sitting on this last 14 verses for the past week. Ruminating. Doing word studies.
And thinking on the ramifications of these truths. Here are the final thoughts
from the final verses of the book of Ephesians. Let them soak in to your mind
and heart as you read through.
in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”
In - not out
of, nor on our own, but IN the Lord. Our position in Christ comes into light
again as it’s in His strength that we can be strong. Since we know that the Lord
Jesus Christ is God, we know that He is all powerful (omnipotent). With Him
anything is possible. Being placed into Christ at salvation, we are blessed
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, and are indwelled by the very
strength that was able to raise Him from the dead.
Then why do
we often times feel so impotent and weak? Dare I say, it’s because we rely on
ourselves? From the time we are small we are found saying, “me do it!” How foolish we are to try to battle this on our own.
Here’s what God
says we are to do to have His strength:
Verse 11 - Put
on the full armor of God. The word put is a repetitive aorist, meaning
we participate with His Holy Spirit to repeatedly (at this point in time, and
the next point in time, and the next point in time, and the… you get the idea)
to keep on repetitively put on the armor of God.
be great if once we were in Christ that His armor was placed on us and stayed
there in position ready for any battle? God doesn’t work that way. He doesn’t
convert us to robots at salvation, He converts us to followers. In His divine
plan, He created us with free will. We must choose to put on Christ every moment.
We must choose to be filled (saturated to the point of control) by His Spirit,
every moment of the day. It’s all a choice. But don’t you find that we are often
our own worst enemy as we try to do battle daily on our own, as a petulant two
year old, demanding “me do it”?
there are times we are willing to put on a piece of armor here and there, if it
seems comfortable to us. But the instruction is to put on the full armor of
God. We have to be intentional in this because it doesn’t come natural to us in
our flesh. In fact, Paul’s words in verse 12 makes the distinction that our
fight isn’t against flesh and blood. There are rulers in this world that are
spiritual in nature, forces of darkness, wicked, and they want to destroy you. If
we are going to be able to stand firm against the devil’s schemes then we are
going to have to have something more than our flesh to protect us. And who
knows the spiritual world better than God? He knows exactly what we need to
stand firm against spiritual attacks.
list of the things that we are to put on, as we are under the control of the
V. 14 – Girded
your loins with truth. There is only one truth in this world, and it is God’s
word. Gird means to wrap around, or shore up. In biblical days, men and women wore
long robes. When they needed to move fast, or be at work, they would pull the
back of the robe up through their legs and tuck it into their front sash,
effectively creating a pair of pants for easier movement, being prepared for
action. The loins are where our reproduction takes place, and there’s a
metaphor to be brought out here. Will we reproduce truth, or the lies of this
world? To gird our loins with the truth of God’s word means that we will be
prepared to stand firm in that truth and resist the lies produced by the world.
Lies that get us into trouble every time. Lies that distract us from fulfilling
God’s will in our lives. So, gird up, be ready with the truth, and then stand
firm in it!
V. 14 - Put
on the breastplate of righteousness. This armor covers vital organs in our
body, the heart, the lungs, etc... Righteousness is defined by Strongs as “doing
what is right before God.” It’s a building term that means, “built according to
the specifications of the blueprint.” God has a specific design for your life,
and as you walk following that plan you will please Him and fulfill His plan in
your life. Let this covering of righteousness strengthen our heart, protecting
it. The doing of “good” is always a safeguard, whereas doing wrong destroys. Let
it be the protection for the air that we breathe so that we can follow what God
has for us.
V. 15 – Having
shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel. How do you approach
sharing Christ with others? Jesus is the gospel message, the good news as Paul described
Him being the peacemaker, making us one in Him. Jesus gave us access to the
Father by His Spirit. We are to share this good news with those around us. So,
be ready, as it says in 2 Timothy 4:2. As we are walking in that righteous plan
God designed for us, there will be people in our path that He wants us to share
the good news with. Strap on those shoes and be willing to walk ready!
