I appreciate the contribution that David Powlison has not only made to Christan counseling but to Christian living. How shall we go about our lives as Christians? Obviously we are in a battle, but how do we encounter it? Powlison strikes the hammer right radically changing the misconception of the Christian life as a defense of all threats to an offensive invading engagement on the world. He says of the armor of God, the panoplion as some call it, as follows:
“The word panoplion is usually translated “whole armor.” But “armor” creates the wrong mental picture and popular teaching on this passage puts the emphasis in the wrong places. For starters, panoplion does not mean protective armor. It means the “complete weaponry” needed to go into combat. It means you have all the tools to do the job. You are full outfitted and equipped for a calling. Paul chose this metaphor to give us a striking mental picture, but he is not commenting on the outfit worn by Roman soldiers (as the metaphor is frequenlty explained). His images come from Isaiah and the Psalms. The soldier we are to imagine is no a Roman centurion, but the divine, messianic King of kings. We are to imagine the LORD God coming in person, coming in power, coming to make right all that is wrong.”David Powlison, Safe & Sound: Standing Firm in Spiritual Battles, p.22
But how do we fight offensively in using the armor of God? Powlison continue with:
“humility love, truth, courage, faithfulness, goodness, and wisdom. These are unusual weapons, aren’t they? It’s much easier to rely on special words or pryers that will cast out demons. But the real project of spiritual warfare is much harder and much better. We fight like Jesus did when he came to this dark world.”Ibid., p.23
This is just a far better description of spiritual warfare than I have ever read. It’s a better armor of God than I have heard described in the past, because it is faithful to Scripture and thus faithful to Christ. Accept no substitutes. This is the armor we were made to wear. And this is the armor that is ours in Christ. Christ is better, and thus his armor is better than man-centered interpretations of the armor of God. The better armor is the armor that Christ wore that David wore that we too can wear that is not put on to weigh us down, but to free us for advancing the gospel in the power of the Spirit.