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Spiritual Warfare – Part 4

Subtitle: Taking Up the Whole Armor

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.” (Eph 6:13)

Today we are going to be learning what it means to “take up” the whole armor of God. We can clearly see that just by becoming a believer we are not automatically equipped with the whole armor of God. It is something that we ‘take up,” piece by piece.

First, let’s look a little deeper into the Greek word for “take up.” Understanding the true definition of a Greek word, with its etymology, tense, mood and so on can give us great insight. Oh, and one doesn’t need to be a Bible scholar in order to gain profound insights.

Take up in this passage is analambanō. It comes from two Greek words, ana = “into the midst, in the midst, amidst, among, between,” and lambanō “to take to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it.” It carries the idea of receiving something. This is how we are to “take up” the whole armor of God. All the pieces are very personal to us – truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, These pieces of armor are not foreign to us. They all come from the person of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. They are ours, not something we merely use then put down again.

I think of a soldier in the army. He has an issued weapon, which he is fully trained on how to use. He knows how to take it apart and put it back together – very quickly no doubt. The weapon is cleaned daily. It is HIS weapon. Likewise, we are to take up the whole armor of God as a personal matter. All the pieces fit us perfectly. They are tailored just for us.

Paul used a similar term a few verses before our “take up” text.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (v.11)

The word for “put on” is interesting. It is endyō, meaning “to sink into (clothing), put on, clothe one’s self.” Yes, we are to sink into our armor. As I already said, this armor is tailor made for us. It fits perfectly and all we need to do is sink into it. Just as we put clothes on before leaving the house we need to sink into our armor on a daily basis. This is a natural thing we do but also a deliberate action. When Paal said “take up” and “put on” it was not a suggestion but a command. I take it as a command from the King of Kings, our Commander.

How do we take up and put on the whole armor of God? Well, first we must know the person of Truth, that He is our Righteousness and so on. The armor is not abstract, but the very person of Jesus received into our daily lives. In the Greek the command to take up the whole armor is in the active tense, meaning it is a continual thing that must be done. It is not a one-time action.

And why do we take up the armor? “…that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Eph 6:11b)

During WW2 there was a term coined about the Nazi’s that they engaged in “total war.” In other words, they were willing to use tactics not common in war, often at the expense of mass-civilian casualty. Do not be fooled, the enemy is at a total war with us. He does not play by the rules and never has. The “evil day” is fast upon us and we need to “having done all, to stand.” Our best defense is taking up and putting on the whole armor. May we be a ready people,

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