It is important for Christians to understand they can find protection in their identity in Christ and the armor he provides. Ephesians 6:14-17 outlines the armor with the tools of the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, sandals of peace, shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. “The armor is Christ and what he is prepared to be and do in each one of us” (Stedman, 68).
It would be possible to write a whole book explaining the meaning and applications of each of the tools. What I want to explore for the purpose of this post is how the armor relates to its offensive or defensive role in spiritual warfare. All of the tools of the armor of God are defensive, with the exception of the sword of the Spirit.
The truth holds all the other armor together, because without it our faith has no substance, and the armor will not function. The righteousness we wear comes from Christ and serves as a defense to uphold our identity that we have in Christ. The shoes of the gospel of peace are crucial because these fittings allow us to “stand”, which is mentioned four times in the Ephesians 6:10-18 passage. The shield of faith’s role is to “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16). Faith is the conscious trust that we have in God for his saving power in our lives that comes from him. The helmet of salvation may be the most important defensive tool in its function to keep our minds safe from the mental attacks of lies, condemnation, and accusation that the enemy levels against us. Lastly, the only offensive weapon mentioned in the armor, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is used for proclamation, rebuking fellow Christians, correcting sin in our lives, and refuting the lies of the enemy.
Stedman, Ray C. Spiritual Warfare: battle strategy for the war with Satan. Waco, TX. Word Books. 1978.