The Devil’s Desires And God’s Armor
INTRODUCTION – Read Eph 6:10-13
A. “Finally” – Lets the reader know that Paul is getting ready to close this letter,
and now desires to leave them something very special.
A. WE NEED HELP – DEVIL IS OUR ENEMY!
I. THE NEED FOR ARMOR (6:10-13)
A. “Full (whole) armor” (10) – Without it – no chance of winning against
1. Those of Paul’s day would immediately be able to understand the effect of
such an analogy because they were accustomed to seeing Roman soldiers.
1) Paul lived under one of the greatest military powers of all time.
2) As a prisoner in Rome, he was well acquainted with the Roman soldier’s
2. Paul makes it clear that if just one part is missing, this is the place where the
enemy will strike.
1) Paul also makes it clear that Satan is not an unskilled enemy – he is
deceitful and will use every trick in the book.
B. “Able to stand” (11) – God wants us saved (2 Pet 3:9).
1. Christians can successfully resist all the devil’s methods.
1) God has given the Christian everything they need to succeed against the
devil (2 Pet 1:3).
2) God is on our side (Rom 8:31-32).
3) Therefore, to end up lost, the Christian must ignore, forsake, or turn their
back on what God has graciously provided.
4) This means to stand firm, not surrendering or giving ground to the enemy.
C. “Schemes of the devil” (11) – Trickery, to lie in wait – Strategies of
1. The armor is a defense against the strategy as well as assault.
1) There is a definite and deliberate method or plan in the deceit of the devil.
2. The devil is intelligent – there is a method to his madness.
1) He knows exactly what people like to hear (Gen 3:4-5).
2) 2 Tim 4:3: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound
doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for
themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,”
3) He knows what type of temptations the human race is more likely to
embrace (1 John 2:15-17; Job).
4) The devil stands ready to exploit any opportunity that our selfishness and
stubbornness may give him.
5) Eph 4:27: He takes advantage of strained relations and angry feelings.
6) To be forewarned about the nature of his tricks is to be forearmed against
them (Eph 4:14).
D. “For our struggle (wrestling) is not against flesh and blood” (12)
1. In Greek it originally meant a wrestling match.
1) “A contest between two in which each endeavors to throw the other, and
which is decided when the victor is able to hold his opponent down with
his hand upon his neck.”
2) In wrestling, one must stay on his feet, and stay within the boundaries of
the ring of battle (Sumo wrestling).
2. In this context, it is appropriate because of its connotation of a close-in,
hand-to-hand combat. It “is not against flesh and blood.”
1) The word “wrestling” suggests that each Christian is involved in a
personal struggle with evil.
2) No one is above temptation (1 Cor 10:13).
3. How important the need to encourage each other and take advantage of such
encouragement (Heb 3:13; 10:24-25; 1 Thes 5:11, 14).
1) Physical weapons are powerless in this struggle (2 Cor 10:2-5).
2) Such things as money, fame, or possessions cannot protect or insulate one
from the devil’s tricks.
3) And there is no place on this planet or in this universe that is “neutral
ground”, no spiritual Switzerland exists.
4) One can get physically hurt in wrestling matches with other men, yet
much more is at stake in this battle than even physical death.
5) You lose this struggle and you lose eternal happiness!
E. “But against the rulers…powers…world forces…spiritual forces of
1. They are powerful – working everywhere (2 Cor 4:4; John 12:31; 14:30;
1) If we hope to overcome them, we need to remember that they have no
moral principles, no code of honor, no higher feelings.
F. “Wherefore” (13)
1. Since we must fight a foe that is scheming, inhuman, powerful, and evil, we
need to be armed and protected with the equipment God supplies.
1) We do not need to invent or manufacture their armaments.
2. “The evil day”
1) Soldiers do not do battle every day, but the day of battle is the day of
2) Refers to the any day of severe trial or testing, the critical moments in our
lives when the devil assaults us fiercely.
3) Since one never knows when these attacks will occur, one needs to be
ready at all times.
3. “and having done everything to stand firm”
1) Does this sound like God accepts “bare minimum service”?
2) When the dust has settled, only one army can be left standing in any
3) God expects Christians to be victorious over evil, and God has confidence
in us, if we have confidence in Him (2 Tim 2:11-12).
