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Thursday, March 10, 2011

No Nudist In The Kingdom; The Conclusion: The Putting On

In parts 1-7 we looked at items in 1 Peter 2:1-3, Colossians 3:8-9 Eph. 4:31-32 and that we are to “put off” or better translated as “take off” as in taking off a coat and laying it aside. And we discussed how the Lord always gives us something better to put on when He has us take something off. Therefore not leaving us Spiritually naked.
Now we come to the conclusion, “The Putting On”.
In Ephesians 6:13-18 (NAS) we read:
"Therefore take up the full Armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore,
having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, Which is the Word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.
I’ve heard a lot of versions of this passage and in a sense all of them are true. Here is my take on the armor of God.
The girdle of Truth. Take off all the falseness and lies and put on truth. Just tell the truth. Be truthful. Not to the point of hurting others but don’t be a liar. No matter what else you do, being caught in a lie can undo all of it.
1. Breastplate of Righteousness. Take off all evil and be clothed in righteousness. Not our own but Christ’s. The Word says our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Not good for anything. Stand before God in Christ. In Right Standing with the Father.
2. Shod with the Gospel of Peace. Take off all strife. And put on Peace. The Gospel in a whole is Peace. Peace with God, Peace with self and peace with others. Being always in strife can crush your testimony. Who always wants to be in turmoil?
3. Helmet of Salvation. The helmet protects the head therefore we must renew our minds by focusing on the Word and keeping our thoughts on the Kingdom.
4. Shield of Faith. The shield is not an item of clothing, but it is necessary for the armor. All through the Book of Psalms God is said to be our Shield. Pick up your Faith in God. You can lay it down and become vulnerable to the enemy. Pick it up and stand side by side with others (in the Church of Faith) and you all become a mighty fighting force. Just like the Romans depicted in the movies with their line of battle with shields in front, above and all sides. Unbeatable.
5. The Sword of the Spirit. It is as it says. The sword is the Word of God. The Bible. But it is much more. It is the Word of God used in and by the Holy Spirit in the Believer. Pick it up and use in His Spirit for attack and defense.
6. Prayer. Now prayer is listed as part of the whole military thing because without a good supply line the army will fail no matter how they won the battle.
So here we are at the end. Take it all off and put on the glorious garments the Lord has for you.

Prayer: Lord, help us to take off all actions and attributes that do not bring Glory to Your name and Kingdom and help us to put on the things that would further your Kingdom. Amen