The college classroom seems safe enough: neatly lined rows of desks facing an authoritative professor writing supposed scientific facts on the blackboard. But as a creationist student in a secular science course, you must realize you are entering a battlefield. (Even many Christian colleges have compromised.) The real enemy is not your evolutionist professor or your mocking classmates but the dark forces of evil under the power of the father of lies (John 8:44; Ephesians 6:12). In the college classroom, Satan wants the Creator denied and the gospel concealed. He wants to shatter your faith and smear your testimony.
But if you’ve turned in repentant faith to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you are not alone in the fight. You must not rely on your own strength, or you will be an easy target. Rather, you must “
be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). God has equipped you with armor to win the battles you face.
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—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10–20)
Let’s take a look at each piece of armor and a way to apply them so that you can be equipped in the college classroom.
Belt of truth
In Bible times, the belt served to gather up the loose ends of a soldier’s garment that could otherwise hamper him in combat. Bind up any loose ends in your life before they trip you up. You may boldly speak up in class, sharing the creationist view. But does your walk back up your talk? Are you seeking the Lord and submitting to the authority of His Word in every area? If you are not living a genuine, truthful life in step with the truth of the Bible, then others will see and exploit your hypocrisy, hurting the reputation of Christ.
Breastplate of righteousness
This piece of equipment shielded vital organs like the heart. While Christ’s righteousness is credited to the believer upon conversion, the Christian seeks to live a righteous life (Romans 6:1–2; 1 John 3:9). Rather than passively accepting all you hear in a science course, seek to get answers to the evolutionary dogma. Rather than seeing how far you can go in a dating relationship, value purity in your mind and your body, which belongs to God (Matthew 5:28; 1 Corinthians 6:15–20). Rather than pursuing the addictions and entertainment of the world, cultivate your love and knowledge of the Lord through your activities. Rather than keeping to yourself, be salt and light on the college campus (Matthew 5:13–16; Ephesians 2:10). None of these applications should become part of a legalistic checklist, as if you could earn brownie points with God. If you are born again, you are a new creation in Christ with the desire and power from God to live a life of righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 1:11; 2:12–13).
Shoes of the gospel of peace
The soldier’s shoes ensured stability. Being confident in the gospel—that you have peace with God through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)—leads to stability on the spiritual battlefield so that you may be ready at all times. A professor may deride the Bible’s “fairy tales” or a student may mock your faith, but God’s peace protects you as you rely fully on Him (Philippians 4:6–7). Expect persecution (2 Timothy 2:3; 3:12–17). You have nothing to fear from this world and can stand your ground because Christ has already won the victory at the Cross and lives forever to intercede on your behalf (Hebrews 7:25). Remember, “
He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Shield of faith
The soldier lifted his shield to block whatever arrows, spears, or fiery darts the enemy cast. The Christian’s shield is his faith in God. Will you believe and obey God’s Word or drop your shield and be pierced by Satan’s fiery darts? His darts of lies and temptations abound on the college campus, such as, “You are just evolved pond scum and should act as you please,” “Marriage is an old-fashioned notion—embrace your sexuality and sexual orientation,” “Go ahead and have fun at those drinking parties,” and “Your Christianity is fine as long as you also tolerate and endorse Islam, New Ageism, and atheism.” You can overcome these fiery darts through faith in God and His Word (1 John 5:4).
Helmet of salvation
The helmet guarded the soldier from deadly strikes to his head, and the helmet of salvation protects the Christian’s mind from Satan’s assaults with a sure hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8–9). Satan can’t take away your life in Christ (Romans 8:38–39), but he can attack you with doubts. As a believer, you can have confidence of eternal life through the promises of Scripture—John 5:24; 6:39; 10:28–29; Philippians 1:6. Such biblical confidence emboldens the Christian in this spiritual battle and guards against temptations. These promises, of course, are only for the true believer. You are called with others who name the name of Christ to “
examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Test yourself by the description of the true Christian in 1 John, which was written “
that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13; see also 2 Peter 1:3–11).
Sword of the Spirit
The soldier wielded his sword in combat. The believer’s weapon is God’s Word (Hebrews 4:12). When facing the lies and temptations of the enemy, defend and fight back with the truth of Scripture. Never compromise the Bible’s truth, including the creation account. Learn “fool-proof apologetics” to give wise answers (1 Peter 3:15). This requires diligent study of the Word through personal devotion times and through the preaching and teaching of the Word at your local church. College students find many reasons to skip church or church-hop, but involving yourself at a Bible-believing church—worshipping there, learning there, and serving there—will help you grow (Hebrews 10:25). As you learn the Scripture, take time to think it over, memorizing portions, so that it transforms your mind, protects you from conformity to the worldly influences of the college campus, and guides you to live according to God’s will (Romans 12:2).
Thus armed, you can fight victoriously at college as you lean on the Lord through prayer (Ephesians 6:18). At the proper times, may He give you the grace to open your mouth boldly to share Christ—the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord—on your college campus (Ephesians 6:19–20).