Bible Study

Spiritual Armor – Do We Need All 7 Pieces?

When we by faith accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we become children of God. This is a position of privilege, as we inherit God’s promises and blessings and experience His goodness in our daily life. But we also need to be aware that we become part of a cosmic spiritual battle, revealed throughout Scripture, between God and Satan. This is not something to be alarmed about because Jesus came to destroy Satan’s work, and he is a defeated foe. But the battle is not over yet, and we have been given spiritual armor for our protection so that we can stand against Satan’s schemes.

Armor of God Scripture

The letter to the Ephesian church developed the theme of God’s eternal plan which had previously been hidden in Scripture. The mystery had now been revealed – God’s intention to unite Jews and Gentiles, to become one family in Christ Jesus.

“His (God) intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 3:10-11

The freedom and confidence that we now have to approach God is a declaration into the spiritual realm of God’s wisdom and authority. The unity of the church, and the power of the cross to bring reconciliation, is a banner of God’s love flying high for all to see.

The letter to the Ephesians comes to an end with a reminder ‘to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.’ We are in a spiritual battle but all that we need to stand and be strong has been provided for us by Jesus. The analogy provides us with imagery, to remind us of what Jesus has won for us:

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 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.”

Ephesians 6:14-18 NIV

What Are The 7 Pieces of Armor of God?

The imagery of spiritual armor appears first in the Old Testament, so the apostle Paul used something that the people were familiar with to explain a spiritual concept. Either from their knowledge of Scripture or just from observing the soldiers who were everywhere. Israel, and much of the known world, was occupied by Roman soldiers who were formidable opponents – well equipped for battle.

We are visual people, and illustrations help us to grasp, understand, and remember unfamiliar or new concepts and ideas.

Spiritual Armor of God List

God equips and enables us for our situation and circumstances – He has provided all that we need to be victorious. There are times when we need to contend for our faith, but this is not a time to be shaken in our belief, but a time to take a stand. As we stand we wait on God, declaring His promises – and look to Him for deliverance.

Belt of Truth

The Roman soldier had a belt buckled around his waist which held everything together. Our essential weapon is the character of Christ Jesus. He is the Truth, it is Jesus who holds everything together and keeps us secure.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Related Post: I AM the way, the truth, and the life.

Breastplate of Righteousness

The soldiers had a simple breastplate designed to protect their heart where they were most vulnerable. It is our right relationship with God that protects our heart – the gift of Christ Jesus.

“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 3:22

Feet Fitted with the Gospel of Peace

At a time when many people still went barefoot, the Roman soldier wore sturdy leather sandals. This meant that his feet were protected, and he was ready and able to move over any terrain. Our ability to stand against the enemy is based on the gospel of peace received through Christ Jesus. And our readiness to advance and to share the good news with others.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

Shield of Faith

In hand-to-hand sword combat, all soldiers relied on their shields for protection. And if or when they came under attack from a distance, by archers, they could also raise up their shield over their heads for extra protection. Our shield is our faith in Jesus Himself, that He is our protector and protection.

“Contend, LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take up shield and armor; arise and come to my aid.” Psalm 35:1-2

Helmet of Salvation

A good helmet was an essential piece of the soldier’s kit and has continued to be so.  Our faith comes through hearing the word of God, and through choosing to follow and obey what we hear. Salvation comes with the acceptance of our need for a Savior, and our value to God. We are precious in His sight. We are worth everything to God because He gave everything for us with His Son, Jesus. The knowledge of our salvation will protect our minds from the lies and deceit of the enemy.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Sword of the Spirit

Our main spiritual weapon for defeating the enemy is the word of God. This requires knowledge of Scripture, with wisdom, and discernment because the enemy has the manual too! Satan knows the word of God and will misquote and misuse it for his own ends.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Prayer

Sometimes we forget that a warrior’s most powerful weapon is the ability to communicate with the commander, and with other fellow soldiers! We connect to God in prayer and support one another through our prayers. It is such a blessing to belong to the family of God and to give, and receive prayer.

Prayer is a powerful privilege, and when we are led and guided by the Holy Spirit, who is in all believers, we pray God’s will over our circumstances. When we pray God’s will we know that His purposes will always prevail.

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27
Picture of a woman shielding herself from the glare of the sun and the text: Spiritual armor - do we need all 7 pieces?
Spiritual Armor – Do we need all 7 pieces?

Put on The Whole Armor of God

Although the pieces of armor are individual items, they work together. The soldiers who would be most able to stand, would be the ones fully equipped, with all their armor on. Putting down their sword and shield or taking off their helmet, breastplate, belt, and shoes, would leave them vulnerable. We are weak and unprotected if we only have part of our spiritual armor, we need to put on the whole armor of God.

“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.”

Ephesians 6:11-13

What Does it Mean to Put on The Armor of God?

There is a reminder in these Scriptures that the real battle is not against individual people, although they may act against us. We need to see beyond that to the spiritual battle where Satan looks to snatch, steal and destroy our faith. There are spiritual forces at work opposing God’s people, and so the battle needs to be fought with spiritual weapons.  

We don’t stand in our own strength, effort, or ability, but in the might and power of God. In those times when we say, “I just can’t do it, or I can’t cope anymore” we need to put on the armor of God. We need to remind ourselves that God has given us everything we need to stand and that the enemy has already been defeated.  

Spiritual warfare is simply believing what God has said, believing what Jesus has done, and believing that is all that you need!

When we doubt and start to listen to anything that opposes the Truth, then we need to strengthen ourselves, more than ever, through God’s word and prayer.

Related Post: Praying the Promises of God

We are living in a world that is being shaken by unexpected and unprecedented events. But we should not be surprised because Scripture warns us that these times will come. But, you know, we can be unshakeable in our faith in a shaking world when we fix our eyes on Jesus! We belong in a Kingdom that will never be shaken – God’s love endures forever and His kingdom knows no end!

God’s love endures forever and His Kingdom knows no end!

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