Sunday, October 15, 2023

Full Armor of God Part 1 – Introduction


Full Armor of God

Part 1 – Introduction

Rev. Bruce A. Shields


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1.      Introduction




Today is Sunday. October 8th, 2023


            Last week, we finished the Fruits of the Spirit series, talking about self-control. This week, we are beginning a new series and will be looking at the Full Armor of God.


            We discussed Galatians 5 in the last series and how Paul tells us that Christ has set us free from the yoke of slavery, speaking about our flesh, sin, and its desire to rule us. We read in Galatians 5 about how we are to walk in the spirit and rebuke the desires of the flesh so we can serve the Lord.


            Jesus tells us we cannot serve two masters, so we must walk and deny ourselves to serve Him. We must “flee,” as the bible puts it, from the desires of the flesh and focus on what the Spirit of God, which believers have within them desires.


            The Fruit of the Spirit is produced in believers who do not quench or resist the spirit of God within them. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.


            These fruits show the character of our God to others, which builds up other believers so the Body of Christ can be stronger, and it attracts the lost to seek out the gospel, which will redeem them.

            As long as you are not preventing the fruits, blocking them from being produced in your life, they will be there and accomplish their goal.


            This naturally brings us to the following discussion about our “walking in the spirit” and serving God as His followers. We know this is a fallen, sinful, evil world, and each generation has an equal potential to work with God to lift up or reject God and allow this world's fallen state to continue to degrade and devour all that is good.


            There are two significant things taking place right now. Firstly, the Great Commission of Matthew 28 set the stage for the beginning of this dispensation of the church age, or the age of Grace.


            Jesus has tasked all of His followers to share the redeeming message of Christ Jesus, baptism, and the teaching of obedience to those who belong to Him.


            The second thing is that a spiritual war began long before we were born and will continue until the very last one who will ever accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior does so.


            We are soldiers in the Lord’s army. However, scripture clarifies that we do not battle against flesh and blood but spiritual powers.


            Our Lord does not send us into battle without proper preparation, though. We are equipped and fully prepared for spiritual service.


            This series will look at spiritual warfare, our attire and its purpose, how we should focus our efforts, and what a win looks like in a spiritual war.



Today’s Topic: the Whole Armor of God – INTRODUCTION



SCRIPTURE READING (Legacy Standard Bible)


The previous chapter encourages us to be imitators of God as beloved children.


This is what it means in scripture when it says we are created in His image.


Jesus said in John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”


If God is spirit, how is man “created in His image”? Because what this refers to is not our outward appearance. Instead, we were created to be the image of God.


To be an imager of God is why we receive the Spirit of God when we are His and why we have the Fruits of the Spirit, so we may have His character traits and be an image of who He is.


This is what is meant by Ephesians 5:1 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”


The rest of Ephesians speaks about what that image is to look like. Then we reach Ephesians 6:10 and the good news about not going to war naked and unprepared.



Ephesians 6:10-18

10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the might of His strength.

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth,

and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

16 In addition to all, having taken up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one,

17 also receive the helmet of salvation,

and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,


18 praying at all times with all prayer and petition in the Spirit,

and to this end, being on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints


I.          WE ARE AT WAR

a.      The war is not against flesh

                                                 i.      We may sometimes feel we are at war with other people or countries

                                              ii.      Though they may be servants of evil, they are the puppets

                                           iii.      Our battle is not with them but with their master

                                            iv.      Evil in this world is a symptom. The root cause is the father of lies

                                               v.      It is he and his demonic forces we are at war with


b.     The war is in the spiritual realm

                                                 i.      Ephesians explicitly states these enemies are in the darkness, spiritual, and heavenly places.


                                              ii.      Think about the wording in Ephesians 6:12

1.      Our enemies are not flesh and blood

2.      They are spiritual beings

3.      In darkness

4.      And in heavenly places


                                           iii.      Where are there spiritual beings in darkness?

1.      Jude 6 “And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,”


2.      There are angels chained in the depths of the abyss.


                                            iv.      Where are there spiritual beings in heavenly places?

1.      The dimension where angels and demons reside


                                               v.      These forces are at work.


                                            vi.      They are working to keep humankind under the Law so they will not escape the punishment for their sin and be condemned to Gehenna, apart from God, for eternity.


