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Salvation is a gift from God through faith as it is depicted as ability one has to "quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (6:16).
In 6:18, prayer is viewed as an activity connected to the taking up of God's armor. The author also prays on the church's behalf for their strength and understanding (cf. 3:13-19). The church is instructed to pray for all the saints and for the author as well. The cosmic adversaries of 6:12 carry on an eschatological tinge as the imagery of God taking up His armor in preparation to seek justice was related in the first century culture to the notion of the day of the Lord. In Ephesians' reworking of the imagery, the battle with cosmic forces is not a simple battle delayed for a future day of God's judgment, but it is a present battle believers must engage on a regular basis
The church's struggle is a heavenly one against spiritual powers but it is acted out on a level that is more mundane in the type of behavior to which the reader is called. The writer's "chains" of imprisonment (6:20) are another reminder of the ways that "cosmic powers of this present darkness" impinge on the lives that believers lead in this world. The chains are the bad things that one engages in and how they bind him to them instead of freeing him to go on in pursuing God's wishes and desires for us. God's armor does not mean that the church will not encounter difficulties, then, but enables Christians to encounter such difficulties. The church may boldly proclaim the gospel even in the midst of persecution and hardships through perseverance and prayer
One of the important notes on this verse is first that it each component is associated to a particular teaching observed earlier on within the epistle's context. The entire Paul's list of particular applications of the Christian life which he had earlier on begun at the verse (4-1) is put to an end in the seventeenth paragraph found in (Eph. 6:10-20) which also acts as the climax for the entire epistle. The powers of evils are engaged in warfare spiritually when the Christians put on the armor of God.
The reference to the God's armor is frequently found in the scriptures (Ps. 18; Matt. 4:1-11)
. The second point to be noted is that the armor of God to be worn by the believers is in fact God himself. Because the believers are not to draw from their own resources but from God's might and power as is seen when they are beseeched to be strong in the lord (6:10). The sustained imagery used by Paul is derived from Isaiah where he delineates his messiah and the armor of the Lord. The lord of hosts is depicted by the Isahinic verses as a warrior adorned with battle gear as he heads to free his people. The readers are urged to put the full armor of which is the Lord's own armor worn by both him and the Messiah and which his people are provided with as they engage in battle
Six components constitute the armor of God and these are: truth, peace, faith, salvation, salvation and the word of God. There is striking symbolism on the contrasts on these truths that each component of the armor depicts. They include: the opposite of truth which is deception; unrighteousness and wickedness are opposite to righteousness and holiness; losing the way can be contrasted to salvation; turmoil and war can be contrasted to peace; disobedience and mistrust can be contrasted to faith and finally a lying spirit.
Christ is portrayed as embodying all the aspects of the armor by John MacArthur while filling out the imagery of Paul. This is because we are set free by the truth which is Christ. Righteousness has been put on by Christ as a breast plate. In Eph 2:4 Paul remarks that Christ is both the object and subject of the gospel. MacArthur also observes that the believer's head is covered in the battle day
.Christ is considered the truth and flesh born of the word. He further concludes that the armor is Christ and in the personalization of this armor by Paul he remarks that Christ should be put on and no provision should be made for the flesh with reference to its lusts (Rom. 13:14). By adorning on the novel man, we put on Christ which is brought by the holiness and righteousness of the truth.
The current day which is also referred to as the evil day is not only being wrought by God's power but also the incessant power of the evil according to the church's earliest commentators and the writers of the New Testament. The evil of the present age which was to be reconciled by Christ to God is to stay a sinful age till the end time even though the ultimate defeat of the power of darkness did occur at the cross and started in the hearts of the humans.
Meditation, application and personal reflection
Satan and other invisible celestial angels are the primary enemies of the church hence engaged in warfare which is spiritual because their powers exceed those of our own by great extent. From the teaching of the Ephesians we can therefore infer that this war by the church should be seen as spiritual since the Pentecostal has come unlike the earlier times. The opposition to the church is very real though the enemies remain unseen. There are several forms of these enemies as can be alluded by the different names used by Paul to describe them such as "powers," "rulers," "spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" and "world forces of this darkness"(12). It is doubtful that most church goers will fully comprehend the number and variety of these forces which are constantly opposing them. The power possessed by the Angelic beings is great and it would be unwise to underestimate the power of Satan. The intensity of the spiritual struggle is underestimated whenever we underestimate the power of Satan.
The machinations of the evil one is to use his servants who are also human beings so as to wage war against the people of God. For instance a church might want to acquire some facilities such as a hall so at to be using it for worship while it may face opposition from other mundane minded business people who would also like the same property. Due to greed, the individual may be blinded from the importance of the missionary of Christ through the expansion of the church and only focus on his own personal gain. This struggle may seem difficult especially if the individual wealthy and is able to offer high price or even influence the court's decision. To pursue a physical fight or struggle against this individual may be futile and even lead to the misuse of the church's resources. However if the church engages in prayer or otherwise spiritual warfare, the individual may be ease his stance through softening of the heart. A supernatural occurrence may be manifest on the individual so that he comes to this conclusion.
Another instance is due to ungodly policies which are passed by those incumbent who disregard the word of God. The church being an integral part of this society is gravely affected by these policies. For example the promulgation of laws which support abortion by the law makers or the legalization of gay marriages which is doctrinally wrong in the Christians. These policies cannot be fought through physical means because in most cases the powers behind them are not physical but unseen power of darkness. Satan might have influenced these individuals so that they make decisions not based on the guidance from God but from their mundane understanding. Physically the state can appear bigger than the church and this makes it seem a losing battle to the church. However rather than fighting the symptoms of this scenario, the church should focus on the spiritual forces behind these decisions. Through faith and unceasing prayer no obstacle or mountain is insurmountable.
The weapons for waging the good fight are described by Paul in the passage of Ephesians 6:10-20. In the eleven verses, the saints of Ephesus are told to put on the whole armor of God twice and this indicates the gravity of the issue as is the case when God repeats something. This adorning of the whole armor is to enable the Christians to be able to withstand the evil days
. One of the important weapons is truth of which when used as the spiritual sword is offensive but also protective. There is also effective protection provided by the walking in peace which is from God. The enemy is not only kept from attacking us by faith but also whatever he wants to throw at us is extinguished by it. Our mind gets…[continue]
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