By Pastor J.D. Link
Ephesians 6:10-12 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” William Gurnall, who literally wrote the book on the armor of God, said, “In heaven we shall appear, not in armor, but in robes of glory. But here these are to be worn night and day; we must walk, work, and sleep in them, or else we are not true soldiers of Christ.” Being a good soldier of Jesus Christ means living our lives in the full armor of God every moment of everyday. The kingdom of darkness does not sleep, so neither can the disciple of Christ.
I encourage you to read Eph 6:10-18. In it, we find there are seven pieces of armor the Saint is to put on. Five are defensive (belt, breastplate, boots, helmet, shield), and two are offensive (sword and prayer). The pieces of armor we will look at more thoroughly next week, but first we will cover the preceding verses.
Eph 6:10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” “Be strong” means empowered, enabled, increased in strength. In whom? In the Lord, and the power of His might. Through Him, we can do all things (Philp 4:13). We are strengthened with might by His Spirit in our inner man (Eph 3:16). Spiritual battle requires spiritual strength, and it is through Jesus that we receive His might and power.
Eph 6:11 “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” “Put on” means to be clothed with. Meditate on it; grow in the knowledge, understanding and wisdom of it; realize it and accept it. We must know the Word and trust in it. “Whole” means all of it. We cannot neglect any piece of armor. Imagine a soldier who had all his equipment – except for his belt. It’s near impossible to fight with your pants around your ankles. Any part we neglect, will be a vulnerability that our enemy will exploit.
Also, this armor is “of God”. It is not our own invention. We don’t go to war with cardboard cut-out armor. We have God’s armor, and it works. His power and His tools are all we need to overcome our adversary. We stand against the “wiles” of the devil. Wiles are his methods, strategies, schemes, tactics or devices. Satan was stripped of his power by Jesus (Col 2:15), and Jesus now has all authority (Mt 28:18); and has delegated that authority to us (Eph 1:19-23). Satan comes to us not in power and might; but subtly, craftily, sneakily.
Eph 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” We do not wrestle flesh and blood – but we do wrestle. A wrestler tries to overthrow and pin down his opponent. If we are not engaged in this wrestling match, we are overthrown and pinned already. We’re in it, whether we know it or not; whether we like it or not. The sooner Christians suit up and soldier up, the sooner they start getting the victory over the enemy.
With whom do we wrestle? Principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and wicked spirits in the atmosphere. In other words, Satan and his demon spirits. Satan, demons and the kingdom of darkness are real. They are by no means more powerful than God, nor more powerful than the Christian in the full armor of God. Nevertheless, they exist and seek to: hinder God’s work (1Thess 2:18, Rev 2:10); blind people’s minds (2Cor 4:4); mislead and deceive (Mt 24:24, 2Cor 11:3); tempt people (1Cor 7:5, 1Thess 3:5); buffet God’s people (2Cor 12:7); attempt to infiltrate and corrupt God’s true Church (Act20:30-31, 2Cor 11:12-15, Gal 3:1, 1Tim 4:1); devour those he can (1Pt 5:8).
Demonic forces are real, active and crafty. Some err by denying them altogether and others by giving them more power than they have. We are not to fear Satan, but rather, we are to fear God (Lk 12:5). We do not have a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2Tim 1:7). We are to resist the devil, and he will flee from us (Jam 4:7). Next week, we will look at each piece of God’s armor.
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