“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:14-17).
By the time the apostle Paul wrote the epistle to the Ephesians, he had spent up to five years in the presence of Roman soldiers. From Jerusalem to Caesarea to Rome, Paul—a prisoner of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:1; Philemon 1)—was near a Roman soldier daily.
Such familiarity was transformed into a powerful spiritual illustration in Ephesians 6 where the inspired apostle commands every Christian to take up the whole armor of God (v. 13) and then inventories the standard equipment issued to every member of Christ’s army (vv. 14-20). If attired as prescribed, the panoply of God ensures spiritual victory over the wicked one and his spiritual hosts.
The soldier’s only offensive weapon is his sword—the inspired, written, all-sufficient word of God. This God-breathed instrument of spiritual warfare was all Jesus used when He met Satan in hand-to-hand combat (Matthew 4:1-11). Because He had hidden God’s word in His heart (Psalm 119:11), the devil was resisted. The tempter’s attempts to lure Him into sin via the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life were withstood.
Unshakable faith in God’s written word and the appropriate use of “it is written” in spiritual battle are the reasons the Son of God emerged victoriously from every conflict He had with the archenemy of God and man. Following this same battle plan will likewise result in spiritual victory for all the sons of God today.
To be dressed for spiritual success you must carry and skillfully use the Spirit’s sword—the word of God.