Seven Weapons of Spiritual Warfare

(Ephesians 6:14-18)

There are seven weapons of spiritual warfare that all Christians must take hold of if they are to effectively wage war in the spiritual realm.

The seven weapons of spiritual warfare all Christians must have to fight war in the spirit
The seven weapons of spiritual warfare all Christians must have to fight war in the spirit

It is not sufficient to take hold of only some of these, and we are instructed by Paul in the verse prior to this section that we must take ALL the armour of God if we are to stand.

So let us look at the seven pieces of the armour of God and the weapons that they give us to effectively wage war in the spirit.

Seven Weapons of Spiritual Warfare

The seven weapons of spiritual warfare are defined in these few verses, as follows.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; 16 besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. (Ephesians 6:14-18)

Thus, the seven weapons of spiritual warfare are:

  • Truth
  • Righteousness
  • The Gospel of Peace
  • Faith
  • Salvation
  • The Word of God
  • Prayer

To gain some insight into these and see how these weapons are to be wielded we will look at each on individually. I have written in more detail about these in other places on this website, so this will be a brief overview of each of the weapons.

And as I have mentioned already, it is essential that we take up ALL of the armour of God so that we are not defenseless against the attacks of the devil.

Truth

The scripture tells us to “gird your loins with truth.” The first thing we must have is an understanding of the truth of the gospel.

The devil is the master of lies, falsehood and half-truths that are designed to deceive the children of God. If the devil can have the people of the Lord accept and believe a lie rather than the truth, then he can get beneath our defences and wreak havoc causing all manner of destruction.

When we are speaking about the truth, the first thing we must understand is that when we follow Christ and hold to the truth, we are holding onto the freedom that we have only in Jesus Christ. As Jesus said,

31 Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

From this scripture we see that the source of truth is to continue in the words of Jesus Christ. We must listen to what He had to say and the learn words in the Bible.

His words are truth because Jesus is the way and truth and the life. The freedoms that we have in the truth from Christ are the ability to be set free from sin, set free from law and set free from the passions, lusts and desires of the flesh. When we have these things we are truly set free and have the freedoms that come with knowing the truth.

The devil will try to attack this truth by attempting to bind us. He binds us under falsehoods by telling us we are not good enough, or that Christ could not possibly have forgiven MY sin, or the we are unworthy because our passions are too strong for anyone (Jesus included) to over come.

All of these are lies the devil uses against us to steal away our freedom, which is why we must hold fast to the truth.

The Breastplate of Righteousness

Just as the breastplate and chest armour worn by soldiers protects them from fatal blows, the breastplate of righteousness will protect our life in Jesus Christ.

One of the free gifts from God that we receive by faith is righteousness by faith. Put in simple terms, when we believe that we have died to this world and been set free from sin as we enter into the death of Jesus Christ through baptism, and when we believe we have been raised with Jesus as new creations, then God gives us the free gift of righteousness by faith.

God declares us righteous by faith because we have believed in the power of God and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the same way God declared Abraham righteous when he believed God, so too we are declared righteous when we believe God.

This righteousness by faith is an important weapon. God will not have anything to do with sinners because it is sin that stands between man and God. So for God to help us and to reconcile us back to the state in which we were created, perfection, He had to deal with sin. He did this through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and when we believe and have faith in this power of God, God declares us righteous.

When we are righteous we stand with God and the devil cannot overcome us. That is why we must hold fast our faith in Jesus Christ and the righteousness that God has given us by faith.

The devil attacks us through doubt and tells us that we are not good enough, that we are fault and causes us to condemn ourselves so that we doubt our righteousness given by God. And if the devil can get behind the breastplate of righteousness he can stop the work God is doing in us to transform us into the image of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel of Peace

One of the interesting things about this piece of the armour is that we are encouraged to “…shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace.”

This is interesting because likening the gospel of peace to the boots a soldier will wear tells us that we must always walk in the knowledge of the gospel of peace. When we walk in the “solid shoes” of gospel of peace, we remain at peace regardless of what is going on around us. As a soldier can traverse all kinds of rough and uneven terrain, so too we can walk with stability holding onto the peace we have in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And peace is essential as we walk because we are learning to overcome the passions of the flesh. We cannot be led by emotions that cause us to say and do the wrong things, but instead we must walk in peace and so weigh up all things and act accordingly. It is by peace that we are being transformed into the image of Christ.

One of the fundamental weapons the devil uses against us is to take away our peace. If he does that by inciting and inflaming our passions, then he can cause us to do all manner of things that are unproductive and lead us to do wrong.

We need to remember the gospel and hold fast to the peace of Christ that will rule in our hearts when and if we let it.

Faith

We can never say too much about the importance of faith, and this is why it is referred to as a shield.

When the devil attacks us we can stand behind the shield of faith and let all of the flaming darts he attacks us with be stopped and extinguished by the shield of faith.

Faith underpins everything we have as we stand in the Lord. Faith is a powerful weapon against the attacks of the devil. And even if we may be lacking in some of the other weapons, faith enables us to stand strong and defend against the attacks of the evil one.

