“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” -Eph 6:11
In studying for a series of lessons on the Armor of God for my students I have found myself fascinated by the lore of knighthood. I looked up the Knights Code or the Code of Chivalry and was amazed by how applicable it is not only to Christians but also to what is becoming increasingly wrong with our society today.
At its core the Code of Chivalry is a defense against the innate evil of mankind, a bulwark against lawlessness, and an agreement that we are called to be better. This code is linked to a time where mankind thought much of the power of God and our responsibility to follow Him.
1. To Fear God and Maintain His Church
First on the Code of Chivalry is a call to fear God. That speaks volumes about the reverence for God we should have. That above all we should seek to maintain his Kingdom. This is echoed by the bible “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom..” (Pr 9:10)
2. To Serve Our Authority in Valor and Faith
Not only are we called to fear God but also to obey the authority that is over us in this world. Lost on many of us who fear God is the call for us to not only obey the authority over us, but also to do so with faith that God has set them in place for a reason. “For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Rom 13:1)
3. To Protect the Weak and Defenseless
How often do we see injustice in this world and just look the other way? We are called be protectors. We are called to stand up for those who cannot stand for themselves. The image given is not that of a person picking a fight, but that of a soldier throwing his shield over a defenseless victim. “Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Ps 82:4)
4. To Provide for the Widows and Orphans
Not only are we called to protect the defenseless but also to give shelter and sustenance to the most weak and forgotten. We are called to open our hearts, our homes, and our wallets to provide for the fatherless. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…” (Jm 1:27)
5. To Refrain from the Willful Giving of Offense
How lost is this in our world? The ability to control ones own tongue and speech so that we do not give offense. Notice as well it is not that we are never offensive, instead it is to keep from setting out to offend. The idea that we form our actions to cause the least offense possible. “In as much as it is up to you live at peace with all men.” (Rom 12:18)
6. To Guard the Honor of Fellow Knights (Christians)
Taking it upon ourselves to not only worry about our own standing, but also to guard the standing of others as if it were our own. This asks us to get outside of our own selfishness and stand guard over the reputations of those with whom we fight. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Phil 2:4)
7. To Persever to the End in Any Task Once Begun
If there is one of these codes most lacking in our society today it may be this one in particular. We have formed a culture where when it gets hard it is fine to just give up or start over. Instead we are called to stick to our guns and to finish any task once it has been begun, no matter how hard it may get. Notice it doesn’t say you must take any task that is sent your way, but if you accept a task you must follow through. “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” (Ecc 7:8)
This is in no way an exhaustive list of the Code of Chivalry. Each part of it can be linked to a authoritative scripture and every part is good to read. I did not find a single code with which I had disagreement.
Why then is this Code seemingly dyeing in our current culture?
Why are those of us who would fight for it loosing?
It is simply because we are going naked into battle! Imagine a battle where on one side the barbarians are geared up in deadliest armor and weaponry, and on the other sits an army that has yet to get on its boots. That image is why we are loosing the war.
We are called to be Knights. Called to be warriors for Christ. Called to be prepaired for the slings and arrows. Instead we have decided the daily putting on of our armor is too much work.
No Truth, No Righteousness, No Peace, No Faith, No Spirit, No Salvation
We are just gonna wing it!
Instead let us return Christians to a daily putting on of the Armor. Wake up each day to strap on the Belt of God’s Truth. Examine ourselves daily to attach the Breastplate of Righteousness. Comfort our weary feet with the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace. Renew our protection by taking up the Shield of our Faith. Rest daily in the protection provided by the Helmet of our Salvation in Christ. Finally when the fight is at our door daily sharpen our mind by taking up the Sword of the Spirit “which is the word of God.”
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, having done all to stand firm.” -Eph 6:13