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REBLOGGED FROM Concordia and Koinonia-Concordia, unity and then koinonia, fellowship, all in Jesus Christ By Rev. Schoeder

 

Introduction:  I am looking at a major portion of this reading, verses 10-22, “The whole armor of God” 

These verses are the crescendo of the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Church in Ephesus.  His encouragement is to be fully  armed with all “weapons of the Spirit” with which He fights by our side (“A Mighty Fortress is our God”): 

  • the belt of truth

  • the breastplate of righteousness

  • the shoes of the Gospel of peace

  • the shield of faith

  • the helmet of salvation

  • the sword of the Spirit

We are up against overwhelming odds:

  • “…the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” vs. 12

  • “…the unfruitful works of darkness…”   such as sexual immorality, impurity and covetousness, 5: 3-10

  • the evil days wherein we live (5: 15)

We can not withstand the evil day on our own or by ourselves alone. It is not good for the man to be alone (Genesis 2).  The Apostle encourages his brothers and sisters to “put on the whole armor of God”.  The phrase “put on” is used some 24 times in the New Testament.  The synonym is “clothe”, as in, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3: 27) In Baptism you are clothed in Christ.  He has fought the battle and won.  He made you His own.  He has drafted you into his militia, the “militia Christi”, the army of Christ.  We live in the Church militant, not triumphant.  The Roman soldier’s shield protected him from head to toe.  Arrows were tipped in tar and lit and then shot.  The Roman soldier would dip his shield in water to douse the flaming darts.  This may be a reference to Baptism through which we are washed and faith is given, so that as the Baptized, putting on the shield of faith, in order “… to extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.  The evil one will shoot at you doubt and despair at your inability to withstand your own lusts of eye and heart: “Oh,you’re not a good Christian.  If you really were a Christian, you would not be feeling like this.”  ”No, Satan! It is because I am a Christian that I know this and can cry out, I am baptized! Lord, save me!”  You can not stand up against such, except by the shield of faith, the shield given to you by  His grace, not by your works (!), as He died and rose for you. (Ephesians 2  2: 1-9). 

READ MORE…

http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/todays-epistle-reading-ephesians-6-1-24-the-shield-of-faith/

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