There are two types of armor.
First, we will look at the defensive armor. These things are provided for us by the Lord because He knows that the devil is on the attack. We need to have a good defense.
TWO KINDS OF ARMOR
1. DEFENSIVE ARMOR
2. OFFENSIVE ARMOR
HELMET OF SALVATION
The word for "helmet" is from the Greek "perikephalaia". It comes from two Greek words:
peri = around
kephale = head
It was an armored headpiece to protect the head from attack.
In I Thessalonians 5:8, it says:
"PUT ON... FOR A HELMET, THE HOPE OF SALVATION..."
The "hope" of our salvation is the return of our Savior. So this helmet refers to the hope of the Lord's return, when we will receive our eternal reward. It is this hope of His coming that gives us the mental fortitude to battle the evil attacks against our soul and body. Knowing that we are saved, and that God has a heavenly home for us, will help us in the fight. The fact that we are saved also reminds of the hedge of protection that God puts around us.
BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
The word "breastplate" comes from the Greek word "thoraz". It was a two-part breast cover that protected the body on both sides from the neck to the waist. The breastplate protects the vital organs from attack. Satan attacks our life, and past. He reminds us of all our sins. What protects us is not our righteousness. No, it is the righteousness of Jesus. Our righteousness is as "filthy rags." So, while the devil is trying to attack you, and your life, remind him that the righteousness of Jesus is your defense.
"NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST YOU SHALL PROSPER, AND EVERY TONGUE THAT SHALL RAISE UP AGAINST YOU, THOU SHALT CONDEMN. THIS IS THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD, AND THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OF ME."
GIRDLE OF TRUTH
The word "girdle" is from the Greek word -"zoma". It was a belt that held the garments close to the body so that it would be easier to move about. The loose fitting garments would otherwise hinder the movement of the soldier. This belt was often hollow, or folded so that it could also serve as a purse. The fact that we have the truth, and can trust what God has revealed in us, gives us ability to fight better. In this belt of truth, we carry our sword, food, water pouch, etc. All the staples of life are bound up in the fact that we know with certainty that we have the truth.
This is the Greek word - "knemides". It referred to the cover for the front of the leg. This front cover that was tied to the leg and often to the leather sandals, protected the lower legs, and feet from the stones, brush, etc. that were in the battlefield. It is the "preparation of the gospel of peace..." that protects us from the rough times and things we meet in life. Whenever a trial comes unexpectedly to us, we need to have studied the Word of God. That study of the Word, that preparation, ahead of time, allows the peace to flood our minds, when the fiery darts of the devil strike.
"GREAT PEACE HAVE THEY WHICH LOVE THY LAW, AND NOTHING SHALL OFFEND THEM."
SHIELD OF FAITH
The word for "shield" is "thureos." It referred to the Roman shield that was 2 foot by 4 foot. These shields were usually made of wood that was covered with a metal cover. They were heavy and bulky, but the soldiers moved slowly ahead with them, safe from the attacks of the fiery arrows of the enemy. These shields were often used by gathering a group of soldiers about in a circle. When the shields were held in front of them, they made a hedge like protection. Several other soldiers in the center of the circle could hold their shields overhead and give a turtle like shell of protection. When the arrows of the enemy came down upon them, this circle of shields easily protected them.
Satan is always firing darts at us. We need "faith" to block his darts. When the attack is especially heavy, we need to gather together with others of faith, and stand against his attack together. This is the protection that God has provided. We need to be aware of how it is to be used. It is freely given of God to all of us. None of us are exempt of the battle, so God made these defensive weapons available to all of us.