Ready for battle!
Scripture reading for September 28th: Ephesians 6:1-24
Paul gives some more practical instruction and pastoral counsel on how to live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and imitate Christ. He encourages children to obey their parents, citing the fifth commandment. He counters that with a word to fathers: “Do not exasperate your children, instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1-4) Paul understood fathers tendency to over-react or come down hard on children who were disobedient. Fathers should spend adequate time in instruction and explanation of the truths of God’s word.
Slaves and masters are also addressed. Each one was to remember that God was their true Master and that they were working for Him. Proper attitudes and treatment of employees and their bosses in the workplace was a spiritual and moral requirement for Christians. Being a true Christian affected home life and business.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)
The real battle was not with people, either in the home or the workplace. The real battle was spiritual and the enemy was spiritual. The forces arrayed against the Christian were demonic and evil spirits who sought to scheme against Christians and get them to abandon their faith. This battle requires God’s power and armor, used each day in the battle to stand our ground and take new ground! We must put this armor on and stand.
In reality, each piece of armor listed by Paul speaks of Jesus Christ. He is the author and finisher of our faith. Jesus is the truth. Jesus Christ is the central message of the Gospel of peace. Jesus is our righteousness and our salvation. He is the sword of the word of God in human flesh! When we are ‘in Christ’, we are ready to stand in the daily battle! We are more than conquerors!