Put On The Whole Armor of God--Ephesians 6:10-24
Paul concludes his letter to Christians at Ephesus by encouraging them to "put on the whole armor of God." This paragraph falls into three parts.
I. Paul encourages God's people to "stand firm" in the Lord. Ephesians 6:10-17.
a. The word "Finally" indicates Paul is concluding this epistle. Paul encourages God's people to BE STRONG in the Lord and in the strength of his power. We human beings are very weak. God is the ONLY source of strength. Thus, it is imperative that we turn to God's strength--not anyone else's and not our own. 6:10.
b. "The devil" and his forces are our enemies. Thus, Paul instructs to "Put on the whole armor of God" (6:11, 13). This is not physical armor, but spiritual armor. There is a great battle going on in life. On the one side is God and his followers; on the other side is Satan and his forces. Christians MUST be equipped adequately spiritually to stand against the wiles of the devil. 6:11.
c. It is easy to forget that the REAL battle is NOT against other people, but against the rulers, authorities, cosmic powers of this present darkness, spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. The devil and his angels are invisible from our perspective, but in reality they are always present and opposing God's people. 6:12.
d. Paul repeatedly encourages God's people to "be strong," "stand firm." Trust in God when reversals, setbacks, enemies, failures, disappointments and anxieties arise. 6:10, 13, 14.
e. Then, Paul enumerates SIX specific pieces of the armor of God.
1. The belt of truth
2. The breastplace of righteousness
3. Shoes ready to proclaim the gospel of peace
4. The shield of faith
5. The helmet of salvation
6. The sword of the Holy Spirit, which is the word of God. 6:14-17.
II. Prayer is central in Christian Living. Ephesians 6:18-20.
a. Paul specifically refers to "prayer" or "supplication" in three verses: 6:18-20. Paul tells Christians to "pray in the Spirit." The Holy Spirit is a powerful source for daily thought, speech, and action. This enables us to "keep alert" and always "persevere" for all the saints. Perseverance or persistence or stick-to-itiveness or tenacity is a major "key" to being faithful to God. See Romans 5:1-5; James 5:7-11. 6:18.
b. Paul needs and desires the prayers of his fellow-Christians at Ephesus so he will faithfully proclaim "the mystery of the gospel." This "mystery" is Christ, Christ in you, the unity of Jews and Gentiles [hence, all human beings], the church. See Colossians 1:24-2:7; Ephesians 1-13. 6:19.
c. Physically, Paul is "in prison" at Rome. But spiritually, Paul is "free," and thus desires to proclaim God's message to the world. 6:20.
III. Concluding instructions concerning Tychicus. Ephesians 6:19-24.
a. Paul tells the family of God that he is sending Tychicus to inform them personally how Paul is doing in prison in Rome to encourage them. It seems clear that Paul sent Tychicus and Onesimus to Colossae and Ephesus to carry these epistles. See Colossians 4:7-9; Philemon 10-21. Paul calls his "a dear brother and a faithful minister in the Lord." 6:19-22.
b. Finally, Paul prays for their "peace" and "grace" given to God. From this source, he prays that they will practice "undying love" and "faith." 6:23-24.
The little Epistle of Ephesians contains the GREAT TEACHINGS of the Bible. I hope this Epistle encourages and deepens YOUR hearts. Share YOUR ideas with others. Let me hear from YOU.