The following is a part of a new Monday – Friday update from my sermon on Sundays. I have had request so people can follow up and study during the week what had been previously preached , so here it is.
This is a 4th part of the series of sermons for this summers session on Christianity 101.
The Weapons of Grace
Ephesians 6:10-13; “10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand tin the evil day, and having done all, to stand”
Because the gospel is all about Grace–then the battles we fight must be in and through the Grace of the Gospel.
Here the understanding of the conflict between spiritually fallen and those who still occupy heaven and His followers, us, is real and happening today. This really helps to understand reality, sometimes foreign because of our scientific outlook which pervades our thinking today. This rationalistic materialist view which stats everything has a natural cause so there must be a scientific explanation for everything that occurs. This obscures what the Bible says about the realities of what is happening from God’s point of view.
Here in this book to the church of Ephesus, a people who at one time been steeped in the practice of magic, Paul the Apostle is reassuring the church that Christ has far greater authority and power than the powers of darkness they at one time served.
- Vs. 12, Who we fight? We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of wickedness.
- Vs. 12, What we fight? The devil’s schemes.
- Vs. 13, How we fight? Do everything. In vs. 13 here Grace is the everything we need to put on.
Many people don’t realize that this section of verses Paul is quoting from the book of Isaiah.
11:4, “But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.”
52:7: “How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
59:17; “For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was clad with zeal as a cloak.”
God supplies believers with the armor that He Himself wears. It is everything they need to successfully engage and defeat the enemy.
Able to withstand: A military expression that refers to a posture of opposition toward an enemy. The devil no longer holds the Ephesians or us under his control (2:2). God delivered them and us from the devil’s grasp, so now we have the power to resist Satan and his schemes.
Strategies (methodeias) of the devil: Refers to the devil’s efforts to destroy the church through divisions (4:14–22, 27) and false doctrine (4:2, 21; 5:6). Paul’s use of the word methodeias implys that the devil is cunning and uses deception to advance his evil purposes (2 Corinthians 11:3).
Forces of wickedness: Refers to hostile supernatural entities, some of which the ancients (Roman and Greek Pantheon) thought controlled the destiny of people. Most Greeks and Romans considered fighting such forces to be hopeless (it was the will of the gods). However, because of Christ’s victory, believers—who share in His authority—are not afraid (1:19–21; 2:20–21; 3:10; Col 2:15).
Looking specifically at vs. 15 & 17 we see the gospel of peace; Paul’s point seems rather to be that the shoes provides a grounding or readiness for battle. What soldiers need for firm footing to hold in battle is the good grip provided by nails driven through the sole, so that the front lines are not sent reeling and slipping by an enemy charging. It seems like a contradiction that the gospel of peace provides us with a firm grip that is the grounding or readiness for the battle Paul is talking about. Another version says it like this, ‘let the shoes on your feet be the gospel of peace, to give you firm footing’. It’s
not just the peace but the power of the Gospel which gives us peace in every battle that secures you to Christ enabling you to stand as Paul instructs us to do in verses 10 and 13.
In vs. 17 the helmet of salvation assures our hearts of our union with Christ—that we are already seated with him and so secure in him. We are already saved…so what is it that we fear or should fear?
Next week we will continuue with part 2.