If you live in a part of the world where the winters get cold and snowy, you’re probably used to putting on layers of warm clothes before venturing outside. Hats, mittens, coats, and boots protect us from the cold and wind, and they can also help us understand today’s Bible passage.
In Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul urges the Christians in Ephesus to “put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil” (verse 11). Paul goes on to describe each piece of God’s armor, echoing the words of Isaiah 59:17, when the Lord “put on righteousness as his body armor and placed the helmet of salvation on his head.” This Old Testament passage ends with a promise: the Redeemer—who we now know is Jesus—would come to save everyone who turns from their sins, and God’s Spirit would never leave them.
So, why do we need God’s armor if He has already come to redeem us and defeat sin and death for us? Well, until Jesus returns to fully restore our broken world, life can get pretty cold and harsh. But God doesn’t abandon us to shiver and get frost-bitten. He gives us His armor. In fact, Jesus gifts us Himself as our armor, inviting us to depend on who He is and what He’s done for us. Just like we need plenty of clothing for protection against winter weather, Christians have the armor of God to protect us from the lies of the enemy. Just like your hat protects your head and your gloves keep your hands warm, each piece of God’s armor protects us in a different way against the lies we might be tempted to believe. God’s armor reminds us we belong to Jesus and we don’t have to give in to any temptation we might face. Instead, we can rely on God’s power to live in a way that reflects our love for God and our neighbors (Matthew 22:36-40).
So today, whether it’s cold where you live or not, consider taking some time to reread Ephesians 6:10-20. As you do, think about each part of the armor. Notice how God compares truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God—which are all given to us in the gospel—to various pieces of armor soldiers needed. And remember, you can rest knowing that, in Jesus, you have all the protection you need against the lies you might hear. • A. W. Smith
• What questions do you have about the armor of God? What piece sticks out to you most today?
• What lies do you tend to believe about yourself? How can God’s armor remind us of who we are in Jesus— how beloved and how empowered we truly are? (Ephesians 1:3-23)
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. Ephesians 6:11 (NLT)