by Oscar M. Baker
"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Eph. 6:11
Whenever we mention armor you know that there is a fight, warfare. The enemy in this case is the devil. He never fights fair, never abides by the rules. His way of fighting is not coming out in the open and matching strength for strength, he'd never do that. But he uses wiles, subtle ways, craftiness, traps, and the foulest tricks to gain his ends; and that is what we have to deal with. An enemy may pretend to be your friend. And at times, even suggest peaceful coexistence. Can there be peaceful coexistence between evil and good? Of course, he will suggest that, if it will gain him advantage. He isn't always recognized. Folks have temptations and never have the least idea where it's coming from. He disguised himself as an angel of light in the garden, a cherub, a shining one! And so he can appear as an angel of light and occupy some "high pulpits" if the people allow him.
And questions come up, "Well, what's this fight all about? What's going on? Why a need for warfare and armor? What are the stakes? Who are quarreling and about what? And what would one lose in the fight? And what has he to gain?" If we are going to get into a fight, we have to be realistic and weigh all of these things before we get involved.
Paul fought a good fight, henceforth a crown. That is what he was working for. And there's the issue, we fight for a crown, the crown of righteousness, represented righteousness. And Satan is on the job to see that we don't get it. So he would beguile us of our reward. Satan cannot touch our life that is hid with Christ in God, but he can approach us through the old nature.
A lot of people in Christendom, do not take up the fight. They never put on the armor, willing to just concede defeat to the devil just so they can be saved as by fire (I Cor. 3:15). And they live to satisfy the old nature, making their belly their god and thereby are constituted as enemies of the cross of Christ, as Paul told us in Philippians. A defeated life, and there can't be any joy and satisfaction in that.
These folks have never grown up, never known what maturity is, therefore, unfit to put on the armor. Some have never come to put their trust in the armor so are defeated before they start. David went out without Saul's armor on and with only a little sling and five stones; but he had on the whole armor of God because he trusted the Lord.
Some have failed to put on "The Whole Armor" and they have not learned what the fight is all about, well, it's no use they think - Christians going down to defeat. When the judgment comes there will be no crown for them. We have to feel sorry for folks who are missing so much, these in Christendom, doing things to satisfy the flesh, and doing nothing to feed the new nature.
Satan would have you believe he is not an enemy; he doesn't want you to believe that! And he would convince you that he has no dishonest intentions, or that he would do you any harm, and so you could make peace on his terms and avoid all the difficult things that go with and stand for truth. Quite a temptation, isn't it? You might become a family outcast! So the devil's going to try to make peace on his terms and have you avoid all these unpleasant things -- that's the idea!
As you study this armor, you begin to see that this is a Person - Christ Jesus. And so the soldier is to put on Christ. Babes are not intended to put on the armor, but there is a responsible age. Also, we are to strive lawfully, be dedicated to fighting a good fight and put on the Whole Armor, not just a part. Nothing less than the whole armor will do. And we don't wait until the evil day comes to put it on, either! We must always be ready for anything that will try our spiritual strength, and it can come at the most unexpected times and places.
It was an evil day when Peter denied the Lord, and an evil day when the disciples all forsook Him and fled, and an evil day when Judas lost his bishopric, and an evil day when David fell into temptation and lost the joy of his salvation. And it's in the evil day that many of us may lose our rewards, the prize, and the crown.
Watch and pray, as the Lord told His disciples when He was there in Gethsemane. And having worked out our salvation with fear and trembling we're still to stand till the evil day is past - till the danger is gone. There isn't any time to relax and get careless.
Remember, we have that old nature till resurrection. We are not to fight the devil. You're not going to beat the devil, and no use of trying it. We are to put on this whole armor as we're told to. The devil can throw a dart at us at any time, that is in the old nature, but he can't touch the new nature.
Parts of the armor we are to put on equal, putting on, the Lord Jesus Christ. Eph. 6:14-17.
1. "Loins girt about with truth." - Even Truth For Today, "the Lord said He was truth" John 14:6
2. "The breastplate of righteousness." He is our righteousness. Rom. 5:19-21; II Cor. 5:21.
3. "Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." He is our peace. John 16:33.
4. "Above all, the shield of faith." This could be our faith or His, faithfulness, quite sure however, this too is putting on Christ. Gal. 2:20.
5. "Take the helmet of salvation." He is our only salvation. Acts 28:28.
6. "And the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." And He is the Living Word. John 1:1.
There it is, putting on Christ. Since the time of Jerome, its been understood that putting on The Whole Armor of God is - putting on The Christ Jesus.