She began by telling the congregation that even though this is a familiar passage, she hoped they would learn something new. Rev. Minnicks gave the background of the scripture by saying Paul was imprisoned for two years telling visitors about the saving power of Jesus Christ. While he was under house arrest, he wrote four epistles: Philippians, Ephesians, Philemon and Colossians.
Since he was chained to Roman soldiers for so long, he looked at their armor and used it as an analogy for Christian living.
Paul lets us know that we are on the battlefield, but we can do battle effectively if we put on the whole armor of God and "stand our ground."
"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
It does make a difference which piece goes on first. There is a specific order for putting on each piece of armor. Here is the order and the purpose of each of the seven pieces.
The Belt of Truth. The belt that the Roman soldiers wore went on first because it needed to be in place to hold everything else in place. Also it had leather strips attached to it to protect the waist and the area around the waist. Without the belt of truth in place, the other pieces wouldn't have a good foundation. (See the picture above of the Roman soldier's armor).
The Breastplate of Righteousness. This piece of armor protects the vital organs including the heart. It is comparable to a bullet proof vest that policemen wear to keep bullets from penetrating the skin. Rev. Minnicks told the congregation that her mother who has gone home to be with the Lord always reminded her children to "Do right and right will follow them." Putting on the breastplate of righteousness guarantees you protection and reminds you to do the right thing.
Feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace. This piece involves what you wear on your feet. The Roman soldiers wore sandals that were properly strapped around their ankles and legs so they didn't have to worry about their shoes coming off. The King James Version of the Bible says "shod" with the preparation of the gospel. This is a term associated with shoes being nailed to a horse's feet so they cannot come off no matter where they walked. Even though our shoes are not nailed to our feet, they should be secure so they can stay on while we share the gospel of peace.
Up to this point, the items have been something we put on. The next item is something we take up instead of wearing.
The Shield of Faith is what we hold up for our protection from the fiery darts that come our way. Even though the fiery darts come, the shield of faith when held properly will cause the flaming darts to bounce off of it and go in another direction without harming us at all.
The Helmet of Salvation is what guards our mind and head and the face area. It serves as a reminder of our salvation and all that it involves so that we can stand our ground knowing that because we are saved we don't have to do battle alone.
The Sword of the Spirit is the only defensive piece. The sword of the spirit is the word of God. While the Roman soldiers had their swords, every Christian should have a sword to fight the enemy with as well. Since our fight is not against flesh and blood, we fight with the word of God. We can say like Jesus, "It is written..." and that becomes our weapon.
Prayer is the seventh piece of armor that some people do not include. However, it should be included because if you do not put on this piece you will just be a person clad with armor with no communication with God.
Rev. Minnicks concluded by saying the back is the only body part that is not covered because we are not to run from the enemy. Instead, we can stand our ground after we have put on the full armor of God.