Ephesians 6:10-12 Part 2 - Spiritual Warfare
Our text is Ephesians 6:10-12 which says,
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Last week’s sermon...
was an introduction into the topic of spiritual warfare
and it was an introduction to the end of this remarkable letter.
We focused in on the word ‘Finally’.
Paul is going to begin to wrap up this letter.
Paul is also saying, that in view of all that has been shared since this letter began, it is imperative that Christians be ready to engage in a spiritual battle.
The foundation had been laid, the exterior walls had been put up and the roof of the structure has been put on. This great doctrinal letter has now built an imposing structure. And now Paul wants us to go see what has been built for the very first time. We are surprised to see that it is a great fortress.
This shelter, this garrison, this citadel has been built for far more than simply for our personal comfort. It is for our safety and for our help during the spiritual warfare that every Christian will encounter. Having built this fortress every believer can win this spiritual battle by the strength of God and by wearing His armor. They will be able to stand despite the size and strength of the enemy. The gates of hell will not prevail against God’s people and against God’s church. (Matthew 16:18)
John Calvin said, “The devils have such power over us that we could not tell how to withstand them, unless God were both our shield and our rampart (fortress), protecting us from all assaults, yes, and fighting for us when we can do nothing at all.”
In Ephesians Paul has given to every believer a bountiful grace package. Therefore, it is inevitable that the devil and all of his armies will soon be coming against us. If we have grown in the grace of God then we should not be surprised at any conflict, battle, assault, campaign or war that is being waged against us? We need not fear when such a day comes because Paul is telling us how we can stand strong during such a day.
Have we mistakenly assumed that the more we grow in grace the less we will have to battle.
Have we mistakenly believed that the more grace we experience the fewer conflicts we will encounter.
Have we mistakenly believed that as we grow in grace we will be tested less.
Paul knows that believers will have their faith tested. Samuel Rutherford said, “Grace withers without adversity. The devil is but God’s master fencer; to teach us to handle our weapons.”
God intends for believers to be engaged in this battle.
Therefore, Paul now is teaching every believer about the spiritual warfare that each of us faces.
We Are To Be Strong In The LORD
Paul begins by saying, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” There are three different words in the Greek that are used to describe strength in this verse.
First, we are to ‘be strong in the Lord’. There is a process to getting stronger. A believer is to be getting stronger and stronger in the Lord. If this occurs, the believer will not grow tired, distressed, drained or fatigued. The Lord will renew their strength and they will not grow weary.
Isaiah 30:28-31 says, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
How do we grow strong? It is growing in the very things that Paul has already prayed for in this letter. This is how Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:15-23,
“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”
When Paul says, “Be strong in the Lord”, he is encapsulating everything that he prayed in the beginning