Eph. 6:10-20 The Full Armour Of God.

This is one of the most commented on passages of all of holy scripture. The word ‘finality’ means more than just the end of Paul’s letter. Rather, from giving specific directions to folks in various stations in life, he here wants to say what we all need to do as individually, and as the body of Christ together. “Brethren means we are family, adopted children of God who before all else need to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” (v. 10) The NGSB puts it well on this verse: “Paul uses similar terms in 1:19 to describe the power that raised Jesus from the dead. We are encouraged to face the evil hosts of darkness in our strength, but in the strength that raised Jesus and believers with Him.” (1871)

We are in a war. This is why we need the full armour on, because we are stronger than anything, including the devil, if we are strong in the Lord (v. 11). So we are to put on the full armour of God, that we “may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (v. 11) The ESV rightly renders the NKJV’s ‘wiles’ as ‘schemes’, for he is great at devising war strategy, or so he thinks. However, in God’s word, and by His power, we have smarter and more powerful weapons and strategies, this being the word, prayer, and the community of faith together. It is not against flesh and blood per se, but the spiritual forces behind everything, rulers and the “forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (v. 12)

The word ‘wrestle’, pallo, refers to a conflict that will only end when one is laid prostrate by the other. This is a battle that will not end until Christ returns, and the church militant joins with the rest of the church triumphant. First of all, we are all Jacobs who need to become Israels (Gen. 32:22-32). Again, with a ‘therefore, we ask what is the ‘therefore’ there for? Here we are to understand what we need for the battle, that we be the ones left standing, under God (v. 13). Only if we have done all shall we stand (v. 13). With another ‘therefore we are called to stand, “having girded” our waists “with the truth.” (14a) This is exactly what is wrong with our post-mod culture, there is no longer a belief in absolute certain truth.

With God’s help, the enemy will have to pry God’s word out of my cold dead hand if it comes to that. Then it will still be the hammer to dash them to pieces. In the whole of human history, from Adam to today, all men have known the truth, but many have suppressed it in unrighteousness, along with their eternal punishment (Rom. 1:28-32). Standing with the truth requires Christ’s righteousness and not our own – it protects all our vital organs (v. 14b Cf. Is. 59:16-17), “and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” (v. 15) We are all called to be ready to communicate the gospel in word and deed. Only by faith in God will we be able “to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” (v. 16)

What does Paul mean when he says that we need our feet shod “with the preparation of the gospel of peace?” (v. 15) It is expanded on by Paul echoing the prophet Isaiah again (40:9, 52:7 cf. Is. 53:1), being Christ’s missionary call 61:1f.), and Nahum 1:15, and Paul in his letter to the Romans (10:14-15). We all need to be ready to bring glad tidings, good news about the gospel of peace. Both “the breastplate of righteousness,” and “the helmet of salvation” also are mentioned by Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians at 5:8, adding to faith, love and hope. 

“But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and “as a helmet the hope of salvation.” This salvation is summarized in I Th. 5:9.Just so there is no confusion about what “the sword of the Spirit” (v. 17) is, Paul adds that it “is the word of God.” It is not a so-called “the Spirit led me,” or “God spoke to me,” or “I felt the Spirit lead me.” ‘The sword’ is the word.” Period! Full STOP! “Praying always with all prayer and

supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (v. 18) As important as Paul’s work was, he asks for prayer “for all the saints.” Furthermore, no matter how important his work as an apostle was, he asked for prayer for himself that he would be able “to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (vv. 19-20)

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