1.      Why do they care?

2.      Because destroying humankind is the only way they can hurt the one true God

3.      So, they work tirelessly to prevent them from accepting the New Covenant and receiving forgiveness for sin.


c.      Who are our real enemies

                                                 i.      {spiritual} rulers

                                              ii.      {spiritual} authorities

                                           iii.      world forces of this darkness

                                            iv.      spiritual forces of wickedness

                                               v.      in the heavenly places



a.      The instruction to be imagers of God

                                                 i.      We were created to be images of God

                                              ii.      He gives us His Spirit to accomplish this


                                           iii.      When we have the Spirit of God we receive when we are redeemed within us, we then receive all the benefits of the Spirit of God.

1.      Spiritual Fruits

2.      Full Armor of God

3.      Spiritual Gifts


                                            iv.      This enables us to be the imagers of God.

                                               v.      Imitators of God

1.      NOT gods

2.      NOT little “g” gods

3.      NOT any other false doctrines about becoming gods


                                            vi.      But as;

1.      Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”

2.      Ephesians 5:1 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,”


                                         vii.      Distinguishes humankind from the animal and plant kingdoms. Elevates humankind above all terrestrial created things to exercise benevolent and ethical stewardship over creation. The “image of God” language is found in the New Testament as part of the Christian’s responsibility to imitate Christ, who is the image(r) of God.

1.      Heiser, M. S. (2016). Image of God. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, L. Wentz, E. Ritzema, & W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Lexham Press.


b.     The encouragement of being strong

                                                 i.      After Ephesians 5 encourages us to be imagers of God, Ephesians 6:10 will tell us how God, through His Spirit, will prepare us to do so.

                                              ii.      Ephesians 6:10 tells us to be strong in the Lord and in the might of His strength.

                                           iii.      It then tells us about the Full Armor of God.

                                            iv.      His strength, His armor, we can’t lose.


c.      The foreshadowing of David and Goliath

                                                 i.      1 Samuel 17:38-43 “Then Saul clothed David with his robes and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. And David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them off. Then he took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine. Then the Philistine came on and drew near to David, with the shield-bearer in front of him. And the Philistine looked and saw David. And he despised him; for he was but a youth and ruddy, with a handsome appearance. And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.”


                                              ii.      David had no need for the king's armor because He had God’s Full armor.


                                           iii.      Satan’s army (the Philistines), led by his most excellent soldier, came against God’s

1.      This battle was not David against Goliath.

2.      It was a spiritual battle between Satan’s army and God’s people.

3.      A small boy with a stone defeated Satan’s greatest warrior with weapons and a shield bearer.

4.      Because David was prepared for the correct fight

5.      Not the flesh and blood but the spiritual


1 Samuel 17:51

“Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword (Goliath’s) and drew it out of its sheath and put him to death and cut off his head with it. Then the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, so they fled.”



a.      Symptoms appear as enemies.

                                                 i.      Just like sickness or social issues or anything else

                                              ii.      Treating symptoms while ignoring the cause is useless

                                           iii.      Wars with nations fighting with people are the symptoms.

                                            iv.      We are not at war with flesh and blood.


b.     The root cause remains hidden.

                                                 i.      Spiritual warfare is the cause.

                                              ii.      The battle was won spiritually, not because David defeated Goliath but because the smallest boy of God’s army defeated the greatest warrior of Satan with a sling and no worldly armor.

                                           iii.      Satan consistently underestimates the power of the Holy Spirit.

                                            iv.      Time and time again in scripture, we see the Holy Spirit confounds Satan.

                                               v.      He just doesn’t understand


c.      The battle we wage must be in the spiritual

                                                 i.      If we concentrate our efforts on the spiritual, we will win





As Christians, we need to take Ephesians 6 to heart and learn what we can about our real enemy. The hidden one, who, like a puppet master, puts things in our lives to confuse and distract us from the real mission.


To be victorious in the spiritual realm and be imitators of God in this realm.


And as great as the battle must seem, such as David against the giant Goliath, all things are possible with God.


We must understand the Full Armor of God and Use it!



Next week:

The Full Armor of God Part 2: STRENGTH OF THE LORD






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