Throughout Ephesians, Paul has set forth standards for life and relationships for a people who are living in a very corrupt, idolatrous, and ungodly city. He concludes the book with some important instructions on how to dress.
Armor. When is the last time someone told you to prepare for war? Maybe an athletic coach or a drill sergeant has prepped you in the past. But how about your pastor?
Paul tells the Ephesians to put on armor. Armor! His focus is strength and his goal is winning the battles and attacks every Christian is sure to encounter. So what makes us strong?
Truth. Paul calls it the belt of truth. We must know the truth of God because it is our very foundation. Our belt supports all other garments and keeps them in place.
Righteousness. Paul refers to this one as a breastplate. He is not referring to a righteousness gained by works or by any means of our own. He is referring to the righteousness of Christ. Trusting in his perfect righteousness protects our hearts and gives us the right to stand up to the enemy’s constant accusations.
Readiness. Like shoes, Paul likens the peace made by Christ through his death on the cross to a readiness to do whatever God calls us to and even meet him if it is our time.
Salvation. This is our helmet. The saving power or Christ protects our thoughts and minds from evil. No one ever acts out sin they have not first thought upon.
The Word of God. Otherwise known as the Bible, Paul insists that the scripture is our sword. A sharp, double-edged sword is what we have been given. Not only that, but also the Holy Spirit to illuminate these divine words and inspire, convict, encourage, and rebuke. The word of God is both offensive and defensive. Knowing and doing what the Bible says is a fail safe weapon against Satan’s schemes.
Prayer. Perhaps the single most important ingredient in this whole soldier suit is prayer. Jesus himself said that we can do nothing apart from him. Some of us learn the hard way how true this really is.
Paul concludes the book of Ephesians by urging the people to stay alert, persevere, and pray for all things including him. He promises to send an informant to them about his work for their encouragement and offers peace, love, faith, grace, and Christ’s incorruptible love to them.