Morning Musing: Ephesians 6:14-18 (Part 3)

“Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit–which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

For much of the last week now we have been unpacking Paul’s description of the armor of God together. This is the protection afforded us as followers of Jesus in the great spiritual battle we are engaged in with the powers of this world. We first clarified that the battle is not against the people around us. They are never our enemies. We’ve also settled the fact that our primary task is resistance to the enemy’s attacks. Then, for the past couple of days, we have examined each of the pieces of armor themselves. We are covered from head to toe by the various spiritual blessings available to us when we are found in Christ. We even have an offensive tool in God’s Spirit which is accessed through His word. This is all well and good, but if we are in a battle, that implies we are occasionally going to have to do some fighting. We are tasked with advancing God’s kingdom which means moving forward into enemy held territory. The enemy is not going to simply give up the ground it is holding and walk away. The question that has been hanging over the top of all of the conversation we’ve been having is this: How do we actually fight? This morning as we wrap up this short series, I’m going to seek to answer that question for you. Let’s dig into it.

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Morning Musing: Ephesians 6:14-18 (Part 2)

“Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit–which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We are in the midst of a conversation about the armor of God that Paul describes at the tail end of his letter to the Ephesian church. In the first part (here), we looked at the background of the battle for which we need this armor. Our battle is not against people. Ever. And our tactics are to be focused on resistance, not being offensive. We hold ground God has won and advance the kingdom by the means of love. Yesterday, then, we started talking about the armor itself. We covered the first three pieces–the belt (truth), breastplate (righteousness), and footwear (the Gospel of peace). This morning, let’s look at the next three pieces.

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Morning Musing: Ephesians 6:14-18

“Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit–which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Last Thursday we started a short conversation about the armor of God. The two conclusions we came to then were that in the great battle we face as followers of Jesus, people are not our enemy, and our primary function as warriors in God’s army is to stand firm and resist the enemy’s attacks. Our place is not to go on the offensive to advance God’s kingdom. That’s God’s job. We follow Him, and we actively share our faith, but we must always make sure He is out front. We come in with love and the gentle spirit of Jesus. No one will be forced into the kingdom. That whole conversation, though, was a preface to talking about the armor itself. This morning, let’s continue our conversation by looking at the armor God has provided us.

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Digging in Deeper: Ephesians 6:11-13

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Following Jesus in this world is to become acquainted with battle. This is because following Jesus means advancing the kingdom of God while living in the kingdom of this world. Advancing the kingdom of one ruler from within the kingdom of another is asking for a fight. And indeed, a fight is what we will face if we do it consistently and well. That means when you sign up to follow Jesus, you are signing up to be a warrior. One thing every warrior needs is armor. Armor protects you and allows you to sustain attacks that would otherwise wipe you out. Because the battle we are in as followers of Jesus is not like other battles, though, neither can our armor be. Let’s talk this morning about our armor and the nature of our battle.

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Digging in Deeper: Ephesians 6:11

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

This Friday, we are going to take a look at James’ contribution to the topic of spiritual warfare. He says that we should submit to God and resist the devil. The result will be that the devil will flee from us. Here, we encounter Paul’s even more famous thoughts on spiritual warfare. How does what he says fit with James’ words? Let’s take a look at this together and set a context for what is to come. 

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