Read Ephesians 6
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
The Armor of God
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. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.
23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
As Paul wraps up his letter to the church in Ephesus, he reminds them of the spiritual struggle they are part of. We have an enemy that is out to destroy us. As children of God, we should put on the full armor of God to stand up against the evil of the world. It is easy to think our boss, family members, or individuals we may be in conflict with are our enemies. This passage suggests it is different, and deeper, than that. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (v. 12). Our struggles with other people are really manifestations of conflict at the spiritual level.
To overcome our spiritual struggles, we fight spiritual battles. Being faithful to God is not for the faint of heart. It’s a fight for the most important part of us–our souls. It is a matter of life and death. It’s the greatest challenge of our lives. Sometimes we may be tricked into thinking our greatest challenges are in building thriving companies, families or bank accounts. But “what good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36). Our faith is a dangerous fight for our souls.
To win the fight for our souls, we need the full armor of God. Since our challenges and struggles will come from all forces of evil we must put on the full armor of God to be able to stand our ground. The full set of armor includes: truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation, the Holy Spirit and God’s word. We need each piece to win the fight.
In sum, we are in a spiritual fight against Satan and God offers us the armor (and sword) we need to succeed. Let’s take that seriously today. Serious enough to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (v. 18). Serious enough to spend time in the word of God. What will we do with that today?
- Are you wearing the armor of God into your battles?
- Which piece(s) of the armor are you missing?
- Do you sometimes forget faith is a fight?
Now that we have read the book of Ephesians, watch this overview from The Bible Project to make sure you picked up on all the major themes throughout the book.
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