Ephesians 6:10-13 Spectator Or Soldier?

by | Jun 22, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

In 1861, as the Civil War was starting, a famous battle was the First Battle of Bull Run.
“On the day of the battle, carriages filled with spectators eager to see the Confederate defeated flocked from Washington to the battle site.” EyewitnessToHistory.Com
A Congressman named Alfred Ely went to see the Union defeat the Confederates. Suddenly the battle turned, and the Union soldiers were being defeated. Not far from Villard and Washburne, Congressman Ely had likewise strolled down the road for a better look. When he had gone about 100 yards, a bullet struck the ground near him. The congressman dodged out of the road and found refuge with some others behind a tree, frozen, as he admitted, from fear of being shot if I moved. How long he remained there, he was unable to say. But it must have been nearly an hour–long enough for the situation around him to change dramatically. About 5:30 p.m., Ely spotted a line of Confederate infantry emerging from a nearby wood. Two officers approached Ely and asked who he was. Alfred Ely. What state are you from? asked the officers. From the state of New York, replied Ely. Are you connected in any way with the Government? prodded the soldiers. A Representative in Congress, answered Ely. He would spend the next six months in a Richmond prison, a political prize tormented all the while by his captors. (http://www.historynet.com/war-watchers-at-bull-run-during-americas-civil-war.htm)

I. Be Strong V. 10

A. Be strong- endynamoo- to endue w/strength, increase in strength (command)

B. Who Paul Is Writing To

1. Paul is writing to “brethren”. Christians. This advice is uniquely Christian advice.
2. The sp. battle is against all men, but only those trusting Christ can be strong in Him.
3. Unbelievers can only rely upon themselves or others in this spiritual battle.

a. There are not 3 sides to this conflict, i.e., God, Satan and “Someone/Something Else”.
b. There is only God, and Satan, who manifest his ways in thousands of forms & ideas.
c. If you are an Unbeliever, you may be standing against a form of evil, and may desire to stand against evil, and on some moral issues, you stand for morality. That’s good.
d. But the greatest evil is the lie that Satan tells a person: “There is no Heaven or Hell; all roads lead to Heaven; God weighs our good vs. bad; incarnation is the answer.
e. Satan is happy to help you fight against social injustice, and have you be spiritual, as long as he can direct you away from things eternal, & direct you away from Jesus.

4. Only the Christian can depend on Christ, for he is in Christ, and Christ is in him.
5. Bible clearly makes this distinction of duality. God/Satan. Christian/non-Christian.

C. In The Lord

1. The source of strength for the Christian is not a program, philosophy, etc., but the Lord.
2. Sadly, many Christians feel their inherent weakness when a trial comes, and they “feel”
defeated & weak, & never strengthen themselves in God. They respond to the feeling.
3. 1 Samuel 30:6 David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

D. In The Power Of His Might

1. Might is God’s reserve and supply of strength.
2. Power is the demonstration and usage of that strength.
3. The Christian has to respond like David in Psalm 42. Talking to oneself to trust God
4. To remind oneself that God has unlimited power, and that he will manifest that spiritual power in the Believer, as the Believer faces spiritual battles.
5. In the challenges of life, the Christian must go from the theoretical to reality.
6. We must experience the life of the Spirit in the arena of spiritual conflict.

II. Put On The Armor V. 11

A. “Put On”- enduo: to array, to clothe

1. Any soldier that understands he is in a war will prepare himself for the fight.
2. Many Christians do not believe, or they forget, that they are in a spiritual fight.
3. Many Christians believe it is only a war of culture, a war of worldview, etc.
4. Those are valid concerns, but simply visible symptoms; the root is spiritual. (Eph. 2:1-3)
5. A spiritual battle must be fought with spiritual weapons. (See 1 Corinthians 10:1-5)
6. Question/challenge– if the battle is only one of culture, worldview & opinion, & a Christian believes that moral battles can be won simply by lobbying, talking, debating, etc., then we essentially make a confession of not needing Jesus for anything, b/c man can change man, reform man, & make mankind right with the rest of humanity.

B. The Armor

C. That You May Be Able To Stand Against The Devil

1. It is not simply an impersonal evil force that we are called to stand against.
2. There is a being named Satan, who the Christian is called to stand against.
3. A being who is intelligent & powerful. Not God’s equal, but superior over man.

III. Description Of The Enemy Vs. 11b, 12

A. Wiles Of The Devil V. 11b

1. Wiles- methodeia– trickery, lying in wait.
2. NIV- “devil’s schemes”. NLT- “strategies”. Holman- “tactics”. (Eph. 4:14; 3x’s in NT)

B. The Military Divisions Of The Enemy V. 12

1. Flesh & blood– the true battle isn’t against people, though people are involved.
2. If we focus on people, we are spiritually ineffective against the real Enemy.
3. This verse describes the different levels of spiritual hosts, similar to military rankings.
4. We wrestle– In those days, the loser of such a wrestling match would have his eyes gouged out.
5. We wrestle for our children, our marriages, our own holiness, our relatives, the souls of men and women, for our city, for our state, and our nation.

IV. Take Up The Armor V. 13

A. “Take Up”- analambano- to receive up, to take

1. Verse 11 said to “put it on”. Here we read to “take it up” (in order to use it)
2. It is not enough to study the armor, admire the armor, or discuss the armor.
3. The soldier must receive what His side provides for him, and he must wear it.
4. The soldier must realize that all the armor is important for the battle.

B. That You May Withstand

1. To stand against and resist, to oppose.
2. 1 Peter 5:8, 9a Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith…

C. That You May Stand

1. To abide, continue, make firm, to stay in your place, be kept intact, to escape to safety, to stand immovable, to stand unharmed, to be of a steadfast mind, does not waiver.
2. Acts 26:22 Therefore, having obtained help from God to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great…
3. Paul had gone through many spiritual battles but had resisted the Devil.
4. The result was that he was still standing firm in Christ, continuing on with the life God had called him to.