The Christian’s Armor of Light by J.R. Waller, MBA
12) The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.Romans 13:12 (KJV)
In this verse Paul refers to an “armour of light” that Christians are to put on. It’s a wonderful word picture that evokes magnificent imagery, and there is a great storehouse of theology surrounding this special armor.
In this lesson we’re going to look at the Christian’s armor of light in great detail. We’ll learn what it is, how we are to wear it and what doing so does for the believer. Without further ado, let’s jump in!
To gain a proper understanding of the armor of light, we need to first realize that it is not a mere physical piece of military equipment.
It is not made of steel, iron or Kevlar. The armor is made of light itself. And the light of this armor is no mere natural light. It’s a supernatural light; the light of God Himself.“The armor of light is God’s armor. It only comes from believing in Him. It’s not a weapon of the world, but a weapon that is mighty through God.”
It is a spiritual light; His brightness and radiance wielded by us as we defend ourselves from the world and sin, and proclaim God’s glory to the lost.
Furthermore, it’s not a piece that can be purchased in a store for a set price. Instead, its value is infinitely priceless, we can’t earn it, we can only receive it from an otherworldly armory. It can only be received as gift from God’s heavenly treasury and by His saving grace alone (Eph. 2:8-9).
The armor of light then is God’s armor. It only comes from believing in Him. It’s not a weapon of the world, but a weapon that is mighty through God. (2 Cor. 10:4)
In 2 Corinthians 6:7 Paul describes the armor as “the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.”
In the context of this passage, Paul is teaching that one of the ways by which God’s servants demonstrate and prove that they are His is by using the armor of light (2 Cor. 6:4).
The armor of light was one of the many things that Paul described to the Corinthians as demonstrating that his ministry and its intentions were pure and of God.
The reason for is this because God’s armor is righteous (2 Cor. 6:7) and true righteousness only comes to us by God through Jesus Christ.
This underscores that the armor of light is God’s and is only for believers who are made righteous by Jesus through His work of justification in their lives (Rom. 5:1-2, 1 Cor. 1:30, Gal. 3:11, Rom. 1:17, Col. 1:22, 2 Cor. 5:21).
Notice also that the armor is on the right hand and the left, it protects and encompasses all of us, because it is the whole armor of God and because God’s righteousness fully covers the Christian as he or she is made complete and righteous through Jesus Christ. (Eph. 6:11, 2 Cor. 5:21)“The armor of light was one of the many things that Paul described to the Corinthians as demonstrating that his ministry and its intentions were pure and of God.”
So, the armor of light is God’s armor. It can only come from Him, it is supernatural not physical and it proves we are His. It is also a righteous armor.
Another quality of the Christian’s armor of light is that is a spiritual armor.
It protects believers from every danger in this life because those made righteous in God through Jesus Christ have overcome death. (Rom. 6:4) Christians are those who are born again and who will never die spiritually or be separated from God.
Thus, there is no physical danger that the armor of light cannot ultimately protect and shield us from; not even death for death has been swallowed up in victory and nothing can separate us from God’s love. (1 Cor. 15:54, Rom. 8:39)
And yet, because it is spiritual and from God the armor of light transcends physical dangers and keeps us safe from spiritual enemies such as principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph. 6:12)“The armor of light is a multifaceted weapon and shield useful in many different circumstances, both spiritual and physical.”
The armor of light is a multifaceted weapon and shield useful in many different circumstances, both spiritual and physical.
Still, while it is certainly worthwhile and profitable to know about the armor of light, we also need to know how to use it and what to do with it. We turn our attention to this next.
“The best offense is a good defense” has been the mantra of many coaches. The same thought applies to the Christian life as well. We must continually be on guard. We must proclaim Christ and defend ourselves.
We are to be wise as serpents, harmless as doves, always proving God’s will, giving an answer for the hope that is in us, rightly dividing the word of truth, being sober and vigilant of the devil, mortifying sin, and making no room for sin in our lives (Matt. 10:16, Rom. 12:2, 1 Pet. 3:15, 2 Tim. 2:15, 1 Pet. 5:8, Rom. 8:13, Rom. 13:14).
The Christian’s defense then is an active one, we don’t merely sit around. We live on a spiritual battlefield and God requires us to stand, defend and fight. And we do this by putting on the armor of light. By “gearing up” for the fray.“We must consciously employ and wield the whole armor of light to combat Satan’s strategies against us and to endure days of temptation and assault by the enemy.”
Specifically, we are commanded to put on God’s armor and to take it unto us so that we may be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Eph. 6:10-13).
It is an honor and a privilege that God would allow us to don His armor of light, and it is one of the many gifts He gives us, His children, for our benefit and sanctification. His armor makes us more like Him.
We put on the armor of light so that we can stand against the wiles of the devil and withstand in the evil day (Eph. 6:10-13). We must consciously employ and wield the whole armor of light to combat Satan’s strategies against us and to endure days of temptation and assault by the enemy.
In seasons of struggle, when the Christian life “gets real” and when the “rubber meets the road” we must be equipped and ready to stand firm. Such times will happen to us all.
