The Believer’s Armor and the Spiritual Battle
In order to determine the correct interpretation and acceptable applications, the background and the context must be carefully considered. Even thought the cults are notoriously guilty of the error of neglecting this principle, that does not excuse us from the same responsibility.
The Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians was written about 62 AD by Paul while he was
imprisoned, probably in Rome. He had been to Ephesus briefly during his second missionary
journey (Acts 18:19-
Paul warned the Ephesian Elders (Acts 20:17), whom God had made overseers of the Church (Acts 20:28, 29), that after his departure “grievous wolves” would enter in, “not sparing the flock.” It appears that the Church ultimately collapsed, not from an overt doctrinal heresy but from a more insidious and “acceptable” compromise.
About 30 years later John writes of Jesus’ assessment of the Ephesian Church (Rev.
1. Remember -
2. Repent -
3. Repeat -
The alternative would be that God would remove the Church (v5, cf. 1:20). Apparently they did not heed God’s admonition as today we see the Christian Church practically nonexistent in that area of the world. I believe that the same admonition is to be applied personally and corporately to us today.
The Epistle is divided into two major portions according to the subject matter. Chapters
Some ways to summarize these two sections are:
Our Belief Our Behavior
Our Calling Our Conduct
Our Position Our Practice
Our Heritage Our Habits
Our Possession Our Profession
Our Resources Our Responsibility
No matter what mini-
An example of the doctrinal portion would be illustrated by conducting a study of the first three chapters and noting every instance of what we have or are “in Christ,” “in Him,” or “in whom.” (e.g. 1:3,4,7,10,11,13,17,20; 2:6,7,10,13,21,22; 3:6,12). Great promises abound for the individual believer and for the Church collectively.
It is essential at the beginning of this study to establish to whom Paul is speaking concerning these spiritual blessings. Many people assume that they will go to heaven because they have been “religious” or have led a “good” life. God says that “...there is none righteous, no not one” (Rom. 3:10), and that “...all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). We may have done more good things than our neighbor but, by our works, we do not have the righteousness required to enter a sinless heaven. Titus 3:5, states, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.”
That is what Paul is saying in the context of Ephesians. Eph. 2:8,9, states, “For
by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of
God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” This is a clear statement that contradicts
Chapter four begins with a “therefore.” In effect, Paul is saying, “In light of all that has just been presented; i.e. what we have and are in Jesus, let us now “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” Many more practical exhortations follow. (“Vocation” here is usually translated “calling.” It is a noun that comes from the verb “calling” used in the same verse. “Vocation” and “called” are identical to the “calling” and “called” of 4:4).
Chapter four then presents the ministry gifts to the Church -
5:18 seems to both conclude the previous section and introduce the next. “...but be filled with the spirit.” Being “filled with the Spirit” simply means to be “influenced” or “controlled” by God’s Holy Spirit. We are talking “yieldedness” or “obedience.”
Scofield briefly outlines the balance of the book as:
The inner life of the Spirit-
The married life of Spirit-
The domestic life of Spirit-
The warfare of Spirit-
The warrior’s power (6:10).
The warrior’s armor (6:11).
The warrior’s foes (6:12-
The warrior’s resources (6:18-
If we are believers as described in the first three chapters, then we are to live as believers should live as described in the last three chapters. If we do “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called,” we are living in obedience to God and will be on a direct collision course with the enemy. If we do not, we are in rebellion toward God and in collusion with the enemy (Matt. 12:30).
The Christian life never ceases to be a conflict with the enemy. The obedient Christian
life is not to be likened to waltzing through a meadow picking daisies. It is more
to be compared to cautiously walking through a mine-
Some believers are losers because they do not even prepare for the battle (Luke 12:47).
They are choosing not to fight. Some are losers because they do not even know there
is a battle going on (I Cor. 15:34: Rom. 13:11-
It is the object of this series of Bible studies to honor God by helping us to be victorious in the battle in which we are engaged. We will study more about:
The Enemy: Satan and his demons, the spiritual realm.
The Believers Responsibility: We do not have to know everything about his wiles, we just need to be obedient (I Cor. 4:2) We need to put on the armor.
The Armor: What it is and how to apply it.
Overview of Ephesians
Theme: Building the Body of Christ
Key verses: Ephesians 2:8-
2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of your selves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
“The Open Bible” Nelson Publishers
Paul wrote this epistle to make Christians more aware of their position in Christ
and to motivate them to draw upon their spiritual source in daily living: “walk worthy
of the vocation wherewith ye are called,” (4:1; see 2:10). The first half of Ephesians
lists the believer’s heavenly possessions: adoption, redemption, inheritance, power,
life, grace, citizenship, and the love of Christ. There are no imperatives in chapters
The Position of the Christian (1:1-
The practice of the Christian (4:1-
Because of the unity of all believers in the body of Christ, growth and maturity
come from “the effectual working in the measure of every part” (every member does
its share) (4:16). This involves the exercise of spiritual gifts in love, Paul exhorts
the readers to “put off concerning the former conversation (manner of life) the old
man” (4:22), and to “put on the new man (4:24) that will be manifested by a walk
of integrity in the midst of all people. They are also to maintain a walk of holiness
as children of light (5:22-
Back Index Home Forward
|Spanish-Am I Going to Heaven?|
|French-Am I Going to Heaven?|
|Russian-Am I Going to Heaven?|
|Chinese-Am I Going to Heaven?|
|Divorce and Remarriage|
|David and Bathsheba|
|Sin - Index|
|Repentance Word Study|
|Confession of Sin|
|Lukewarm Rev 3|
|4 Soils End Notes|
|Revelation Church Chart|
|Telling the Gift of God|
|1 Corinthians 12|
|1 Corinthians 13:8|
|Handbook of Personal Evangelism|
|Chinese PE Book|
|Spanish PE Book|
|Church Marquee Signs|
|Dead To Sin|
|Bible Knowledge Quiz|
|Lessons from Noah's Ark|
|Noah and the Government|
|Parody of Footprints|