Text: Ephesians 6:10-20
EPHESIANS 6:11 (ESV)
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
The apostle Paul began his short letter to the Ephesians by reminding them of the rich blessings in Christ. He recalls his thanksgiving for them, remembering them in his prayers always. He has spoken of the ministry of Christ and His one body. He has prayed for their strength and unity, reminding them of the "new life" they share in Christ. He has encouraged them to walk in Christ's love and that His love be reflected in all their relationships.
As he concludes his letter, Paul reminds the church that they (and we) are in a battle. He reminds them to be strong in the Lord and to put on the whole armor of God (ref. Eph. 6:10-11).
As others have noted, in this section, a call to stand and to be strong in the Lord (ref. Eph. 6:10), could be divided in three parts.
1. A description of the nature of the battle (Eph 6:10–13)
2. A call to resist the powers by putting on the armor of God (vv. 14–17)
3. And a reminder to pray and be alert (vv. 18–20) (1)
C. S. Lewis, in the introduction of his book, The Screwtape Letters, talks about the ordinariness of things. In general, people find it impossible to believe the unfamiliar. Paul talks about the battle against the authorities and powers over this present darkness and against evil's spiritual forces (ref. Eph. 6:12). Paul describes a spiritual battle that may not be easily seen, a battle that is unconventional. For these reasons, this battle can go unrecognized. However, that does not mean the battle is any less real than the battles we read about in history books.
Christians need to be ready to stand firm against the devil's schemes, taking up the whole armor of God. There is a battle raging! The enemy will do everything possible to knock out the sure footing of the message of Christ. Perhaps his best attack is much like C. S. Lewis describes, in the ordinariness of life, the familiar is always before us. Distracted by the ordinary, seldom will one consider the realities we can’t see or touch.
It could be, for this reason, Paul concludes this section with a call to pray in the Spirit at all times, keeping alert with all perseverance (ref. Eph. 6:18). Put on the whole armor of God, be ready to stand.
Scripture taken from the English Standard Version, The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Eph 6:10–20.