Kingdom of God
Kingdom Warfare. (Part Two): Suit Up! Week 5
Observing the Stuff!
Divided By Two!
Ephesians, like Paul's other letters, is broken
into two parts: theology and practice. The first three chapters
demonstrate that the Father's plan for us was
The last three chapters
tell us how to live out our adopted life. It is in this last section that we
find the passage that we are considering in this week's study.
The word finally
could be translated for the remaining time. Paul is saying that the
whole of the interim between the first coming of Jesus to inaugurate the
kingdom and the second coming of Jesus to consummate the kingdom will be
characterized by conflict. Thus, for the remaining time, be strong in the Lord
and in his mighty power
This is a picture of Divine Enablement.
This phrase could be
translated: Continue to be inwardly strengthened by the resurrection power
Put On...So That
Put on means to
cover with clothing. It is a favorite phrase of Paul (Rom.
Thess. 5.8). So that (for the purpose) you can take your stand against
the devil's schemes
11b). The word schemes (NIV) could be translated strategies.
The enemy is tactically shrewd and ingeniously deceptive. His plan for your
life is destruction.
For our struggle...
Flesh and blood
means human. We do not fight against humans but the forces behind them
which drive humans to do dastardly deeds. Paul gives a full description of the
enemies with whom we will be in continual conflict. They are powerful, wicked,
and cunning. We fight:
against principalities: High ranking spiritual
beings blocking heaven from earth
against powers: A different expression for the same
thing as principalities
against the rulers of the darkness of this world: a
metaphor for the devil
against spiritual wickedness in high places: This
possibly refers to the most depraved abominations, including such things as
extreme sexual perversions, occultism, and Satan worship which come from the
supernatural sphere where Satan temporarily rules.
Wobbly believers who have no firm foothold are easy prey for the
The word is different from put
on. It means to take up a thing in order to use it. Paul provides a
detailed look at the weapons available for the believer in this ongoing
conflict. There are six main pieces: belt, breastplate, boots, shield, helmet,
and sword. Each pictures a spiritual weapon: truth, righteousness, good news of
peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God. In the Old Testament two of these
items are used to picture God as a warrior who was fighting to vindicate his
people. He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation
on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as
in a cloak
God is pictured in the Old Testament as having the very pieces
of armament that God gives to his people. Paul is saying that if this armament
was good enough for God, it is good enough for his people. These pieces of
armament are all that the believer needs. He or she doesn't have to go running
after every present, Christian fad to fight the enemy. We already have all that
The Army of GodThe
Belt of Truth:
Paul used this metaphor in
Ephesians when he alluded to the six pieces of equipment which the Roman
soldier used, which are analogous to the weapons the Christian soldier has at
his or her disposal
6.10-17). The Church is the army of God through whom God brings his rule
into this Present Evil Age. Here is our equipment. Suit up!
BackgroundThe Roman soldier used his belt
to tuck his tunic up, so it would not become flowing attire in the midst of a
battle and impede him from fighting his enemy. In addition, the Roman soldier's
belt was used to hold the warrior's weapons: the large and small
Application.Paul described the belt as
being like truth. Truth is truthfulness and honesty as opposed to phoniness,
deceitfulness, and hypocrisy. To participate in these latter activities is to
play the devil's game. You should know that you cannot beat him at his own
The Breastplate Of Righteousness:
BackgroundWhen the Roman soldier wore
this piece of armament, it covered his front and back. The breastplate covered
his vital organs.
Application.Paul likens the breastplate
to righteousness. In
Paul used the word righteousness to clearly mean right character and
conduct. Believers are most vulnerable to Satan when they destroy their
character and compromise their conduct. In short, when a believer sins. If we
continue to sin, it is like having a chink in our armament that allows the
enemy a pathway into our lives. Think about it: Sin puts a chink in God's
armament. If we replace old sinful patterns with right character and conduct,
the enemy cannot get to us as easily.
BackgroundThe Roman soldier had special
boots. They were made of leather with studded soles and allowed the toes to be
free. They were tied to the soldier at his ankles and shins with ornamental
straps. Wearing these boots equipped the soldier for long marches and provided
him a solid, firm stance.
Application.The gospel of peace (rest in
the midst of turmoil), which is given to the believer, helps each believer to
stand on a firm foundation. Remember that one of the deceptions of the enemy is
fear. Most of what we fear does not happen. We use mega energy to worry. Fear
is: False Expectations Appearing Real.
The Shield Of Faith:
BackgroundThe shield that Paul referred
to was the larger of two shields that were used by the Roman soldier. It
measured 4½ feet high by 2½ feet wide. It was like a small wall
built of two layers of wood, glued together, and covered with leather. The
shield could be planted in the ground and the Roman soldier could squat behind
it. One of the weapons used in wartime was darts that had been dipped into
pitch, lit, and fired at the opponent. The Roman shield would catch the dart
and extinguish it.
Application. For the believer, Paul
likens the shield to faith to the believer's ability to believe that God will
protect him from ultimate harm. As Satan throws his fiery darts: unsought
thoughts, desires to disobey, rebellion, fear, lust, hate, anger, sarcasm,
etc., we can hide behind our shield of faith, knowing that God will protect
The Helmet Of Salvation:
BackgroundThe Roman helmet was made of a
tough metal-like bronze or iron. It had a hinged visor for frontal protection.
Nothing short of an ax could penetrate the helmet.
Application. Paul likened the helmet to
the believer's salvation. It seems that salvation means the means of
deliverance based on the four other times this word appears in the New
2.11). To be saved is to accept the deliverer and the deliverance, knowing
that nothing the enemy can throw at you can penetrate.
The Sword Of The Spirit:
BackgroundThe sword for the Roman could
be an offensive and defensive weapon. In this passage the word sword is
machaira (makh-ahee-rah). This was the smaller of the two Roman swords.
It was a twelve-to-fourteen inch knife-like instrument whose blade could cut in
any direction and whose tip was pinpoint sharp. It was used for close personal
combat. The soldier would use the larger sword to disable his opponent. Then he
would use the smaller instrument to penetrate the chinks in his opponent's
armor and plunging it in.
Application.Paul likened this sword to
the word of God. Word in this passage is rhema. It is used
seventy times in the New Testament. Five of these times it is used in the
phrase word of God. On all five occasions it should be translated a
word of God, although it is translated the word of God in most
3.2 the word of God appears to be a message from God which John
4.4 the word of God is that which is provided to give man life.
6.5 suggests that the believer taste the word of God. In
11.3 the word of God is an utterance by which God summoned into
existence that which had not existed before (Gen.
1.3). In light of the above, it seems best to take
4.2 to also mean a word of God, a specific statement given by the Spirit
to assist the believer in defending against the enemy as well as assaulting the
enemy during a battle. This may be a spoken word of Scripture or an
impression from God.
Doin' the Stuff!It is always important to
apply what you have learned. Pause at this point and ask for the help of the
Holy Spirit to meditate on and put into practice some or all of the following.
How are you arming yourself with the truth of God's Word?
How are those in the battle with you treating you?
What ways are you choosing right character and conduct in
your day-to-day life?
What ways are you choosing right character and conduct in
your day-to-day life?
BibleHandbook: Resource Stuff
Read the following Dictionary Articles from Easton's Bible
Dictionary. Easton's is about a century old, therefore, some of the
information is not current with newer Bible Dictionaries. You might read the
articles off-line in a number of different Bible Dictionaries. If you do not
own a Bible Dictionary, I would recommend New Bible Dictionary 3rd Edition. If
you like lots of color pictures, try
Dictionary. One of these should suit your personal