Thursday, April 5, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: pan-op-LI-ah
Strong’s Number: 3833
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 4110
Key Verse: “Put on the full armour of God.” -- Ephesians 6:11

Originally, the root of this word indicated a tool or implement of any kind, for ship’s tackling, cable, etc., then becoming used in the plural for “weapons of warfare.” The verbal form, hoplizo, appears only once in the New Testament, in 1 Peter 4:1, “since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose.” This phrase was a military metaphor in which believers are commanded to arm themselves with the same attitude Christ had toward suffering, knowing that God will ultimately be victorious.

The noun form, hoplon, was a term used of heavily-armed troops, as against light-armed troops. The Christian needs the heaviest armour he can get to withstand the attacks from Satan. This noun appears six times: In John 18:3, it references Judas coming with “lanterns, torches, and weapons.” It is used twice in Romans 6:13 where Paul says “do not go on presenting members of your body as instruments of righteousness [and] unrighteousness.” In Romans 13:12, we are told to “put on the armour of light.” 2 Corinthians 6:7 also refers to “weapons of righteousness,” and 2 Corinthians 10:4 reminds us that “weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh.”

Our word panoplia is a compound of pas (“all”) and hoplon (“armour”), thus indicating complete, full armour. There was no opening anywhere to be given to Satan. This word is found three times. In Luke 11:22, the reference is to Jesus’ parable of Him taking away “all the armour” of Satan. The other two times are in EPHESIANS 6:11 and 13, where Paul says to “put on” and “take up” the “full armour of God.” These are both commands and in a tense that indicates believers are to put on once, and keep the armour on, during the entire course of life. This armour is “of God.” It is prepared for us, but we must put it on. Every believer is a member of the “combat team.” We are armed with spiritual gifts and equipment, provided by God, to fight against the strategies of Satan.

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