Ephesians 6:10-20; God’s strength in the faithful believer.
length: 69:42 - taught on Mar, 8 2022
Tuesday March 8, 2022
Why should we be strong in a world where Satan schemes against mankind and God’s church?
How do we stand firm against the schemes of the devil? We are strong in God’s mighty power and we put on the full armor of God.
Idea of EPH 6:10-20: We stand firm against the schemes of the devil when we are strong in God’s mighty power and we put on the full armor of God.
Why is this passage here? After a long treatise on the great blessings given to all believers in this age and the very high calling or moral conduct that comes with it, not only are we going to have opposition within ourselves from the sin nature, but also from without by none other than God’s top enemy, the devil. I think that like all human tyrants, it may not matter at all to the overall global plans of Satan that you or I fail spiritually, but what matters is in his arrogant mind, you are spiritually thriving in his world with a type of life that he detests. Perhaps he is a prideful thug who wants all thoughts pointing towards him.
God is in control of all things. He has made it so that mankind, and specifically, His church, would have to face the many schemes that the devil has filled the world with. We should also ask the question of why God did this and who benefits or doesn’t benefit, and even, why now (age of the church)? We have to tackle our questions one at a time and we must be careful not to make our inquiries too broad or we’ll go away with pieces of the whole and resultant gaps in our understanding. We must keep the big picture in mind, like why faith, why Christ, etc., but we must ask specific questions that get us to understand all the many things that go into that picture.
Our question is, “How do we stand firm against the schemes of the devil?” The answers that complete the question are two-fold. God’s mighty strength in us and the full-armor of God on our soul.
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
“Be strong” and “put on” are separate imperatives. They are related but they should be looked at separately. We are to be strong in God’s mighty power. We are to put on the full armor of God. A soldier might be strong from training, but when the call to battle comes, he still has to suit up. But they are related, for if he is strong, he is always ready to suit up and fight.
The armor seems to be separated by Paul into two distinctions. The belt, breastplate, and shoes are listed and then Paul writes “in addition to all these” (perhaps “among these” or “in addition to all”) then he adds the shield, helmet, and sword. It makes me think of the soldier who is suited up with the things that are tied to him, the things he will not remove until he undresses (belt, breastplate, shoes), and the things that are external to him that he grabs on his way out of the barracks and which he can set down (shield, helmet, and sword).
Being strong in God’s mighty strength and put on the full armor of God so that you are able to stand firm against schemes, withstand the evil day, and extinguish fiery darts.
Our ability is really the same with three different objects that are the same objective from the devil, described as schemes, the evil day, and fiery darts (missiles). With God’s mighty strength and His armor we are able to stand firm, resist, and extinguish.
How does God’s mighty strength come to us? The session of Jesus Christ our Lord.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.
I’ll play Captain Obvious here and admit that we’re not always strong with God’s mighty power. So there has to be something that we do that gives us the use of God’s power. Paul shows us this.
What gives us the use of God’s mighty power? Faithfulness to God (faith with obedience and willingness to do all God wants).
Many Christians are ignorant of God’s word and others know the word fairly well but still have divided hearts, wanting to serve God in some areas and wanting to serve self in others. We wouldn’t say that these have no power. They don’t fall into a gelatinous heap on the ground. But they don’t wield the mighty strength of God to the magnitude that they should. Would we ever think that any Christian who is able to stand firm against any powerful thing that is against God who has a part-time relationship with God or a secret life that is committed to sin? And if they do, like the Corinthians for instance, they are still saints, still in the body of Christ, their bodies are still the temple of God, they are forgiven and God disciplines and waits for them to understand. They are weak and easily tossed here and there by the waves of life’s circumstances.
Spiritual warfare isn’t about Satan near as much as it is about us. The devil is done for. Notice in this passage (EPH 6:10-20) where the focus lies. The devil is mentioned once. The believer standing firm and putting on the full armor of God is mentioned multiple times.
Spiritual warfare is about us, not about the devil.
In 1TI 1:12, Paul, admitting to be the chief of sinners, proclaimed that Christ Jesus our Lord strengthened him.
In this passage, Paul gives us some clues to how we use the surpassing strength that God has given us.
We will also briefly see it in ROM 4:20; PHI 4:13. It is Paul’s use in his epistles to Timothy that I want to use to show us how to make use of God’s strength that He gave to us when Christ’s victory was complete.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened (endunamoo) me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service; 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. And yet I was shown mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. 15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16 And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Paul was faithful to serving the Lord, therefore Christ strengthened him. Christ will only give strength to follow His way.
We might look at this principle as supporting a system of doing to earns God’s favor. Be faithful and God will give you power. That sentence is true, but it can be misconstrued. The real underlining reason is that Christ will only give power for His Way (HEB 10:19-20 - the new and living way; 1CO 9:24; HEB 12:1 - run the race). Wanting blessing and happiness in someone or something else than God is not something that God is going to get behind. He makes war with the proud. The proud are resisted. He gives grace to the humble. He pushes the faithful along as they chose the right road.