The Armor Of God
Equipped For Battle
01 - The Armor Of God
August 20, 2023 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann • Ephesians 6:10–13
As Christians, we are at war, whether we like it or not. But the Church’s battle is spiritual, not material. This means, among other things, that God’s people no longer use the weapons of war to advance His agenda. The mighty Warrior of Scripture (Exodus 15:3), whom we serve as soldiers under command, expects us to take up spiritual arms in our spiritual fight against the spiritual principalities of evil. God grants no deferments. But even the most willing and eager soldier in Christ is helpless without God’s provision. That is Paul’s point in Ephesians 6:10-13 when he tells us not once but twice to "Put on" and "take up" the whole armor of God.
02 - The Belt of Truth
August 27, 2023 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann • Ephesians 6:14–18
As soldiers under command fighting a war on two battlefronts—the battle outside of us (against Satan and the evil principalities in the heavenly realms) and the battle inside of us (against our fallen flesh, and our love for sin that baits and tempts us to fall from grace)—we must be buckled, girded, and belted with the belt of truth. And what is truth? God's written Word (John 17:17; Psalm 119:60) as personified in Jesus Christ (John 14:6) is truth. Therefore, to be girded with the belt of truth is to put-on Jesus Christ and be established in the truth of God’s Word.
03 - The Breastplate Of Righteousness
September 3, 2023 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann • Ephesians 6:14–18
In our battle against sin (inside us)and Satan (outside us), Paul instructs his readers to put on the breastplate of righteousness as part of their spiritual armor. But what Paul meant by righteousness has some commentators at odds. Some suggest that Pau has in mind the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ that is credited to us through faith in Jesus Christ (and by which we are justified before God) whereas others believe he is referring to the imparted righteousness that comes from Jesus Christ in producing fruit as believers (and by which we are justified in the eyes of man). Perhaps the answer is that both types of righteousness, combined, make up suitable armor. Another way of saying it is that imputed righteousness (which has to do with our justification, spiritually) and imparted righteousness (which has to do with our sanctification, practically) is the breastplate that Christians are to wear at all times.
04 - The Shoes Of Readiness
September 10, 2023 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann • Ephesians 6:14–18
Four times in four verses (vv. 11-14 NIV), Paul declares that the armor’s purpose—the value in putting it on piece by piece—lies in its ability to help us (1) to “stand against the devil’s schemes” (v. 11); (2) to “stand [our] ground” (v. 13a); to “stand” (v. 13b); and (4) to “stand firm” (v. 14). And of course, armor would be incomplete without the proper shoes by which we make our stand—which Paul identifies as “the readiness” or “preparation” of the gospel of peace” (v. 15). Clearly, he knew Christians needed to be on a solid foundation when facing opposition.
05 - The Shield Of Faith
September 17, 2023 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann • Ephesians 6:14–18
The faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3:13-30) allowed them to stand up to the world’s most powerful man, to stand on their convictions and trust in the truth of Scripture, and to stand by one another, mutually supporting each other, in their darkest hour. In the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who refused to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar's idol on pain of death—we learn a valuable lesson about the power of faith and just how to deploy it as part of the armor of God.
06 - The Helmet Of Salvation
September 24, 2023 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann • Ephesians 6:14–18
The apostle Paul lists the helmet of salvation as the fifth part of the armor of God that believers are to put on, just behind the belt, the breastplate, the boots, and the shield. But what exactly does it do and how exactly does it protect us? Wile this world is corrupt and filled with sin, our salvation (from God's wrath) acts like a helmet in such a way that it guards our minds, protects our thinking, shields our thoughts, and safeguards our mental outlook. Moreover, in doing so, the helmet of salvation also renews our minds, removes our doubts, and retains our eternal perspective during the difficult circumstances of spiritual warfare.
07 - The Sword Of The Spirit
October 1, 2023 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann • Ephesians 6:14–18
Throughout the history, there have been certain individuals—both real and fictional—whose identity remains inseparably linked to their weapon of choice. For example, from medieval history, there is King Arthur, who is forever linked with his sword, known as Excalibur. In the world of Hollywood, there is James Bond, famous for carrying his Walther PPK, a German pistol. In the same way, we are told in no uncertain terms in Ephesians 6 that God ascribes to all believers a weapon of choice that is inseparably linked to their identity as believers. It is a weapon that not only defines who we are in Christ and what we believe about him, but it also defines how we are to fight for Christ. It is the Word of God, which Paul affectionately refers to as the Sword of the Holy Spirit.