Ephesians 6:10-11: 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.
As believers, we are told to put on the full armor of God, so that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Wiles are tricks intended to ensnare. Only by being strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might may we so stand.
Within contemporary Christendom, many have put on feckless uniforms of outward symbols and identifiers, and have failed to put on the full armor of God. In so doing, they have left themselves vulnerable to false doctrine, comfortable with compromise, and happily joined at the hip with non-believers in apostate churches.
What is the Contemporary Christian Costume? It takes many different forms, but often includes some of the following:
- Clothes – includes church T-shirts and jerseys personalized with names of famous Christian players.
- Jewelry – includes cross necklaces and earrings, purity rings, and rubber wrist bands with trite phrases.
- Bibles and Bible accessories – might include the NIV Bible and the NIV Bible Study Notes, stored in a zippered Naugahyde case with convenient carrying handle.
- Automobile accessories – includes bumper stickers with dubious (questionable or suspect) messages, and front license plates with the call letters or frequency of the local ecumenical Christian radio station.
While some of these items are not harmful per se, they have become caricatures of Christianity to a non-believing world. It should be noted that these identifiers have nothing to do with being a believer. In other words, “wearing the Christian brand” does not make one a Christian, any more than wearing a Tim Tebow jersey makes someone a Heisman trophy winner. I would venture to say that far more non-believers than believers are adorned in the Contemporary Christian Costume.
The full armor of God includes truth, righteousness (Christ’s righteousness imputed to us, not our own works of righteousness), grounding in the gospel, confidence in our eternal destiny, knowledge of the word of God, and prayer. These are each essential in protecting Christians from deception.
Ephesians 6:14-17: Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
The importance of the above passage in the life of believers cannot be overstated. Following is an excerpt from Clear Gospel Campaign’s “Statement of Purpose”:
Virtually every item in the Full Armor of God is directed to the gospel message . . . the defense of the gospel message, and the spread of the gospel message.
First and foremost, the discipleship of a believer must root them in Christ crucified . . . the truth and the purity of the message of salvation. If it does not do this, discipleship is little more than misguided cheerleading.
It is essential for us to heed the word of God, and rely on His strength to protect us.