Ephesians 6:10 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God.

Paul uses the word “finally” as he wraps up his teachings to the church at Ephesus. He was not correcting any error in this letter as he does in many of his writings. He gives the saints strong foundational teaching with redemption in the first chapter. Paul lays out eight themes in his letter:

 The blessing of redemption
 We are alive in Christ
 Stewardship relating to God’s Grace
 Unity of the Spirit
 The Christian walk
 Be imitators of God
 Marriage and family relationship
 The armor of God

Paul teaches that our battle is not in the natural realm, but in the supernatural. His message is an important message for believers today. Many come to a church service for the wrong motivations. Let’s consider three so we might search our own hearts concerning our motivation. If necessary, repent and come into alignment with God’s Eternal purpose.

First, many go to a church service to receive a “pep talk,” something to help get them through the week. There are those who need to be encouraged. That is not wrong. It is part of the reason Christians gather. God’s purpose and desire goes much deeper than pep-talks.

Second, some come as a sense of duty. Their heart is not fully engaged. They attend from a need to have religious activity. Many feel a need to “appease God” by their attendance. God is not looking for appeasement, but obedience to His calling.

Third, there are those which attend a church service when their soul moves them on special occasions or when other activities don’t interfere. You could say it is obeying God on their terms.

The purpose of our gathering is primarily for corporate worship, equipping, and instruction. Of course, this includes receiving the Lord’s Supper. Within these areas, the Spirit of God wants to manifest His presence among the body and minister His gifts to meet needs in the lives of God’s people.

“Put on the whole armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). When Paul writes, “put on the whole armor of God,” it is a clue there will be warfare. The armor of the Lord provides for both offense and defense in the battle. This armor is intended to be worn by those who have received God’s salvation. His salvation is greater than most realize. Tomorrow, we will enlarge on this thought.

Father, thank You for the armor You supply for Your saints. Please give me wisdom and understanding for the spiritual battle in which we are engaged. Cause me to be strong in the power of Your Holy Spirit. Teach me how to effectively wear the armor and be effective both offensively and defensively in the battle against the enemy.
November 2 – WE ARE IN A BATTLE
Ephesians 6:12 – 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.

At times, it takes a number of English words to adequately communicate the meaning of the one Greek word. Words such as: deliverance, healing, safety, and wholeness bring a larger view of the salvation our God has provided. They also give us a larger view of the areas of attack from the enemy, areas such as demonic strongholds, sickness, disease, and persecution. Each one of these represents areas of battle in which the believer engages. Then there are the daily challenges of the flesh and dealing with temptation.

The armor must be put on daily. The practical application of God’s armor is to help His warring church conquer evil. Our verse today clearly identifies the forces behind the battle. Do I believe the word of God concerning the battle? The proof of my belief is found in obedience through application. “Put on the whole armor of God.” This is not a suggestion, but a command.

“Take up the full armor of God,” (are you?) so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13). Have we done everything? “Stand firm therefore having girded your loins with truth” (Ephesians 6:14). The armor begins with truth. The belt of truth holds all the armor together.

Consider what Jesus said about truth. “Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed on Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’. They answered Him, We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, you will become free?” (John 8:31-33).

Deception can be ruthless. Throughout Jewish history, they were in bondage to the nations around them. For seventy years, the Israelites were captive to the Assyrians. Presently, they were captive to Rome. They really were slaves and the one speaking to them was “the Son of the house.” “Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever’” (John 8:34-35). We are no longer slaves, but sons. We must put on the truth every day, exercising our position in Christ against the enemies of our soul. Gird yourself with truth every day. All truth is eternal. In this case, truth is a man. Paul said, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Romans 13:14).

Five elements of entering into truth are: honesty, confession, repentance, receiving and giving forgiveness. Releasing others who have sinned against us opens the prison door and sets the captive free!

Father, I thank You for the freedom You have made possible in Christ. I choose to put on the “full armor of God.” Thank You for the girdle of truth I wear which holds all Your provisions together in my life.