I’m not even going to touch Shaeffer this post. I’m going to hit something more important. As I told you last time, I wanted you to read Ephesians 6. That’s what we’re going to hit on today.

I had an absolute ball digging into this. If you remember, I was feeling a bit disappointed – unsurprisingly, God had something for me – in a rather immediate fashion. All this weekend, I’ve been dealing with God, and He with me. He rebuked me where I needed it, and encouraged me where I needed it. How? By bringing me to the point in Schaeffer’s book where we address spiritual warfare – and the portion of the Bible which directly addresses it.

An apologist is directly, smack-dab in the middle of spiritual warfare of the deadliest kind. It’s easy to get discouraged, or off course, or caught up in details when you should see spiritual battle lines. This was God’s wake-up call to me. “Quit having a pity party – and FIGHT! Here is how, and here are the tools I have given you. Quit your whining, and get back into MY fight!”

So… you want to see what I learned? Click “more.”

First – I know, I know – I gushed over the first bit of Chapter 6 yesterday. I’m skipping it here. Sorry. We’re also skipping the last 4 verses.

So, where will we study? Ephesians 6:10-20. (With Strong’s… because, well.. what’s a good exegesis for a non-Greek scholar without Strongs? :D)



The Exhortation:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

(Note what finally means – I think it’s cool.)

“be strong” – (increase in strength) “in the Lord” – (kurios, from, kuros – supremacy – put this phrase together, and see what you get. It is really, really cool. In essence – “increase in strength, because the Lord has decreed it”, is the sense I’m getting. How ’bout you?) then, the finale.. “in the strength of His might”.


Do you get the feeling that Paul is giving us a pre-battle exhortation? The type you see before the generals send the soldiers into battle? If so – you’re exactly right. Because this is exactly what this is. You don’t get that sense in the translation to English – but it comes across powerfully in the original, doesn’t it? I love it. In English, it just reads “be strong in…”. See, that has power… but when you add in all of the little nuances – it means much, much more, doesn’t it?

The Explanation:

Put on the full armor of God,

Note the word “full”. This is the word used: panoplia. That word is still in use today – but not in frequent use. You will see it, if you read Ivanhoe, or if you are a military history buff. See “Panoply“. Anyway, this word is used only one other time in the Bible, besides later on in this chapter. It can be found here, in Luke 11. Jesus uses it. So, you see the importance of this armor? We are still vulnerable – even with that armor. However… if we walk with Him – we need not fear a “stronger man” – for “greater is He that is in me, than he who is in the world!” Get it? Got it? Good.

So, anyway… note that we have to have the full of God – not to mention the roots of the word – we have to be wearing it all. Why?

so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

stand firm – as opposed to stumble, lose our footing, etc. We’ll address this further later.

schemes is meqodeia, which means trickery, deceit, cunning – etc. This, as you probably know, is the modus operandi of Satan.

John MacArthur, in his commentary, says that this, in another way, is “all-inclusive” – the totality of the “wordly” way of thinking, and actions. Which brings us to…

The Opposition:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

“struggle”is, literally, “wrestling”. Wrestling, if you’ve ever done it, is all about quickness, deception, and trickery. In a word – it is the home turf of Satan. It is also very, very, very close combat. Nose to nose. With trickery, we counter with righteousness. With deception, we counter with Truth.

Note the very structured presentation of evil. We are not up against a disorganized foe. They are arrayed against us with a very specific purpose, and with at least a degree of organization. We are not up against amateurs – but professionals. We cannot afford to let down our guard, or relax our vigilance. All of, by firsthand experience, can attest to that.

As a side note – is it hitting home to anyone else how very, very, very rich this section is? It is a gold mine. God is good.

We just commented that the enemy is organized against us, and ready to attack – the next section emphasizes something, once again. In fact, this is the second command to put on the armor of God – and the second of three commands to “stand”. When the Bible repeats something so often in such a short period… our ears need to be perked up. Right about.. now.

The Repetition:

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Therefore – “the ground or reason” (Like, duh… see all these bad guys? Do this!)

take up” – Now, this may be obvious… but look at definition 2 – esp. the parenthetical. (in order to carry or use it…) Umm… be ready to use it, if you’re going to pick it up!

then, he repeats the earlier command to put on the armor…

“so that you will be able to resist” – which, by the by, means that we can’t be passive in this fight.

“in the evil day” – MacArthur reminds us, that since the fall, every day is evil. Of course, some are more evil than others.. But, more specifically, Jesus uses it as “the evil” in Matthew 6:13 – so, it’s probably referring to Satan – and, more specifically, the day he attacks you. Context is cool, kids. So is reference material.

“having done everything” – rendered yourself fit (for battle?)

Stand firm! (see the word references… that’s your study assignment. You’ll get the picture.)

Hold the line!

The Preparation:


Stand firm, again. There’s that third admonishment to do so.

Now, as funny as “girding your loins” might sound these days – it had a very important effect in battle. “Girding” involves pulling in everything loose in your clothing that might hinder you in battle. Securing everything unsecured. Getting yourself “shipshape”.

Does this sound familiar, vaguely? Here’s why.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

(Hebrews 12:1) Get the picture?