II. OUR STRENGTH AND EQUIPMENT-FULL ARMOR OF GOD (6:14-18)
A. GIRDLE OF TRUTH – The devil desires lies where there should be truth.
1. The girdle or sash was always important in the dress of the ancients.
1) They wore flowing robes that had to be girt before traveling, working, or
2) In the case of soldiers, it was made of broad plates of brass or silver
within for protection.
2. It served several purposes.
1) It secured the body armor at the waist. It bound up the garments and held
them in place so that the soldier’s movements wouldn’t be hindered.
2) It sometimes served as a sword belt. However, most often the sword was
supported by a belt over the left shoulder.
3) The girdle gave support to the loins.
4) It also gave defense to the heart.
3. Truth holds the rest of the armor together.
1) The rest of the armor is worthless without this – must have truth first.
2) Deceit will not do. Error will not be acceptable.
4. There are basically two ideas involved here.
1) Objective truth of the Gospel (John 8:31-32, 37-38, 43-47; 17:17).
2) Sincerity and integrity of character (Eph 4:15, 25).
* In the end, one is dependent upon the other.
* Integrity is formed by bringing your life into conformity with the word
of God (1 Pet 1:14-15).
5. Christians can move freely and quickly in any situation because he knows
the truth (John 8:32).
1) This grasp of truth gives one unlimited confidence in the conflict with
error (2 Cor 13:8).
6. The trickery and deception of the devil cannot penetrate the girdle of truth.
1) This is why it is very important to pay close attention to the details of
every passage of Scripture.
2) Being unaware of the significance of some detail or truth my leave one
vulnerable to the “schemes of the devil.”
B. BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS – The devil desires confusion
where there should be order (1 Cor 14:33).
1. The breastplate was a coat of mail or armor which covered the body from the
neck to the thigh.
1) It was often made of metal rings or scales overlapped like fish scales (1
2) Goliath’s coat weighed 5,000 shekels (about 160 lbs. – 1 Kings 22:34).
2. It was a very important piece of defensive armor.
1) It protected the vulnerable parts – vital organs, heart and lungs, where a
wound could prove to be fatal.
3. The breastplate was the most noticeable part of the armor.
1) In order to defeat the enemy, the Christian must lead a devout and holy
life as he presents the members of his body as “instruments of
righteousness to God” (Rom 6:13-14, 17).
2) Righteousness in an ethical sense is meant here (Eph 4:24; 5:9).
3) Unless the Christian puts on “the armor of righteousness on the right
hand and on the left” (2 Cor 6:7), and walks worthy of the Christian
army into which he has been called (Eph 4:1), he can have no real
defense against Satan.
4) Therefore, it is most advantageous to wear the breastplate of
righteousness into combat against the spiritual hosts of wickedness.
4. The devil desires confusion where there should be order (1 Cor 14:33).
1) Heaven’s wisdom helps remove disturbances (Jas 3:13).
2) Selfish rivalry, boasting, lying, confusion of evil (Jas 3:14-16).
3) Satan doesn’t want this church to have elders, unity and peace.
4) Satan doesn’t want us to work for and serve Christ.
5) Satan doesn’t want this church to grow.
5. Against the slanderous attacks of the devil (Job 1:9-10), the faithful
Christian knows that he stands innocent in the sight of God (Rom 8:1).
1) The faithful Christian realizes that God does not demand flawless living.
2) Forgiveness is always available for the Christian who slips and is willing
to honestly admit such in repentance and prayer (1 John 1:8-10).
3) Therefore, the Christian has the powerful incentive to never give up.
4) The devil always tries to convince us that living the Christian life is
5) The devil tries to convince us that we should not try to help another
person out of their sins, for we aren’t perfect ourselves.
6) COMMITMENT TO DOING RIGHT SERVES AS PROTECTION.
C. SHOD YOUR FEET…PREPARATION – The devil desires silence the
word where it should be proclaimed (2 Cor 4:3-4).
1. The soldier’s fighting was so much of a hand-to-hand combat, a firm footing
1) His sandals were bound (laced with leather straps) securely to his feet and
2) Oftentimes, the soles were thickly studded with hobnails to give a sure
footing to those who would stand firm.
2. During the winter months the leather straps were tied around leather leggings
1) The Roman soldier was able to quickly navigate various kinds of terrain.
2) The Roman legions were notorious for their ability to quick-march many
miles in one day.
