Having now completed our verse-by-verse study series through each piece of a Christian’s spiritual body armor and weaponry (the Whole Armor of God — Ephesians 6:10-17), this final article on this important concept serves as a short summation based on a simple, oft-repeated, two-word command from God Himself: stand firm (or even more simply, just stand).
What does this simple but incredibly important command (and yes, encouragement) mean? The short answer is that God–through His Word (the Bible)–has given us both the training and call (“field training”) to stand firm and not waffle or fall/fail in the face of the many trials and temptations that will most assuredly come our way in this life.
Moses, for example, following God’s “battle plan”, commanded the Israelites to stand firm and trust God to defend them against the Egyptian army bearing down on them (Exodus 14:1–14).
Later in Israel’s history, God used Isaiah to command His people to stand firm in His truth (obedience) to not wickedly trust in worthless idols (Isaiah 46).
Then in the New Testament, we find Paul standing firm in the power of the Holy Spirit and repeatedly calling us (believers) to do the same. Take, for example, Philippians 4:1 — Therefore, my brothers…stand firm thus in the Lord… (added emphasis). Note also that here and elsewhere in our study God gives the word “therefore” to His authors. As you may have heard before, whenever you see “therefore” you should pay extra attention because God is wants us to take note of why He put it “there” “for”.
Here are just a few other passages where God drives home what it means to stand firm in Him:
“Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58
“Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27)
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
Now perhaps you’re one of those who currently “resides” in a completely fictitious place called “Mayberry” (no real problems, illness, financial issues, marital difficulties, etc.). A current set of circumstances where having to withstand anything seems remote. Or maybe you’re one of the many who have been deceived by the false “prosperity” teachers. Yet from the moment Eve plucked the fruit in the Garden (and Adam wickedly chose to throw her under the bus), sin entered the world and each day since now falls under the influence of the evil one (Satan, the devil, the “world”…). It’s for this reason that Paul – writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit — exhorts Christians to armor-up, train-up, and stand firm in the battles that will come.
Rest assured, our common enemy will do his best to disarm you or otherwise tempt you with complacency and worse. He in fact knows that a wobbly, weak, unprepared Christian cannot stand. On the other hand, for those of us fully committed to wholeheartedly walking in obedience to God’s commands, we have the assurance that “…the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)
Seventeenth century pastor and author William Gurnall put it this way in his seminal, three-volume work (yes, 3 volumes), The Christian in Complete Armor: “The armor… is to be worn night and day; we must walk, work, and sleep in them, or else we are not true soldiers of Christ.” Amen! Our armor is to be worn night and day; we must walk, work, and sleep in them, or else we are not true soldiers of Christ. Click To Tweet
Christian warrior (Is that you?), with your armor firmly in place and your sword sharp, you will be able to stand firm. Regardless of what comes (and, short of death or rapture, trials and temptation will come), stand firm. In grief and sorrow, stand firm! In temptation, stand firm! In the chaos and wickedness of our times, stand firm! Armor-up, train, sharpen your sword, and stand firm in Christ our Captain!
It is also vital that you understand the context of Scripture:
(1) Nowhere does God ask us to stand alone. On the job, we don’t do “riot control” alone. We call (or should call) for backup whenever we can. And God’s design is for Christians to stand together and “hold the line” in unity (not unlike a police shield wall). Nowhere in Scripture do you find the concept of the “Lone Ranger” Christian. This is why we gather for “cop church” and why I stress the importance of believers being planted in a solid church where the Word (Bible) is taught soundly and without compromise.
(2) God will fight on our behalf if we will but trust Him and stand firm in Christ.
(3) God does NOT ask His faithful to personally “rebuke” the devil! In fact, He warns us against that — see the wholly biblical, Do Christians have the authority to rebuke the devil?
(4) He lovingly commands us to simply, faithfully and obediently stand firm while He does battle for us (“the battle belongs to the Lord”) and gives us the strength to overcome whatever the devil will throw at us!
In closing, and as I’ve shared throughout this series, it is imperative that you understand that if you’re not saved (born again in Christ alone–a “Christian” as only God gets to define it), you are utterly defenseless (no armor, no weapons) against a very powerful and determined enemy. Accordingly, if you’ve yet to surrender in faith and say “yes” in repentance and faith to Christ as Lord and Savior, I implore you to make TODAY “the day of your salvation” (and know I’m here to help).
Know that I’ll always have your “6” as we stand firm and hold the line together behind Christ our Captain.