Ephesians and two kingdomsKingdom of God and the kingdom of this world.Ephesians has been walking us through how we go about living within these kingdoms.First half walked us through doctrine of salvation and who we are in Christ.Second half gave us practical teaching on how we live in a broken world full of corruption and honour God.This final section of Ephesians Paul is going to teach us how to prepare for the battle we are fighting everyday.He teaches us how to be prepared for temptation and how to resist it.We are kingdom people, living in a world that wants us to fall into temptation and be swallowed up by the kingdom of the world.Ephesians 6:10–20 NIVFinally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, 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. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Strength to Take a Stand Against the Schemes of the Devil
Be Strong in the LordFind your strength in God’s mighty power, not in our own power.Prepare YourselfPut on the full armor of God so we can take a stand against the devils schemes.We must be prepared by dressing appropriately for war. A war that wages all around us, yet many are not aware it exists.the enemy is crafty, he convinces us that we don’t need to be obedient to God’s will. He does this in ways that convince us we are following God but can make compromises. Convincing us that we are not good enough, or it’s not possible to actually seek righteousness in Christ.These strategies show us that the devil is real, not just some made up symbol of evil, he has intelligence, and Jesus spoke and acted as if he was battling a real cosmic agent, not just a mythological expression.The EnemyNot Flesh and BloodOur world is messed up, but not just because people are messed up. The fight is not against flesh and blood, this is one of the devil’s schemes. He puts us against one another to distract us from the real battle.The rulers of darkness in this world.There is a cosmic power that effects our world and the way we live. This power effects the kingdom of the world.Paul is correcting our thinking about what effects the world we live in. He wants us to be conscious about these cosmic powers around us that play a role.Illustration: They think there is a serial killer on the loose in Simcoe, does this change how you live?Paul is teaching us to be aware and prepared by putting on our battle suite. He uses the imagery of a Roman soldier.
The Armor of God
The belt of truth (v.14)stand firm with the belt of truth.in the ancient world the common dress was a robe, when it was time to go into battle, the soldiers would pull their robes above their knees, and gather the folds of the robes around their waist with a heavy belt.This belt was needed to keep everything together, without the belt their robe would trip them up.Paul is teaching us that the first thing a believer needs to do is get ready for to move into battle, by preparing to be able to move in truth.The truth Paul has in mind here is the foundation of our battle gear.Some commentators think Paul is teaching about truth being how we live, having a sound theology so we are prepared when the enemy attacks.I believe when Paul speaks of the belt of truth he is referring to theological truth, spiritual truth and our personal character.all of these things prepare us to be kingdom people instead of worldly people.The body armor of God’s Righteousness (v.14)This is the heavy fitted piece around the soldiers torso. It’s main purpose was to protect the vital organs from being pierced by an arrow or a sword.Paul is teaching that we must protect our hearts, and other vital organs in our lives. But there is more to this.Illustration: by R.C Sproul – Remember the classic story of the great hero, Achilles, who seemed to be invincible. The legend is that his mother, when he was a baby, dipped him into some kind of magical potion that coated his entire body with an invincible shield. But when she dipped him into this substance, she held him by the tip of his heel, so that one portion of his body was not covered with the magic solution. It was there that, in the course of a great battle in the Trojan War, Achilles was struck in the heel by an arrow and was slain. He had one uncovered point on his body where he was vulnerable. When believers are living in unconfessed sin, they are vulnerable to the assaults of Satan.The Sandals of Good News (v.15)In Roman times the march was one of the most important methods of warfare. They needed to be able to move troops quickly and strategically from one place to another.Their foot ware was important in order for them to march into battle. Crappy shoes meant a slow march. We are to be