Ephesians 6:10-20 Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places … Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.
Questions I have from this passage:
- What is strength? What does it mean to be ‘strong’ in the Lord?
Outer vs. Inner Strength – both have an athletic quality that requires discipline and committment.
- Who are we fighting against? Is evil present in the world working against us?
Troubling history and tendency for the majority to dominate the minority throughout history and particularly present in Christianity. (Early Christian martyrs vs. Christians persecuting other Christians once Christianity became legal)
The real enemy is sin, evil, and death (“sources that constantly waged war in their inner spirit and at the cosmic level”)
- But there is a sense in which those enemies walk and move on the earth. The Powers and Principalities. It’s not hard to find evidence of these practically: If we look at the stock market, we learn that investing in the stocks of companies that market to human vices can earn us higher returns. And then how do stockholders react to changes or limitations imposed on those companies that limit their profits?
- What kind of armour is the writer talking about here?
Truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation, Spirit … how do these translate to the every day life?
These “weapons” are part of a person’s character. We must have Christ as every part of our life in order to be able to succeed together against the powers in the world.
And now … on with the sermon writing!