The armour for the christian: Meditation for the 8th sunday after trinity
“Armour,” according to Wikipedia (On line Encyclopaedia), “is protective covering used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object, individual or a vehicle…” The Christian life is fraught with the raging war of the Enemy and the challenge of really being a disciple of Jesus Christ in this earth. The enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking for whom to devour (1Pet. 5:8). However, we are not left vulnerable. We have been provided with the armour to withstand and stand. The whole armour of God surrounds us with hedge of protection to survive and overcome the trials, ordeals, challenges and problems of this world.
The War Is Defensive
Many times, we think of warfare in terms of offence or attack and so devote all our time and energy to firing and neglect defence or protection. The result is that, at the slightest blow from the enemy, we are on the ground. This will be VERY STRANGE to the modern Christian, but the truth is that God neither enjoined the Christian to attack nor provided him with the weapon for attack. The Christian only considers it necessary to attack and so, takes it on himself. The battle is the Lord’s and has already been fought and won on the cross.
The Lord, not only knows how, but also, is able to deal with the enemy. Offensive warfare without God’s specific directive is offensive. Ours is to keep looking unto Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, but with the consciousness that the Enemy is fully determined to rob us of the privileges and benefits of the kingdom. We are, thus, enjoined to a strong determination to “withstand” or not allow him through the provision of God. The sure way to withstand the attack of the enemy and stand is by putting on the armour of God and making full use of them.
The Armour Of God – The Epistle For The Day (Eph. 6:10-20)
The context of Ephesians 6 and the purpose of the armour is clearly defensive – that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil (Vs 11 & 13). Paul assured the Ephesian Christians that they were now believers in Christ Jesus and lived in Grace, not under the law. Consequently, they had to act like children of the Father, in an upright and holy manner.
They would also come under attack and so, enjoined to put on spiritual armour in order to withstand and stand. Paul employed the imagery of a Roman soldier’s armour to communicate his message of spiritual armour. As the soldier stands bold and strong by girding his dress and fastening his sword to his body with a belt, so a Christian should gird himself with “truth,” the foundation for all spiritual activity. As breastplate accords protection to the soldier, the Christian should find protection in righteousness.
Preparation of the gospel of peace would enable the Christian stand firm even on slippery ground as shoes do the soldier. Faith is also needed as shield for protection from the assault of the Enemy. As helmet protects the most vital part of the soldier’s body – his head, the Christian needs salvation to protect his spiritual destiny. The sword, an essential armour for overcoming the enemy is the Word of God, which refutes/challenges the enemy as in Jesus’ temptation. It also speaks to every situation of the Christian’s life. It is not to kill the enemy. Prayer is indispensable as it keeps the Christian in touch with God, the source of power. Also, as with sword, prayer is not to kill the enemy.
Ven. Dr Princewill O. Ireoba is the Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.