Our own strength is as a puff of air in a hurricane. Our true strength in all situations can only come from putting on the whole armor of God. Remembering that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but principalities, and powers of this world.
Ephesians 6:10-11, 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
In verses 1-9 Paul has given us Godly instructions on how to walk naturally before our children, our boss or employer, and our employees. I have pointed out the spiritual emphasis behind this walk from other verses Paul wrote and Jesus spoke as written in the New Testament. This natural walk can only be the fruit of our walking spiritually with Jesus and will never work if attempted on our own strength. In verse 10 Paul starts with “finally” which some people have mistaken as the “next step” in the growth of a newly born Christian. The misleading statement often preached by those with a limited spiritual understanding is “first in the natural, then the spiritual”, with the emphasis that our outward walk must first change then our spiritual man will be able to grow. These same teachers will use Ephesians 6:10 with 1 Corinthians 15:46, “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual”, as their platform of works unto righteousness. I call this “word bites”, as it is similar to the sound bites politicians use on each other to mislead their opponent’s followers. This is an effort to lead people to believe something that might not be true. This deception in the word is from the devil and is his only tool against God’s children. If you read the body of text in 1 Corinthians 15 you will see where Paul is pointing out the difference between Adam, the first man and his spiritual fall in the natural, and Jesus our savior, the Son of God born in the likeness of sinful flesh and His spiritual victory. If we were able to change our natural man in any fashion and that change were able to bring us closer to a right standing with God, then Jesus died in vain and we all should walk by the Law of Moses. Paul is actually emphasizing what we must do in order to live up to verse 1-9 as children of God living in this world.
The first word in this verse is where most readers, primarily taught on how to live for God verses how to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, will put verses 1-9 as actions needed to be in place then verse 6:10 “Finally” they can put on the whole armor of God. In western language “finally” is typically used as the last in a sequence or the last thing done. When you study the Greek meaning of LOIPOVN the first definition found in the New Testament Greek Lexicon is “remaining, the rest” which is typical with western thinking where finally is the last in a sequence. However, Ephesians was written by a Roman Jew living in the days of Greek supremacy. When you look at the additional meanings of LOIPOVN, you see it also can mean “hereafter, henceforth, for the future”.
Keep in mind Paul has spent the previous five chapters telling us how special we are to God; where our place is with Him when in Christ Jesus, and that all of our authority as a child of God rests- in the perfect work of Jesus on the cross. When you look at verse 6:10 under this light coupled with Paul’s typical writing ways of emphasis on how we can live in this awesome power of the blood of Jesus, the word “finally” takes on its other meanings. Hereafter, henceforth, for the future here is what you will need to understand, live out, and move in this message of grace; the full armor of God.
We are to live strong in the “power of His might”, which is clear it is the power of Jesus that we must depend on and not ourselves. Zechariah was told by God in verse 4:6 that it is His power and not mans might that moves on this earth. In John 5:9 & 30, Jesus told the Pharisees that He does nothing of Himself except that which He sees the Father do. In John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. We cannot do anything in our own power, and it is in our weakness that He is made strong 2 Corinthians 12:9. Paul goes on in verse 11 to teach us how to live in His strength and power.
Most Christians only put on the “helmet of salvation”, by pulling the “I’m saved” card out when in spiritual battle, but that leaves them exposed to the devil and with limited power. There seems to be an understanding of the initial salvation experience and forgiveness of sins, but Christians tend to spend the rest of their lives is some type of “work mode” in maintaining that free gift. That “work mode” of maintaining salvation is the very tool the enemy uses to keep us in doubt. Once we enter doubt we step out of the power God has bestowed on us through the blood of Jesus. The first thing Paul is telling us is to grasp the full meaning behind salvation. It is more than just the initial forgiveness of sins; it is for life and is the power we move in to boldly go to the throne of God, and overcome the sins that so easily ensnare us.
In verse 11 Paul is also telling us to put on the “whole” armor of God, and not just any armor, but His armor. Isaiah 59:17 tells us the Messiah put on the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness. We are therefore wearing His armor and not ours. This is significant in that when we do go into spiritual battle we wear the correct armor. Paul points out where our battles are in verse 12, but the emphasis is first on preparation. By putting on the whole armor of God, we are dressed in God’s armor, and if we fight like God spiritually, then the Devil not knowing the difference will always back down as he knows he was defeated by God. The only way the Devil will know it is us in battle is if we speak or act in any ungodly manor. So what are we battling? Deception!
Deception is the only weapon the devil has; he does not have any spiritual or heavenly authority here on earth. He only has what authority we give him due to our lack of understanding. Jesus tells us in Luke 10:18, 19 that He saw Satan fall from heaven and that we have the authority to trample over all of the enemy. When a person is fired from a job, they no longer have any authority with that company. Why do we think God would cast Satan out of heaven and let him keep any of his heavenly authority? All authority comes from God and Jesus paid the price for us to boldly come into the presence of God. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus is telling us where our authority is and how to use it, “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Learn what Jesus has done for us, understand the righteousness of God, and be filled with the Holy Spirit; in by doing so you will be able to put on the whole armor of God.
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