6:12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities,6:14 Stand therefore,
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.
having the utility belt of truth buckled around your waist,6:18 with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit,
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 And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
6:19 on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in opening my mouth,6:21 But that you also may know my affairs, how I am doing, Tychicus,
to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,
6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains;
that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Eph 6:10-13 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
The Christian battles in the realm of ideas, attitudes, the convictions of the conscience. The enemies are
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world" Rom 12:2The Sinful nature inherent in our flesh
"The sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other." Gal 5:17And the Devil and his minions
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1Peter 5:8The Christian life is a struggle. If you're not struggling, then maybe you're not in the battle. Maybe you've been marginalized or have surrendered to the enemy.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
The most important thing when it comes to talking to others is to tell the truth. That's the first rule in making a good witness. Truth is viewed as a belt here. A good grasp of the truth will keep your pants from falling down in the middle of the battle. It also holds the offensive weapon - the Word of God. The appropriate way to use the Word of God is to present it as propositional truth.
When Chist dresses for battle, he also puts on the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation. Isa 59:17 "He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak." The breastplate protects the vital organs such as the heart. Christians recognize two aspects of righteousness. One is that we are reckoned righteous by God by virtue of the forgiveness of our sins. Such righteousness is absolute. But there is also righteous behavior which is an effect, a fruit or outworking of our relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit who was given to us graciously and who affects our behavior. Our heart won't condemn us when we practice righteousness. "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him." 1John 3:22
Footware represents the readiness to share the gospel. Peter writes: "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1Peter 3:15 But it may also allude to going somewhere intentionally to do so. "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." Mark 16:15 Don't just stay in Jerusalem to become a pillar of salt. For how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Rom 10:14,15
Eph 6:16,17 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Faith can be an effective defense against attacks. We're going to get all kinds of flaming ideas and attitudes thrown at us. But we have to learn to respond not in kind but in faith - a faith not in ourselves, but based upon the Word of God. For example often when people scrutinize my faith I might simply say, "I believe because the eyewitness testimony of Jesus life, ministry and miracles recorded in the gospels is convincing to me. Read them for yourself and see if they're convincing to you."
A helmet is another defensive shield. Knowing that we are saved from the wrath of God gives us peace of mind in the midst of the battle. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." Rom 5:1,2 "Since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1Thess 5:8,9
The Bible - the Word of God - is our offensive weapon. It's what we should hold out in front of us, utilizing it as the Spirit leads. That is, we should proclaim the proper sense of its meaning and application as we have inferred by the Spirit and allow the Spirit to lead us in particular situations to bring out appropriate passages. "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Heb 4:12
Eph 6:18-20 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Along with the Word of God, Prayer is another weapon the Christian has in his arsenal. In fact take time now to pray. Especially keep in mind those fellow saints who are preaching the gospel.
Now while there are some essential elements to preaching the gospel,
as I've noted at http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/preaching.html,
there is no standard way of preaching the gospel. Even Paul relies upon
words being given him at the time as the Spirit leads and given the
and circumstances he faces. Pray that God may guide those who preach
gospel as to what words they should use. But not only words, pray also
about attitude. The manner in which the gospel should be presented is
fear. For Confidence Communicates Conviction,
influences how the message is received. And "I
that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a
understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." Phm 1:6
Eph 6:21,22 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.
Paul, not having access to email, would frequently send men like Timothy and Tychicus as letters to encourage the saints and keep both the saints and himself mutually informed. For many of us "out of sight, out of mind" comes naturally. Therefore it's best to periodically keep up communication if such is welcomed. Often today pastors will leave churches and you'll never hear from them again. That's not Paul's example.
Tychicus was from the area, Asia minor, and is mentioned in a number
of other places: Acts 20:4; Col 4:7; 2Tim 4:12; Titus 3:12, and
described as "a dear brother, a faithful
and fellow servant in the Lord." Col 4:7
Eph 6:23,24 Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
Paul ends in this prayer. He prays for the Christian community to experience peace. Likewise he prays in Romans 15:13 "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
As with peace, Christian love and Christian faith go hand in hand. One grows with the other. Of the Philippians he prays, "This I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment" Php 1:9 and characterizing Christian faith Paul writes of Abraham, "he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform." Rom 4:20,21
Grace is God's attribute of freely giving to the unworthy, but not
to the unqualified. Paul qualifies this prayer as being directed
on behalf of those who have an undying, or incorruptible, love for our
Lord Jesus Christ. He is not praying on behalf of mere nominal
Christians here. "'My righteous one will live by
faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.' But we
are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who
and are saved." Hebrews 10:38-39