LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

EXEGETICAL PAPER: EPHESIANS 6:10-20

SUBMITTED TO DR. TOM CAMPBELL IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR HERMENEUTICS COURSE NBST 652

LIBERTY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

BY CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM BALLARD ± STUDENT I.D.#174889

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA SUNDAY, October 11, 2009

1 TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2 PAUL¶S LETTER TO THE EPHESIANS; A HISTORICAL AND LITERARY CONTEXT 3 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND----------------------------------------------------------------------- 3 LITERARY CONTEXT--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5 OBSERVATION AND INTERPRETATION FROM EPHESIANS 6:10-20-------------------- 6 6:10--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6 6:11--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6 6:12--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8 6:13--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9 6:14-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10 6:15-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11 6:16---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------12 6:17---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------13 6:18-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 15 6:19-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 15 6:20-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 16 APPLICATION------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 17 CONCLUSION------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 18 BIBLIOGRAPHY--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 19

While today¶s modern reader might get lost in the imagery of an ancient soldier. Throughout the Biblical timeline. captivity and exile. the picture of conflict and war remain in tact. It communicated in terms relevant to his original recipients. of the ³Armor of God. How does one use his equipment? Who does the fighting? Is it God or the Christian? In this work. Therefore. while none have mastered it. with the exception of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). With proper exegesis. songs.´ ³Christian soldier. It begins in Genesis 3 and continues throughout the ages as God¶s people attempt to live according to the Law in the presence of pagan cultures. Few people have consistently countered these spiritual attacks consistently. it will be possible to determine the most likely meaning of this passage for today¶s reader and determine appropriate steps of application. The greater struggle for both the ancient and modern reader is not that of picturing war but of their respective role in the conflict. Paul¶s message in Ephesians 6:10-20. The Scriptures are also filled with battle stories beginning with the conquests of the Promised Land and later battles defending it. the afore mentioned text will be closely examined in light of its historical and literary context. It is the aim of this work to discover what role is played by God and by the Christian soldier in the spiritual battles .´ from books. war was a common theme.2 INTRODUCTION Most Christians are familiar with such phrases as ³spiritual warfare.´ or ³the armor of God. but do they understand the Biblical perspective in which they proceed? The Bible is filled with imagery of man¶s struggle between good and evil. including devastating defeats leading to destruction. or sermon titles. People in general had etched in their minds the picture of war and that of a warrior. looking at each verse for a clear picture of its meaning for its original audience.´ painting the picture of a Christian solider engaged in spiritual warfare was an appropriate illustration.

Its Background and Message. 3:1) and the book of Acts point to the relationship that Paul shared with the believers in Ephesus. By determining whom the enemy is and how he works. 3 E. 4 Ibid. it is no stretch at all to consider his relationship with them to be strong enough to write a personal letter.J. Commentary on the Epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians. Grand Rapids. one for the church ³at Ephesus´ containing those words and the second copy was left a blank in order to be circulated. The New Testament. 1957.4 Though he was not the first to bring Christ to the Ephesians.3 It was during his first trip that he left Aquila and Priscilla there to have a very successful evangelistic ministry. HISTORICAL CONTEXT It is plausible to suggest that the original and primary destination of this epistle was the church at Ephesus despite the fact that the words in 1:1. it was his ministry that had the greatest influence on the people.K.K. Simpson. The two most likely explanations for the omission of the phrase ³at Ephesus´ from early manuscript are as follows: 1) There were two originals.1 Most conservative scholars agree that Paul was indeed the author contrary to claims by the likes of E. as well as whom this soldier was that Paul had envisioned we can better assess the work of God and the responsibility of the Christian soldier in this conflict. 2) Paul sent the letter along with the Colossian epistle and it was copied and 1 E. 15. Simpson. 437.3 of life. 2 Lea and Black.2 Both the letter itself (1:1. 15. 18.³at Ephesus´ were not likely included. TN: Broadman and Holman. Nashville. He had a brief visit there on his second missionary journey according to Acts 18:19-21 and for two years on his third journey according to Acts 19:8-10 and 20:31. 2003. MI: Eerdmans. . Goodspeed that it was written by an admirer of Paul. Therefore.

