In the beginning of this chapter, Paul stated to the Church in Ephesus the duties which they were to perform in doing the work of God. He had considered the various relations of life, including children who were to obey and honor their father and mother, and the father who was not to provoke their children. Back then slaves were found all over the area there, and so he encourages them to obey their masters. And to obey them “not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” Ephesians 6:6. In other words, not simply look like they were doing their jobs, but actually doing it. And he clarifies this with the next verses, “With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.” Ephesians 6:7-8. And he also speaks to masters, where he says “And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.“ Ephesians 6:9.
So, Paul was not unaware that in the discharge of their duties they would need strength from above. He knew that they had great and mighty foes, and that to meet them, they needed to be clothed in a spiritual form of a uniform of the soldier. Paul therefore closes by exhorting them to put on all the strength which they could to meet the enemies with which they had to contend; and in the commencement of his exhortation he reminds them that it was only by the strength of the Lord that they could hope for victory. To be “strong in the Lord” is to first be strong and courageous in his cause, and also to feel that he is our strength and to rely on him and his promises.
Throughout the scriptures God has promised to help us through difficult times. Paul wrote to the Philippians “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. He also wrote to the Church in Rome, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. In both of these verses, he is telling us that God will supply everything we need, both in material things as well as in addressing times of difficulty.
And the prophet Isaiah tells us that we have no reason to be afraid, for God is with us, His people. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10. And in Deuteronomy we read, “Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:7-8.
Over this week, I will be looking at the verses that refer to the armor of God. And why should we focus on this? “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11. We are not in this alone. God is with us and will give us the things we need to stand firm against the evil that the enemy throws our way. God loves us greatly and will provide all we need to stay true to Him.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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