1Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.Ephesians 6:11
Paul tells the Ephesians not only to “be empowered in the Lord” (verse 10) but also to “put on the full armor of God.” The word there in the Greek for “full armor” is the compound Greek word panoplía (pan = all + hoplia = weapons). The list of weapons in Ephesians 6 will include defensive armor but also offensive weaponry.
Romans 13:12 says, “…let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. That word translated “armor” here is really the Greek word for weapon (hopla). Light is armor for the believer; light is also a weapon that we can wield.
2 Corinthians 6:4 & 7 says, “Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses…in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left…” The word here translated as “weapons” is that same Greek word (hoplon).
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 says, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” Again we see the word weapons (hopla) is the same one used in the other passages.
The passage that I find most interesting regarding spiritual weapons is Romans 6:13 which says, “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” The word translated here as “instrument” is actually the Greek word for weapon (hopla). Parts of our being actually become weapons.
All of this points to a few truths that we need to hold on to. First, we are not left defenseless against the enemy. We have been given armor and weapons to fight the spiritual battle that we are in. But we must put on the armor and we must take up our weapons. So many Christians don’t know they are in a war, and so they leave all their gear piled on the ground. They are sitting ducks, deceived into believing there is no war.
Secondly, while we have been given spiritual weapons and armor, we’ve also been given a physical body, a mind, a will, emotions, and senses, all of which can become weapons. The question is not whether they are weaponized, but for whom. All of these parts of us surrendered to the Lord in obedience become weapons for God and His Kingdom. Yet, when we “offer any part” of ourself to sin, it becomes a weapon in the hands of our enemy.
Finally, the whole point in having all this armor and all these weapons is in order to take our stand against “the devil’s schemes.” That word translated as “schemes” is the word methodeía in the Greek. It’s where we get our word “method.” Here it means “organized evil-doing.” Just as the mob does not do haphazard or sporadic crime, but instead engages in strategically planned and organized crime, that is how Satan operates with evil. He has a plan of attack that is strategic and organized. We must have our armor and our weapons ready so that we can take our stand.