Last Sunday we had a substitute teacher in our adult Sunday school class. He spoke on Ephesians 6:10-17 which talks about the armor of God. If you’ve been around church for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about the armor of God. Larry, the gentleman that spoke Sunday, shared a few insights that gave me a deeper understanding of the armor of God.
First of all, he said that when Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians he was under arrest and most likely chained to a Roman guard all day. He would’ve lived next to one dressed in the traditional military armor of the day, so his writing flowed out of his day-to-day life experiences. Paul tells us to put on the belt of truth. Larry shared that the belt was the central part of the armor that supported most of the other pieces. The belt was used to secure the breastplate onto the body, had a place that held the sword, and the shield would rest on it. Paul refers to it as the belt of truth. Think on it. Truth needs to be the central part of a Christian’s life. It is what secures the breastplate, holds the sword, and provides a place for the shield to rest on.
The other part of the armor that impacted me was the shield of faith. The shield provided protection in battle. It was about 2 ½ feet wide and 5 feet tall so a man could crouch behind it. It was made of several layers of animal hide stretched across a frame in order to make it light enough to carry. Before battle it could be dipped into water, so that the flaming arrows of enemy fire would be extinguished. What impacted me most was the image of the Roman soldiers in battle formation. The men in the front would hold their shields up while the men on the sides would hold the shields along their sides. Then the men in the middle would raise their shields above their heads essentially closing the soldiers in behind armor. Then, as a group they could advance.
Isn’t that amazing! It’s further proof that we need each other. As Christians we can’t go it alone in battle. We need others to be in formation with us. We need our shield and the shields of others so that we can advance against the enemy. Are you in fellowship with other Christians to some degree? It might not be a Sunday morning congregation, but you need others in some form or fashion. It might be a small group Bible study, an online study group, or a Christian friend that loves and supports you, but we need each other. We shouldn’t try to be lone-ranger Christians.