The Armor of God: 8 Ways to Defeat Satan

By Dr. Bob Martin III
Published 3 years ago

The “armor of God” is Paul’s metaphor for a Roman soldier’s battle apparel (Eph. 6:10-17), helping Christians overcome trials.

I.   The Armor and Corresponding Means to Defeat our Enemies:

1.     Belt of Truth: Biblical Truth

2.     Breastplate of Righteousness: Godly Living

3.     Shoes of the Gospel: Evangelism

4.     Shield of Faith: Sanctification

5.     Helmet of Salvation: Renewing our Minds

6.     Sword of the Holy Spirit: The Bible as an Offensive Weapon

7.     Prayer

8.     Humility in the face of  adversaries

 

 

 

 

 

 

II.   Three Enemies of a Christian

Warren Wiersbe wrote, “Sooner or later, every believer discovers that the Christian life is a battleground, not a playground and that he faces an enemy who is much stronger than he is—apart from the Lord.”

  • He was referring to Satan (Eph. 6:10–12), a mighty enemy constantly seeking to destroy us (1 Pet. 5:8)
  • In addition, we face two additional adversaries the world and our fleshly desires (Eph. 2:1–3)

So how can we protect ourselves from these overwhelming adversaries?

  • In brief, we can’t!
  • Not in our own power
  • We need help!

 

III.   Protection Against Our Adversaries

Paul’s imagery of Roman soldier’s armor is helpful It gives us confidence that we don’t have to face our enemies alone.

  • Instead, we can stand firm in strength and confidence in the Lord (Eph 6:10-11, 13-17)
  • And as Christians, the armor is always at our disposal

But there are a few caveats:

  • Each piece of God’s armor serves a particular purpose
  • And all the parts are necessary to protect us

Furthermore, the armor only protects us if we wear and use them.

  • ALL of it, all of the time!
  • And most importantly, it is our responsibility to put it on to protect ourselves

 

As soldiers, we are to “hold our ground.” What does that mean?

  • Our posture is defensive, not offensive
  • Why?
  • Because Christ has already conquered Satan (Rom. 8:31)

 

1.   The Belt of Truth is the First Piece of the Armor of God

First is the belt of truth (Eph 6:14a). This strap keeps the other parts of the armor together and in place. The belt of truth is the Bible.

As the Belt of Truth, the  Bible is truth (John 17:17). In fact, it is “breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16–17).

And when Scripture is correctly understood, it holds the Christian together

  • It integrates our beliefs with our behavior
  • And exposes Satan as the liar and murderer he is (John 8:44)

 

Consequently, a life controlled by Biblical truth is the only way to defeat him. But how can we practically do that?

  • By examining our lives in light of Scripture, we can identify our vulnerabilities (Matt 7:1-5; 1 Pet 5:8)
  • Then we can develop a biblical plan of action to overcome these spiritual weaknesses

 

The specific Biblical tools can include:

  • Faithful Bible study (John 8:31-32)
  • Scripture memorization (Psa. 119:11)
  • Consistent daily devotions (John 8:36) that explicitly focus on our areas of temptation (1 Cor. 11:31)

 

2.   The Second Piece of God’s Armor is the Breastplate of Righteousness

The second piece is the breastplate of righteousness (Eph. 6: 14b).

A Roman breastplate was made of metal plates or chains.

  • It covered the body from the neck to the waist, both front and back
  • And it protected the soldier’s vital organs

 

Similarly, this protection is analogous to us living righteously (Rom. 6:13).

  • Specifically, our thoughts, words, and actions (2 Cor. 5:9) protect our hearts (Jas. 4:7)

 

“Living righteously” also means identifying the circumstances that tempt us to live unbiblically.

  • Then we can create a detailed plan to please the Lord and bless others
  • And we do that through our personal, professional, and public life
  • It is also essential to have an “escape” plan to flee unexpected temptations

 

3.   Thirdly are the Shoes of the Gospel

Thirdly are the shoes of the gospel (Eph. 6:15). What does Paul’s phrase here mean? There are two options.

