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Armor of God

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For other uses, see Armor of God (disambiguation).
The phrase "Armor of God" is derived from Ephesians 6:11: "Put on the whole armour
of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. " (King James
Version).[1] As a Biblical reference, the metaphor may refer to physical armour
worn by God in metaphorical battles, or it may refer to vigilant righteousness in
general as bestowed by the grace of God (Romans 13:12, King James Version): "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."

The full Armour of God quote outlines these aspects of belief: truth,
righteousness, preparation of the Gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Word of
God and Prayer. The armour that is available for believers to put on is God's own
armour (Isaiah 59:16-19) for He is the Divine Warrior.

Contents
1 Quotes
2 Context
3 Interpretations
4 Pieces of Armor
5 See also
6 References
7 External links
Quotes

Royal Military College of Canada memorial window Sir Lancelot wearing the whole
Armour of God
The full quote as outlined in the King James Bible, is from Apostle Paul's letter
to the Ephesians 6:10-18: (10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in
the power of his might. (11) Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to
stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we wrestle not against flesh and
blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the
darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (13) Wherefore
take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil
day, and having done all, to stand. (14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt
about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (15) And your
feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (16) Above all, taking the
shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the
wicked. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which
is the word of God: (18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the
Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all
saints; [1]

Given the many points of contact between the Book of Wisdom and Paul's writings
(particularly his Epistle to the Romans), it is perhaps unsurprising that the
imagery of the Armor of God would be used here. Compare the various elements of the
whole armor of God mentioned in the epistle to the Ephesians to Wisdom 5:17-20: "17
The Lord will take his zeal as his whole armor, and will arm all creation to repel
his enemies; 18 he will put on righteousness as a breast plate, and wear impartial
justice as a helmet; 19 he will take holiness as an invincible shield, 20 and
sharpen stern wrath for a sword, and creation will join with him to fight against
his frenzied foes."

Context
Other related passages, by Apostle Paul and references by later theologians,
indicate a metaphorical context for the Armor of God. For instance, Paul's letter
to the Romans indicates not a literal, but a figurative, application of the concept
(Romans 13:12-14, New International Version): (12) The night is nearly over; the
day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor
of light. (13) Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and
drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and
jealousy. (14) Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not
think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. [2]

In terms of the parts of the Armor of God, the various pieces (the belt of truth,
the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of
faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit) are correlated to what
Paul would have witnessed firsthand as the arms and armor of Roman legionaries
during his life in the Roman Empire.

Interpretations
In Biblical exegesis, the vast majority of Biblical scholars, Catholic, Protestant,
and otherwise, agree that Paul the Apostle used the concept as a reference to
spiritual battle with the Devil.[3] Christians are to put on this armor and deal
well with its upkeeping. This armor seems to be in direct correlation of that of
the Roman Empire's soldiers.[4]

Pieces of Armor
The Biblical text of Ephesians chapter 6 mentions six pieces of armor:

belt
breastplate
footwear
shield
helmet
sword
These pieces are described in Ephesians as follows: loins girt with truth (belt of
truth), breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the preparation of the gospel
of peace (peace), shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the
spirit/word of God.[5]

The helmet of Salvation and the breastplate of Righteousness also appear in Isaiah
59:17