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Ephesians 6:11

ESV Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
NIV Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
NASB Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
CSB Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil.
NLT Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
KJV Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

What does Ephesians 6:11 mean?

Here Paul introduces the armor of God, a famous and often-used metaphor from the Bible. Paul begins with two important qualifiers in this verse. These give a useful perspective on how these various components are meant to function, and why they are important. His admonition to "put on" these pieces is also instructive: Christians have to be deliberate about using these implements.

First, believers must plan to utilize all tools available to them. One or two pieces are not sufficient, especially in light of the second qualification, which are the plans of Satan. Only with every piece of the armor of God can a believer adequately stand against the schemes of the Devil. Just as a Roman soldier could not reasonably enter battle with a partial suit of armor, or with only some of his weapons, a believer will not be as successful in spiritual battle unless every part of God's armor is included.

Second, Paul calls the Devil's work against believers "schemes." This indicates a coordinated plan of attack against believers. It is clear Paul does not have in mind physical violence, but rather a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12). Further, the Devil appears to specifically seek to destroy the good work of all believers. Thankfully, his power is no match for the power available through God. However, believers must pray and fully rely on God's resources to stand firm (Ephesians 6:13) against his attacks. Using the armor of God fully is key to surviving this spiritual onslaught.

Also interesting is the fact that these tools are meant to allow Christians to "stand against" the Devil. The verse does not suggest conquering, leading a charge, or other types of offense. While believers are called to speak out against evil (2 Corinthians 10:5), triumph over Satan primarily involves holding a firm defense, and allowing Christ to win the ultimate victory.

Verse 12 will put this battle in graphic terms. At the same time, Paul will make it clear that Christians are engaged in a spiritual war, not an earthly one.
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