and give us a portrait of a man facing huge difficulties and hardships and coming through with his faith and hope unscathed.T. As we combine these two pictures of the city we gain the context for Paul¶s ³Armor of God´ discussion in this text. the Temple of Artemis. 431. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT. 10 Ibid.5 While the letter was likely circulated to churches throughout Asia. the city was full of crime. sorcery and other forms of ³luxuriant rankness. 6 LEA AND BLACK. 5 . as well as the largest of all Hellenic open-air theaters.T. Thus the distinction of detention or captivity is more accurate than prison.6 As N.´10 As an important Roman city. 9 Ibid. Because of its booming economy and its temple worship of Artemis. Wright says. CARSON AND MOO. 7 N. 2ND ED. 8 E. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. x. The book of Ephesians is now known as one of the four prison or captivity letters because Paul was in captivity in Rome while he penned them. 15. Philippians.Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters: Ephesians. its people would have been very familiar with the sight of Roman Soldiers. Colossians and Philemon. as it is chronicled in Acts 23-27.9 Geographically. by nature its original audience was intended to be the church at Ephesus. Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters: Ephesians. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. Wright. MI: ZONDERVAN.´7 The city of Ephesus was the capital of proconsular Asia and was a major Roman metropolis with a melting pot populace. that Paul¶s declaration as a citizen of Rome moved him out of prison in Caesarea and offered him opportunities unlike other prisoners. 2004. ³his own personal circumstances make these especially poignant. Philippians. GRAND RAPIDS. 488-489.8 It boasted one of the seven wonders of the world.4 distributed from Ephesus leaving a blank for the other churches. Simpson.K. It is important to note. 2005. prostitution. it was situated perfectly for trade by land and by sea from its busy harbor. Colossians and Philemon. 2004.

14 Lea and Black. Klyne Snodgrass. The Use of the Old Testament in Ephesians. The NIV Application Commentary. Hoehner. The repetition of both themes and terminology used in this section can be traced back through the first five chapters. Paul focuses on how difficult this path will be for those who want to ³stand firm´ with Christ. 16 Lea & Black.´ However. Christian unity (4:1-16). is viewed in two different ways. ³Finally. 1997). it is best to view Paul¶s use of the word as a summary indicating his final point. 181182 13 For a list of words used in Chpt 6 and the rest of Ephesians. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids. ³Ephesians is a general statement of Christian truth concerning the church (Chapters 1-3). It does not focus on any specific false teaching. it appears to be better viewed as a summarization. it has been Paul¶s plea for Christians to stand against the pagan culture that surrounded the Ephesians. 817.11 In other words Paul might have been saying. Ephesians An Exegetical Commentary.1213 This especially comes into view when considering chapters 4-6 as presenting the responsibilities of individual believers for the Christian life. 2002). here is the last thing that I will tell you to do. Harold W. (New York: Brill.´16 At the conclusion of this letter. Ephesians. Ephesians. A Profound Mystery. 338. 15 Klyne Snodgrass. 439. MI: Zondervan.15 Therefore. 12 11 .´ implying that it introduces what he has left to share with the readers. given the relationship between this passage and the rest of the letter. and the Christian walk (4:17-6:24). 439. 1996. One thought is that it means ³For the rest. He also provides encouragement as he guarantees our victory if we understand our role in connection with God¶s role.14 Beginning with 4:17 and moving through the conclusion. it is important to note that the word ³finally´ in 6:10. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic. He exposes their real enemy and explains what armor and equipment we can utilize. The overall purpose of the letter is to deal with doctrine. But that final point should be interpreted in light of the rest of the epistle.5 LITERARY CONTEXT When considering this paragraph. Thorsten Moritz.

