Friday, January 28, 2011

The Armor of God- Ephesians 6

Ephesians 6

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 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.

McArthur says, "The true believer described in Ephesians 1-3 who lives a spirit controlled life can be sure that they will face spiritual warfare." Wow. So, if I am walking in the Lord doing the best to be controlled by His Spirit, I better be ready!

These verses say that our battle isn't against people; it's against Satan and his workers. These verses remind me of 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. (Message)

3-6The world is unprincipled. The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

So, the bible tells us what we can do. It tells us to fight out battles with "God tools" which are described here in the next few verses. McArthur says," Only the truth of God's word can defeat Satanstic falsehoods. That is true spiritual warfare... we are suppose to assault error with truth. That is our battle." He also says, "...battles of temptation go on regularly. The Lord's power, the strength of the Spirit and the force of biblical truth are required for victory."

So, verse 14 starts the armor of God. To be honest, I have always been a little confused by these verses because I didn't understand how they were actually to be applied to my life but the awesome thing about studying the bible is that God is ready and willing to reveal Himself to me if I just ask and really want to know!

vs 14- Breastplate of Righteousness

"As believers faithfully live in obedience to and communion with Jesus Christ, His own righteousness produces in them the practical, daily righteousness that becomes their spiritual breastplate. Lack of holiness on the other hand, leaves them vulnerable to the great enemy of their souls."

Corinthians 7:1 says "...let's make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let's make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God."

The word distracts drew my attention here. I need to rid my life of anything that distracts me from righteousness (or leading a life that is pleasing to God.)

vs 15- Gospel of Peace

"It is that confidence of divine support which allows the believer to stand firm, knowing that since he is at peace with God, and God is his strength." (Romans 8:31, 37-39)

vs 16- Shield of Faith

"The believers continual trust in God's word and promise is "above all" absolutely necessary to protect him from temptations to every sort of sin. All sin comes when the victim falls to Satan's lies and promises of pleasure, rejecting the better choice of obedience and blessing."

vs 17- Helmet of Salvation

Satan aims to confuse our salvation, as in causing us to doubt but God promises when we give our lives to him at salvation, we are His forever. John 10:28 says, " I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand." "Security is a fact, assurance is a feeling that comes to the obedient Christian" (1 Peter 1:3-10)

vs 17 Sword of the Spirit

"Just as the sword in battle was the solider's only weapon so the Word of God is our only needed weapon, infinitely more powerful that Satan's!" Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. "

McArthur says, "Standing firm against the enemy without wavering or falling is the goal." James 4:17 says, "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them." 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, " Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings."

'The idea is of sincere commitment to fight and win without hypocrisy- self discipline in devotion to victory."

...and verse 18 gives further instruction, saying we are to pray always in the Spirit, being watchful to the end with perseverance.

First, let me say, that everything that is in quotes came from John McArthur's study bible. Adam got a new one and so he let me have his old one! Yah for me! Love that the Lord has given me much more clarity on these verses and yet again established in my heart that first of all, everyday God is willing to give me all these things but I have to choose to take them daily, moment by moment really. Part of it is my choice. I must "chose this day who I will serve." (Joshua 24:15)

I have been reading, Dobson's "The new Dare to Discipline." While I do not agree with everything it says (and have not in any way figured out this whole discipline thing!!), I think it offers so great tips and advice on discipline. More thoughts on that later...

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