3) Surprising their enemy by being where it was thought they could not be,
the legions were prepared for battle on any kind of terrain, whether it
happened to be the rough and rocky highlands or the hot and dry deserts.
3. The thought here, is not the gospel, but being ready and equipped to spread
the gospel of peace.
1) Christians must be ready to move quickly telling souls in darkness of the
free gift of salvation.
2) Without the sandal the soldier is relaxing – with them he is ready for
4. The “gospel of peace” does not refer to peace with the evil forces.
1) This peace is peace with God (Rom 5:1).
2) It is a peaceful feeling to any soldier to know that what he is fighting is
3) That the foundation upon which he stands to fight against the foes is a
sure foundation (2 Tim 2:19).
5. While so many are engaged in militant struggles to spread division and
discord, we are to fight in the interest of peace.
1) Here is a tremendous incentive “in the evil day”.
2) We bring a message of reconciliation to lost and dying souls.
3) To the bitter, resentful, angry, and miserable (Tit 3:3) we bring peace
with themselves and others.
4) To those who are enslaved to their own lusts, we bring a message of
liberation, and peace with God.
D. SHIELD OF FAITH – The devil desires a place to stand where none should
be given (Eph 4:27).
1. Contrary to a popular idea, “above” does not convey the idea of most
important of all.
1) The Greek word translated “above” is defined as meaning “in addition
2) Every piece of the armor of God is important.
3) We cannot over stress our need to “put on” every piece.
2. The word Paul uses is not the word for the comparatively small, round shield
used by the cavalry.
1) It is the word for an oblong shield that was 4 foot long and 2 ½ foot wide.
2) It was made of wood and wicker over which animal skins were stretched
and the edges were studded with iron to protect the leather.
3) It was generally worn on the left arm and could be used to protect the
4) When soldiers joined together, these large shields formed a wall to hide
themselves from the enemies arrows, fiery darts and projectiles.
3. “Flaming missiles” (fiery darts) were one of the most dangerous weapons in
1) A dart was tipped with tow, dipped in pitch, then set on fire and was
thrown or shot like an arrow.
2) An arrow can be stopped by the breastplate, but the pitch would fly off
the arrow and set the soldier on fire.
3) One dart can kill – must be alert – can’t hesitate or procrastinate.
4) If so – DEAD!
5) The enemy doesn’t always fight directly.
6) But the oblong shield quenched it.
4. The shield, in addition to providing the normal protection one would expect
from a shield, was designed specifically to stop and “extinguish all the
flaming missiles” of the enemy.
1) The leather was stretched over the wicker so as to provide a space
between it and the wood underneath.
2) When the fiery darts and arrows passed through the leather and stuck to
the wood underneath, they were extinguished.
5. The “fiery darts” signify the malignant hate with which Satan hurls his
slander and threats against the people of God through his human instruments
(2 Cor 11:12-15).
1) The enemy of the Christian not only uses weapons that cut and thrust, but
those that fly through the air.
2) Ideas – darted into the mind, with flaming lust, pride, revenge, doubt, etc.
3) They come suddenly, silently and numerously.
6. It is said that the shield, by the insignia which it bears, shows who the soldier
1) So it is with the soldier of the Lord – His shield is “faith”!
2) Faith will defend, protect and save (1 Pet 1:5).
3) Unresolved doubts mean trouble for the Christian (Jas 1:6-8).
4) Faith is rooted in the conviction that God is good and that every
command ever given reflects God’s goodness (1 Pet 3:10-11; 2 Pet 3:9).
5) Faith says that God always has your best interest at heart (Rom 8:32).
6) That God is always right (Rom 3:4).
7) Faith can protect you when you are not immediately able to answer a
question, refute a claim or expose an assertion.
7. The Roman soldiers had a battle technique they used very effectively.
1) Upon approaching the enemy, the Romans would be pelted with every
kind of missile the enemy had at his disposal.
2) The soldiers were commanded to form the “movement of the tortoise”.
3) This was accomplished by closing ranks and locking with hooks the
shields in front, on the sides and over the top.
4) This formation was practically invulnerable.
8. Likewise, when the spiritual soldiers of the cross lock their shields of faith
together they are unconquerable (Rom 8:37-39).
1) To step out on the battlefield without his shield or all alone is committing
spiritual suicide (1 Tim 6:9-10).
E. HELMET OF SALVATION – The devil desires senselessness where men
should come to their senses (2 Tim 2:24-26).