³be made strong´ or ³be strengthened. to know that the Lord¶s strength is available in spiritual warfare. he rolls out the first imperative. The Complete Word Study Dictionary. Chattanooga.6 OBSERVATIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS: EPHESIANS 6:10-20 6:10 TEXT. 1993.´ This is used as a summarization of the rest of the epistle. The Christian soldier not only has the Lord but also the Lord¶s strength in him. ³Be strong. Paul¶s conclusion to his letter begins with the word ³finally.19 The preposition reveals the source of this power as being found ³in´ the Lord. 18 Ibid. This imperative is a command in the middle voice. but the equipment as well. indicating that we draw from Christ to be strengthened and to strengthen ourselves in Christ. This is good news for the believer. so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. This verse clearly states the reason for accepting the equipment of spiritual warfare is to withstand the schemes of the devil. 586-587. 338. NASB Translation: Finally. He is preparing them for the reason they will need the strength of the Holy Spirit and the assurance of God¶s work through them. Paul has been building up to this moment by sharing the hope that we find in Jesus. ³put on. 6:11 TEXT.´ indicating Spiros Zodhiates. in the passive. in this passage he will introduce them to their enemy.´17 This term means. Not only does the soldier need the strength of the Lord. As he prepares them for the introduction of their foe. 17 . As previously mentioned. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament.´18 It most likely means both. 19 Klyne Snodgrass. TN: AMG. NASB Translation: Put on the full armor of God. be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

IL: InterVarsity Press. Vol. Nashville. Ephesians. 42. 10-11. However. Both are mistaken.24 This is significant because God not only gives the soldier equipment. while others contend that he was purely referencing the The Complete Word Study Dictionary. Leicester. 1979.22 Like our new humanity in Christ. England. it seems safe to say that this refers to every struggle we have with our enemy because the plural is used in describing his ³schemes. The Bible Speaks Today series.5. 24 Ibid. Some Christians are so self-confident that they think they can manage by themselves without the Lord¶s strength and armour. the genitive ³of God´ implies that God gives the armor to us.´ What is unclear is the specific image Paul has in his mind as he refers to ³the full armor?´ Some suggest that of a gladiatorial arena fighter. we see that putting on the armor is ³the functional equivalent of putting on the new humanity´ as referred to in chapter four. it is implied that He is giving His very own equipment. 1990. 59:17). which portray God as a warrior wearing similar gear. Reprinted ed. TN: Word. 587. and Downers Grove.23 This should be viewed in light of the Old Testament passages (Isaiah 11:4. 436. 22 Andrew T. 266. 23 Ibid.20 Stott says it well as he comments on vv. or a Roman soldier. Paul expresses the proper combination of divine enabling and human co-operation.25 We know the original audience would have thought of disunity in the church as Paul referred to the ³schemes of the devil´ as he also used this word in 4:14.´21 Looking back to the previous five chapters. 442. 21 20 . John Stott. Word Biblical Commentary. The Message of Ephesians. Lincoln. ³Both commands are conspicuous examples of the balanced teaching of scripture. 25 Ibid.7 that it something the believer must do himself with a sense of urgency. Others are so self-distrustful that they imagine they have nothing to contribute to their victory in spiritual warfare.

we are fighting against the devil.26 But how do we reconcile what kind of battle and what kind of warrior we are? One is able to deduce from the phrase. The description of ³flesh and blood. 291-307. against the world forces of this darkness. we are not fighting against people. but against the rulers.´ Westminster Theological Journal 44:2 (Fall 1982).´ that the purpose of this armor is that of a defensive nature.´ reminds us that while the battle often takes on human characteristics. ³so that you will be able to stand firm.8 Warrior of God. This is not a fight on an earthly level but one that happens on a spiritual level against a foe that is not physically visible. 6:12 TEXT. ³stand firm. ³The Divine Warrior: The New Testament Use of an Old Testament Motif. 785-786. The emphasis is on placed on the active infinitive. against the powers. against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Whether. The view of the enemy becomes increasingly clear.27 Proximity can also be inferred as we look at the preposition ³against´ as referring to a struggle that is close in nature.28 While this may give credence to the argument for Paul¶s view of an arena fighter. up close and personal struggle with the devil. 27 The Complete Word Study Dictionary. 1224-1226. Tremper Longman III. NASB Translation: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood.´ meaning to hold his position and not lose ground. 26 . It becomes apparent that anyone who engages in this battle must be ready for an intense. striving for unity in the church (4:1-16) or dealing with the ungodliness of culture (2:1-22). 28 The Complete Word Study Dictionary. it is important to wait before making that designation.

