Ephesians 6:10-12 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Introduction and Review
We have been spending the past couple of days exploring what is meant by the command to "put on the full armor of God." So far in our consideration of the wider context of Ephesians 4-6, we have suggested that putting on the full armor of God means: Filled with the Holy Spirit and living out the fully-obedient Christian life. Today we offer a third and final suggestion as to what it means to put on the full armor of God: Fight for your faith.
Putting on the full-armor of God means fighting the fight of faith
I want to direct the reader's attention to the following statements in Ephesians 6:11-12 that suggest this third meaning of "putting on the full armor of God".
"so that you will be able to stand firm" vs 11
"our struggle" vs 12
"but against rulers, against powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places" vs 12
Think about this: Why would the Apostle Paul be commanding us to put on the full armor of God unless we were not to fight? Now this may seem obvious from the context of Ephesians 6 - however by the way we so often live the Christian life, it seems we are more ready to give up ground to our enemy in the eternal matters of the Christian faith.
All of the spiritual armor has to do with various areas of the Christian life. If we fail to put on the full armor and fight the fight of faith - then we give up much ground. Consider how often we are told to "fight for our faith":
Romans 13:12 "The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light."
1 Timothy 1:18-19 "This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith."
2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith."
1 Thessalonians 5:8 "But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation."
Jesus Himself waged cosmic battle against Satan and the kingdom of darkness, winning the war of redemption in Colossians 2:11-15. We are as it were the church militant, sailing through the turbulent waters of the history and proclaiming this victory. Jude writes these words in Jude 3 "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints."
We have considered these past several days the meaning of "putting on the whole armor of God." In our studies we have concluded three meanings for this instruction:
1. Filled with the Holy Spirit
2. Fully obedient to the Lord
3. Fight for your faith