Host: Dr. Billye Brim
Authority of the Believer
By John A. MacMillan
[Read first page 30 under the heading “Fear.”]
The Panoply of God
The only place of safety is the occupation of the seat itself. It is “far above” the enemy. If the believer abides steadfastly by faith in this location, he cannot be touched. 2 Consequently the enemy puts forth all his “wiles” to draw him down in spirit, for once out of his seat, his authority is gone, and he is no longer dangerous, and further, he is open to attack. At this point is seen the meaning of the message of Ephesians chapter 6. To maintain his place against the wiles of the devil, the believer must be constantly arrayed in full armor. The different parts of this armor symbolize certain spiritual attitudes which he must maintain. It is most important to understand that the armor itself, when worn, constitutes the protection of the believer and not his activity against the foe. Fully harnessed, he is fully kept and is unhampered in his ministry of authority. All that he need be concerned about is, like a good soldier, to keep his armor bright and well secured about him. Let us note briefly the meaning of the various parts of the panoply: No item can be omitted.
(1)”The girdle of truth” (6:14)
The clear understanding of God’s Word, which, like a soldier’s belt holds the rest of the armor in place.
(2)”The breastplate of righteousness” Not, as often stated, the righteousness of Christ, but rather, the active obedience to the Word which he has received. [Also called “the breastplate of faith and love,” (1 Thess. 5 :8) [See footnote 4]
(3)”The feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of 3 peace” (6:15). A faithful ministry in the heralding of the Word. [Brim note: The ministry of reconciliation, i.e. peace with God.]
(4)”The shield of faith” (6:16). Thureos, the large door-shaped shield covering the whole body), which indicates his [the believers] complete refuge under the blood of Calvary, where no power of the enemy can penetrate.
(5)”The helmet of salvation” called elsewhere “the hope of salvation” 4
It is a remarkable fact that the hope of salvation5, the coming of the Lord Jesus, is the only helmet that seems able to protect the head in these days of apostasy from the truth.
(6)”The sword of the Spirit.” (6:17) which shows The Word of God used in an active sense, even as the “girdle” shows it in a defensive one
(7) “All prayer” (6:18), the training of the faculties Godward by constant approach to God.
The emphasis in chapter 6 is laid on victory. Note the following paraphrase which brings out the full force of verse 13: “Wherefore take up with you to the battle, the whole armor of God, that you may be able to successfully withstand in the evil day, and having overthrown all foes, to remain unshaken.” There is no suggestion of defeat. Secure within his armor, the believer may disregard the enemy and give his entire attention to the exercise of the ministry to which he has been called.
Putting On The Breastplate
Rom. 5:5 … the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
1Cor. 13:4-8 Amplified
Love endures long and is patient and kind; Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); It is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; It is not touchy or fretful or resentful; It takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
1Th. 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 1Th. 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 1Th. 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 1Th. 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 1Th. 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 1Th. 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. 1Th. 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 panoply (Miriam Webster)
1a: a full suit of armor
Knights in panoply were ready for battle.
2a: something forming a protective covering
2 Smith Wigglesworth said, “There is a place in God where Satan dare not come.
3 Peace with God. (Romans 5:1) Reconciliation.
4 1Th. 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
5 Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
1John 3:2, 3 … it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he
shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he islands every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.