Almost all Christians are aware of the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10–20. However fewer are conscious that the armor Paul describes traces its roots again to the Outdated Testomony. In actual fact, the armor given to the Christian for his combat in opposition to the forces of sin and darkness is sort of actually God’s armor — armor designed for and worn by God at the beginning. We combat and stand agency in opposition to Devil solely within the power that comes from the victory that Christ has already gained for us.
For this reason every of the varied items of armor factors us to Christ. The belt of reality is the belt that girds the messianic King (Isaiah 11:5). The breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation come from the divine warrior’s arsenal (Isaiah 59:17). The toes shod with gospel readiness are the toes of those that proclaim the arrival of Messiah’s kingdom (Isaiah 52:7). God himself is the protect of religion (Genesis 15:1). The sword of the Spirit, the phrase of God, is the weapon wielded by the promised servant of the Lord (Isaiah 49:2).
Christ Our Conqueror
In different phrases, God garments us with nothing lower than his personal armor, the identical armor that Christ has already worn on our behalf in his lifelong wrestle with the mortal enemy of our souls, Devil himself. Jesus isn’t any armchair basic, who palms out the gear however then watches the combating from a protected distance. No, he has himself worn the armor and gained the victory in our place! You might be referred to as to put on the Christian armor not as a result of that’s what Jesus would do if he discovered himself in the same scenario to yours; you’re referred to as to put on God’s armor as a result of that’s what Jesus already has completed, sporting God’s armor all the best way to the cross.
Jesus stood agency in opposition to Devil’s schemes all through his earthly life and ministry. Every of these particular temptations to which we now have given on this week — lust, gossip, anger, satisfaction, self-exaltation, mendacity, coveting — is a temptation he confronted and stared down in your home. What’s extra, Jesus laid his life down on the cross for you, thereby carrying out the victory that pours out God’s sanctifying Spirit into your life. Due to his victorious life, loss of life, and resurrection, the identical energy that raised Christ up from the lifeless is now at work inside you and me by way of the continuing work of the Spirit, elevating us from religious loss of life to new life. (In Ephesians 6:10, Paul echoes a trio of Greek phrases that he makes use of in Ephesians 1:19–20 to explain God’s energy within the resurrection.)
Holiness Belongs to the Lord
Nevertheless, the continuing sanctifying work of the Spirit in your life isn’t finally underneath your management. In John 3, Jesus compares the method of changing into a Christian to delivery. Simply as a child doesn’t have management over the time and circumstances of her delivery, so God selected when to regenerate you and convey you to religion in Christ. However even after a toddler is born, he doesn’t decisively management his personal bodily development. He could want to be taller or shorter, however wishing gained’t make it so — or hasten the pure (gradual) processes of bodily development. In the identical method, we aren’t finally in command of the method of our religious development. Sanctification is decisively God’s work from starting to finish (Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24).
That perspective is enormously encouraging in our every day wrestle with sin and Devil. We frequently think about we’re combating on our personal in our struggles in opposition to sin. Under no circumstances. That’s the reason Paul reminds us that prayer is such an integral a part of religious warfare (Ephesians 6:18–20). It isn’t sufficient to placed on the armor of God; we must be in fixed communication with the God of the armor. The truth is that your victory over sin is finally as much as Jesus, not you. His wrestle was the decisive one, not yours. His victory on the cross bought your full sanctification, your final holiness earlier than God (Ephesians 5:25–27). His Spirit is now at work inside you, rising you towards his purpose of your full purity. Your religious development could also be a lot slower than you may want, however if you’re in Christ, God will sanctify you utterly.
Each day Wrestle
That doesn’t imply that we’ll by no means need to wrestle with sin, after all. Fairly the reverse: Paul clearly expects us to be engaged in a every day life-and-death wrestle with Devil in all of his superior energy. The imagery of armor and battle reveals us that our combat in opposition to sin should contain blood, sweat, and tears — our blood, sweat, and tears, in addition to that of our Savior. We too are to take up our cross and comply with after our Grasp on the street of hardship and struggling (Matthew 10:38). We’re to work out our personal salvation with concern and trembling (Philippians 2:12). But Paul tells us to work out our personal salvation exactly as a result of God is at work in us (Philippians 2:13).
Christ’s sporting of God’s armor in your home and his triumphant victory over sin on the cross imply that your wrestle in opposition to sin is rarely hopeless. God will finally sanctify you — he has promised to take action. On that final day, you’ll rise to new life in Christ and stand in God’s presence, made excellent eternally. No Christian can be left behind, half-sanctified. Sin and Devil shall not have final dominion over you (Romans 6:14).
Distant Triumph Tune
Which means within the midst of the ache of the irritating every day wrestle in opposition to sin and Devil, you possibly can plead with God to proceed to advance that course of right here and now, whether or not strengthening you to face in opposition to Devil, or by typically permitting you to fall, so as to develop your humility and dependence upon him (see Westminster Confession of Religion, 5.5). The information that God is sovereign over your sanctification offers you hope to maintain on making an attempt, even in areas of your life the place sin frequently appears to have the higher hand. It reminds you that even if you end up seeing actual advance in your life, it’s nothing you may have achieved and offers you no cause to boast. God’s Holy Spirit deserves all of the glory, not you.
And he’ll obtain the glory on that final day, when all of God’s weary, battle-stained youngsters enter into the gates of the brand new Jerusalem, with their warfare, trials, and travails now a reminiscence of the previous, and a brand new music on their lips — a music of reward to Christ, the victorious Divine Warrior, who gained their redemption by way of his combat. As William Walsham How put it in his music “For All of the Saints,”
And when the combat is fierce, the warfare lengthy, Steals on the ear the distant triumph music, And hearts are courageous once more, and arms are robust. Alleluia! Alleluia!
However, lo, there breaks a but extra wonderful day; The saints triumphant rise in vivid array; The King of Glory passes on his method. Alleluia! Alleluia!
The golden night brightens within the west; Quickly, quickly, to trustworthy warriors comes their relaxation. Candy is the calm of paradise the blest. Alleluia! Alleluia!