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The Christian Soldier

During the 75th Anniversary celebration the Children’s Bible School will be studying Ephesians 6:10-20. Starting this month until the celebration there will be articles about the armor of God. We hope those articles will pique your interest and help you prepare for the celebration in 2000.

– The 75th Anniversary Committee

 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11

In this chapter of Ephesians, Paul compares a Christian to a soldier preparing to enter a dangerous battle. He will not be able to walk up to the front lines as if he was taking a stroll for fun! This verse is a call to battle; and the soldier must be prepared. He should know who and what he is fighting for to be able to stand against the enemy lined up against him.

The next few verses of this chapter use the picture of a soldier to illustrate the things God gives to His people to get them through the Christian life. Think of Paul, sitting in prison. Roman soldiers walked past him again and again. Although the only enemy of these particular fighting men was a few chained up prisoners, they were still ready. There was no sleeping on the job! They wore their armor and carried their weapons as if the prison could be invaded at any time. They were ready and trained to fight. And, as loyal Romans, they knew what they would be fighting for; their home, the Roman Empire. They believed that theirs was the Eternal City, and worth the protection they could give through their swords and spears.

As he sat there, his imagination began to work. He could see the parallels to the battle of a Christian life. Yes, Christians could not become lazy! They had to be prepared at every instant to face an attacking enemy. And they had to know what and Whom they were fighting for. That could make all the difference between a halfhearted shout or a fight-to-the-death defense of their principles and of their faith.

This verse in particular is a command to fight, and a statement of the cause to fight. It also holds the comforting promise that the Christian soldier is not going out to face the devil alone. He will be strong, because he is strong in the Lord. The armor alone would not be enough.

This verse is also a call to be prepared. You can’t be a soldier if you’ve never gone through any training. The training of a Christian is just as rigorous as any boot camp of an earthly army! You can’t fight without knowing why. Your Christian homes and parents, Christian education, and catechism lessons, and most importantly, the Word of God in the Bible are God’s instructions and encouragement for this difficult preparation.

Most of us have probably memorized or at least been taught about the armor of God in Sunday School or catechism. These “weapons” are a great help to us, but without the power and might of God they would be useless. And this verse points that out. If we had to stand on our own might, how long would a Christian last? Facing the devil and his wiles is not something possible for any human. If we did not have God with His love and care and awesome might behind us, we would soon be giving up and surrendering.

God knows that. And all through His Word, He gives assurance that this is not going to happen to His people. In Romans: “Neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And in John: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

And so, God’s people will stand. The devil and all his evil will try everything to break the ranks of the Christian soldiers. They are masters of all the tricks of war. They understand deception and are famous for surprise attacks. But this will not be enough to destroy the trained soldiers, God’s faithful people. He is with us, making us able to do as this verse says, to stand against the wiles of the devil. This army will stand through all of time, until the battle is over and God brings His army home to heaven. ❖