Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— Ephesians 6:10-18
I believe that Paul makes this statement in accordance with the garments which were worn by the Israelite priests who were to bring atonement and spiritual reconciliation to all mankind. They were to be the priests for all humanity. Jesus Christ has brought that reconciliation, but as Moses and Aaron were to stand for Israelites, as the Israelite priests were to bring reconciliation so do we have to stand for our nations. Paul calls us to do so in 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ”. Likewise, in Ephesians 5:1-2 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Jesus also said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. Matthew 16:24 and in John 13:13-16 “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”
Moreover, God wants his people to follow Jesus Christ’s example and be conformed to his image: Rom 8:29; 1Co 15:49. Now it has begun in the Old Testament with the provision and a foreknowledge of our likeness and the likeness of Jesus through the garments of the priests.
Each of these garments also was symbolic of certain acts of atonement.
The fine linen tunic – atonement for accidental killing or intentional murder.
The girdle or belt – atonement for a sinful heart, improper thoughts and theft
The turban or hat and the mitre of the High Priest – atonement for haughtiness or pride of countenance. (Ps. 10:4)
The breeches – atonement for unchastely and sexual transgressions (Matt 5:28)
There were eight garments that were to be made for Aaron the high priest as ordered by the Lord of hosts. These included: the breeches, coat, the mitre, girdle, breastplate, ephod, robe and the golden plate. Yet the additional four garments that the high priest wore were for the additional acts of atonement. The latter four garments, the breastplate, ephod, robe and the golden plate, were reserved for the sanctity of the highest spiritual office in Israel. These were called the “golden garments”.
The breastplate – atonement for partial verdicts and errors of judgment.
The ephod – the atonement for idolatry.
The robe of the ephod and the golden bells – atonement for evil speech and slander (Col. 3:8)
The golden plate – atonement for arrogance of attitude.
When the Torah stated that the sacred garments were made for “honor and beauty”, in true Hebrew idiom, this was not such a spiritual refection, but a literal reality. Each garment was made tailor fit for each cohenim. The tribal families that were the tailors and weavers of the priestly garments were part of a thriving industry. If any garment became stained or damaged, it was rendered unfit for the sacredness of its duty and that certain priest had to quickly have a replacement. This was not just a home industry, but a sacred industry vital to the temple ministry. As stated to Moses,
Exodus 28:3 – “And you shall speak to all who are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister to me in the priest’s office.”Consequently, we are a are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that we may proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. We are the channel of God to the world. We are made in to a conduit through which healing, blessing, prosperity, deliverances and all things in heaven flow. We are set free, thus we are to set others free. Through us the Spirit of the living God, His nature, His character and His attributes are to be demonstrated.
We are to turn every situation in to the Glory of God. Nothing should shake our faith in Him, nor separate us from Him. Therefore, we are to constantly consecrate ourselves to Him, seek His presence, His face and His Glory. Just like the priests, who wore the armor of God in the Temple, constantly consecrating themselves in purification; we are to consecrate ourselves before Him, and seek the continuous baptism of the Holy Ghost; for he purifies us, and comforts us. He is the greatest gift that the Messiah Jesus gave us by His resurrection and going to the Father.
It was the Blood of Jesus which made us free, it was His Blood that made us righteous; His sacrifice made us acceptable, and we ARE accepted in the beloved. We ARE accepted by God; We ARE accepted by Jesus Christ. His Spirit lives in us, if we choose to accept Him, and He will walk in you, and talk in you. You are a son and a daughter, and by accepting the Holy Spirit, you will manifest the name and the Glory of God to this world.
Do what is right; put on, and have the armor of God. Be saved. Be free. Be filled with the Spirit of God. For you were made righteous by God through the Blood of Jesus Christ.