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, as we are told in Hebrews 11:1. It is by faith that all of the promises of God come to fruit in our lives. All of His gifts are received in and by faith.

So it is no wonder that the devil attacks the people of the Lord most viciously and ferociously in their faith.

The devil attacks the faith of Christians by sowing doubt in their lives. If he can get us to doubt the word of the Lord, then he can take away the shield of faith, and like a soldier who has lost his shield, we have little or no defences against the attacks of the devil. We are open to all of his attacks and we will fall, unless and until we can regain the shield of faith and stand.

The Helmet of Salvation

A helmet protects the head of a soldier, and the knowledge of salvation in Jesus Christ protects us in the same way.

Hold fast the knowledge that you have been saved in Jesus Christ and that the process of salvation is alive and working in you. As we walk with Christ we grow in the ways of the salvation that He has given us.

Salvation is both a destination and a journey. We walk in the ways of salvation and in the end we will be saved. That is, we are saved to salvation and we receive salvation as we walk in the ways of the Lord.

The Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God

This weapon is one that is sometimes misunderstood. Some believe that the Spirit is the sword. But that is not what the scripture says.

The sword is the “word of God,” that is, the words of the Bible that the Lord has given us to learn and understand.

When we fill ourselves and immerse ourselves in the word of God from the Bible, then we are arming the Holy Spirit who can use the word when we are attacked by the devil. In effect, by studying God’s words we are arming the Holy Spirit who fights on our behalf to overcome the devil when he attacks.

One of the best examples of the power of the sword of the Spirit being the word of God is when Jesus was tempted after fasting forty days in the wilderness.

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; 9 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'” (Matthew 4:1-10)

Jesus was in a weakened state having not eaten for forty days and nights. And this was the ideal time for the devil to attack, which he does against us also. The devil always attacks at a time when he believes he can gain an advantage over someone.

But in these verses we see how the Holy Spirit wielded the sword of the Spirit, being the word of God. In every instance when Jesus was tempted by the devil, Jesus responded by using the words of God to overcome the temptation. In every case Jesus said, “It is written…” and so overcame the issues at hand. Even when the devil used scripture, twisting it to his own ends, (and he will against us too), Jesus still overcame by quoting the truth.

We see from this the need to use each of the other weapons in conjunction with the sword of the spirit, the word of God. Truth, faith, righteousness, peace and all the rest work in conjunction with each other, and as we examine the way Jesus parried the attacks of the devil, we see how these all work together.

The sword of the Spirit is also interesting in that it is both a spiritual weapon of defence and offence. It is through the power of the words of God that we can also attack back against the devil by speaking to others and helping them to see the light of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Prayer

There are two parts to this final weapon in the spiritual arsenal of the seven weapons of spiritual warfare. The section of this scripture says:

Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. (Ephesians 6:18)

We are instructed to pray at all times in the Spirit, AND to pray at all times “with all prayer and supplication.”

Prayer is a powerful weapon and we should pray at all times. Every issue that comes up, every problem we face, every blessing we receive should be brought to the Lord in prayer. We give thanks for His intercession and intervention in our lives, and we bring all our concerns to Him for His help, guidance and resolution.

And we take heart knowing that He hears our prayers and answers our prayers. When we pray we speak to God about the things on our mind, whatever they may be.

This is what Paul called “Praying with my mind,” in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15

14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. (1 Corinthians 14:14-15)

But when we look at the seven weapons of spiritual warfare and the final one about prayer, we see that we are to also “Pray at all times in the Spirit,” as well as praying with the mind.

And as we can see from the scripture above in 1 Corinthians 14:15, praying with the spirit is speaking in tongues.

To be able to “Pray in the Spirit at all times” as we are instructed, being one of the seven weapons of spiritual warfare, we need to receive the gift of speaking in tongues. And there is no reason why every person cannot receive this gift, in fact we SHOULD seek to receive the gift of tongues if we are to be fully armed with the weapons of spiritual warfare.

After all, what better way to fight a spiritual war than to use the power of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues to wage war? When we do not know what to pray or how to pray, the spirit intercedes for us with God according to God’s will when we speak in tongues as we are told in Romans 8:26-27.

So if you want to be fully armoured and properly attired with the seven weapons of spiritual warfare, then you must seek the power of the Spirit and the gift of tongues. And as we are told in Ephesians 6, we MUST take the WHOLE armour of God, and that includes tongues. So seek this gift and you can find more information how to do this on my website by doing a search on speaking in tongues, or by clicking on some of the linked articles below.

You might also like:

Peace On Earth
Resist Temptation
Have You Drunk The Living Water
The Peace Of Christ
Victory In Jesus Christ
Pentecost And Receiving The Holy Spirit
Speaking In Tongues
Promise Of Salvation
Receiving The Holy Spirit
Thank You Jesus
The Holy Spirit At Work
Manifestation Of The Spirit
Tongues Build Up
Tongues Do Not Teach
Praying In Tongues
Using Tongues Properly
The Spirit As Guarantee
Weapons Of War
Taught By God

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