The full armor of God

Spiritual battleSatan has been defeated by the death and resurrection of the Christ, nevertheless, he still flails at God’s people, hoping in his own fall to bring down as many as possible. To prevent that, God issues armor to his saints. Two of three uses that the New Testament makes of the word panoplia, “full armor,” occur in Ephesians 6.10-20.

Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. …  For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand.
Eph 6.11, 13

The full armor is needed to be able to vanquish the enemy and, in the end, remain standing. Both times Paul identifies this armor as that which God supplies. Full armor is standard issue in God’s army. His soldiers are fully provisioned, both for offense and defense. It is a complete suit of armor. In this armor they may put their confidence (see Lk 11.22, the third use of the term panoplia).

The armor must be put on, taken up, picked up by the soldier and used. Else the devil will get the best of him. Armor is useless if not worn. The soldier will not win unless he fights and and uses everything that God has put at his disposal. A sword left behind means death. An army has been defeated for lack of shoes. Everything is needed for the fight. And to God’s soldier, everything needed is available.

God of the armies, as you gave your Son every power for overcoming the evil one, may we take up every weapon and defense you provide us, that we may gain the victory.

Hold this thought:
   God issues armor, a sword in hand,
   That at the end we win and stand.

What do you think?