III. Strength in the Spirit Part 2
a) 13-17 Taking up the Full Armor: As previously stated, each part of the armor about to be mentioned must be present if we are going to be able to stand. Each armor piece represents a virtue (inner strength and moral excellence). We must have these virtues intact, because they are areas where the enemy will attack us. They are necessary to have a solid walk and to stand firm when the enemy comes.
I always hear that Paul was comparing battle in the spirit to a natural one, and that the armor was a reflection of the Roman armor of the day. This is true but not complete. There is a deeper spiritual meaning also. In Daniel 2, the statue, I believe, represents the evil empire, and this description of the armor is similar. Also, Goliath’s armor is similarly described in 1 Samuel 17. Now in contrast to the evil counterfeit, and in line with the entire context of Ephesians and the believer’s place in the spiritual realm, here is a picture of our battle gear, out armor. We have a direct and more powerful answer to the weapons the enemy possesses. Paul here gives light to something David understood centuries before, and shows us the secret to defeating theses powers. When we have it on we will be able to stand against the aforementioned evils. This understanding prepares us for the following analysis of the pieces of armor.
Belt of Truth (14a): The belt holds all the pieces of the armor together. We must know the truth so we will not be deceived. Our weapon is the Sword of the Spirit–The Word of God. And we must know the truth of the Word if we are going to effectively use it.
Breastplate of Righteousness (14b):His blood makes us righteous and because of that there is forgiveness of sins. If we have the breastplate on we will stand when sinful temptations come our way. The breastplate covers the vital organs. In the spirit it covers and protects vital parts of our walk and relationship with Jesus, making us ineffective in spiritual battles.
Shoes of Preparation of the Gospel of Peace (15): If you are in a fight you must be ready to stand your ground; ready and well balanced to stand against the angle of attack the enemies of God bring against the Gospel. Peace destroys war, therefore if we are ready with the good news of Jesus, the peacemaker, it will erase their plans. We must be ready to preach the Gospel at all times.
This is why the armor is listed in this order. When we walk in truth protecting our hearts from unrighteousness, we are ready to go when the Lord commands.
Shield of Faith (16): Faith blocks doubt. If we have a ready defense, not only can we cover ourselves, we can cover others. Then we will have a ready offense. Any doubt can be blocked with faith with faith and allow us to counterstrike with the sword of the Spirit. In our battles our faith with shield us from any weapon the devil uses against us. Imagine an advancing army and all of their weapons and firepower and extinguished instantly through faith. Now they are completely vulnerable.
Helmet of Salvation (17a): This covers our most vulnerable area. If the devil can attack our salvation it will wear on us. One way is a mortal wound that will cause us to backslide or lose it. Another way is to make us think we have it when we took it off along time ago. We must be sure of our salvation and continue in it. This is why it is compared to a helmet. We must wear it at all times and not remove it. When we walk in assurance of salvation and are guarding it with truth, righteousness, and readiness of faith, this demonstrates that the Word of God is not just knowledge, but is alive in us making us warriors. When the Word is real in us we can speak it to destroy the enemy.
Sword of the Spirit (17b): This is our weapon. Every time the enemy came at Jesus, He used it to stop him. Once the Word goes forth, it continues on forever. Jesus is the Word (John 1:1). Everything He ever said pulled down darkness! We are seated next to Him and in one sense, our weapon is Him–He is the Word.
When we speak the name of Jesus, all of creation is called to attention.His Spirit dwells in us. The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God is all the fullness of the Trinity. When we speak in His will with His armor on us, God’s Word, we are in essence speaking Jesus, and God will accomplish His word. We reveal God by speaking God. In Jesus’ name, we can do anything! God is our weapon. His Word is all the fullness of His power and majesty coming forth from our lips to accomplish what He has called us to do. The dead will have to live, the sick will have to heal, demon will have to flee. His words do not fail. Here is the mystery–His words in us do not fail either.
Do we realize what this verse is really saying? Does in digest in our hearts or simply pass through our minds? The gravity of the situation is magnetic, awe-inspiring, utterly powerful, and if its magnitude were captured, it would shatter the expectancy of common faith. That is to say that if we can take hold of this and live it, our lives would change, those around us will change, and ultimately the earth will change. Imagine this taking hold and catching like fire, consuming both the new believer and the seasoned. And this is contained in these simple statements of the current revelation revealed. Now imagine it combusting with your revelation, expediting the elevation of our understanding of all that can actually happen in our lifetime for the Gospel! You’ll never know the stamp you leave on the world until you view it from eternity. Come on church, wake up! Brothers and sisters, every time we read, pray, and fellowship, it is a call to arms. We are as David, armed in the Spirit. David spoke the Word to Goliath (1 Sam 17:46-47), therefore the stone could not miss, for it had to carry out the Word of the Lord. See, the Word is our weapon, and our Sword of the Spirit.
b) 18-24 Power of Prayer
18 – Prayer is the “know how” of using the spiritual armor.We must communicate with God to know His will and for His Spirit to dwell in us. You are in constant contact with those you love the most (Mt 6:6), in the Spirit, praying as the Holy Spirit guides you at all times. This simply means we are constantly praying, directing our thoughts and intentions towards God. And it is out of this vein we are enabled to effectively pray for others.
19-20 – Paul wants us to pray that when he is called to earthly account we may be in the Spirit and testify boldly they mysteries; even which we have been studying.
21-24 – Closing remarks, exhortation always in love comfort, faith, and peace.
Conclusion: As you may have noticed this study became more in depth as I proceeded with its compilation. Much time was not spent on Chapter 1 in comparison, but is so rich much that more expositions could be written. This is the second version of the notes and the urge to expound more is present in me, so hopefully this will be the foundation for a future expanded version. Remember this was not a normal Bible study, but I tried to present this awesome book from the angle of study and revelation God has shared with me. Thank you for your time and I pray that those of you who have read this have been enriched in all the wisdom and knowledge and revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that the words of His Spirit that were contained in this study will endure.
[There will be an appendix to finish out the series called The Church in Heavenly Places. This was a study I posted on a forum when someone asked the question of what Paul meant by heavenly places as mentioned in Ephesians. The study was the foundation for this notebook on Ephesians so I wanted to share it with you as well. It has a specific order that sheds light in neat view when the verses on "heavenly places" are compared.]
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