There are 5 items of armour mentioned in Paul’s list, which refer to the armour worn by Roman soldiers.
- The belt of truth buckled round our waists (Eph 6:14)
- The breastplate of righteousness in place (Eph 6:14)
- feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (Eph 6:15)
- the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Eph 6:16)
- the helmet of salvation (Eph 6:17)
The belt of truth – A belt or girdle holds things up and together. Before this Roman armour could be put on, the garments had to be bound together. God is ultimately righteous, faithful and true. Because of this, He desires ‘truth in the inward parts’ (Ps 51:6, KJV). We need to know the truth, for it is the truth which sets us free (John 8:32). We need truth to hold us together and keep us strong. Jesus is the truth (John 14:6) and the devil is a liar (John 8:44); we can only hope to stay strong against the enemy if we keep to God’s truth.
The breastplate of righteousness – A breastplate covers the front of a soldier; it protects the heart. God gives us His own righteousness to protect us (2 Cor 5:21). When the enemy condemns us and reminds us of our sin, we can know the righteousness of God which makes us as though we’d never sinned!
Feet fitted with the gospel of peace – Ill-fitting shoes cause us much pain, but the Roman sandals were designed to enable soldiers to walk for miles. God wants us to be people who take the gospel of peace all over the world, entrusting us with this message of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-21), for Jesus has made peace between all people and between people and God. (Eph 2:14)
The shield of faith – Faith is the shield we need to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. These darts or arrows may come from other people, from circumstances we don’t understand, from misfortune and even from our own hearts, but as we trust God above what we can see (2 Cor 5:7), we can overcome doubt and walk in daily trust.
The helmet of salvation – Just as a helmet protects the head and brain, so too we need this helmet to protect our thoughts. Our minds need to be protected from self-righteousness, doubt, fear and condemnation; we need to trust in the salvation Jesus has purchased for us. Victory will only come as we fix our minds and thoughts on Jesus (Col 3:2, Is 26:3), choosing to fix our thoughts on all that is true, noble, right, lovely admirable, pure, excellent or praiseworthy. (Phil 4:8)