United For Unity #12 — United In The Fight (Ephesians 6.10-24)

Ephesians 6:10 shifts us from the beauty of Christian marriage, family, and work, into a war.

  • We are told to stand (11, 14), withstand (13), and stand firm (13) in the midst of this war.
  • To do so, we must:
    • 1 Take up a wartime mentality.
    • 2 Take up our war-clothes.
    • 3 Take up a war-cry (prayer).

Take Up A Wartime Mentality (6:10-12)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

  • 10-12 Schemes of the devil / wrestle / rulers / authorities / cosmic powers / spiritual forces of evil:
    • We are in a spiritual war.
      • Each title is difficult to define, but some attributes are abundantly clear about these spiritual forces.
        • They are powerful — rulers, authorities, powers, forces.
        • They are wicked — present darkness, evil.
        • They are cunning — schemes.
      • The church, collectively.
        • Matthew 16:18 (ESV) — 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
      • But you, personally.
  • 12 We do not wrestle against flesh and blood:
    • We are in a spiritual war.
      • Our fight is not against the seen, visible realm.
        • The final answer will not be found in education, legislation, or justice, but in the spiritual dimension.
        • Effective people: Something in them was open to heaven, something which urged them Godward. Without attempting anything like a profound analysis I shall say simply that they had spiritual awareness and that they went on to cultivate it until it became the biggest thing in their lives. They differed from the average person in that when they felt the inward longing they did something about it. They acquired the lifelong habit of spiritual response. -- A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, loc. 653. Kindle Edition
      • Incorrect attitudes:
        • I do everything and God does nothing.
        • I do nothing and God does everything.
        • I do all I can and God helps with what I can’t do.
      • Correct attitude: By faith I rely on His might - more and more - and then do the work!
        • 10-11 Our need is to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might (10), but also to put on the whole armor of God (11).
          • For a spiritual war there are spiritual weapons.

Take Up Your War-clothes (6:13-17)

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…

  • This list is life.
    • Remember: Paul was in prison, perhaps even tied to a Roman soldier.
    • As he looked at their equipment, he realized God has provided equipment for the spiritual war we are in.
    • When we are losing in the battle, we likely have neglected part of the armor Christ has given us access to.
  • 14 Belt of truth: The weapon of integrity.
    • Belt: held their garments together and their sword on.
      • Without this the other elements of the armor were pointless.
    • Interpretation: Integrity and faithfulness.
      • This speaks of a “true” life.
      • A true life gives freedom of movement (self, others, and God).
      • David: Psalm 32:3 (ESV) — 3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
  • 14 Breastplate of righteousness: The weapon of right actions.
    • Breastplate: Evidence suggests it did protect the backside like the front (major organs).
    • Interpretation: Right actions towards those around me (moral righteousness).
      • Godliness: right actions toward God.
      • Righteousness: right actions towards man.
  • 15 Shoes…the readiness given by the gospel of peace: The weapon of the good news.
    • Shoes: studded sandals that tied to the leg like a boot.
      • Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were militarily successful - in part - because their armies were outfitted with proper shoes, enabling them to march speedily.
    • Interpretation 1: ready and prepared to share the Gospel.
      • Witness: testify of what has happened to you.
      • Romans 10:15 — 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (from Isa 52:7).
    • Interpretation 2: sure-footedness that comes from the Gospel.
      • Habakkuk 3:19 — 19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
      • Peace the Gospel brings — preach it to yourself in all circumstances.
  • 16 Shield of faith: The weapon of faith.
    • Shield: not the small, round defensive weapon, but the large, full bodied wooden shield. It would be covered with linen and then leather, designed to extinguish flaming darts. Enabled troops to march on interlocked together.
    • Fiery darts: any attack of Satan, wide and varied.
      • Depression, insignificant things blown out of proportion, opposition, panic, helplessness.
      • Strong belief in God get’s us through Satan’s attacks.
  • 17 Helmet of salvation: The weapon of salvation.
    • Helmet: protection of the head was/is incredibly important in battle. If the head was gotten to, the fight was effectively over with.
      • 1 Thessalonians 5:8 — 8 ...and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
      • Your mind must be covered with deep hope of salvation.
      • Three stages of biblical salvation:
        • 1 Past — saved.
        • 2 Present — saving.
        • 3 Future — will save.
  • 17 Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: The weapon of the Bible.
    • Sword:
      • Satan attacked the word in the garden — Genesis 3:1 (ESV) — 1 “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:4 (ESV) — 4 “You will not surely die.
      • Eve twisted the word in the garden — Genesis 3:2–3 (ESV) — 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
      • Adam disobeyed the word in the garden.
      • Jesus accurately applied the word when in the wilderness.
        • Deuteronomy 8:3 (bread alone) — there is more to man.
        • Deuteronomy 6:13 (him only shall you serve) — there is only on for me.
        • Deuteronomy 6:16 (to the test) — and He’s been good to me.

Take Up A War Cry (6:18-24)

18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

  • 18 Praying: Prayer is important and beautiful to me.
    • The great moves of God all begin with prayer.
      • Exodus
      • The Cross
      • Acts
    • Various facets to prayer are mentioned here.
      • Note: I actually wrote about these recently — The Weapon Of Prayer.
      • 1 18 At all times: Non-stop prayer.
      • 2 18 In the Spirit: Spirit-led prayer.
      • 3 18 With all prayer and supplication: All-types prayer.
      • 4 18 Keep alert: Eyes-open prayer.
      • 5 18 With all perseverance: Keep-going prayer.
      • 6 18 For all the saints: Family-style prayer.
      • 7 19 For me / word may be given to me / boldly: Preacher prayer.
    • Pray!
      • Faith does not grow disheartened because prayer is not immediately honoured; it takes God at His Word, and lets Him take what time He chooses in fulfilling His purposes, and in carrying on His work. There is bound to be much delay and long days of waiting for true faith, but faith accepts the conditions -- knows there will be delays in answering prayer, and regards such delays as times of testing, in the which, it is privileged to show its mettle, and the stern stuff of which it is made. -- Edward M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer - Discover How To Pray Without Ceasing!, pg. 9, loc. 68-71. Kindle Edition

21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.

  • 21 Tychicus:
    • One of Paul’s companions in Acts (Acts 20:4).
    • Delivered Colossians (Colossians 4:7) and Philemon (with Onesimus).
    • He went to Crete to see Titus (Titus 3:12).
    • He went to Ephesus for Paul (2 Timothy 4:12).
      • Tychicus would help them pray more effectively for Paul.


23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

  • 23-24 Peace / Grace: Bookends of the book (Ephesians 1:2).