Apart from standing firm against malicious forces, we must also put on the armor of God. Ephesians 6:10–18 encourages us to do so. This second study on spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6 will focus on the armor.

Ephesians 6:10-18 seems to borrow from Jewish Scripture and traditions that depict the Lord as a warrior armed with righteousness, salvation, and vengeance ready to repay his enemies and deliver his people (Isaiah 59:14–19; compare Wisdom of Solomon 5.15–23). In Ephesians, however, Christ’s followers are to put on the metaphoric armor, the panoply (panoplia: the full set of armor and weapons) furnished by God. In Roman warfare, it was the hastati (“armed with a spear”), mature soldiers, who would wear the panoply (Polybius, History of the World 6). And among the Greeks, city-state inhabitants considered it a privilege, not a duty, to engage in military action.[1]

There is no reason why Christians today cannot apply this mindset and these verses from Ephesians 6 when facing trials, temptations, and spiritual challenges. Other passages attributed to Paul the apostle likewise encourage believers to wear spiritual armor and engage is battle: 1 Thessalonians 5:8; Romans 13:12. Paul and his colleagues likewise do so: 1 Timothy 1:18–19; 2 Timothy 2:3–4; 2 Corinthians 6:7; 10:3–6.

The Armor

Finally in Ephesians 6:18 there is:

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“Put on the Full Armor of God”: Applying Ephesians 6:10-18

Those who put their faith in Christ overcome Satan through righteous living, advancing God’s kingdom, trusting in God’s provision for and preservation of our lives, knowing and acting on the gospel message and maintaining a consistent, Spirit‑led prayer life. We close with Daniel Fuller’s list of five practical counter‑strategies against the devil:

[1] See respectively, Jo-Ann Shelton, As the Romans Did (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 251–52; Robert Garland, Daily Life of the Ancient Greeks (Westport: Greenwood, 2009), 237.

[2] David W. Diehl, “Righteousness,” in Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 953.

[3] Andrew T. Lincoln,Ephesians,Word Biblical Commentary, 449.

[4] Daniel P. Fuller, “Satan,” in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 4:343.

[5] Lincoln, Ephesians, p. 451.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Perhaps on the first gift would include the ability of certain Spirit‑filled saints to excel in casting out devils (1 Cor 2:4; 2 Cor 12:12; Gal 3:5; 1 Thess 1:5).

[8] Fuller, “Satan,” 4:343. For further aspects related to spiritual warfare, see my book,99 Answers to Questions about Angels, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare,available on also on Kindlethrough amazon.com.

Image 1: Knight Angel Middle Ages at pixabay.com; image 2: Gladiator Rome Roman History Battle at pixabay.com