The Whole Armor of God
Jacob M. Belt
(King James Bible, Ephesians 6:12)
Paul was a Roman.
Yes, the apostle was raised a devout Jew and later became a Christian, but he was a citizen of the Roman Empire. He lived in a Roman world. In his Epistle to the Ephesians, Paul wrote to an audience of Christians living in a Roman world, under Roman rule. They had all seen Roman legionnaires and were familiar with the armor and weapons carried by a typical Roman soldier. As contemporary Christians, when we think of the whole armor of God, we have a tendency to picture Sir Lancelot on his horse. We are using the wrong imagery. We are missing the powerful symbolism of Paul's analogy. There are deep and specific meanings in each of the symbols Paul uses--symbols that we gloss over or fail entirely to understand--symbols that Paul's audience readily understood.
The battle is real, and we must be prepared to stand.