Understanding and Using Armor

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.1 Put on the full armor of God2 so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.3 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,4 but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world5 and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.6
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil7 comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm8 then, with the belt of truth9 buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness10 in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.11
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,12 with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.13 Take the helmet of salvation14 and the sword of the Spirit,15 which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying16 for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

This passage is becoming much more relevant for me today. Maybe its because of my current circumstances which cause it to suddenly make far more sense than ever before. Or maybe I have learned enough background information to see more connections than ever before. Whatever the reasons, it is suddenly pouring out insights far more than I have ever been able to perceive in the past.

It would take too much time and space to unpack everything that has been emerging just today. But I want to note a few things that seem important to capture while they are still fresh in my mind.

The first sentence here is telling me to remember how important it is for me to keep in mind the context in which real warfare takes place. Without the right context, attempting to carry out instructions can often end in confusion and frustration. What I now see more clearly here is the context of awareness that Jesus is now the new Adam for the human race, and as I appreciate and believe the fact that I am in Christ, and that living in close communion and intimacy with Him is where all the real power is available, I can better avoid becoming frustrated when things don't work out as I think they should.

I am not just told to be strong, but to be strong in God and in HIS mighty power, not to try to generate power of my own to impress Him or to defend myself. By keeping in mind that I am in Christ, that He is always faithful and is always with me, I can retrain my thinking to orient itself to this reality where effective power may be released into my life. I also find that the armor Paul describes here is God's armor, not my own. So whatever I come to think about the various descriptions of this armor, I need to remember that all of these protections and empowerments are God's. So a close relationship with Him is the way for me to gain access to these necessary implements of spiritual warfare.

Next Paul insists that it is not enough to just put on some of the armor of God listed here. He says we need to put it on in full. That means I need to pay attention to the entire list, not just pick and choose what I think I might like for one day. I have no clue what life may bring me in any given day, so I cannot afford to guess what part of this suit I might feel safe ignoring.

Having said that, as I look over this list I see for the first time an interesting progression in the sequence of how Paul lists the items in this symbolic suit of armor. It seems to parallel what I have been learning in recent years about the true gospel and how God is far better than Christianity has made Him out to be. I want to also examine this from that perspective.

The next thing I notice here is the reason I need this full suit of armor. Its one thing to become acquainted with various aspects of a battle and the kinds of weapons and defenses needed before engaging with an enemy. But if I have no clue as to the nature of the enemy or the warfare I may find myself involved in, I am still in serious danger of being overcome and defeated. So Paul tells me that what I am up against are schemes of the devil, schemes that involve deception, subtlety and a diabolical strategy to entice me particularly in my natural weaknesses. So it is vital that I become more aware of the concept of schemes so I can be better prepared to fight in ways that will be more successful.

To make this even more plain, I am informed that the enemy is never other people, no matter how much I am tempted to think that. The kind of warfare I am to engage in using this armor is very foreign to the kind of wars we fight in the flesh. In fact, it is so different that most people bring in all kinds of faulty assumptions from worldly warfare and seriously misunderstand the sort of fighting that God has in mind for us to use. If we come to a battle thinking we are supposed to fight one way while the enemy is relying on that very thinking to defeat us, we are doomed to failure before we even begin.

There are very important parallel passages to this that give me much more detailed information about the nature of the kind of warfare I am called to and where the battle is taking place. One of these is under note five in the supporting passages listed below. There I learn that the real battle is taking place primarily in my own mind, not in engagements with other people. It is in my mind and heart where the real struggles are taking place, and these are attacks meant to make me fearful or suspicious of God or to continue to believe embedded lies about my heavenly Father that have been passed down through generations since they first infected the human psyche. This is where God wants to destroy the works of the enemy, in my own thinking and my feelings about Him. And not until I radically change my opinions and feelings about God will I begin to make significant progress in this war over perceptions.