You see why these two go together now? Only when our “loins are girded” can the Breastplate of Righteousness be effective. This is the protection for the torso, and all of those vital organs. In other words, we can protect ourselves from mortal wounds by practicing righteousness. (single word search – 296 entries. I’d say it’s an important concept, and relatively well-documented – wouldn’t you? Be righteous. Also, this word is closely akin to holiness – which is the “defining attribute” of God. “Be holy, as I am holy”. It’s more than just a saying, when you look at it here, isn’t it? It’s the protection for our most vital area!)

The Stabilization:


“shod” is the word “bind” – which pertains to what you wore back then – sandals. You tie them on – bind them to yourself. Wait.. what was that about “bind” I have this faint echoing memory of?

Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! ” You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart…. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

Oh! Bind! Gotcha.

Ok, so… what’s this about preparation? Well, if you look at “feet,” there’s an interesting parenthetical, once again. See how it says “disciples listening to their teacher’s instruction are said to be at his feet”? Hrmm. Preparation?

OH! We have to study the Word… to share the Gospel. That knowledge/wisdom will be like the spiked sandals soldiers wore to give them traction and stability during battle. A good grounding in fundamentals will serve as a stable foundation from which to spread the Gospel…

(heh. I LOVE this chapter.)


Ready your defenses:

When battle is upon you, you have to make sure your shield, helmet, and sword are ready at hand. The rest is worn most of the time – because they take a good long while to get on and off. The rest are meant to be quickly grabbed up for use, at any time. So… these are the “ready to hand” items, for a soldier.

in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

“taking up” – there is that word again – take up – in order to use it!

shield of faith” – big shield – 4 1/2 feet tall, 2 1/2 feet wide – covers the whole body. “Faith” implies conviction, trust in God, holy fervor. This shield is our primary defense against Satan. If we do not have it – we do not have an adequate defense. Get the picture? It’s a big shield – and it has an additional property.

with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Neat! This shield can put out fiery arrows! Who shoots them? Satan. Remember earlier, when we looked at “the evil” day? ‘The evil” is used again here – for “the evil one.” Satan is shooting them. At us. They are fiery. We are given the means to quench them, and cause them to be ineffective. If we trust God. If we have a conviction and fervor for Him. A lack of trust precedes all sin.

Get your head in the fight:


Does this mean are supposed to get saved now, since we’re already in the battle? No. he is talking to those already saved – we should all be saved, yes – but that is his audience already. So, he has to be talking about something else. The hope of salvation. When we are saved, we must recognize that our place at our Lord’s table is assured. We cannot doubt that He has saved us. That is what Satan wants us to do. He wants us to doubt. God wants us to trust Him, and to trust in Him. Our minds are targeted by Satan, because doubt brings distraction. If we refuse to be distracted, we can focus on the battle, and upon the next item…

En Garde!

and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Note two things. First, the sword is related to the Spirit – the third Person of the Trinity. The two are linked, in some way. Second, there is an explicit definition offered here – so noone can mistake exactly what the sword is. It is the Word of God. If anyone tells you differently – they are trying to disarm you. A soldier with no weapon is not a soldier at all.

It is translated as the Spirit, not spirit, because in the preceding usage, it is the Holy Spirit – and in the following.

Matthew Henry’s commentary says:

It is called the sword of the Spirit, because it is of the Spirit’s inditing and he renders it efficacious and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword. Like Goliath’s sword, none like that; with this we assault the assailants. Scripture-arguments are the most powerful arguments to repel temptation with. Christ himself resisted Satan’s temptations with, It is written, Mt. 4:4, 6, 7, 10. This, being hid in the heart, will preserve from sin (Ps. 119:11), and will mortify and kill those lusts and corruptions that are latent there.

It is both defensive, and offensive. It is the ONLY weapon listed for us to use. It is linked to the next passage – on prayer.


Call in your support!

As in modern warfare, we see support elements being brought into play. Prayer, my fellow believers, is the artillery of spiritual warfare.

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

‘With all” – (The amount of prayer)

“at all times” – (The frequency of prayer)

“be on the alert” – (The vigilance of prayer)

“for all the saints” – (The duty of prayer, and the supportee of prayer)

Call in your coordinates!

and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

“and for me” – request your support!

“that utterance may be given” – be specific, and give accurate coordinates for the supporting fire

Ensure your support knows you, and your mission:

“that I may open my mouth boldly” – the action required, and type of action planned

“to make known” – identify your mission

“the mystery of the gospel” – identify the difficulty level of your mission

“I am an ambassador” – identifies both rank and specific mission

“in chains” – I’m wondering if this is referring to his literal predicament (in chains, in a roman prison), or to the seeming foolishness (ie: God uses foolish things for great things) of it all, or to the fact that he is forcefully called to this. I think it may be a bit of all of them. Anyone care to delineate it further?

“that I may speak it boldly” – repeats the important part, to ensure it is remembered

“as I ought to speak” – acknowledged the lawfulness of his duty

*pant, pant*

Wow. I think I just dropped a pebble in the thousand foot deep sinkhole of Biblical depth. that passage is MEAT. Not milk. You can sink your teeth into that, amen?

We are soldiers, in a spiritual war against evil. We now know what we are fighting, what we are equipped with, and how to use it. So… we need to fight. Stand firm.

Can I get an amen?