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Part Two

The Believer’s Armor and the Spiritual Battle

Ephesians 6:10-20

The Text

Ephesians 6:10-20:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against princi­palities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplica­tion for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

An Overview:

V.10 The source of our strength.

V.11 The command to appropriate the resources and the purpose for their application.

V.12 The description of the enemy with whom we battle.

V.13 Reiteration of the command to appropriate the resources, and the purpose of them in light of the magnitude of the enemy.

14-17 The description of the resources.

V.18 Prayer, the way to apply the resources.

19-20 The ultimate goal in the battle; to proclaim God’s message (John 15:8; I Thess. 2:4; Gal. 1:10).

Comments on Text:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

The source of our strength:

We are “kept saved” by God’s power (I Peter 1:3-5). There is no power that can undo our eternal life (John 10:28). None of these same powers against whom we battle can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38,39). He now commands us to be strong but not in our own strength. The strength is God’s but the commitment is ours. We must choose to obey or we will suffer defeat in our own strength. Please read I Cor. 1:26-31. This passage shows how God is honored as He works in His power through our weakness. “...God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty... That no flesh should glory in His presence. ...He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (I Cor. 1:27-31: also Prov. 14:12). A very rough paraphrase could be, “God uses dedicated nobodies.” It sometimes is a disadvantage for us as believers to have great natural talents. We have the tendency to be great through our own strength and not in God’s.

Jesus told His disciples that they would receive power after the Holy Spirit came upon them. The purpose given was so that they could be witnesses of Him through­out the world (Acts 1:8). They would then be able to testify with God’s power. This is the same power and the same Holy Spirit which we have. Too often we are not yielded to Him for His power to be manifested through us (Rom. 6:16; Gal. 5:16; Eph. 5:18).

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

The command to appropriate the resources and the purpose of them:

We are now commanded to put on the “whole armour of God” so that we may stand against the wiles of the devil. That is the purpose of the armour, so that we may stand against the wiles of the devil. (“wiles,” Greek,  methodias = scheming, crafti­ness, deceitfulness, cunning arts, trickery, strategies. Used only here and in 4:14, lit. “deceitful­­ness of the error”) The “whole armour” is necessary when we go into battle because a clever adversary will always find the “chink in the armour,” i.e. the weakest part to attack.

Notice that the purpose of the whole armour is so that we may “stand” against the wiles of the devil. We are not told to chase him down or to look for a demon behind every rock. Our “adversary, the devil is walking about seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8). He or his emissaries will find us soon enough if we pose a threat to his cause. James 4:7, tells us, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Too often we “assist” the devil instead of resisting him. The word “resist” means to “stand against” or “oppose” and is the same Greek word as “with­stand” in verse 13, It is from the same word as “stand” in verses 11 and 13.

Notice also that just knowing the facts is not sufficient. We must apply what God has told us. Many of us know so much but obey so little (Luke 12:47; Hebrews 5:11-14).

The Wiles of the Devil:

What are some of the wiles of the devil? The following is a partial list of possibilities that will be discussed:

1.  Undermining God’s character and credibility.

2.  Trying to make it difficult for us to live the Christian life. Three of the ways in which this is done:

    A. Through Persecution:

     B. Through Peer Pressure:

     C. Through Peaceful Preoccupation:

3. Confusing the believer with false doctrine. The two major areas that we shall consider are:

    A. False doctrine concerning Salvation.

    B. False doctrine concerning the Christian life.

4.  Causing division in the body of Christ.

5.  Encouraging worldliness among believers

6.  Promoting improper priorities.

Wile #1.  Undermining God’s character and credibility.

Satan tries to get us to doubt God’s word. This was one of the strategies used against Eve in the Garden of Eden. He first attempted to introduce uncertainty concerning God's word by the cunning question, “Yea, hath God said...?” (Gen. 3:1). He then endorsed Eve's misrepresentation of and addition to God’s word by her statement, “...neither shall ye touch it.” (v3). Then he called God a liar, “Ye shall not surely die.” (v4). Eve fell for it. How often do we do the same? The sinful heart has a way of rationalizing any thing it desires (Jer. 17:9).

