11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Verse 11 shows how we carry out being strong in the Lord (v. 10).
The Christian is responsible to put on his spiritual armor. He or she cannot pass this off to God with negative spiritual passivity. The Greek indicates that we are to put on spiritual armor with a sense of urgency (aorist, imperative). The believer needs to decisively put on God’s armor. The challenge is to accept God’s provision for his life.
the whole [full] armor of God,
Paul at the writing of Ephesians was sitting in jail. Roman soldiers guarded him while he sat in prison in Rome. No doubt the imagery of this section about spiritual warfare was taken from this experience.
The Christian is to put on the “whole” or full armor of God—the panoply of offensive and defensive weapons. These images are taken from Roman armory of an individual soldier. Believers are to leave no opening where Satan can attack them. The full armor includes both defensive and offensive weapons. Christians need to both resist and subdue. Each part of the armor has a spiritual function.
“Of God” indicates that God furnishes the armor to fight the devil (2 Co 10:4). This is the armor that God Himself personally provides. This strength does not come from ourselves. There is a disposition in all of us to draw on our own strength for spiritual war.
God’s strength is available, but it is the believer’s responsibility to utilize that asset.
The role of the Christian soldier is to fight the spiritual enemy with divine armor. Believers are under attack both personally and corporately. Satan is always on the prowl to undermine the Christian or Christianity (2 Co 2:11). He does not engage us in open warfare, for he operates with subtle schemes. We need to be on the outlook for his subtle stratagems. He works hard at perverting God’s Word and obstructing the advance of the gospel.
Ac 20:29-30, For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
God has supplied the panoply, the full set of armor for our spiritual battle; it is the believer’s responsibility to put it on. A Christian must use certain weapons to seize upon God’s strength for his life. He can prevail in spiritual battle only if he puts on the entire set of spiritual armor.
The believer’s responsibility is to “put on,” “stand,” and “take.” A Christian who has virtually no spiritual conflict has withdrawn from the combat zones of Christian service.
Ro 13:14, But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.