Sunday, January 16, 2011


Tonight at church we sang the old Charles Wesley hymn, Soldiers of Christ, Arise. The second verse contained a word that I did not know, "panoply." This word bugged me during the entire service (for those of you who don't know me very well, when I come across something I don't know I instinctively look it up out of utter curiosity.) So, when I got home I Googled it. The first entry that came up defined it as "A complete and impressive array." Scrolling down a little further I found the Miriam Webster Dictionary, it defined panoply as "a full suite of armor," and "something forming a protective covering." It is from the Greek word "panoplia," meaning "all arms."

The second verse of Soldiers of Christ, Arise reads, "Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued; but take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God. Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul; take every virtue, every grace, and fortify the whole." This entire song, and more specifically this stanza Wesley is talking about the Armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-20; in fact the entire hymn is a beautiful paraphrase of this passage.

Personally, I was reminded of how important it is to daily put on the armor of God, and not only a piece or two, but the full array, or all arms. As Christians we are daily in a battle against the world and the devil, if we allow one tiny area to slip our entire protection will be at a high risk. However, if we do as God commands, in His strength with His complete armor the chances of falling will be much slimmer.

Soldiers of Christ, arise,
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength
Which God supplies
Through his eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of Hosts,
And in his mighty pow’r,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.

Stand then in his great might,
With all his strength endued;
But take, to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God.
Leave no unguarded place,
No weakness of the soul;
Take ev’ry virtue, ev’ry grace,
And fortify the whole.

To keep your armor bright,
Attend with constant care;
Still walking in your Captain’s sight,
And watching unto prayer.
From strength to strength go on;
Wrestle and fight and pray;
Tread all the pow’rs of darkness down,
And win the well-fought day.

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