Posted On February 15, 2015

Men, if we are going to make, mature, and multiply disciples of Jesus Christ then we must equip our soldiers with appropriate tools to do battle. Soldiers who are unequipped or even ill-equipped with no tools, or faulty tools, will do great harm to themselves and others. If we as disciples who make other disciples (this is, after all, our commission) are going to win the battle against the flesh and the enemy, we must make war.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Ephesians 6:10-20:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

The Apostle Paul is not saying that we wrestle only against rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers, but that those powers are the bigger picture. This passage is a call to arms — a call to do battle against the enemy. Like a general getting his soldiers ready, so Paul wishes to get the Church ready for war. The entire metaphor is built around the Spirit’s work of providing protection for us on our way to glorification.

First, he says that we are to be strong “in the Lord.” There is much in the world to drive us to despair, so we need strength in God, not in self or anyone else. Christ has called us to do good works (Eph. 2:10), and we have access to the Father by the power of the Spirit through the work of Christ (2:18). The road won’t be easy, since we have to walk as wise people, not unwise people (3:15), knowing that evil abounds (3:16). There’s much at stake in this battle of sanctification. The enemy is real.

First, he says that we are to be strong “in the Lord.” There is much in the world to drive us to despair, so we need strength in God, not in self or anyone else. Christ has called us to do good works (Eph. 2:10), and we have access to the Father by the power of the Spirit through the work of Christ (2:18). The road won’t be easy, since we have to walk as wise people, not unwise people (3:15), knowing that evil abounds (3:16). There’s much at stake in this battle of sanctification. The enemy is real.

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