Sunday, November 14 2021
The apostle Paul commanded Christians, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (Ephesians 6:10 ESV). Many believers want the strength of God to withstand temptation and evil, yet they also neglect the strength that God gives to withstand temptation. How can Christians be strong in the strength that God gives them?
To be strong in the strength of God, the apostle Paul illustrated God’s strength with a set of armor, “the panoply of God.” The apostle commanded believers to put on the whole armor of God to be strong to withstand the strategies of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). God strengthens believers to battle against the rulers, authorities, world’s powers of darkness, and evil spiritual forces (6:12). To do this, Christians are to put on the whole armor of God and do everything to stand on the evil day (6:13). God has given Christians all that they need. No believer is lacking from God, but every Christian must put on the whole armor to stand.
The armor of God is complete. God’s soldier has a belt of truth that makes him ready to move without restraint in every circumstance (Ephesians 6:14). The Christian is a soldier who has a breastplate protecting his heart with righteousness (6:14). He wears shoes making him ready to carry the gospel of peace (6:15). He has a shield of faith constantly protecting him from flaming arrows from the evil one (6:16). The soldier takes up the helmet of salvation protecting and focusing his head upon hope (6:17; cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:8). God’s warrior carries the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (6:17). The writer of Hebrews described the sword as piercing to the division of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). The armor of God is glorious as the apostle Paul described this armor as “the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). God was first to wear the armor that He has now given to the faithful to stand (Isaiah 59:16–17; cf. 9:6–7). For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4).
Having put on the whole armor of God, the Christian must remain watchful of the enemy and alert by persevering in prayer for all Christians (Ephesians 6:18). The Christian soldier is standing on guard not only to protect oneself but to protect all who serve God with him (6:19). Christians look out for each other by living and proclaiming the gospel boldly while enduring hardships (6:19–20). Many come to lead even serving as ministers, reporting the news of fellow Christians, and encouraging others (6:21–22).
God has given a brotherhood to the faithful. God has also given peace and grace to those who love Christ with incorruptible love and faith (6:23–24). For God has given the faithful all the strength that they need.