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The Armor of God June 9, 2012

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Ephesians 6:10-20.

Summary: Paul begins by exhorting the Ephesians to always look to Christ for their strength. He instructs them to put on the full armor that God has provided so that they can defend themselves against Satan. This stems from the fact that they struggle not with men but with demons – who 1) have authority in the kingdom of darkness and 2) are celestial beings. Since the Ephesians have these enemies, they should put on the full armor that God has provided so that whenever they are tried, they can resist demonic attacks and emerge victorious. In particular, they should:

  • know and believe God’s truth
  • put on the righteousness of Christ
  • be filled with eagerness, as the Gospel has made peace between them and God
  • have faith in Christ as the Son of God and as their Savior – protecting them from the fierce attacks of Satan
  • hold to the fact that they are saved
  • use the Bible, which has been given to them by the Holy Spirit.

They should also pray:

  • constantly
  • both formally and randomly to God
  • under the influence of the Holy Spirit
  • vigilantly for all believers.

Paul then asks the Ephesians to pray that God would help him to proclaim the divinely revealed Gospel message freely and boldly. He concludes by stating that he has been commissioned by Christ and is currently imprisoned – yet he asks the Ephesians to pray that he would be able to fulfill the role that Christ has given him.

Thoughts: In verse 16, we see that faith in Christ is required to repel the attacks of Satan. Hodge offers some thoughts on this point:

The obvious allusion here is to those missiles used in ancient warfare, around which combustible materials were bound, which were ignited and thrown against the enemy…As burning arrows not only pierced but set on fire whatever they pierced, they were doubly dangerous…It is a common experience for God’s people that at times horrible thoughts – unholy, blasphemous, doubting, malignant – crowd on the mind, which cannot be accounted for by any ordinary law of mental action, and which cannot be dislodged.

The fact that Satan’s attacks are characterized as “flaming arrows” highlights their deadly nature – if believers do not cling to their faith, they could lose their salvation. I also appreciate Hodge explicitly stating the predicament that all Christians regularly face – the problem of thinking “horrible thoughts.” I can attest that attempting to rid my mind of such thoughts has proven to be a futile endeavor – which highlights my need for a Savior who I can cling to. Indeed, if I were to cease relying on Christ as my Savior, Satan would be able to bring my soul closer to destruction; thus, I must remain vigilant against Satan’s attacks.

Verse 18 highlights the importance of prayer in our struggle with Satan. Hodge offers some pertinent thoughts on this point:

It is not armor or weapons which make the warrior. There must be courage and strength – and even then he often needs help. As the Christian has no resources of strength in himself and can succeed only as helped from above, the apostle urges the duty of prayer.

When reading through this “armor of God” passage, believers often fall into the trap of only focusing on verses 11-17. Yet we must remember that without prayer, our struggle against Satan will end in our defeat. Prayer may seem rather mundane, yet it is a God-given weapon – it allows us to communicate with the One who enables us to emerge victorious in all of our battles with Satan. This further illustrates the ultimate dependence of believers on God and His mighty strength. In some sense, prayer enables us to put on and utilize the full armor of God; if we do not pray, we cannot use this suit of armor.

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1. Further Instructions « Ringing In - October 24, 2012

[…] The analogous passage in Ephesians is Ephesians 6:10-20, which I’ve blogged about. Now in this passage, we see that believers need to “make the most of every […]


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