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Put on the Whole Armor of God

By Laura Walker

PARTS:

1.             ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Page 1

IMAGE of GOD, INCORRUPTIBLE SEED, LIFE and DEATH, SANCTIFICATION

2.             ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Page 2

COVENANT, HEART of GOD, HEART of MAN, PROTECTION, PURE in HEART,

RIGHTEOUSNESS in CHRIST, SPIRITUAL vs. NATURAL

3.             ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Page 3

GOSPEL MESSAGE, HOLY SPIRIT-LED BY, LIFE and-or LIFE in CHRIST,

PEACE, PREPARATION, REST of GOD, SPIRIT LED vs. WORKS

PART ONE

As I was reading about the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18, I wondered why the Lord had Paul to tell us in verse 14, "therefore, having your loins girt about with truth," first. Why "girt about with truth," instead of taking "the helmet of salvation." The answer that I received surprised me. The Lord said, "If you were naked, what would you cover first?" He then reminded me that when Adam and Eve had sinned in the garden the first thing they did was to make for themselves coverings, aprons (Genesis 3:7). What did they cover? Their reproductive organs. God was no longer their covering. They no longer had life in their organs. They now carried the seed of death instead of the seed of life. They were flesh and not spirit any longer. They no longer had God's covering over them so they tried to cover themselves. Instead of God-centered they became self-centered because of their sin.

The first man Adam was created in God's image. His seed was of like kind, incorruptible. If he hadn't sinned he would have produced incorruptible seed, but he did fall and his seed became corruptible. So God came and made a way for us to produce life giving, incorruptible seed again, through Jesus, the second man Adam. When we receive Jesus into our lives, He places, through His Spirit, His life giving, incorruptible seed within us. We again become of like kind with our Creator. We are again under God's covering and not our own, (which was no covering at all). The first thing we do when we put on the armor of God as new creations is to "girt our loins with truth." This is to protect this life giving, incorruptible seed that Jesus planted within us. This is the foundation of our faith, this seed of the living God that gives us life. It isn't just for us, but its to be reproduced and shared. James 1:18 says, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." In like manner, we are to plant this life giving, incorruptible seed into others.

Why truth? Proverbs 16:6 says, "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." John 14:6 tells us that Jesus is the Truth. In John 17:17-19 Jesus says, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." Sanctify means to make pure from sin. Jesus made us pure from sin by becoming sin for us. He is "the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:6). Truth is that which is reliable and can be trusted. We know that Jesus is Truth and that He is reliable and can be trusted. Thus, "therefore, having your loins girt about with truth; we are purged from our sins through the Truth, Jesus. We have His life giving, incorruptible seed within us. Now I understand why the Lord had Paul to start with truth. It is more than just head knowledge, its receiving and accepting Jesus, walking in His truth, standing on His sure foundation and through His Spirit sharing His life giving, incorruptible seed with others.

 

PART TWO

In Ephesians 6:10-18, the Apostle Paul describes the Armor of God. In the last newsletter we began a series about the armor and why the Lord had Paul put it in the order that he did. We saw that Paul began with "having your loins girt about with truth," because truth is the foundation we stand on. The belt is what holds the rest of the armor on.

This time we are going to discuss the second piece of armor Paul mentions in verse 14, "having on the breastplate of righteousness." The breastplate is a piece of the defensive armor that protects the vital organs in the body, particularly the heart. The heart is considered the center of the physical, mental and spiritual life of the body. The Lord said in Leviticus 17:11, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood ... " Our fleshly heart is what keeps our physical body going. Without the heart we could not survive. Just as the physical breastplate protects our heart, so the spiritual breastplate protects our spiritual heart.

For the believer, the spiritual heart is of the most importance. When we start our journey with Jesus, the Lord starts to change us from the inside out. He starts with our heart. In I Samuel 16:7, " ... for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." The Lord is concerned with what is in our hearts. When He changes our hearts, He changes the rest of us as well. It may take some time, but if we continue, we will begin to look like Him. Praise the Lord! The heart is also the Lord's dwelling place (Ephesians 3:17). Thus the heart is to be protected, but why with righteousness?

In the Webster's Dictionary, righteousness means, "purity of heart." We know that man's heart is not pure. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" In Isaiah 64:6, Isaiah says, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags ... " Without the Lord, our hearts are deceitful and our righteousness is as filthy rags. As I was studying out the word "righteousness," I discovered that when God talks about righteousness, He talks in covenant terms. Righteousness is keeping our part of the covenant. The Lord always keeps His part of the covenant, but we have always had trouble keeping our part. It all started with Adam and Eve. All they had to do was keep one law, "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:16,17). As we know, they couldn't keep their part of the covenant.

God gave Moses ten laws of a covenant. We couldn't keep them either, so the Lord came Himself. Jesus became one of us to show us how to keep covenant with Him. He became our righteousness, so we could keep our part of the covenant with Him since we couldn't do it ourselves. He gave us His righteousness and took ours. He has kept both sides of the covenant so we could have a relationship with Him again. We can again walk with Him in the cool of the day in the garden (Genesis 3:8). The breastplate of righteousness is Jesus' righteousness that protects the new heart that He lives in when we believe in Him. Jesus' righteousness is pure and true and nothing of darkness can penetrate the light that is reflected there. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8: 31). What better protection could we ask for.

PART THREE

We have been looking at how the Apostle Paul described the Armor of God in Ephesians 6. The third piece of armor that Paul told us about was "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." As I read this scripture the word "shod" stood out. I immediately thought of horses and how they have their feet shod. If horses are to be ridden they need shoes. Their shoes are nailed on so they will be sure footed and strong. In the same way we should have our shoes, the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, spiritually nailed on us, so we will be sure footed. It isn't easy to move a person who has their legs planted square to the ground. We are to be so planted in Jesus that we can't be moved either. "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" Ephesians 4:14-15. We are to be so strong in the word that nothing can move us away from what we believe.

The next word we should consider is "preparation." The Jews knew what Paul was talking about when he said, "preparation." They had a "preparation day" most of their lives. That was the day that came before the Sabbath where they prepared their food, completed work and made themselves spiritual clean (purified). In the same way we are to be prepared for the gospel of peace.

The Jews prepared their food for they did not cook on the Sabbath. We must prepare our spiritual food. The word says in II Timothy 3:14-17, "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."  We must have the word written on the fleshly tablets of our hearts. We must have our food (the word) ready.

Then we must cease from our own works and enter into His rest. In Hebrews 4:10 it says, "For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his."  We must complete, cease from our work and rest in the fact that Jesus has done it. He said, "it is finished." That is the gospel.

Lastly, we must live holy lives. Lives that reflect and show forth the life of Jesus. We can't do this in the flesh, we must do it in the spirit. Only the Spirit of the living God can direct us how to be holy and pure. We must die to ourselves daily and take up our cross and follow Him. Self must be put to death so that Jesus is the one that reigns in our minds and hearts. Flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

The "gospel" is the story of Jesus' life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension to the throne. This good news is what brings us peace. In fact it is the only real peace on the earth. That is why the Apostle Paul advises us to have "your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." With the gospel alive and showing forth in our lives we will be ready for anything that comes our way because the Holy Spirit is directing us. Now that is peace.

You have heard the phrase, "You are the only Jesus people will see." I believe that this is what the Apostle Paul was trying to get across to us. If we are to be steadfast and sure, grounded and immoveable in the gospel of peace then we must be holy, set aside and pure before Him. How others will know of the gospel of Jesus Christ, is through us. When we walk in His footsteps, we will show others the way.

 

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