Ibid. Hughes. A potential trouble spot for interpreters is couched in the phrase ³evil day.´ they do not live in heaven.30 The enemy is described here in great detail. It should also be noted that while they operate in the ³heavenly places. it is more likely that he stating four characteristics of the adversary the soldier must stand against. so that you will be able to resist in the evil day. to stand firm.9 What makes this ³struggle´ even more challenging.F.´ JBL 117 (summer 1998): 332-34. The significance is most likely found in reiterating the urgency of the Christian¶s mandate to put on the armor of God. and having done everything. as stated above. 215. Lincoln.31 While it may appear that Paul is listing four levels of evil powers. 32 Andrew T. this is a hand-to-hand conflict. Bruce. that Paul is establishing a hierarchy of evil powers. take up the full armor of God.29 While this could be perceived as similar to the style of an arena fighter. 30 29 . Satan and his demons do have access to God through conversation as noted in Job 1-2. The ³spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places´ refer to their evil nature and their place in the spiritual realm. 444. ³The Use of PALH in Ephesians 6:12. This is essentially a summary of everything that has just preceded it.32 ³The rulers´ likely speaks to their strength and ³powers´ to their authority. Gudorf. The ³world forces of this darkness´ contrast our enemy who operates in darkness and our God who is light. 6:13 TEXT.´ While most Michael E. 31 Kent R. but they do not enjoy fellowship with him as the believer does. It is even implied that is it more like a wrestling match. it should be noted that a Roman soldier was quite proficient as a wrestler and more than capable of fighting in close proximity. NASB Translation: Therefore. Kent Hughes agrees with F.

36 As Paul describes the fully outfitted soldier. ³therefore´ attached to the restated imperative ³stand firm´ speaks once again to the urgency of the matter but in an attempt to show the practicality of his descriptions in light of the previous three verses.34 6:14 TEXT. it is the responsibility of the Christian to suit up in the armor God has given and lean on his strength in order to stand firm. 447. 37 Tremper Longman III. Lincoln.35 Each of the following commands to ³put on´ a piece of equipment are given in the middle voice. 52:7. NASB Translation: Stand firm therefore. ³The Divine Warrior: The New Testament Use of an Old Testament Motif. 49:2). 35 Andrew T. 59:17. However.37 It would be difficult to dismiss the notion that Paul had this in mind while penning these words. Given the weight of our conflict. 146. it is more plausible to assume that Paul is speaking in more general terms. 447-448. 446. Simpson. This is the beginning of Paul¶s long and detailed list describing each piece of the armor of God. HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH. it appears that the present age that is filled with spiritual conflict is filled with evil days. 36 Ibid.33 In light of this paragraph. he was in Roman captivity. the reminder is given.K.10 New Testament references point us to the end of this age. we recognize striking similarities to the prophet Isaiah¶s image of God as a solider (Isaiah 11:5. guarded by a Roman Ibid. The conjunction. Every day in this world is an evil day for a Christian soldier as the attacks from our enemies are frequent. which again indicated the soldier¶s personal responsibility to engage in the process. it is equally fair to point out that while Paul wrote. E.´ Westminster Theological Journal 44:2 (Fall 1982). 34 33 . 291-307. and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

bronze. 40 A.39 This not only references God¶s truth. NASB Translation: and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE. Grand Rapids.´ Again. As we look at the outfit of a Roman infantryman. 6:15 TEXT. but also a lifestyle of truth that the Christian is committed to. MI: Zondervan Publishing House. 39 Ibid. 1990. Preaching the Word. 223. Skevington Wood. He says to ³shod YOUR FEET. 1978. 224. ³Ephesians. .´ In Ephesians-Philemon. we see that Paul¶s descriptions match perfectly. ³GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH. or chain mail covering the body from the neck to the thighs. As the Christian soldier is commanded to ³stand firm. the breastplate was a piece of leather. IL: Crossway. To the Roman soldier that Paul would have been looking at. this appears to reference both the righteousness of God and our own personal righteousness that we gain as a regenerate soul. It is most accurately described as a girdle in which the other pieces of armor would be held on and would hold the breastplate in its place.40 We know from Isaiah 64:6 that our own righteousness will not do. this girdle or belt was the foundation of the Roman soldier¶s equipment. Vol. in keeping with 38 Kent R.´ yet there is no specific piece of equipment listed in the literal sense.38 Paul begins with a phrase directly borrowed from Isaiah 11:5. We must be covered by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. 87. Just as the foundation of our lives must be built on the truth of God¶s word. Next. Paul again references God as the warrior (Isaiah 59:17).´ It is this piece of equipment that everything else rests on.´ it is more than fitting that Paul would focus on the equipment of the feet. Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ.11 soldier (Acts 28:16). 11 of the Expositor¶s Bible Commentary. by instructing the Christian warrior to put on the ³BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. 12 vols. It was probably implied. Hughes. Wheaton.

