Last night we began a couple weeks looking at Paul’s teaching on the armor of God in Ephesians 6. It seems like a good season to be going over some basics of spiritual warfare. Here’s the outline of the study:
Intro: Ephesians 6:10-20 is the climax of the letter:
- 4:1-5:21 Dealt with living in the church
- 5:21-6:9 deals with living in the world in daily life
- 6:10-20 deals with living in the world from a “cosmic perspective.”
6:10 “Be strong in the Lord”
See Isaiah 26:4, and Paul praying: 1) that we’d comprehend His power working for us (1:15-20 ), 2) that we’d receive his power in our inner being (3:14-19 ).
6:11 “Be strong in the Lord” BY “Putting on the whole armor of God.” To understand what Paul means by “put on” see 4:17-24, and notice the connection between “putting off the old man” and “putting on the new man” and “putting on the armor of God.”
6:12 Two main things to notice:
- There is a battle: “We wrestle.” (close, hand to hand combat)
This is a cosmic conflict that is experienced in personal battles by each believer. If we’re really going to believe this, there are some assumptions of our age we must fight: First, that there is no spiritual realm (that there’s only what we see). Second, that the spiritual realm doesn’t effect this realm (that there’s no overlap). Third, that life is for fun (notice Paul calls our time “the evil day”). The battle opposes God’s purposes to bring everything into unity with Christ: See 1:10, 2:1-3, 4:17-19, 4:25-27.
- We have an enemy. We should not overestimate our enemy. See 1:19-21, 3:8-10 (Col 2:15). We should not underestimate our enemy. They’re “not flesh and blood.” See Isaiah 31:1,3; Jer 17:54, 2 Chronicles 32:7-, 2 Cor 10:3-5
6:13 Our response is to actively appropriate the supply God has given us. Our goal is to stand.
Summing up Paul’s Challenge for us:
- Be aware of and understand the battle we’re in.
- Be aware of and understand the enemy.
- Expect a personal fight, especially if you actively seek to serve Christ.
- Rely only on God for strength, and actively use His means for strengthening.