Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Ephesians 6:10-24 (web)

Walking as a Soldier in God's Family

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 And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
6:18 with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit,
and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints:
6:19 on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in opening my mouth,
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.
6:21 But that you also may know my affairs, how I am doing, Tychicus,
the beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will make known to you all things;
6:22 whom I have sent to you for this very purpose,
that you may know our state, and that he may comfort your hearts.
6:23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love. Amen.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Identify the main verbs in this section that are in the imperative (commands)
vs 11
Where else in Ephesians does Paul tell us to "Put on" stuff? (Eph 4:24)
How does the stuff he tells you to put on in this section differ from that of Eph 4:24?
How does the reason why you should clothe yourself with such differ in this section from that in Eph 4:24?
vs 12
What struggle is Paul referring to? For if Paul is referring to our struggle against sin, then isn't our struggle against our own flesh and the influence of the sinful society upon us as well as against satanic forces?
vs 13
What is an example of "the day of evil" from the lives of the apostles? (Luke 22:31-34,54-62)
What does it mean to "stand"? "Stand" with respect to what?
vs 14-17
How does each one of these characteristics help one to stand?
From the passage in Luke, which of these might Peter have lacked that caused him to stumble?
vs 18
What types of requests tend to dominate your prayer life?
"With this in mind" - with what in mind?
"Alert" - What should we be on the lookout for?
vs 19
In 1Thess 2:13, Paul proclaims his word is the Word of God, yet from this verse what does even Paul struggle with in proclaiming the gospel?
What similar struggles do you have in proclaiming the gospel or otherwise explaining spiritual truths to those unfamiliar with such?
vs 20
xref "ambassador" - 2Cor 5:20
What effect does it have on the hearers if the gospel is proclaimed to them fearlessly vs. fearfully?
Doesn't this contradict Paul's statement in 1Co 2:3 "I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling."? (Might check out 2Cor 5:11 to resolve this)
vs 21-23
In contrast to the "out-of-sight-out-of-mind" mentality often found in today's culture, Paul saw his effectiveness in ministry, his emotional state and even his very words in preaching to be dependent somewhat upon the prayers of the believers located in other parts of the world. Why did Paul want to tell them how and what he was doing?
Do you have such a relationship with a missionary?


Cross References on "STAND"

Ro 11:20 "Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid."
Ro 14:4 "Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand."
1Co 10:12,13 "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
1Co 15:1 "Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand."
1Co 15:58 "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
1Co 16:13 "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong."
2Co 1:21 "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,"
2Co 1:24 "Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm."
2Co 2:9 "The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything."
Ga 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
Php 1:27 "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel"
Col 4:12 "Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured."
1Th 3:8 "For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord."
2Th 2:15 "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter."
2Ti 2:19 "Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."

Convictions on "STANDING"

I stand only by faith in Christ and not by faith in myself. (Rom 11:20; Rom 14:4; 2Cor 1:24)
The Lord has taken on Himself the responsibility and burden to cause me to stand as I submit to Him (Rom 14:4; 2Cor 1:21)
The Lord will never put me through a trial that I cannot stand up under (1Cor 10:13)
I will stand on the gospel as it is defined in the Bible rather than defining it for myself (1Cor 15:1)
One of the reason why I stand firm is because I know that my labor for the Lord is not in vain. (1Cor 15:58)
And I will be rewarded for such confidence. (Heb 10:35)
I will stand firm in the truth of the gospel, neither swaying to legalism (Gal 5:1), nor allowing such freedom to be an opportunity for the flesh (Gal 5:13; 2Tim 2:19)

Comments

Take a Stand

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

Worldliness

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world" Rom 12:2
The 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 5:17
And 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 5:8
The 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.


Get Dressed for Battle 1

Eph 6:14,15
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.

Truth
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.

Righteousness
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

Evangelism
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



Get Dressed for Battle 2

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
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."

Salvation
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 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



Pray

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 people and circumstances he faces. Pray that God may guide those who preach the 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 without fear. For Confidence Communicates Conviction, which influences how the message is received. And "I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." Phm 1:6



Tychicus

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 minister and fellow servant in the Lord." Col 4:7



Final Prayer

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 necessarily to the unqualified. Paul qualifies this prayer as being directed specifically 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 half-hearted 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 believe and are saved." Hebrews 10:38-39


The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources


Jul 29,2015