Many do not notice the subtlety of Satan that was demonstrated in the temptation of Jesus in Matthew, chapter 4 (Gen. 3:1; II Cor. 11:3). Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tested (v1). After he had fasted and was hungry (v1,2), Satan tried to tempt Jesus with what would normally be a priority or a weak point at that time — food (v3). What is to be noticed is the subtle undermining of Gods’ word. His first statement is, “If thou be the Son of God...” (v3). God, the father, had just made a public proclamation four verses before, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Note also that God, the Son, answered all these attacks by quoting God’s word. Can we do any less under similar circumstances?

God’s word is truth (John 17:17). Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6). He said “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.... If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:23,36). God has never lied. In fact, it is impossible for Him to lie (Heb 6:18). That would be contrary to His self-imposed attributes.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against princi­palities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

The description of the enemy with whom we battle:

This is a spiritual battle. We cannot use physical armour and weapons against a spiritual foe. We cannot even become completely knowledgeable of our enemy. We can be obedient to the One Who has chosen us to be a soldier (II Tim. 2:4). He has divine knowledge of the enemy and his strategies. We can apply God’s infinite knowledge and wisdom as we obey His word. We need to put our armour on and not get improperly involved in a dominion in which we are ill-suited to survive. Some have fooled around with the occult and suffered greatly for it.

Though this battle is against our spiritual adversary, it can manifest itself in the physical realm. To discover God’s good and acceptable and perfect will, we must still present our bodies a living sacrifice, and not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1,2). Though Satan is much more powerful than we are, we have no need to fear. “...Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (I John 4:4; See also James 4:7).

Verses That Describe Our Adversary,

Satan, And His Demons

Satan is:

Powerful, Acts 26:18, 2 Thess. 2:9; Luke 4:6; Heb. 2:14; Jude 1:9; 1 John 5:19; John 14:30; Eph. 2:2; Tricky, 2 Cor. 2:11; Eph. 6:11; Able to perform miracles, 2 Thess. 2:9; A deceiv­er, Rev. 12:9; A liar, the father of lies, John 8:44; Lustful, John  8:44; Our enemy, Mt. 13:19,39; The wicked one, Mt. 13:38; 1 John 2:13; A murderer from the beginning, John  8:44; The father of the Jews who sought to kill Jesus, John 8:44; A master counterfeiter, 2 Cor. 11:13-15, states, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, trans­forming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be trans­formed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

In regard to people in general, he:

Binds them, Luke 13:16; Enters them, Luke 22:3; John 13:27; Beguiles them, 2 Cor. 11:3; Oppresses them; Acts 10:38; Takes them cap­tive, 2 Tim. 2:26; Seeks to devour them; 1 Pet. 5:8; Possesses them, Mt. 9:32; Mr. 5:15; Mr. 7:30; And can cause blindness and deafness by his possession, Mt. 12:22.

In regard to unbelievers, he:

Wishes to condemn them, Job 1:6-12; 1 Tim. 3:6; Spiritually blinds them, 2 Cor. 4:4; Maintains a snare for them, 2 Tim. 2:26; Steals the Word from potential believers, Mt. 13:19; Mr. 4:15, Luke 8:12; Is active in efforts to keep them from being saved, Mr. 4:15; Acts 26:18; Luke 8:12; 2 Cor. 4:4;

In regard to believers, he:

Resists them, Zech. 3:1; Accuses them, Rev. 12:10; Strongly influences them, Mt. 16:23; Corrupts their mind, 2 Cor. 11:3;  Tempts them, 1 Thess. 3:5; 1 Cor. 7:5; And even tried to tempt Jesus, Mt. 4:1 Mark 1:13; Desires to sift them, Luke 22:31; John 13:27; Can fill their heart, Acts 5:3; Takes advantage of them. 2 Cor. 2:11; Buffets them, 2 Cor. 12:7; Hin­ders them, 1 Thess. 2:18; Is their adversary, 1 Pet. 5:8; Conducts ongoing spiritual warfare with them, Eph. 6:10-17; Maintains a snare for them, 1 Tim. 3:7; Will cast some believers into prison, Rev. 2:10

He is judged:

John 16:11; John 12:31; 1 John 3:8; Rev. 12:9,10; Rev. 20:10;

We can have victory over him:

James 4:7; Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (Eph. 6:10-17; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 2:13).

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