Paul says, in V. 16 – Take up the shield of faith. You believe! Hold
that faith up in front of you! Keep it ever before you. 1) it will show others;
2) it will protect from those flaming arrows of doubt, depression, and disfunction
and evil sent our way. Our faith is built on who God is, what He has done, and
so if that is always out in front of us, we will be able to stand firm because
He is firm! He is our strength, and our faith reveals it! There will be plenty
of flaming arrows shot our direction. Arrows meant to destroy that faith. But
when we know (by His truth) who our God is, and what He is capable of, those
arrows will be deflected every time. Our faith gives us strength to resist the
evil in this world.
V. 17 – Take
up the helmet of salvation. Our
minds, the source of comprehension, need to be covered in the knowledge of our
salvation. Remembering that it is IN CHRIST that we are saved. At salvation we
are blessed with every spiritual blessing, we are indwelled and sealed by the
Holy Spirit. We have been redeemed, restored, regenerated. All because we are
in Christ. Let His mind be our covering. That covering for our mind, our very
soul, is available by salvation.
V. 17 – Take
up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. His word is our
lifeline to understanding and knowing God, to knowing the battle plan, and how
to implement it. His sword does the slicing away of any untruth, and it pierces
the enemy where it hurts. We don’t have to stand firm and take the blows of the
enemy unarmed. But as followers we tend to be pretty shabby soldiers, ill-prepared,
and not knowing the very thing that could make us warriors rather than punching
bags. Jesus, when He was confronted by Satan in the wilderness, always rebutted
with the truth of God’s word. He knew it. He used it. And He won! If we are
going to win the spiritual battles and skirmishes in our lives, we must be
prepared by knowing the word of God. It’s the sword He has provided to slay the
enemies’ attacks. Take it up. Read it. Learn it. It’s so much better to have a
sharp sword in the heat of battle.
Paul goes on
in the letter by asking these believers to pray at all times in the Spirit. Another
reminder of what we saw back in 5:18 of being filled with Him. We must be in
fellowship with the Spirit, and then as we pray in Him, we can know we are
praying in alignment with God’s will because He and the Father are one, to be
in fellowship with the Spirit is to be in fellowship with the Father and the
specifies that we are to pray for all the saints, all the time. How often do
you pray for your brothers and sisters in the Lord? Here’s our reminder. We all
have our battles. We all have our struggles. Let’s pray for one another. Pray
for me. I will pray for you. Be on the alert with all perseverance and
Each one of
us are ambassadors of Christ. Soldiers in His army. We need to suit up in the
armor He provides. When we do, there is nothing that can stop up, for nothing
is impossible with God. Our faith will help us stand firm, it’s based on truth
to firmly plant us.
out the letter with reference to Tychicus, the “beloved brother and faithful
minister in the Lord.” Oh, that we would be recognized as such, beloved and
faithful ministers of what God has called us to do and be.
“Peace be to
the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus
Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible
love.” You’ll note that love is in italics, meaning it’s not in the
original text, but the translators put it in for flow.
is aphtharsia – one dictionary defined it as “a continuous state or process
with the implication that the state or process in question is not interrupted
by death – it’s unceasing, always eternally, undying, imperishable”. Another
said, “rendered as ‘with undying love”. Eternal
love. That is how we are to love the Lord Jesus Christ. Incorruptible, allowing
nothing to destroy or distract from it.
life is based on God’s love for us. Salvation is steeped in love, and provided
for by love – Because God is love. So, love Him back. Love is the word agaponton
– we initiate the action to keep on, continuously, love Him. It’s a principle
we need to live by moment by moment, for though the day may seem sunny, we walk
into a world of darkness. We are in a spiritual battle. We are much more attuned
to the physical, so the spiritual can sneak up on us. But if we are daily putting
on the armor of God, and taking up the shield of faith, with sword of the
Spirit, we will be ready for whatever he throws our way.
Walk on, Sister,
in incorruptible love of our Lord Jesus Christ. He’s got you covered! Step
out in faith, and walk in the strength of His might!