The armour of God

Eph. 6:10-18  Paul urges all believers to put on the spiritual ‘armour of God’ “so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks” and the “spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world” (Ephesians 6:11-12).


The Armour of God

In his Letter to the Ephesians, Paul is writing to a city dominated by the presence of thousands of pilgrims to the Temple of Artemis – the multi-breasted goddess of fertility. He probably recalls his battle with the silversmiths who made popular images of Artemis (see Acts 19:23-41), and he remembers that spreading the Good News about Jesus is a constant battle against other spiritual powers.

Cult statue of Artemis

Statue of Artemis from the Temple of Artemis, Ephesus


Consequently, Paul urges all believers to put on the spiritual ‘armour of God’ in order to fight against spiritual forces in the heavenly world. Paul likens this spiritual ‘armour’ to the equipment worn by Roman soldiers – with whom every resident in Ephesus would have been familiar.

This ‘armour of God’ consists of  ‘wearing’ truth like a belt and righteousness like a breastplate. The soldiers belt held everything securely in place – like the truth of God’s word, and a soldier’s breastplate deflected arrows – just like righteous and honourable behaviour deflects the criticism of false accusations. Those wearing God’s armour step out in shoes that announce the good news of peace. They bear their faith like a shield – to ward off attacks by the devil. Because they have been saved by the death of Jesus, their salvation is like a helmet that protects them from blows, and when they speak out the word of God, it acts like a sword, cutting down the opposition. Finally, all those who fight to spread the Good News about Jesus should pray at all times for God’s help.


Paul asks for prayer

Eph. 6:19-20  As a prisoner, Paul asks the believers to pray for him, that he will be bold in speaking the Good News about Jesus.

Eph. 6:21-22  Paul commends his fellow-worker Tychicus who is bringing this letter to the believers in Ephesus.

Eph. 6:23-24  He finishes the letter with a benediction asking for God’s blessing: “Peace and love with faith to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 6:23).

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