´ He introduces it with the phrase ³in addition to all. NASB Translation: in addition to all. it is the responsibility of the Christian soldier to pick up this piece as well. designated for use against the slippery terrain of our pagan culture just as it provided footing for the Roman solider.´ to clarify that the point remains. taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.12 the context of the paragraph. .41 To the Christian soldier traction is found in our own understanding of the gospel. Again this is a defensive piece of equipment. he attaches the spiritual component of faith to the shield. In this context. 232. Once again the focus remains on a defensive piece of the armor and a recognizable emblem of the Roman soldiers arsenal.´ the shield is our faith.45 In the metaphor. Lincoln. The Roman shield was made from wood and covered with leather in order to protect the wood from flaming arrows. 44 Ibid. Ibid. 43 Andrew T.42 6:16 TEXT. More literarily than shield ³of faith.44 In battle situations. Hughes. The word ³preparation´ comes into focus as the believer who diligently studies the gospel finds its true meaning in the peace of Christ. The believer¶s faith has two components: 1) The believer must trust in all that God has made known about Himself and 2) the active pursuit of 41 42 Kent R. Hughes. 232-234. it is almost laughable to consider putting on the armor while forgetting to add the shield. that he was considering the traditional sandals of the Roman soldier. Paul¶s fourth piece of equipment is the ³shield of faith. they would wet down the leather in order to extinguish the flames. 234. 45 Kent R.43 It was approximately 2 and ½ feet wide by 4 feet long in order to protect the entire body. These half-boots were studded with very sharp nails for increased traction. 449.

6:17 TEXT.48 The next item finally appears to be an offensive weapon. in taking a closer look at the 46 47 Ibid.´ This analogy provided a clear basis for the Ephesians to understand how to ³take up´ their shield and prepare it for battle. It is our confidence in God¶s salvation that saves us at the point of spiritual attack. ³THE HELMET OF SALVATION.´ Some scholars such as E. The helmet. However. Simpson view it in this regard.K. works to deflect the enemy¶s attack of doubt. As a Roman helmet would deflect a blow to the head. which is the word of God. 49 E. 48 Klyne Snodgrass. The receiving of these two items continues the thought of standing firm as established at the beginning of the sentence in verse 14. once again remind us of Isaiah¶s Warrior God (59:17). NASB Translation: And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION. salvation prevails. The word ³take´ may be better viewed as ³receive´ or ³accept. and the sword of the Spirit. 343.46 Those spiritual attacks are referred to as ³flaming arrows. God provided the ultimate salvation through Jesus.13 applying that trust when we face spiritual battles. 150-151.´47 In other words. . As this long. we cannot take from the Lord but we receive his salvation and His Spirit as he works on our behalf.K.49 However. ³the sword of the Spirit. The salvation that we put on as a helmet is our belief that no matter how Satan schemes against us. It is fitting to save these two pieces for last. the verb switches from ³put on´ to ³take´ in the next two articles. the text seems to infer something different. 234-235.´ as the Roman soldier would have taken these two items after he had put on everything else. and the sword of the Spirit. Simpson. our salvation viewed as an eternal fact. 410. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. run-on sentence continues.

we take on prayer and an attitude of alertness. God has already won the offensive attack of the war. NASB Translation: With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit. Paul has intentionally placed the focus on the defensive posture of ³standing firm. 451. because your salvation will be attacked. though it is certainly useful for that in other applications. What is clear is the role of the believer.52 But. we know this is not true. to stand pat. be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. The Christian is not attempting to gain more ground. and with this in view. 10). 6:18 TEXT. but its intended use was defensive for close proximity struggles.14 original word. which is the word. In other words. it is most often used to describe a large knife or dagger.´ we are forced to view it in these defensive terms.51 This is not to say that the Roman soldier did not carry an offensive weapon. Ibid.´ This is interesting in light of Isaiah¶s offensive portrait of God as a Warrior. The connection to the ³Spirit´ gives the believer the ability to use the right scripture at the right time to deflect temptation. the Christian soldier 50 51 Andrew T. Paul is not moving to a new theme but rather moving from general to specific in terms of the previous verse. In this verse.50 This was not the kind of weapon that a Roman Soldier would carry as an offensive threat. But in the context of this passage we see it more clearly as a defense against Satan¶s attacks. As we receive the salvation and the Spirit. The example is found is Jesus when he uttered the word of God against Satan¶s temptations after his 40 days of fasting (Matthew 4:4. Paul is not describing a tool of evangelism. So in looking at the ³Word of God. . With this mindset. 52 Ibid. Lincoln. There is no more ground to be gained at this time. 6. This distinction is an indication of the differences between God¶s role and that of the Christian. you will need to be in touch with the Spirit.

