One command says,
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesian 6:11)
Another command also says,
“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm”
The group to whom these two commands were directed were all Christians. The Christian life, per the teachings in the new testament, recognises that there is a strong invisible, non-physical fight between the Christian and the devil and his fallen angels
In order for us to “stand” and “resist” their schemes, we are told to do two things here – to put up the whole armour of God, and also to take up those same armour. Since the armour is already given to us as part of the many blessings we received from Christ when we believed in Him , we can use them by first putting them up.
We are to put up those armour because the devil is constantly trying to attack the saints. The ultimate goal of putting up the armour is for the believer to be able to resist the devil’s schemes in the evil days. The question now is this – what will happen if the believer fails to put on the armour and use it by taking it up?
The answer is obvious, he will fail or “lose” the spiritual warfare. The loss of this warfare can manifest in many ways. It can manifest in legalism, carnality, and deception. Chapter 4 of Ephesians teaches that the communication gifts to the church were given so that through them (teaching from those gifts), Christians are not tossed here and there by false teachings (part of the devil’s schemes)
So, after the believer has been taught the many doctrines for the church, which doctrines were “directly” received from the Holy Spirit through the gift of the apostles and prophets to the universal church (from Pentecost to rapture), and continue to be taught (the same apostolic doctrines) through the gift of evangelists and pastor teachers but fail to put on those armour or take them for usage or application, will lose the warfare.
Per the Armenian theology (those who teach that you can receive salvation and also lose it by an act of sin) the loser of such warfare is considered to have lost his salvation or can lose it. This system of theology is “works” focused, not “how” good works can be produced successfully.
Another group known as Calvinist group (Those who teach that a child of God “will” show good and persevere in works, and that lack of it shows the Christian’s faith in Christ wasn’t genuine on) would conclude that such a failure is a manifestation that the person has a “non-existing” faith or *false faith, or that his faith wasn’t genuine in the first place.
This system is also works focused, not *how good works can be produced successfully. Both systems’ interest is not always “why” the believer fails, rather, the believer cannot fail (at least to certain degree, per the Calvinist view)
Yet, the Christian is told to put on the armour, and also to take it. The text does not say God will put on the armour on him or take it for him and use it for him. Rather, he/she (the Christian) is to take it since it is already his.
So if a Christian is fails in the warfare, resulting in carnality, or showing no good works, it is not because he has lost his salvation, or he has false faith or non-existing saving faith, but because that Christian “failed” to put on and take the armour.
Remember, only those who are saved can use the armour. And if they fail to use it, it is what is ahead of them (successful spiritual life and future rewards) that they will lose, not what they already have or have possessed (eternal salvation).
If this year is going to be a failure or success as far as the spiritual life and the Christian warfare is concerned will depend on whether the Christian will put on and use the armour or refuse to put on and use it. The spiritual warfare is real. Happy new year!