Ephesians 6:10-20 is one of the most popular Bible studies about spiritual warfare referred to as the Armor of God. Paul specifically uses the image of a Roman soldier as he is writing to Christians in the Roman world who would have seen this armor every day. Paul also assigns specific attributes to the different parts of the armor to help his readers understand how to use God’s Word and how to defend in themselves in spiritual warfare. This study will take you through how real Roman armor works, why Paul assigned it the attributes he did, and how you can use this armor just like the first century Christians in your daily walk.
In this course:
Introduction: Laying the Foundations (27 min)
The Armor of God is a popular Sunday School lesson that we don’t always get right. Paul was writing to an audience that would have seen this armor on a daily basis. There are more details in Ephesians 6:10-20 than just a quirky metaphor for spiritual warfare. This introduction will lay the foundation for this study and help you look for these important details that make all the difference when applying scripture to your daily life.
Session 1: The Belt of Truth (23 min)
The first item of the Armor of God we encounter is described in Ephesians 6:14. It is the Belt of Truth. The belt is an important piece to a soldier’s armor. It helps hold things together and is used as an anchor or foundation piece to attach many of the other armor pieces. It is not insignificant that Paul designates the belt for truth and not one of the other items. In God’s world there is absolute truth. In our secular world, truth is relative. Why is truth important to the Armor and our faith?
- Photos by Ivan Stern, Heinz Schneider, Nathan Dumlao, and James Coleman on Unsplash
- Friedrich Nietzsche By Friedrich Hermann Hartmann, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=95970
- Sigmund Freud By Max Halberstadt, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64082854
- Charles Darwin By Julia Margaret Cameron – Reprinted in Charles Darwin: His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of His Published Letters, edited by Francis Darwin. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1892. Scanned by User:Davepape, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3560761
- Karl Marx By John Jabez Edwin Mayal – International Institute of Social History, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=591288
- Stock Music provided by mv_production, from Pond5
Session 2: The Breastplate of Righteousness (19 min)
The next item that comes up in Ephesians 6:10-20 is the Breastplate of Righteousness. A breastplate is important to keep your vitals protected. The Romans designed a very effective breastplate for their time. But why does Paul call it Righteousness? Righteousness can also be described as Righteous Living. Putting on the breastplate is a daily and conscious decision every Christian needs to make. How do you put it on and make sure there are no gaps in your breastplate?
Session 3: The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace (19 min)
The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace are often taught as a symbol of evangelism. However, Ephesians 6 is talking about spiritual warfare which is different than the Great Commission. The Romans often adapted superior technology into their armor designs when encountering an enemy with a better piece of equipment. This included putting studs in their shoes. In spiritual warfare we are to “stand firm” with these spiritual shoes “of the Gospel of Peace.” The Gospel of Peace is not evangelism but the Peace we now have with God since become a Christian. Are you taking these shoes with you everywhere you go?
Session 4: The Shield of Faith (24 min)
Shields are another useful item for protection. Ephesians 6:16 we are to protect ourselves from the “flaming darts of the evil one.” The Romans had a tactic to mitigate flaming arrows from setting their wooden shields on fire. Flaming arrows that Christians face include seducing temptations, pride, and greed that lead us into disobedience to God. The Shield of Faith can not only protect us from these arrows, but also extinguish them. Have you picked up your shield today?
Session 5: The Helmet of Salvation (22 min)
The Helmet of Salvation is often identified as the moment we are saved. However, Paul is writing to Christian who are already saved and salvation is not something that can be earned or has to be earned daily. So what salvation is Paul referring to? The Armor of God is about spiritual warfare and defending against Satan. A blow to the head is just as deadly in real life as a blow to your mind is deadly to your faith. Put on your helmet!
Session 6: The Sword of the Spirit (18 min)
The Sword of the Spirit is not quite the last item in our armory. The Roman sword was ideal for thrusting and stabbing. When used in conjunction with the rest of the armor, it is very effective. However, to use any of the armor effectively, especially offensive weapons, soldiers need training. It is the same principle in spiritual warfare. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Just like a soldier trains daily for the day of battle, we need to train daily in the Word of God to stand firm in the spiritual battlefield.
Session 7: The last overlooked piece… (28 min)
This session concludes our Bible study in Ephesians 6:10-20 on the Armor of God. There is one last piece that is often overlooked missing from our armory yet: prayer. A key part of relationships is communication. If we have a relationship with God, we should be talking to Him often. That is what prayer is: talking to God! Paul instructs the Ephesians to be praying at all times! How often are you talking to God throughout your day?