1. The helmet was a cap made of brass or leather in many styles.
1) One of the most common helmets were made of leather and reinforced
with bronze fitted to the head.
2) Most Roman helmets had hinged cheek guards.
3) Its purpose was to protect the head from a blow by sword, club, battle-
axe, or some other weapon.
2. Some helmets flared out on the sides and back to protect the neck area as
well as the head.
1) If the soldier got careless or became weary and let his guard down, this
helmet protected him from a sword stroke that would have been fatal.
3. Likewise, the Christian who, either through carelessness or weariness, lets
his guard down is still protected from the death blows of the enemy.
1) As Christian soldiers we sometimes make serious mistakes (in a
weakened state of faith, we sin, 1 John 1:8).
2) Isn’t it wonderful to know that, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and
just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”
4. 1 Thes 5:8: Paul designates it “a helmet, the hope of salvation.”
1) vv 9-10: “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining
salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether
we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.”
5. Hope and assurance go together.
1) Heb 6:11-12: “And we desire that each one of you show the same
diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, that
you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and
patience inherit the promises.”
2) Eph. 1:18-19a: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so
that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches
of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing
greatness of His power toward us who believe.”
6. The helmet represents a Christian’s assurance of mind regarding his
salvation (1 John 5:13-15).
1) To a Christian soldier the assurance of salvation is important.
2) Knowing that you are saved protects you from danger when the attack
comes (2 Tim 4:6-8).
3) The helmet is the crowning promise of salvation after the battle is over.
7. The Christian realizes that Satan is fighting a lost cause (Rev 20:10).
1) The faithful Christian also realizes that the Devil is desperate and foolish.
2) Everyone who sides with Satan will lose everything, and that for all
3) This demands that the Christian must be well aware of what is at stake.
4) Take the time to find out how wonderful heaven is!
5) Realize what is at stake in this battle and what Satan is trying to keep you
from (Rev 21:4).
F. SWORD OF THE SPIRIT (Only offensive weapon – also defensive.
1. The Greek word is “machaira”, the short sword.
1) The Roman sword, unlike the large Thracian sword, was short enough to
be effective in close-quarter, hand-to-hand combat.
2) The Spanish gladius, a two-edged sword which was used by the Romans
during Paul’s lifetime, was 2 feet long and 2 ½ inches wide, and was
designed primarily as a thrusting weapon.
3) With it, the Roman legions were successful in conquering the world.
2. A great deal of skill was needed to master the gladius sword.
1) It has been reported that the Roman authorities thought it needful for their
soldiers to train for up to 5 years before they ever saw combat.
2) Often the sword the soldier practiced with was twice as heavy as the one
he would actually use in combat.
3) Developing the strength to wield the heavier practice sword enabled the
soldier to use the gladius sword very effectively.
4) He also had to be broken from the natural human tendency to slash with
the sword (designed for thrusting which made this sword deadly effective).
5) Most of the armies the Romans fought against used curved swords
designed primarily for slashing.
6) When the enemy lifted his arm to slash with his sword, he left himself
vulnerable under his arm where there was no protection from his
7) As the enemy soldier swung with all his might, the Roman soldier would
block his swing with his shield as he stepped to the left where he would
thrust forward with his short sword and ram it into the armpit of his
8) Without practice the Roman soldier was destined to fail, but with it he
conquered every enemy.
3. Likewise, the kind of attack by Satan will involve close personal encounter.
1) “The word of God” is actually “sharper than any two-edged sword”
2) It requires training and strength if it is going to be used effectively.
3) The gospel message placed in the hands of the Christian warrior must be
firmly grasped and used with skill (2 Tim 2:15).
4) When used skillfully, the sword of the Spirit pierces (thrusts through) the
heart (Acts 2:37; 7:54).
4. The power of this sword is not in ourselves or in the wisdom of the world.
1) Rom 1:16: If use human reasoning and tactics – we will fail.
2) 2 Cor 10:1-6: Improper use – slashing-intimidation and threats.
3) Matt 5:5: We are to conquer the world with the Gospel.
5. Therefore we see the importance of Bible study, for God expects Christians
to take the offensive in the fight against Satan.
1) But the soldier who is ignorant concerning the use of the weapon given
him stands at a great disadvantage.
2) The Bible is ineffective for the person who has not learned how to handle
it accurately (Rom 1:16).