prepared to move with the good news of the Gospel.This imagery also speaks of how they would communicate during times of war. Messengers would be sent to bring news back home of how the battle was going.RC Sproul – In the ancient world it was customary, in some places, that if the messenger brought bad news, he was punished with death. If it was bad news, then, he would be burdened by the news that he was carrying, and fearful of what treatment he might expect. As each city posted lookouts to watch the approaching runners, it became almost a science whereby the lookout could determine whether the messenger was bringing good news or bad news, just by his feet. If the messenger was bringing good news of victory, his feet would be flying and he would be kicking up a lot of dust. There would be an exuberance and an enthusiasm in his gait, as he approached the walls of the city. Hence the phrase, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’Paul is saying that there is nothing more beautiful to see than a messenger who is bringing good news, and that is what the word ‘gospel’ means. It is the good news of the peace that we have with God, having been reconciled to the Father by the work of Jesus. The gospel becomes that which protects our feet, covers our feet and makes us mobile in the battle against cosmic evil.The Shield of Faith (v.16)This was a defensive part of they equipment of the soldier.The shield that protects believers from Satan’s attacks is the shield of faith.In battle torched arrows were fired into the city to wreak havoc and panic. The shield could protect the soldier from these arrows.Satan will accuse us of stuff in order to cause us to not feel worth of God. Use your shield to protect yourself. The shield of faith, when you trust in God’s rule.The Helmet of Salvation (v.17)The helmet protects the head, which is an easy target for a fatal blow.Satan tries to attack our minds by convincing us of lies. Deterring us from learning God’s word.The Sword of the Spirit – The Word of God (v17)The sword is the offensive weapon, what the soldier used to fight.The sword we use is God’s word.Jesus used this to fight against Satan during his temptation. Each answer Jesus gives is from God’s word.
Pray in the Spirit Always
For Yourself (v. 18)For Others (v. 18)For Paul Himself (v. 19-20)Big Idea: We must be prepared to live as kingdom people, willing to battle against evil in order to live for Jesus. This is a daily battle, that we can win if we put on our armor, and pick up our sword. Be prepared and never let your guard down.
The Armor of God: Wielding the Sword of the Spirit
When the deceiver says God doesn’t care about us, we say: It is written, in Christ we are God’s beloved children and dear friends. (John 1:12 / Ephesians 1:5 / John 15:5) When the deceiver says God has abandoned us, we say: It is written, Jesus will never leave us for sake us, and nothing in heaven or on earth or in hell can separate us from the love of God in Christ.(Matthew 28:20 / Romans 8:35-39) When the deceiver says we are guilty and condemned, we say: It is written, in Christ we are holy and blameless and freed from all condemnation. (Ephesians 1:4 / Romans 8:1 / Colossians 2:14-16) When the deceiver says we are stupid idiots, we say: It is written, we have been given the mind of Christ and are bathed with wisdom and understanding (I Corinthians 2:16 / Ephesians 1:8) When the deceiver says we are poor and weak, we say: It is written, In Christ we are blessed with every spiritual blessing and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.(Ephesians 1:3 / Philippians 4:13) When the deceiver tries to make us fearful and anxious, we say: It is written, we are filled with God’s own fearless Spirit and filled with God’s own joy and peace. (2 Timothy 1:7 / Romans 14:17 / John 14:27) When the deceiver says that we are losers who will never overcome our failings, we say: It is written, in Christ we are more than a conqueror in all things and we are destined to be totally transformed into Christ’s own likeness.(Romans 8:37 / I John 3:1-5) When the deceiver reminds us of our shameful past, we say: It is written, everything you had against us has been nailed to the cross, which is why you are now a laughingstock to us.(Colossians 2:14-15) When the deceiver says our shortcomings make us unlovable, we say: It is written, we are the beloved bride of Christ and we ravish the heart of God and makes him sing and clap his hands in delight.(Song of Songs 4:1; 6:4 / Zephaniah 3:17) When the deceiver says our future is looking very bleak, we said: Get lost! It is written, in Christ we have an eternal inheritance of unimaginable glory. (Ephesians 1:11, 18)