Note: Please excuse the fact that I neglected to start the recording for the first minute or two of the sermon. I was simply introducing the following message, saying that, this week, the congregation was going to help me preach the sermon. The text that follows was distributed in the bulletins and everyone followed along, helping to fill in the blanks as we went.
Put On the Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood…. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication….” (Ephesians 6:10-28a)
The Armor—Piece by Piece
“The Belt of Truth”
“14 …we have seen his _______________, ________________ as of the only ________ from the ___________, full of ____________ and _______________.”
“17 For the ____________ was given through ______________; __________ and __________ came through ______________.”
“6 ______________ said to him, “I am the __________, and the _____________, and the ___________. No one comes to the _______________ except through me.”
Based on these verses, the “Belt of Truth” is ______________!
“The Breastplate of Righteousness”
“5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for _________________ a ___________________ _______________.... And this is the ____________________ by which he will be ____________________: ‘The _____________ is our ______________.’”
“2 But for you who fear my ______________, the ___________ of __________________ shall rise with _______________ in its _____________.”
“17 For in [the ____________] the __________________ of God is revealed from ______________ for _______________, as it is written, “The ______________ shall live by _____________.””
“21 But now the ______________________ of God has been manifested…—22 the ______________________ of God through ________________ in ________________ for all who ____________________.”
2 Corinthians 5:21
“21 For our sake he made him to be __________________ who knew no _________________, so that in him we might become the ___________________ of ______________.”
Based on these verses, the “Breastplate of Righteousness” is __________________________!
“Gospel of Peace”
“6 For to us a ____________ is ___________, to us a _________ is _____________; …and his ________________ shall be called __________________________, __________________________, __________________________, __________________________.
“5] But he was ________________ for our _________________; he was ___________________ for our ____________________; upon him was the _______________________ that brought us ________________, and with his ______________________ we are ____________________.”
“27 _______________ I _______________ with you; my ________________ I ______________ to you.…”
“1 Therefore, since we have been ________________ by faith, we have __________________ with God through our _________________ __________________ _______________.”
“7 And the ___________________ of God, which surpasses all ____________________, will guard your __________________ and your _____________________ in Christ Jesus.”
Based on these verses, the “Gospel of Peace” is _____________________________!
“Shield of Faith”
(See “The Breastplate of Righteousness,” p.2)
(See “The Breastplate of Righteousness,” p.2)
“16 [We] know that a person is not ____________________ by ____________ of the _______________ but through _________________ in Jesus Christ….”
Based on these verses, the “Shield of Faith” is _____________________________!
“Helmet of Salvation”
“9 ______________ greatly, O daughter of ________________! ___________ ___________, O daughter of ________________! Behold, your ______________ is coming to you; ___________________ and having __________________ is he, _________________ and mounted on a __________________, on a _____________, the ___________ of a _______________.”
“29 “Lord, now you are letting your _____________________ ________________ in __________________, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your _____________________ 31 that you have __________________ in the presence of all __________________________….”
“10 ______________________ belongs to our God who sits on the ___________________, and to the ___________________!”
Based on these verses, the “Helmet of Salvation” is _____________________________!
“Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God”
“In the beginning was the ______________________, and the __________________ was with ___________________, and the __________________ was ___________________.”
“And the ___________________ became __________________ and _____________________ among us….”
“16 In his right hand he held seven ______________, from his ______________ came a _____________ __________________, and his ____________ was like the _______________ __________________ in full _________________.”
Based on these verses, the “Sword of the Spirit/Word of God” is ______________________________!
“Put On” What?
Based on what we’ve just read, what Paul is saying in our text is that we should put on _________________________.
Could that possibly be accurate? Thankfully we can check our answer against the rest of Scripture by asking: Are there any other passages that talk the same way?
“Putting On” in the Old Testament
“10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.”
“Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. 4And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” 5And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD was standing by.”
“Putting On” in the New Testament
“27” For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
“13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
“22 …[Put] off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and [be] renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and [put] on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
“12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
“Putting On” in Commentaries & Luther
Luther on Galatians 3:27
Therefore Paul teaches that Baptism is not a sign but the garment of Christ, in fact, that Christ Himself is our garment. Hence Baptism is a very powerful and effective thing. For when we have put on Christ, the garment of our righteousness and salvation, then we also put on Christ, the garment of imitation.”
From the Concordia Commentary on Ephesians
“In the Lord” (6:10) ought therefore to be taken quite literally, for the Christian who has been baptized into Christ is thereby clothed and wrapped with Christ as if putting on a garment (Rom. 13:14; Gal. 3:27; Col 2:9-12). It is this concrete realization that prompted Paul to speak of the one baptized into Christ as possessing a divine armor. The image is equivalent to (or a development of) the common NT image of the righteousness of Christ as a (white) robe or garment. Here, the baptismal robe is Christ himself with all his weapons and defenses.”
So how would you sum up this section of scripture into one or two sentences?
- “Be strong in the Lord”—with a new understanding of what “in the Lord” means?
- “Put on, take up, fasten on Jesus Christ and stand”
Sometimes I find it best to simply sum it all up with part of the text itself. Today, here’s what I’d suggest: With all that in mind, “13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
May God grant it for Jesus’ sake.
Luther, M. (1999, c1963). Vol. 26: Luther's works, vol. 26 : Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4 (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther's Works (Ga 3:28). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.
 Winger, Thomas M. Concordia Commentary Series: Ephesians, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO, 2014. p. 723.