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Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
In concluding his letter to the Ephesian church, Paul reminds them that they are at war. They are encouraged to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Perhaps they, like us, had to be reminded that we cannot fight with our own resources. Our understanding is limited and our weapons are useless. However, when we fight the good the good fight in the power of the Lord's might, it makes all the difference in the world (I Timothy 6:12).
Ephesians 6:12 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.
If we were fighting against a visible enemy, we could adjust our tactics, when he had the upper hand. However our enemy is Satan who is constantly going about seeking someone to devour (I Peter 5:8). Jesus described him as a thief (John 10:10 ) and a murderer (John 8:44). His helpers are evil spirits, who are invisible, but ever present. We cannot rely on our carnal weapons to fight that which is from another realm (II Corinthians 10:4), we must rely on the Spirit of God (Isaiah 40:29; Zechariah 4:6).
We must take up the whole armor of God (vs. 13), that we will be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Surely the evil day is here (II Peter 3:1; II Timothy 3:1) but, God has supplied us with every weapon that is necessary to defeat the evil host. However, we can't pick and choose which weapon we will use, we must use it all, we must put on the whole armor of God.
The Pulpit Commentary expresses quite well, all that this evil invisible host is up to:
"But there are spirits of evil hovering about us, trying to obscure and pervert the truth, to blind us to the fruits of sin, to dazzle our eyes with the glories of earth, to entangle us in subtle temptations, to fill our minds with doubts and fears, and evil forebodings, luring us to the edge of the precipice, and ready, if they should get their way, to burst into their bitter laugh, as they behold us, through their wiles, weltering in the gulf of despair."
You will notice that the weapons that we have been given are both offensive and defensive. However, in the weapons listed, there is nothing to protect our back. We must stand up straight and face the enemy. We stand girded with truth (vs.14). Not just a truth, but all truth. Not just any old thing that suits our fancy, but sound doctrine (Titus 1:9, 2:1) that points to Jesus as the Mighty God in flesh and the possessor of all truth (John 1:17; Ephesians 4:21).
We wear a breastplate of righteousness. Not ours but His, the righteousness that we were given when we exercised faith in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:22). Our feet are covered with footwear ( vs.15) that allows us quick movement to obey our Lord's command for movement in the midst of the battle. We need to be quick and nimble to side step the sword thrusts of Satan.
Above all, the shield of faith (vs.16): faith in who Jesus is - faith in what He accomplished on the cross where he rendered those principalities and powers ( the evil realm of hell) impotent (Colossians 2:15). Faith in His promises (II Peter 1:4) and faith that is based on our future hope in Him (I Corinthians 15:19). With the shield of faith we can throw off all the fiery darts that come our way (I Peter 4:12).
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
Our biggest battle is right between our ears. Our defense? The helmet of salvation (vs. 17). Our offensive weapon is the sword of the spirit which is the word of God. This word was God breathed to holy men of old as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (II Peter 1:21) and it is profitable for doctrine and reproof and instruction in righteous (II Timothy 3:16). It is the word that is forever settled in heaven , which will never pass away (Psalms 119.89). The word is alive and powerful, able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart and to divide the soul from the spirit (Hebrews 4:12). Our bible has stood the test of time. The Old Testament scriptures that we have today are virtually the same that Jesus quoted. Our New Testament was written by men who had walked with Jesus and had seen Him face to face. They received commandments pertaining to the kingdom of God directly from the risen Christ (Acts 1:3). If Satan can cause us to doubt the word, he has won a major battle (Genesis 3:1). We've not going to let that happen to us. Are we?
Just as communications is most vital to a modern army, we must be in constant communication with Jesus, our commanding officer. This we accomplish by prayer - constant prayer (vss. 18-20). We pray for each soldier in the fight and for those whom we see are carrying the greatest burden. When we've been talking to Him we sense the scope of the battle that is before us, and we are renewed to fight with vigor (Isaiah 40:31).
This concludes our study in Ephesians.
"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
Song: My God, My King and My Redeemer
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