Ephesians

Ephesians 6:10-20 The whole Armour Of God.

Paul’s final words are directed to the entire church. “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” (v. 10) This is the same power that raised Christ from the dead (1:19). “We are not encouraged to face the evil hosts of darkness in our own strength, but in the strength that raised Jesus and believers with Him.” (NGSB, p. 1871) This is a power over death, the last enemy to be destroyed (I Cor. 15:26). Therefore, how much more power do we then have over all our other enemies? It is important to remember, even as we ensure that we are well equipped, that the power to be victorious comes from the Lord! Having pointed this out, it is also important to remember that the new clothes we put on as Christians (Cf. 4:22-24), is that of a warrior prepared for battle (Cf. Col. 3:10). It is the devil with his schemes and minions who is the real enemy, but whom we are promised the victory over (vv. 11-12 Rom. 8:37-39; 16:20; II Cor. 10:4-5).

This calls for us to stand firm with the whole armour of God on (vv. 13-14 Cf. Is. 11:5; 59:17). It entails “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” (II Cor. 10:5) There is an important order to how the whole armour is put on. The belt girded on one’s waste is the foundation-it is the word of truth. “The Roman soldier’s leather belt supported and protected his lower abdomen, gathered his tunic together, and held is sword. Paul seems to have in mind the confidence that comes from certainty about the truthfulness of God’s word.” (NGSB, p. 1871) The breastplate of righteousness is the righteousness of Christ imputed to us (Cf. Is. 59:16-17). We are able to withstand the slanderous accusations of the devil because we are clothed with the imputed righteousness of Christ (Cf. Rom. 4:6-11; 8:31-34; II Cor. 6:7; Phil. 3:9). This is the only way we are able to stand any accusations or condemnation.

“Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” (v. 15) “Despite a clear allusion to Is. 52:7, Paul does not have in mind the barefooted messenger who takes the gospel to others. The image here is of a Roman soldier’s sturdy sandals, which gave him stability and protection in battle. Ironically, the peace that comes from the gospel readies one for war against evil (2:14, 15, 17).” (NGSB, p.1871) It is a gospel of peace, even in the midst of war. Likewise, the Roman shield covered the entire body so that the soldier’s protection might be complete (v. 16). Such is the importance of faith-it covers everything. There is no weapon in this war where faith is not a constant prerequisite (Cf. I Jn. 5:4). “The helmet of salvation,” (v. 17) is how we are able to stand with confidence (Cf. I Th. 5:8). Furthermore, the word is not only our foundation, it is also our weapon of defense and offense as “the sword of the Spirit.” (v. 17 Cf. Heb. 4:12)

Having put on the full armour, now with the sword the soldier could go on the offence. Furthermore, added to this offensive weapon is “prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” (v. 18 Cf. Mt. 26:41; Lk. 18:1; Phil. 1:4) It is particularly important for the saints to pray for those who are called to preach the word, as praying for those who are on the front lines of this war. Even so, Paul asks for prayer for his work (v. 19). Boldness, courage, and perseverance are required. This was especially so for Paul who was literally “an ambassador in chains.” (6:20 Cf. Col. 4:3) Boldness was required, because as an ambassador he, and we, are called to minister the Lord’s word and not our own, when we might otherwise want to be more politically correct and diplomatic. It is a duty that any ambassador must fulfill. “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us.” (Cf. II Cor. 5:20).

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