Lesson 21


Paul's Letter to the Ephesians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 6:12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world's rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 6:13 Therefore, put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. 6:14 Stand therefore, having the utility belt of truth buckled around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 6:15 and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 6:16 above all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;


 

Today's Lesson

Paul has one more point that he wishes to make before concluding this epistle. He wants his readers to know that they must be prepared. We are engaged in war. Our war is against spiritual forces that are aligned against the Lord of Host. In preparation for this battle, God has given His people certain gifts to defend themselves. Paul calls these gifts "The Armor of God." In illustrating these gifts, Paul reveals that they are portions of the very nature of God that He grants us as His children. When we are clothed in God's nature, His armor, we can stand against our enemy.

 

Paul uses many descriptive names for those who oppose the Lord. "The devil", "principalities", "powers", "the world's rulers" and the "spiritual hosts of wickedness." He has used several of these terms earlier in the letter to describe those who are hostile to God's work. Both the Jewish and Greek world understood the concept of spiritual beings that were both good and evil. Whether we call them angels or demons, the concept of these beings is an old one.

 

Paul preaches that the armor God has for us will defend us from the attacks of these beings. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. Armed with these gifts from the Father, our goal is "to stand." Our goal is not to defeat our foe. He has already been defeated. Our goal is to withstand the evil attacks on us and to maintain our faith.

 

All of the attributes of the armor are attributes of God. Truth, righteousness, peace, salvation; all these concepts are part of our understanding of the Lord. To be "clothed in Christ" is the same as "having the full armor of God." We are secure in the armor because Christ is before us and behind us, protecting us from the spiritual attacks of the enemy. Because He has stood against the foe and was victorious, we can stand against the defeated foe and claim His victory.

 

God protects His family with the gifts that He gives them. Moreover, He protects us with His own presence and concern. He equips us for the life He would have us lead. We have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ.

 

"Therefore, put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand."

 

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