In fact, the references to standing and withstanding in Ephesians are individual terms; they refer to things that each believer must individually do.“We are commanded to put on God’s armor and to take it unto us so that we may be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”
While God fights for his entire bride, His very own church, he also fights each of our fights as well and is with us through every struggle and trial, in every circumstance and battle (Ex. 14:14, Deut. 31:8, Rom. 8:31, 1 Cor. 10:13).
Think about the battles you face each day. Temptations, the world, flesh, devil, pride of life, the battle for the control of your mind, and the list goes ever on (1 Jn. 2:16).
You need to put on God’s armor to stand resolute in such times, and thankfully the Christian’s armor of light is molded uniquely and specially for each of God’s children and for every different trial they face.
As if God’s Holy Spirit living in us were not enough, God gives us His armor of light as a further reminder that we are never alone and that He is always with us.
God’s Word is clear, we must use God’s armor. Next, we will describe how to do that.
Properly Wielding the Armor of Light
So far we’ve learned that God’s armor of light is a necessary instrument that believers are to use in their lives to protect them from evil and sin.
To accomplish this, we must wield the armor of light by living transformed lives. (2 Cor. 5:17, Rom. 12:2)“Every Christian must embrace God’s call, strive to live for Him and mold and fashion their lives after His teachings.”
In practice, this means placing the highest priority on living God’s way; that is engaging in morally upright and righteous living (Phil. 4:8, Rom. 12:2, Matt. 6:33). This means submitting yourself to God in obedience, following Him and His commands.
Every Christian must embrace God’s call, strive to live for Him and mold and fashion their lives after His teachings. This is what it means to equip ourselves with God’s armor of light and to embrace the new life God has so graciously given us in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 6 gives a wonderful outline and description about God’s armor in its entirety (the whole armor of God). Specifically, His armor includes righteousness, truth, the good news of the Gospel, an active, living, abiding faith, salvation and God’s Word (Eph. 6:14-17).“Living righteously, knowing the truth, sharing the Gospel, having faith in God and studying and applying the Bible are ways that we utilize the armor of light. That’s how we wield it effectively.”
Notice these attributes of God’s armor. They are not just defensive hedges against the enemy and sin, but they are also ways to bring the lost to God. God’s armor is both offensive and defensive. It fully equips us for every form and stage of battle. It’s really an arsenal.
Therefore, living righteously, knowing the truth, sharing the Gospel, having faith in God and studying and applying the Bible are ways that we utilize the armor of light. That’s how we wield it effectively.
Conversely, wielding God’s armor means that we are not to live as we once did in the night (in sin and darkness), but to live in the day of Christ’s resurrection (Eph. 5:11).
In God is no darkness “at all” (1 Jn. 1:5-7). Therefore, effort must be made on our part to put on the armor of light and wield it. We must turn away from sin, moral darkness and live in the light.
Conclusion – The Power of Light
In this lesson we’ve learned about the Christian’s armor of light.
It is made of the supernatural spiritual light of God. It is priceless, and can only be received from God by accepting His Son Jesus Christ’s salvation (Rom. 10:9-10).
It is from God, comprised of His righteousness and it proves we are His. It has power that transcends physical danger; it protects us from spiritual danger and the devil.
We have to put on the armor and take it unto us in order combat Satan’s strategies against us and endure days of temptation and assault by the enemy.“Ultimately, the Christian’s armor of light is a wonderful gift God gives to us to make us more like Him, to sanctify us and bring Him glory.”
Lastly, to wield it means to live a transformed life and embrace following and obeying God. This means living a life marked by righteousness, truth, the good news of the Gospel, an active faith, salvation and God’s Word.
Ultimately, the Christian’s armor of light is a wonderful gift God gives to us to make us more like Him, to sanctify us and bring Him glory.
I don’t know about you, but I find it immensely comforting and uplifting to know that God never just saves us and leaves us. Instead, He gives us every possible gift to live victoriously for Him, and His armor of light is one such gift.
There is a reason God’s armor is referred to by Paul as the armor of “light.” Light is the best way to combat sin and also share God’s glory with the lost. It both repels evil and lights the way to God, it at once casts out darkness and draws people to it for salvation.
All those have who been saved have been drawn to God by the armor of light in one way or another. Ephesians 6:15, in describing the Christian’s armor of light, tells us to wear shoes made of the peace that comes from the Gospel in order that we will be prepared and ready to share the message of God’s saving grace with others.“Light is the best way to combat sin and also share God’s glory with the lost. It both repels evil and lights the way to God, it at once casts out darkness and draws people to it for salvation.”
When we wear God’s armor of light, we are a beacon to the lost and are identified as God’s servants.
God’s armor of light is the uniform of the saved; of the children of light who no longer walk in darkness but who have been called out and set apart to follow God (Eph. 5:8, 1 Jn. 1:7, 2 Cor. 6:17, Rom. 12:2).
May each of us take up our armor of light and walk in the light as He is in the light. May we enjoy fellowship with Him and protection from Him each step of the way to heaven (1 Jn. 1:7).
Soli Deo gloria!
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