Paul goes on to warn me that I will need this armor most when I encounter a day of evil that will challenge me and make me feel unsettled about what Jesus reveals about God. There are many things that need to be discarded in my ideas about God's character and the methods He uses, but as I come to see more clearly the pure beauty and loveliness, the humility and agape love of my Father, the real battle is soon engaged as I experience internal resistance and other outright attacks against the increasing light of truth I am exposed to. Experiencing this very thing in recent years makes me more aware of this as I have been learning more about the goodness of God related to the sequence of the armor listed here. One thing is becoming clear – to stand my ground means to hold fast to this emerging truth in the face of fierce opposition, even while at the same time remaining open and teachable so that I don't become trapped in bigotry and darkness that I think might assume to be light.

Paul makes the point several times of our need to stand. This is important to remember because we usually think of fighting a war in terms of attacking an enemy which usually involves movement. Yet we are told repeatedly here to simply stand our ground when we are under attack, not to counterattack. This is an important principle that must never be ignored or forgotten. After making this point clear, Paul moves on to list the metaphoric equipment needed to engage in this different kind of war.

I want to particularly note the progression I see here that seems so relevant to my own experience in recent years.

The first thing mentioned is a belt of truth around the waist. A belt is usually something that holds everything else in place and secures clothing to our body as well as being something on which to hang other items. In my experience it has been the influence of emerging new truths about God who is working to reveal Himself to me as very different from my previous presumptions about Him. These new insights have become the catalyst for both challenging everything I have assumed in religion to constantly rethinking and reviewing everything about reality.

Truth is not just a list of facts as I had supposed. Rather it is a revelation from an encounter with a real person known as the Son of God who came to this planet to became a human for the express purpose of showing us the real truth about the kind of God who is in charge of the universe. What became a life-changing transformation for me was discovering that God is strikingly different, even opposite in many ways, to what organized religion has claimed, even though using the Scriptures given by that same God. As the real truth about God seeps deeper into my consciousness and erodes away many false presumptions and fears about Him that have kept me confused and afraid, my heart has begun to stir and for the first time in my life I began to experience genuine and spontaneous hope, faith and love.

The next item has been more nebulous until I began to challenge typical definitions of religious terminology as the Spirit leads me to interpret spiritual things directly from the Bible with the guidance of God's Spirit. It took me many years to begin to make sense of the word 'righteousness.' But after my picture of God changed enough, it finally began to make much more sense as much of the added baggage from religion began to be stripped away.

First, I began to realize that righteousness is not a mysterious word meaning nearly anything someone wants it to mean. Now I see it can be condensed to simply mean that God is right, good – love really. It means God is not messed up or unkind or impatient like I can be. But that brings me to the next huge breakthrough that revolutionizes everything for me.

Righteousness is not about my performance or my character or anything else to do with me primarily as I had always assumed. Rather, righteousness is all about who God is and His character of pure love. Because God's reputation has been egregiously slandered for so very long, it is really His righteousness that is at the center of the war we find ourselves in, not our righteousness. The only part we have in this battle involves the opinions we form and cling to related to God's reputation, not what righteousness we think we are able to demonstrate.

At the same time it is true that we are reflections of what we believe about righteousness, for we are created to be images of God and thus our reflections expose our real opinions about what kind of God we believe Him to be. Our behavior and disposition and relationships reflect what we think about Him at our gut-level, unavoidably reproduced in the way we act and how we treat others.

So, what does it mean for us to put on a breastplate of righteousness? Think about this – what is just inside our breast? Our heart! It is heart-work that God is most focused on, not just performance. He knows that if He can win our heart and we come to trust in His goodness, healthy bahvior will soon follow. But to work on behavior modification while ignoring the attitudes held deep in our heart only leads to hypocrisy that further masks the evil and selfishness still deep inside.

What I am now seeing is that once I begin to grasp the real truth about God which is the first stage, the next step is to saturate my mind and soak my heart with that truth until I come to see how wonderfully right and gracious and loving and non-violent and humble and even vulnerable God really is. Then my life will become 'covered with the righteousness of Christ.' This covering however is not some legal arrangement as it is so often portrayed, a cloak that somehow hides our sinfulness from the Father in some judgment scenario. No, this righteousness that covers me is firmly connected as it emanates from deep within me rooted in my heart, the very thing found underneath this metaphorical breastplate.

