Thursday, December 10, 2020

2020.12.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 6:10–13

Read Ephesians 6:10–13

Questions from the Scripture text: What does the apostle call the Ephesians saints in Ephesians 6:10? What does he command them to do? In Whom? And in what? What does he say to put on (Ephesians 6:11)? How much of it? So that they might be able to do what? Against what/whom? What didn’t the apostle and the Ephesians wrestle against (Ephesians 6:12)? Against what did they wrestle? What, again, were they to take up (Ephesians 6:13)? How much of it? That they might be able to do what? When? And then what? And then what? 

One of the things that is sometimes missed in the apostle’s teaching about the spiritual war is that we are given marching orders. Our Commander in Chief has identified the location and nature of the battle, and has given His great order: “Stand!”

But where, against whom, against what, and how? The context in which this battle occurs has been established by the preceding sections. In Ephesians 5:8–16, the apostle discussed being light against the darkness by the fruit of the Spirit. And then in Ephesians 5:17–21, he talked about how the great thing that is needed to live wisely in the evil days is to be filled with the Spirit. Now, he brings us back to that thought in Ephesians 6:13’s “evil day.”

Before, he had said to “walk” three times (Ephesians 5:1Ephesians 5:8Ephesians 5:15), and now he indicates just how difficult this is by changing the command to “stand” three times (Ephesians 6:11Ephesians 6:13Ephesians 6:14). What has changed? He has told us where the battle is especially taking place: marriages, parent-child relationships, everyday work. For the kingdom of light to advance, ground must not be lost in any of these areas. How often we have heard of those who thought themselves advancing the kingdom but failed to stand in their marriage, parenting, and employment/finances!

But against whom are we doing battle? Coming out of Ephesians 5:22–6:9, our flesh will say “spouses,” “parents,” “children,” “bosses,” or “employees.” But it is a great mistake to think that flesh and blood is our great opposition. It is the devil himself (Ephesians 6:11) whose very organized army (Ephesians 6:12) is taking aim at us. 

And they do so not so much in the earthly circumstances, but rather attacking who we are in Christ. The “heavenlies” in verse 12 are the place where we have been “blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3) where He has been raised and seated (Ephesians 1:20), and we have been raised and seated together with Him (Ephesians 2:6). This is where the manifold wisdom of God is displayed in Christ (Ephesians 3:10).

Our marriages, parent-child relationships, and everyday work are where we slip the most. Where we fall the most. And where maintaining the display of Christ’s resurrection life in us is most at stake. This is the place where the devil has instructed his well-organized, wicked, forces to attack. This is the place where we must summon not all of our strength, so much as all of the Lord’s strength, if we are just to stand!

Some Christians marvel at others whom they think to be “real spiritual warriors” or “in real spiritual warfare.” Dear Christian, that’s you. You are under attack all day, every day. And it is by the Lord’s strength that you are to be strong, just so that you can stand. And keep standing.

Where and with whom do you spend the most time. Whom will you be tempted to think of as the enemy? But who really are your enemies? What does the enemy want you to do? What will it look like to stand against him? How will you be able to stand against him?

Suggested songs: ARP128 “How Blessed Are All Who Fear the Lord” or TPH534 “Fill Thou My Life, O Lord My God”

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