Armor of Christ – A Boon to Man & Doom to Satan?
by Rev. Dev Prasad Cruz
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“Finally be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:10-11).
What is “armor of God”? - A definition was escalated by Paul himself in 2 Cor. 12:9, the Lord said “My grace is sufficient” – the grace of God is effectively the efficacious armor that we Christians shall be bequeathed if we journey in the path of righteousness prescribed by Jesus. It is a ‘Boon’ to mankind and ‘Doom’ to Satan but man will be doomed if he does not earn the grace of God. What are we up against that we desperately need the “armor of Christ”?
Ever since Adam sinned, Satan is working over time to fill-up the dungeons of hell with souls that sought the evil. Today, Satan is not the obvious ‘Tell-tale’ hissing snake that tempted Adam & Eve on the tree of knowledge but, he is a suave smart operator with innovative and imperceptible strategies. Scientists seem well on their way to developing artificial intelligence. Many argue over the morality of cloning or making artificial human beings. Can Satan clone a Christian? The answer to this question which many of us may consider as impertinent, apparently but sadly is ‘Yes’, Satan can not only clone an artificial Christian but in fact may have probably ‘converted’ many Christians in to satanic cats that prowl rampantly amidst Christian pigeons. Our culture is full of artificial, synthetic Christians. The world is confused by bogus Christianity. True Christians are burdened and disgusted by the fabricated sham. The voices of millions of genuine Christians are added to the voices of a million angels and they cry out for the original formula, they want the real deal because it is the only Christianity that can bring honor and glory to God. Many feel that Satan has infiltrated the global church. This method seems to be working quite well for Satan. Just sow weeds among the wheat. Throw in a few hypocrites and counterfeit the real thing. Post an artificial Christian here and one there. Infiltrate the ranks with a lot of shallow, weak, empty hearted nominal Christians. Why has it become easy for the acrimonious Satan to be so victorious?
Numerous studies & researches conducted world-wide by Christian institutions as well as secular sources reveal that, the absolute reason for this is our dwindling & lack-luster faith and embarrassing dismal knowledge of the word of God especially, of the teachings and commands of Christ. As we are aware, both the ‘Knowledge’ of the word of God as well as, ‘Faith’ is linked with each other as Romans 10:17 decrees “faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ”. Let us pragmatically ponder & prognosticate how weak is our Christian armor today: It was reported that 68.7% of the Christian Population of the world have not read the complete Bible in full even once during their lives and 76.4% cannot quote more than five verses from the Bible out of memory. Is it not alarming and embarrassing to learn that out of 2.998 Billion Christians out there 2.29 Billion do not know five verses of Jesus to quote by memory? The following statistics would definitely bleed our Christian heart: A ‘George Barna study’ reports that, more than 60.6% of Americans can't name either half of the Ten Commandments or the four Gospels of the New Testament!! Some 82.3% including ‘born again’ Christians believe that ‘God helps those who help themselves’ is a direct quote from the Bible. This study records that in most churches only a core group comprising of very few members in each church have a fair knowledge of the bible.
According to a consolidated analysis on the study of numerous anonymous testimonies received from Christians of several denominations around the globe, reveals that 78.4% of Christians (amongst the total testimonies selected from churches across the world for this research), confess that their intentions, general will, actions and deeds were corrupted or on the verge of corruption by sin. Here the ABN conglomeration which conducted the survey highlights that, Let’s not think of sin as simply individual bad deeds, sin is not only what I do but what I am, sin is deeper than my failings, by nature we are selfish, rebellious, we are hateful, lust-filled, jealous, whether we put these into practice or not, Sin is a radical break with God’. In the above scenario, what the ‘Christian’ needs to avoid a roller-coaster crash dive into hell?
Now with our armor against Satan being not fortified to withstand the conniving onslaught of Satan since we did not qualify sufficiently for receiving the amazing ‘Grace of God’, it is time to re-focus our perspectives accordingly and initiate appropriate spiritual dynamics that would enable us to atone our Christian conducts thus far & grow up in stature in the eyes of the Almighty.
Having said that, let us delve deeper into establishing what are these spiritual dynamics that could move us forward to be blessed with the ‘armor of Christ’: In Bible we see that it is not man who seeks God but God comes seeking man. God came to the garden seeking when Adam & Eve sinned and were hiding (Gen. 3:8). Men may seek God but they also flee from him.
Jesus said to them ‘it is I don’t be afraid’ (John 6:20). It is crystal clear that to receive the ‘armor of Jesus’, we do not have any other option but simply to unconditionally repent our misdemeanors and confess from rooftops, pulpits & stages that Christ the Son of God is our Savior through learning His mesmerizing messages, teachings & commands and then practice & preach them as Jesus commanded through His ‘Great Commission’ (Mat. 28:18-20).
And remember His New and most important command was “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). That is the surest process to receive His ‘Amazing Grace’, i.e. ‘the armor of Christ’.
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