The next step moving toward success in this warfare involving the lies about God addresses all attempts to prevent me from trusting Him. The true gospel provides a growing awareness of an enormous peace that increases inside as I begin to embrace the real gospel as demonstrated by Jesus. Again, this word gospel has become hijacked by religion and its definitions are often a long ways from what Jesus came to share with us. Suffice it to say, the true gospel is the good news about how good God is, not some appeasing arrangement that makes Jesus and God out as being opposed to or different from each other. Jesus came to show us the Father, not to appease the Father. And as this truth is fully embraced I find myself being reconciled to God instead of continuing to feel afraid of Him.

As this peace intensifies and deepens within me, it is impossible to not want to share this amazing reality with others. This peace is contagious, and as I see how miserable people are who do not yet embrace this liberating truth about God, I want to find any way possible to share this good news with them so they can begin to know the same kind of peace that I increasingly enjoy in my own experience of coming to know God intimately.

This next step is usually where the battle really begins to heat up. Satan becomes furious when he sees people escaping the prison of fear he has kept us locked up in all our lives. But the truth is that any religion or system of belief based on fear always involves a scheme of the enemy. Perfect love casts out all fear. God is love, so it is inconsistent for me to believe in God while promoting a religion of fear. The only thing that will do is promote the slander of the accuser masquerading as God. This antichrist has duped the world into believing that God is more like His enemy than like Jesus.

This is the point where my emerging trust in God starts to really get tested. The evil one will begin throwing all sorts of inflammatory arguments or outright persecution at anyone daring to believe that God is far better than most have dared to believe. As faith is simply trust, I cannot really trust someone unless I have enough evidence to perceive that they are worthy of being trusted. This is why truth must be a relationship more than simply belief in a set of doctrines, for outside of a real relationship faith is impossible to increase. You simply have to know someone personally long enough in order to build up a trust that can endure fierce attacks and overwhelming supposed 'evidence' appearing to contradict ideas that buck the mainstream and that very few embrace.

The helmet of salvation also involves yet another religious word long confused by false ideas. Salvation is not a legal arrangement but rather goes back to the issue of trust. It is also a 'medical' problem, for sin is a sickness of the mind that has produced all the problems of this world. The symptom of this fatal disease is distrust of God in our minds and hearts, the very place where the battles all take place. Salvation actually means to heal and comes from the same root from which we derive words such as salve and salvage. Salvation is about restoring us humans back to our original design of perfectly reflecting the glorious love of our Creator. So it is very fitting that salvation is expressed in the metaphor of a helmet, for a helmet goes over the head, the very place where the most damage has been caused by the lies of Satan about God's trustworthiness.

To review the line of progression up to this point, I discover and embrace new truth about God that leads to seeing how good He is (righteousness). As increasing knowledge of His goodness begins to soften and heal my heart and starts to be reflected in my life, I begin to experience a peace I have never known before and I feel compelled to share this life-giving experience with others. As I come under fierce resistance from the enemy using fiery threats to pull me back into old ways of thinking and living, I find that I need even more healing as old triggers are activated and my thinking patterns betray me time and again. So I learn that I must press closer and closer to God to experience the healing process of salvation to counteract the emerging sin coming to the surface in my own heart and mind.

To help facilitate this healing process I learn that the best way to cooperate with God's healing love is to saturate my mind with the truth about God as found in His Word. Both the written word of God, but even more importantly the incarnate Word in the person of Jesus, becomes the medicine for my healing as the living sword, or better yet, the scalpel of the Holy Spirit, uses the Word of God to expose disease long hidden within me that I have been largely unaware of much of my life. This can get messy as the Spirit begins to do surgery and exposes evil still deep inside of me, like patches of cancer and smelly abscesses, yet this is part of the healing process as any good doctor will affirm.

Paul ends his list with admonition for intense and persistent prayer. Staying in close communion with God, not just once a week or even once a day, but by replacing distracting influences in my life with intimate fellowship with God in my spirit. This empowers God to accelerate the healing process in my life. Vital to making this prayer even more effective and transformative is the inclusion of gratitude and thanksgiving in all of my prayers. This makes sense since it has been the increased light about the goodness of God that has been the motivation for transformation. So as I keep reminding myself of how good He is, the power of those thoughts serve as medicine to accelerate my healing.

