas, that pastors in the churches are seeking to promote amongst the people of God: 1. Jesus is our savior but only in the sense that he shows us how to live a good life but surely not by actually taking hell for us, suffering eternal punishment for us, dying in our place on the cross! 2. The truth - be careful you don't think you know the truth and others don't - that is dangerous