Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

What does it mean when the scriptures tell us to put on the full armour of God?

4 Answers 4


The full "armour of God" is a metaphor for the various Christian virtues as listed in Eph 6:13-17 as set our below:

Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand.

  • Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
  • with the breastplate of righteousness arrayed,
  • and with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace.
  • In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
  • with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
  • And take the helmet of salvation
  • and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Thus, Paul uses an army metaphor to illustrate the functioning of the gospel virtues.


"What does it mean when the scriptures tell us to put on the full armour of God?"

One only needs to put armor on if he is in a war.

Fight the good fight of faith. 1 Tim. 6:12

This takes place in heavenly places, far above all the heavens. It is where our heavenly blessings are. Our fight of faith is to take hold of these against the enemies lies.

the One having blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms, Eph. 1:3

All of us have many strongholds in our lives. Those are the places where are minds are embedded in lies and being set free and renewed by the truth. Faith over our senses and to believe God's words is definitely a fight of faith.

3For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. 4The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; 2Cor. 10:4

It's imperative that we know that we are not fighting against flesh and blood. That is a huge key that one must believe. Otherwise we continually fight against men that are being used by the spiritual forces of wickedness and a god at this age.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

which once you walked according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience, Ephesians 2.2

"Our warefare is not man to man, nor is it a earth based-it is pursued in heavenly places.
These powers against which we wrestle may indeed be the rulers of the darkness of this world, and they their commander may be the god of this world, but this world is not where the true battle rages, we fight them in Heavenly places - that place of our true identity and standing is where are where are warfare is fought and won. ". Pilkington

God has given us our position and standing in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is our ground. We stand where He has placed us.

In order for us to stand God has given us armor to wear.

Ephesians 6:14-18 gives us each piece to put on so that we are able to stand on the ground God has given us in Christ Jesus. (Each piece is a study in itself)

13Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13


The meaning only becomes clear when the element of faith is applied to what are metaphorical "instructions". The instructions do not speak of anything literal, but of spiritual elements that a Christian applies to a spiritual situation.

It is vital to know what preceded Paul's 'final' instructions to his readers. If we do not grasp what was stated first, we will never be able to do that which is final, because we won't understand it. So, here is a synopsis of what built up to Paul's final instructions, copied from the NIV Study Bible.

I. Greetings (1:1-2) II. The Divine Purpose : the Glory and Headship of Christ (1:3-14) III. Prayer that Christians may realise God's purpose and power (1:15-23) IV. Steps towards the fulfilment of God's purpose (2:1-10) V. Practical ways to fulfil God's purpose in the Church (4:1-6:20) VI. Conclusion (6:21-24)

Your question involves section V., particularly 6:10-20, Strength in the Spiritual conflict. The Church Paul wrote to knew all about that spiritual conflict because they were in the thick of it. Their public stance for Christ as the only Lord and Saviour they would acknowledge brought the wrath of the Roman empire against them, as well as ridicule from Greeks, and hatred from Jews. Paul was showing them how to stand fast in their faith, unmoved.

If Christians are unaware of this spiritual battle of the world against Christ's Church, the verses in question will be lost on them. But those who are aware of spiritual realities at back of all that goes on in this material world, see the need to use what God has provided the Church with to stand fast for Christ. It takes faith to both see the reality of the spiritual battle we are in, and faith to 'pick up' the metaphorical 'equipment' God has given the Church.

Sadly, too many people in the Church think it's the job of their leaders to do whatever is needed to promote Christ in a largely Christless world. They think that if they just attend services of worship occasionally, that's all that's expected of them. Not so, according to that letter to Christians in Ephesus! We are to be engaged in a spiritual battle and, to not only stand fast in faith but to fight against spiritual forces in high places, to counteract the spirit of the air, the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness.

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal" Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:4. He adds that they have divine powers to demolish spiritual strongholds and all the pretensions that set themselves up against the knowledge of God. When we are equipped by God through his Holy Spirit, we have the faith and the ability to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ, casting down vain imaginations. Spiritual eyes of understanding open up the whole matter, and it takes the faith of Christ for us to be able to see the real enemies, and the only spiritual form of combat that we can use, both to stand firm in our faith, and to counteract evil spiritual forces all around us.


Other answers cover the meaning of "full armour of God". So I will concentrate on "put on". If one has armour, that is not enough, one has to put it on.

If a Christian prays along these lines:

Lord you are my truth.

Lord you protect me with your righteousness.

Lord may your peace guide my feet.

Lord you are my defense and shield against lies.

Lord your salvation protects my head.[Thinking].

Lord please wield your sword of your word in my life.

then, the Christian may be said to possess their possessions; to put them on; to not merely have but use. How many of us have stuff we don't make use of?

The need to "take up" is emphasised in Luke 9:23:

"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross..".

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