Ephesians 6:13-14: The Armour of God: Part One

Holy War means two different things depending on whether you are living in the OT or the NT. In the OT the armies of Israel were God’s rod of judgement putting on an end times display of what the final judgement will look like. The land, which represented the new creation was wiped clean of all idolaters. The Israelites were to take up literal sword and shield and apply the death that sin deserves to all sinners in the land. When anyone attacked God’s land or people, the armies of Israel had every confidence that God would bless their military strength and give them the victory. But in the NT we experience holy war in a very different way. The church is no longer called upon to be a literal army foreshadowing the final judgement; instead the church is called to be witnesses, who take a message of Christ’s finished work offering life not death to any who will repent and believe. We no longer have a land to keep clean and purge with the death penalty, we no longer have a nation state to monitor and enforce laws which speak of new creation realities. Our weapons and our warfare have changed. For this reason we look upon events like the crusades and we can criticise those Christians who have waged the wrong sort of warfare. One day Jesus is going to come again, and it will be His job to judge all enemies, subdue all nations to His will, cleanse all of creation, and keep a new creation clean from all sin and death. We live in a world that hates Christ, that resists the truth, that is influenced by satan, satan’s influences are for the purpose of destroying mankind, but also the church in particular. But God has equipped us for this age, for the task of being witnesses and exiles during this era of gospel grace. He provides all that we need to meet persecutions on every side, constant demonic resistance, perpetual temptations from without and within, and the endless deluge of lies that attempt to deceive us. Paul describes the armour of God which covers both our defensive and offensive strategies.

Today we will be beginning our look at the armour proper, we will focus on v13-14a, ‘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. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth.’