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Read Introduction to Ephesians

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



The word “that” is a marker of purpose. The purpose for putting on spiritual armor is to be able to stand our ground against the devil.

you may be able to stand

The major role of the Christian is not to attack Satan but to “stand” fast to what Christ has provided for him. In this context “stand” carries a military idea for holding a position in battle. The believer needs to hold his position against satanic war against him. The Christian life should not be one of retreat.

The word “stand” is prominent in this section of Ephesians, being used four times (Eph 6:11, 13-14). The idea is to stand firm against the assaults of Satan, not surrendering to the enemy. In this struggle the goal is to stand and not give up. It also carries the idea of prevailing over the enemy.

against the wiles [stratagems, schemes] of the devil.

The New Testament uses the word “wiles” only here and in Ephesians 4:14. Christians will be defeated by the devil if they attempt to fight him by their own strength. Satan presents himself as an angel of light, deceiving the believer (2 Co 11:14). He is in the business of subterfuge of the Christian faith.

We get the English word method from the Greek word for “wiles.” Satan’s methods are deception by craftiness. This word was used for a wild animal stalking his prey and ready to pounce on its victim.

Since we do not fight primarily humans in spiritual battle but the devil himself, we need to use weapons appropriate for that battle. Satan is the enemy of both God and the Christian. We are at war not simply with good and evil but with a supernatural person—the driving force behind evil—and his emissaries.


A supernatural battle requires supernatural resources.


If our enemy were a mere man, then we might fight him in our own strength; however, this is not the case. Because we war against a supernatural force, we need God to fight this battle for us. To deny this is to put ourselves in peril. We would rush into a deadly battle completely blind.

If a believer is not on alert spiritually, he will end in spiritual disaster. If he is not fully equipped with the full armor, he is not prepared for a spiritual war. Satan stealthily introduces deceptive, attractive items into our lives that will entrap us in spiritual defeat. We need all that God provides for spiritual conflict to deal with our crafty foe. We cannot underestimate our enemy.

The devil is not some hideous creature with horns and gross appearance but an angel of light that appears beautiful to many people. Even his “ministers” are “ministers of righteousness,” not ministers of evil (2 Co 11:14-15). He appears in the form of religious liberalism, which always appears sweet and nice but without substance.

The way a Christian becomes strong in the Lord is to put on the armor that God provides for Christian living. Spiritual armory is a metaphor for utilizing God’s divine operating assets for us.