  • In the first place, Paul could mean proclaiming the gospel that brings peace
  • Or conversely (and more likely), it refers to Roman soldier’s hobnailed sandals
  • These sandals gave them a firm footing in combat
  • Thus, Paul meant we are to stand firm in our battles based on the gospel’s power

 

This “standing firm” on the Scripture’s truth brings us peace with God (cf. Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:17) and other believers (Eph 2:14–15). Basically, it translates into studying the Bible and evangelizing culturally sensitively.

 

4.   The Shield of Faith is the Fourth Piece of God’s Armor

Fourth is the shield of faith (Eph 6:16).

  • The Roman shield was four feet by two feet, made of wood, and covered with sturdy leather
  • It protected the whole body from spears, arrows, and “fiery darts”

 

The “faith” in this verse is not our initial “saving faith” (justification) in Jesus. Instead, it is our ongoing, daily “living faith” (sanctification). And living this faith makes us more like Jesus.

  • And this faith “believes in” God’s promises and power
  • This “shield of faith” quenches Satan’s fiery darts of sinful thoughts

 

Only in a real-life battle is the quality of any shield determined. Similarly, it’s no different in our spiritual struggles.

  • In essence, our ability to withstand intense trials is only as good as our shield of faith
  • Consequently, we must honestly answer the obvious question. “Is our faith in Jesus and Scripture adequate to overcome Satan’s challenges?”

 

However, the only way to answer that question is to have our faith “field-tested” in battle.

  • That means we choose to believe in Christ and hold on to our faith during our suffering
  • And if we do, we become more Christ-like and learn to trust God more (1 Peter 1:6-7)

 

5.   The Fifth Piece of the Armor of God is the Helmet of Salvation

The fifth piece of armor is the helmet of salvation (Eph 6:17a).

  • The Roman iron or bronze helmet protected the head and neck
  • This metaphor refers to bringing our thoughts into subjection

 

What does bringing our thoughts into subjection to Christ mean?

  • It is when we willfully choose to be obedient to Christ regardless of any emotion to the contrary (Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 10:5)
  • For example, Satan cannot lead us astray if we become more Christlike

 

Three resources that renew our minds and make us more Christ-like (Rom. 12:1-2) include:

  • Prayer
  • Scripture study and memorization
  • Relying on the Holy Spirit

 

6.   The Only Offensive Weapon in the Armor of God: The Sword of the Spirit

Sixth is the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6: 17b). This metaphor refers to the Bible. And the Bible is also the “The Belt of Truth” there is a distinction.

The Bible, as the “Sword of the Spirit,” is the only offensive piece of the armor. It “is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.” (Heb. 4:12)

Do you remember when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness? All of Christ’s responses were Scriptural (Matt. 4:1-11).

  • And should comfort us as Christians
  • Each of us has access to God’s word to defeat our enemies’ inevitable temptations and attacks (Heb 5:14)

 

But I have a word of caution. Handling a real sword takes practice and knowledge.

  • Using God’s word effectively means being a student and a doer of Scripture
  • And if you know and live out Scripture, it will be easier to detect and reject Satan’s lies and avoid stumbling (2 Peter 1:10)

 

7.   The Armor of God: Prayer

Seventh is prayer (Eph 6:18).

Now we stand fully covered by God’s armor. We are to pray at all times under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

  • He knows what to pray for us
  • We are to remain diligently alert in prayer and petition on behalf of other Christians

 

8.   Staying Humble in the Face of our Adversaries

It is critical to realize that there is continual spiritual warfare around us (Eph 6:12).

  • Remember that Satan’s schemes made godly men like Adam, Abraham, Jacob, David, and Peter fall
  • In light of that, we need to consider, who are we to stand against the devil alone and unarmed?

 

IV.   What Is Your Next Step?

Satan means “adversary.” Without a doubt, he is our most powerful enemy who seeks to destroy us (Eph. 6:10–12).

Where do you need to begin preparing your armor to resist him?

 

Begin today by first assessing where your armor is weak or non-existent.

  • Then use some Binmin resources to help you withstand the devil and his schemes

 

Instead of being afraid of Satan, let us daily and urgently put on the armor of God and fix our eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:2)

Further Resources:

Studying the Bible: 3 Methods That Work by Dr. Bob Martin III

How To Do Prayer in Four ACTS by Dr. Bob Martin III

Binmin Podcast Ep. 2: “What are the Spiritual Disciplines?”

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