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Put on the Whole Armor of Christ! (Isaiah 59:15)


Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. 17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak. (Is 59:15 ESV) 

We live in a world of violence and injustice. Though there may be regional pockets of peace or even decades of stability that tempt us to think that humanity is bettering itself, so long as we refuse to bow the knee to God and confess our sins, we continue in our state of spiritual intoxication, waiting for our world’s next drunken outburst. There is not a day that goes by in which a child is not trafficked, an innocent is not murdered, or a dictator does not persecute his own people. Who will avenge their blood? Who can pursue the criminals who have defrauded others and vanished into the shadows of corrupt governments and systems? How can we stand against the power and principalities that rule over this present darkness? God’s Word answers the question for us—only by equipping ourselves with the armour of God. 

The famous passage in Ephesians 6 commonly referred to as the “Armour of God” does not find its origins primarily in the combat gear of the Roman military, but rather in the Old Testament imagery of God as the divine warrior. Here in Isaiah 59, we see the divine anger of God against the evils of this world. Seeing none who will set things right, the God of heaven prepares himself to wage war and execute his perfect justice. He dons the breastplate of his perfectly, righteous conduct and straps the helmet of immortal salvation around his head. He clothes himself with a uniform of vengeance so that all who gaze on him will know that there is no escape from the divine warrior and his supreme justice. Furthermore, Isaiah 11:5 tells us that the divine warrior will wear faithfulness around his waist as a belt. Revelation 19 tells us that he is called the “Word of God,” and that the very words of his mouth will be a sharp two-edged sword that will strike down the nations. Who is this divine warrior? None other than the long-awaited Messiah, the Anointed One—our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And on that last day, the Messiah who is Christ will return in full battle gear and all that is wrong with this world will be righted. 

Now although our Lord Jesus in the days of his flesh veiled his glorious appearance with human flesh and chose to ride a donkey rather than a white warhorse, he nevertheless wore the divine panoply. All of his words and deeds hung off his belt of truth. His breastplate of righteousness gleamed for those with eyes to see in his perfect and holy conduct. His mud-caked feet were beautifully adorned with Good News of peace that he preached in all the towns of Israel. His head was protected by the might of his Father’s salvation, and his unwavering faith in God shielded him from all the flaming darts of temptation that were launched at him by the devil and the evil men of his generation. Each time he was attacked, he struck back with not with his fists, but with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God as he declared, “It is written…” 

What wondrous armour this is! Strong enough for the Holy One of heaven to wear! And though the forces of hell unleashed the full weight of their wrath on him from every conceivable angle, not once did the heavenly armour fail! And this armour—this divine armour—is the very armour our God offers to his children who are good soldiers of Christ Jesus. The armour that our loving Master offers is not just the Father’s gift to his people, but the very armour his one and only Son, our brother in redemption, invisibly wore as he faced his earthly trials in the days of his flesh, and that one day, all the earth will see him displaying when he returns in glory.  

Believer, do you realize that the very armour God offers you is the same armour that the precious Son of God wore as he ran his race on this earth? It is not an untested piece of equipment but one which has been lovingly crafted, tested, and tried. The God who purchased us out of the slave market of sin has not left us as orphans in this world to fend for ourselves but has clothed us in the beautiful righteousness of Christ and also equipped us with divine armour that is strong enough to last the war. It will never wear out, nor will it ever break. And though our battle against our flesh and trials may seem long and wearisome, the armour that our Christ wore is now ours and will never fail us as it never failed Christ. Even though Roman soldiers stripped our Lord of all his clothing, the Son of God was never completely naked or defenseless on that cross, for no amount of human cunning or demonic strength can remove or shatter the divine armour that guards the souls of God’s beloved.  

Christian, as you wage spiritual war against your disappointments, trials, afflictions, and difficulties in your pilgrimage to your heavenly home, rest in the unparalleled protection that the armour of Christ grants you. Remember that it is not only God’s gift to you, but that the Captain of your salvation proved its matchless strength and power through his life, death and resurrection. 

Therefore, put on our Lord’s armour, dear Christian—the full of armour of Christ. 

Article by: Samuel Chua


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