DIVINE GRACE AND HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY -
Man must equip himself with the full suit of God's armor. Man must put it on.
But, the armor comes from God. God has made the armor. God must give the armor. And man
won't be able to use the armor of God without the God-given power of God.
I. BE STRONG (vs10-13) YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO FIGHT THE DEVIL AS LONG AS YOU RELY
ON THE POWER AND MIGHT OF THE LORD.
A. REASONABILITY OF vs 10
1.Doesn't it sound reasonable?
2.Has not the Lord demonstrated His power in nature and Grace?
3.Does He not continue to demonstrate His power today?
B. PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD (vs11)
1.Paul uses the image of a soldier to describe how we should engage
2.The "WHOLE" armor is needed. (No parts missing.)
3.WILES = ambushes (Satan will attack secretly.)
4."that ye may be able to stand"
a.We are overcomers (Rev)
b.Overcomers are conquerors (Rom 8:37)
c.In order to conquer, we must fight.
C. STAND IN THE EVIL DAY (vs12-13) (Or KNOW YOUR ENEMY)
1.The enemy is real (not a psychological problem)
2.The enemy is not flesh.
a.Our struggles are not with men
b.Our enemies are greater than human strength
3.The enemy uses men
a.We must remember NOT to fight with men
b.We do not seek revenge when a man wrongs us
c.Men are used as darts and pawns
4.The enemy resides in darkness
a.The world is in darkness (unbelief and ignorance of God)
b.In darkness the enemy is invisible (makes him more dangerous)
5.The enemy has no power against God
a.Not a good vs. evil where evil might win out
b.Paul is simply instructing us how to be on guard
6.The enemy will assault
a.You can only withstand in the armor of God
b.The assaults will be hard and dangerous
c.Have they been for you? (Many struggle putting on the armor)
II. SUIT UP (vs 14-20) (vs11 Paul said "whole armor"--now he lists it.)
A. THE SOLDIER IS AN OBJECT LESSON
1.Don't read between the lines for "deeper, hidden" meanings
2.Paul's point is about spiritual warfare
B. THE PIECES/PARTS OF THE ARMOR (vs14-17)
1.The belt is truth holding up the rest of the armor
2.The breastplate covers the heart - suggests a righteous or holy life
3.The boots keep you walking
a.We need to walk in the truth of the gospel
b.We need to be prepared for the journey and warfare
4.The shield is faith to repel attacks
a.Attacks come as fiery darts
b.Faith can put out the fire and blunt the sharp darts
5.The helmet is salvation which protects our head/our thoughts
a.We hope in our salvation
b.This provides assurance
6. The sword is the Word of God (faith is nothing without the Word)
III. SEEK YOUR COMMANDER'S BLESSING (vs18-20)
A. EXERCISING FAITH AND HOPE (vs18)
1.Prayer is how we obtain blessings
2.We must persevere in the hard times
3.We must persevere in the good times
a.We tend to pray only when driven by distress
b.We are more likely to forget to pray in good times
B. THE FOUR "ALL's" OF PRAYER (vs18)
1.Variety of prayer
a."all prayer and supplication"
b.cries of help, confession, adoration, thanksgiving,
2.The "When and Where" of prayer
a.all times--not just in calamity
b.in the Spirit--not in a place (like Jerusalem)
3.The Manner of prayer
a.with all perseverance
b.alert to what's going on around you
4.The Indirect Objects of prayer
a.all the Saints
b.Brethren within the local assembly
d.Saints have priority on our time in prayer
C. PAUL SOUGHT HIS COMMANDER'S BLESSING (vs19)
1."and for me" - Paul requests prayer
2.The request implies the difficulty to correctly preach and teach,
even for an Apostle
3.Paul doesn't ask to win arguments or debates
4.Paul asks for boldness to speak without fear
5.Many of us could win arguments, but do we speak?
IV. CONCLUSION (vs21-24)
A. CONCERN FOR THE CHURCH (vs21)
1.Evidenced by Paul's concern for a true report to be given
2.Paul was not concerned for himself as a prisoner
3.Paul was concerned for the new churches
4.What would you be concerned with if you were in prison?
5.We should be concerned for each other's welfare
B. PRAISE FOR TYCHICUS (vs21-22)
1.Why do you think Paul praises Tychicus?
a.To give the words of Tychicus more authority
b.To insure Tychicus will be received and heard
2.Tychicus is a "beloved brother" (service and loyalty to Paul)
3.Tychicus is a "faithful minister" (reputation in public ministry)
C. BENEDICTION (vs23-24)
1.Peace - harmony among the brethren (theme of unity)
2.Love - Love will tend to cause men to remain at peace
3.Faith - like peace and love, it is a gift from God the Father
a.Not a major point with Paul--I emphasize this
b.What Paul took for granted as a common understanding of faith,
I believe is lost today.
c.It seems, to me at least, that commercial religion promotes a
faith that comes from man, a faith from "within" and very
often a faith in faith itself.
d.You must have faith in Christ. But you cannot have faith in
Christ unless God first gives you that faith.
e.Commercial religion reverses this to say you must have faith
before God will give you anything, including eternal life.
4.Grace (vs24) - this is the verse Comm. Rel. should use to say "if
this, then God"
a.When we love God the Son, God the Father is gracious toward us
b.Look at the love--it's love in sincerity or "uncorruptedness"
(1)It's a love without hypocrisy
(2)How sincere is your love for Christ?
c.Think about your children
(1)Aren't you more gracious to those who also love your
(2)It's the same with God the Father and His Son
THOUGHT QUESTIONS FROM William Hendriksen, NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY: EPHESIANS, (Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker, 1967), p.276-279.
1. Do I really want to fight Satan at all?
2. Am I sincere about this spiritual warfare?
3. Am I living the kind of life that enables me to engage in this conflict?
4. Am I prepared to fight?
5. Am I able to defend myself against Satan's attack?