The final section of the letter to the Ephesians returns to the theme of divine power, introduced in its opening section.
Strong For the Battle
, “Be strong in the Lord and in the Power of His might.”
Be strong in the Lord
You must have strength, and strength of a spiritual kind, and such strength too as the Lord himself can furnish; and you must have this strength through an indwelling God, the power of his might working in you.
(From Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
Plans and Devices – Eph. 6:11
The wiles of the Devil
Tas methodeias tou diabolou
The methods of the Devil; the different
means, plans, schemes, and machinations which he uses to deceive, entrap, enslave, and ruin the souls of men
Battle and Bullies – 6:12
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Conclusion to week 1
: We are in a battle. A battle that’s already been won.
I pick up this morning from verse 14. Verse 14 picks up the verb “stand” from the end of the previous sentence.
A series of participles describes being those standing as properly equipped with each piece of armor.
Put on or clothe once again the urgency of the act.
What many may not know is that there are parallel thoughts about this armor found in the writings of the prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah 11:5, Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist. (NKJ)
: They wore loose, flowing robes; and it became necessary to gird them up when they traveled, or ran, or labored.
The girdle was often highly ornamented, and was the place where they carried their money, their sword, their pipe, their writing instruments, etc.; see the notes on Matt 5:38-41.
The “girdle” seems sometimes to have been a cincture of iron or steel,
and designed to keep every part of the armor in its place, and to gird the soldier on every side.
: So what is this truth we are to stand in?
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the truth of God
; unless this be known and conscientiously believed no man can enter the spiritual warfare with any advantage or prospect of success.
By this alone we discover who our enemies are, and how they come on to attack us; and by this we know where our strength lies; and, as the truth is great, and must prevail, we are to gird ourselves with this against all false religion, and the various winds of doctrine by which cunning men and insidious Devils lie in wait to deceive. Truth may be taken here for sincerity
; for if a man be not conscious to himself that his heart is right before God, and that he makes no false pretenses to religion, in vain does he enter the spiritual lists. This alone can give him confidence :(from Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
Breastplate of Righteousness
Here it may imply a consciousness of justification through the blood of the cross; the principle of righteousness or true holiness implanted in the heart; and a holy life, a life regulated according to the testimonies of God.
As the breast-plate defends the heart and lungs, and all those vital functionaries that are contained in what is called the region of the thorax; so this righteousness, this life of God in the soul of man, defines everything upon which the man’s spiritual existence depends. While he possesses this principle, and acts from it, his spiritual and eternal life is secure
. (from Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
or breast-plate was, see before. The word righteousness,
, we have often had occasion to note, is a word of very extensive import
: it signifies the principle of righteousness; it signifies the practice of righteousness, or living a holy life; it signifies God’s method of justifying sinners; and it signifies justification itself
Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel
Military-style hobnailed boots – made for long march.
: If the feet or legs are materially wounded, a man can neither stand to resist his foe, pursue him if vanquished, nor flee from him should he have the worst of the fight.
The Israelites were commanded to eat the Passover with their feet shod, to show that they were ready for their journey. And our Lord commands his disciples to be shod with sandals that they might be ready to go and publish the Gospel, as the Israelites were to go to possess the Promised Land. Every Christian should consider himself on his journey from a strange land to his own country, and not only stand every moment prepared to proceed, but be every moment in actual progress toward his home.
Shield of Faith
– By which you may be able to quench fiery darts of evil one]
In the word
, the apostle alludes to the great oblong shield, or
, which covers the whole body.
And as faith is the grace by which all others are preserved and rendered active, so it is properly represented here under the notion of a shield, by which the whole body is covered and protected.
Faith, in this place, must mean that evidence of things unseen which every genuine believer has, that God, for Christ’s sake, has blotted out his sins, and by which he is enabled to call God his Father, and feel him to be his portion. It is such an appropriating faith as this which can quench any dart of the Devil.(from Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
Helmet of salvation
Or, as it is expressed, 1 Thess 5:8, And for a helmet, the hope of salvation.
It has already been observed, in the description of the Grecian armor, that on the crest and other parts of the helmet were a great variety of emblematical figures, and that it is very likely the apostle refers to helmets which had on them an emblematical representation of hope; namely, that the person should be safe who wore it, that he should be prosperous in all his engagements, and ever escape safe from battle.
So the hope of conquering every adversary and surmounting every difficulty, through the blood of the Lamb, is as a helmet that protects the head; an impenetrable one, that the blow of the battle-axe cannot cleave
The hope of continual safety and protection, built on the promises of God, to which the upright follower of Christ feels he has a divine right, protects the understanding from being darkened, and the judgment from being confused by any temptations of Satan, or subtle arguments of the sophistical ungodly
He who carries Christ in his heart cannot be cheated out of the hope of his heaven. (from Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
Sword of the Spirit
– which is the Word of God]
The sword of which Paul speaks is, as he explains it, the word of God; that is,
the revelation which God has given of himself, or what we call the Holy Scriptures
This is called the sword of the Spirit, because it comes from the Holy Spirit, and receives its fulfilment in the soul through the operation of the Holy Spirit.
An ability to quote this on proper occasions, and especially in times of temptation and trial, has a wonderful tendency to cut in pieces the snares of the adversary.
In God’s word a genuine Christian may have unlimited confidence, and to every purpose to which it is applicable it may be brought with the greatest effect.
The shield, faith, and the sword-the word of God, or faith in God’s unchangeable word, are the principal armor of the soul. He in whom the word of God dwells richly, and who has that faith by which he knows that he has redemption, even the forgiveness of sins, need not fear the power of any adversary. He stands fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made him free. Some suppose that
of the Spirit, should be understood of our own spirit or soul
; the word of God being the proper sword of the soul, or that offensive weapon the only one which the soul uses. But though it is true that every Christian soul has this for its sword, yet the first meaning is the most likely. (from Adam Clarke’s Commentary.)
Concludes with Praying Always and Being Watchful
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