Beyond even this kind of prayer, I may be drawn into intercession and prayer for others who are attracted to get more serious about their own healing journey and get to know God better. So my prayers move beyond my own benefit as I learn how to pray more effectively in growing faith to unleash the power of God in the lives of others around me. Thus I become a witness helping to salvage God's reputation, the very issue at the center of the war in which I am to use all of the items just listed.

Below are groupings of texts I found helpful for expanding and unpacking each section of this passage as I explored it today. I needed to find them for myself, not to prove anything to others but to sink truth deeper into my own psyche. As I meditated on this passage and allowed the Spirit to bring all these things into sharper focus, I have been blessed and enriched as a result. If you find benefit from looking over my notes, the passages are listed below. Of course there are many more verses that could be added and some that may be very relevant that I have overlooked. But I tried to include the ones that seemed to be most relevant and that resonated the most with me.

1 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:26-31)

He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for (my) power is made perfect in weakness." So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NRSV)

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)

2 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Romans 13:10-14)

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. (Ephesians 4:22-25)

3 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven-- if there was anything to forgive-- I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect-- if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. (Mark 13:22-23)

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:14-15)

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)

4 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-- that is, the devil-- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven." (Matthew 16:17 NRSV)

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:50)

5 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15)

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. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. (Ephesians 1:17-19 NRSV)

God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. (Ephesians 1:20-21 NRSV)

6 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. (John 12:31)

I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. "Come now; let us leave. (John 14:30-31)

When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. (John 16:8-11)

I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me. (Acts 26:17-18)

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. (Ephesians 2:1-2)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

7 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, "I have no delight in them"; (Ecclesiastes 12:1 NAS95)

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:12-13 NAS95)

While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours. (Luke 22:53 NAS95)

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

8 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:16-18)

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25 NRSV)

9 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. (Isaiah 11:5)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth). (Ephesians 5:8-9)

...in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left. (2 Corinthians 6:7)

10 He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. (Isaiah 59:17)

For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:7-9)

(contrast with implications of these breastplates)
They had scales like iron breastplates, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. (Revelation 9:9 NRSV)

The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. (Revelation 9:17)

11 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. (Habakkuk 3:19)

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. (Isaiah 52:7-8)

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (Romans 10:14-15)

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." (Luke 2:13-14)

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)

12 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." (Genesis 15:1)

...my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior-- from violent men you save me. (2 Samuel 22:3)

You give me your shield of victory; you stoop down to make me great. (2 Samuel 22:36)

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? (Psalms 56:3-4)

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. (Hebrews 11:1-2)

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:3-5)

13 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:8-9)

14 For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. (Psalms 149:4)

He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. (Isaiah 59:17)

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:8-9)

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2)

Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. (1 Chronicles 16:23)

Salvation belongs to the LORD; Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah. (Psalms 3:8 NAS95)

Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation. (Psalms 35:9)

I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly. (Psalms 40:10)

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, "The LORD be exalted!" (Psalms 40:16)

He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God." (Psalms 50:23)

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalms 51:12)

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. (Psalms 116:13)

The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. (Psalms 118:15 NAS95)

I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints will ever sing for joy. (Psalms 132:16)

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)

In that day they will say, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation." (Isaiah 25:9)

He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure. (Isaiah 33:6)

"You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the LORD, have created it. (Isaiah 45:8)

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail. (Isaiah 51:6)

The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:10)

No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. (Isaiah 60:18)

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies on the mountains. Truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel. (Jeremiah 3:23 NRSV)

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:76-79 NRSV)

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Romans 1:16)

for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:10 NAS95)

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13)

How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. (Hebrews 2:3)

Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. (2 Peter 3:15)

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." (Revelation 7:9-10)

15 He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. (Isaiah 49:2)

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." (Luke 2:34-35)

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

And he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. (Isaiah 11:3-4)

In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. (Revelation 1:16)

Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. (Revelation 2:16)

Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. (Revelation 19:15)

16 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. (Romans 8:25-26)

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified. (1 Corinthians 14:14-17)

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23-24)

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1)

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:36)

They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:14)

Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:3-4)

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. (Acts 10:1-2)

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. (Acts 12:5)

Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. (Romans 12:12 NRSV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2)

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. (2 Timothy 1:3)


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