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The Armor Of God: Definition, Meaning, and How To Apply It To Your Life

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You may have heard the saying “putting on the armor of God.”

God's armor is a profound truth that we must comprehend and apply. Putting on the full armor of God is a biblical command, after all.

Let's examine the whole armor of God and learn what it means and how it can benefit you in your daily life.

What does it mean to put on the armor of God?

Where does the saying, “putting on the armor of God” come from?

The armor of God is a metaphor in the Bible (Ephesians 6:10-18) that reminds Christians about the reality of spiritual battle and describes the protection available to them. It’s a part of scripture that’s very popular and referenced in many sermons from different members of the clergy. 

The idea of putting on the armor of God may seem like a means of protecting ourselves against physical harm. However, the actual meaning is more in line with putting on spiritual armor. 

“Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).

close up of a shoulder piece of armor

Despite the verse saying that it'll protect us from the wiles of Satan, it can also protect against any forms of evil and negativity and help us to keep God at the forefront of our thoughts. 

The full armor of God that Christians are called to put on consists of the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.

If you don't fully understand Christian practices, you may be confused about what the armor of God means. And taking the verse out of context can distract us from the Lord Jesus Christ's intended teachings.

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The whole armor of God

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There are many different pieces to the armor of God. Each piece is illustrated in chapter six of Ephesians.

Let’s go through the different pieces of the armor of God. Then we’ll talk about how you can apply each to your life.  

Belt of truth

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist...” (Ephesians 6:14).

The belt of truth anchors every other part of God's full armor. To defeat the enemy, you must start with the truth.

Some translations of the verse use the phrase, “having girded your loins with truth.” In modern vernacular, the word loin is rare. This area refers to the lower back and also includes the area around the privates. 

In ancient times, it was common for men to wear long draping robes, but they'd travel with them wrapped up so they could work or fight. This was known as girding up one’s loins.

No matter where we live or which culture we come from, the Lord knows all the paths we've taken and how they've hurt us or gotten us into trouble. Truth is necessary to us, and the Holy Spirit knows it.

Breastplate of righteousness

“...with the breastplate of righteousness in place” (Ephesians 6:14).

Righteousness means being made right. 

A breastplate covers the heart, and righteousness protects the heart in a variety of daily battles. Sin tempts us in all kinds of complicated ways, but righteousness shelters us from it. 

Christ's complete righteousness is needed for protection. We can have that righteousness with us through God's grace. 

God’s instructions sometimes can be viewed as burdens to us. But obeying God is a protective shield against being wounded by sin.

Gospel of peace

“...having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15).

Peace is an attribute of the Lord’s character (Galatians 5:22). 

In Greek, peace refers to unity or wholeness. Through faith in Christ, the gospel has the power to forgive sins and provide an avenue for accessing oneness with God. 

In Ephesians, we're repeatedly reminded to "stand" and to "stand firm." If the enemy can successfully make us anxious, we'll be shaken loose from standing firm. 

A person's sense of peace is ruined when they carry anxiety and worry with them. What keeps us anchored is the preparation of the gospel of peace.

Shield of faith

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith...” (Ephesians 6:16).

During ancient times, Roman soldiers carried heavy shields made of tanned animal hide. The shields were dipped into the water before battle so that the wet hide could extinguish fiery darts.

The shield of faith of a Christian must also be regularly dipped in the water of God's word to remain firm against evil. 

And remember, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

Helmet of salvation

“Take the helmet of salvation...” (Ephesians 6:17).

Today, we fight our spiritual battles mainly on the battlefield of our minds and the heavenly realms. As soon as we accept Jesus' death and resurrection for the payment for our sin, we're saved. 

However, salvation involves a long process of sanctification as well.

Christ has saved us through His work on Earth. He has also involved us by leading us along on our journey with the Lord and integrating that work into every part of our minds. 

While the enemy attempts to wound us with negativity and falsehoods, the Lord works His truth into our perspective through salvation.

Sword of the Spirit

“…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

God has given us the most effective weapon available when we're tempted: the sword of the Spirit. Additionally, it’s the only piece of armor that combines defensive and offensive capabilities. 

This is the type of behavior Jesus modeled when He was tempted in the wilderness by the devil. 

When the devil tried temptation after temptation against Him, Jesus used the Word of God to protect Himself.

Jesus answered the devil's temptations three times with God's word, and the devil was defeated. 

How to put on the whole armor of God

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One way to put on the armor of God is by having faith in Him. 

If you feel hesitant about your faith, ask the Lord for help through supplication. Your world should be filled with verses that strengthen your faith. Additionally, make sure you don’t place your faith in a circumstance but in God's character.

Don't put your security and identity in your own hands. And remove anything that steals your confidence in Christ. Studying God’s word in the Bible can help us keep our focus on Him.

Feel free to ask someone you trust to pray for you if you are struggling. Christians experience many struggles, but they should never be alone in them. We make easy targets for the enemy when we isolate ourselves and lose faith in God.

So remember to keep on the armor of God at all times. 

God will always protect us

When we put on all the armor of God, we aren't asking God to end our battles — we are asking Him for the strength to persevere through them on our journey to eternal life. 

As Christians, it means applying the victory of Jesus to your everyday life. 

To experience the goodness, power, and wisdom of God, we must first know Him and trust in Him through Bible verses and prayer. 

For more on the armor of God, download the app in the iOS App Store or Google Play.

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