6. “The word of God”, as the utterance (God-breathed, 2 Tim 3:16) of the
living God, is by its very nature the most relevant Word ever spoken.
1) It does not need to be changed –made relevant to 20th century man, any
more than it needed to be made relevant to the 5th or 17th century man.
2) A common failing of men in every generation is their naïve belief that
their own time constitutes a different situation from all others, thereby
concluding that the Word of God is somehow irrelevant for them.
Acts 2:40: “And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on
exhorting them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.”
Phil 2:14-15: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you
may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent children of God
above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
among whom you appear as lights in the world.”
G. WITH ALL PRAYER (Often forgotten defense and weapon in this armor).
Remember the devil wants war where there should be peace.
1. The soldier must maintain contact with his commanding officer.
1) However, the Roman soldier wasn’t always able to maintain this.
2) Unlike the Roman soldier, the Christian has at his disposal a means
whereby he can continuously communicate through Christ to the General
2. The Word of God and prayer belong together as two chief weapons.
1) We can’t fight this war with Satan all by ourselves.
2) It is not enough to have knowledge or armor.
3. “Petition” (supplication) – Specific needs and requests.
1. As the Christian soldier fights the good fight of faith, he petitions for the
fulfillment of definite needs with the understanding that the One to whom
he appeals is not just interested and concerned, but loving too – actively
supporting us in this war.
4. “pray at all times” – Habitually, on all occasions.
1) Our tendency is so often to pray only in the great crises of life.
2) Constant dependence upon God must be maintained because we never
know when temptation and trial will strike.
3) Understanding the seriousness of his warfare, the Christian soldier is
always (not just on special occasions) involved in prayer and petition in
harmony with the truths taught in God’s word.
5. “in the Spirit” – 1 John 5:14 – Pray according to the will of God.
1) Spirit here could mean our spirit – inward devoutness, heart-felt pleading.
6. “and with this in view, be on the alert” – Seize the opportunities to pray.
1) Satan loves to lull the new man to sleep, at least not to be wide awake.
2) This phrase conveys the idea of never being off guard with respect to
these enemies – false sense of security.
3) Guard duty – Sound the alarm – so Satan won’t get the advantage.
7. “with all perseverance” – With unwearied persistence, suggesting
1) The man of perseverance is not easily discouraged or disheartened.
Rom 12:12: “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to
2) He will continue to pray even when it may seem from the human point of
view that the prayers are not being heard or attended to as he wishes.
3) In any battle the tide of momentum or victory can turn quickly.
4) The Christian cannot be one who is discouraged easily.
5) Out of what may be looking like a very discouraging situation, can come
great results, only if we hang in there (Acts 18:10-17; Phil 1:12-14).
8. “and petition for all the saints” – The Christian’s prayer is unselfish.
1) He does not think only of himself but he prays also for the welfare of
2) His fellow-soldiers need help too.
3) This requires that one must be acquainted with the specific situations.
4) 1 Thes 5:17: “pray without ceasing.”
9. 19: “and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the
opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the
1) You may not enjoy every job (Luke 22:42).
2) Paul’s request was not selfish – use for spiritual purpose.
3) 1 Cor 9:16: Paul felt the weight of responsibility of preaching the gospel.
4) However, it was enough to just preach it, he wanted to speak it “with
10. By prayer we express our desire to put on the full armor of God.
1) We are set free and are confident of protection with the girdle of truth.
2) We maintain our breastplate of righteousness by living righteous lives.
3) We are alert by being prepared with the gospel of peace – our sword.
4) We express our hope of salvation and our faith.
1. Only those “in the Lord” (6:10) are instructed to “put on the full armor of God.”
1. If you are not in the Lord: you cannot attain victory over the evil one.
1) You have no protection against the devil – unable to stand in the evil day.
2. Eph 1:3: All spiritual blessings are only found “in Christ”.
1) Just believing doesn’t put you in Christ – must confess Christ (John 12:42).
2) Just believing and confessing Christ is not enough – must repent (Luke
3) But believing, repenting, confessing still doesn’t put you in Christ.
4) How do you get into Christ? Gal 3:27; Mark 16:15-16.
2. When you have done these things, “put on the full armor of God, that you may
be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
1. How well are you armed?
1) Perhaps one piece of armor fell off or is falling off.
2) Repent – confess – ask for the prayers of all the saints.