An ambassador is a person of influence who would typically find exemption for incarceration. He has just asked the Ephesians to pray for everyone and now he is specifically asking for prayer.15 is never caught of guard by the enemy¶s plans. The two prepositional phrases about prayer indicate that first. ³Ephesians 6:19-20 A Mystery For the Sake Of Which The Apostle Is An Ambassador In Chains. In the final two verse of this passage.´ is an interesting use of ironic metaphor.´ Trinity Journal 18:2 (Fall 1997). He does not ask for prayers in general. as I ought to speak. It is not clear if Paul had other opportunities in view but he was well aware of the defense he would give before Caesar¶s court. Smillie.53 It is a soldier¶s alertness that allows him to hold his ground. to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.56 It has already been established that Paul¶s confinement was not the usual imprisonment so it is not far fetched to believe that he did not actually wear chains as Klyne Snodgrass. 359. Lincoln. Lincoln. he is to pray for everyone. 55 Gene R. NASB Translation: and pray on my behalf. 54 53 . 202-203. he is seeking prayers for his speaking opportunities where he desire to speak the message that God gave him. NASB Translation: for which I am an ambassador in chains. It makes sense that he would refer to it a the ³mystery of the Gospel´ as the Romans viewed it as nothing more than a Jewish Sect and the Jews viewed it as outright heresy. the believer is to pray ³with perseverance´ or at all times and second. This alertness is what is ³in view´ when Paul gives the reason for the prayers. that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth. Andrew T. 56 Andrew T. 451-452. 454. Paul¶s use of ³ambassador in chains.55 6:20 TEXT. that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly. Paul shifts the focus to his own spiritual battle.54 6:19 TEXT.

however. Whether attacking the church or an individual he use distortions of Gene R. we have become the target susceptible to his ploy of destroying the Kingdom. Smillie. Nonetheless. Because we are associated with Christ as members of His army. It is. all about a struggle for power. though ultimately defeated is deceptive. which made him suspicious to the Romans and a marked man with the Jews. an ambassador of a bizarre mission in a peculiar circumstance. in the end. ³Ephesians 6:19-20 A Mystery For the Sake Of Which The Apostle Is An Ambassador In Chains. He knows that his speaking boldly has placed him in prison and now his bold proclamation of this mystery might lead to his death. He uses people. it would be better suited to look at the paragraph in its entirety.´ APPLICATION It is tempting to apply this paragraph verse-by-verse and word-by-word as it has been studied in this work. once careful examination has been made. 57 . he views himself as an odd ambassador for this ³mystery of the gospel´ as mentioned in the previous verse.16 indicated by the singular use of the word.57 It is then no wonder that Paul is asking for prayer. Ephesians 6:10 set the tone for the next theme. This reality needed little explanation among those who lived in the Roman world. our enemy hates God¶s gracious gift of salvation. The focus should remain on the general theme of total dependence on God and on living a transformed life in Christ. 202-203. Yet Paul is setting the example for the church at Ephesus by ³standing firm´ on a very ³evil day. piece-by-piece. One could dissect the armor. Satan has set out to destroy God¶s redeeming work.´ Trinity Journal 18:2 (Fall 1997). those who are justified in the sight of God and those who are lost. Our foe. The very reason for his confinement was his proclamation of this mystery.

He must stand firm in order to claim and maintain the territory that God has rightfully given him. arsenal. he always works in the dark (secrecy).17 power. Ephesians. 2) He must understand the enemy. If the modern Christian soldier desires to stand firm wearing the full armor of God there are a few things to remember: 1) He must take on the Lord¶s Strength and remain alert. But the strength of the Lord and the Lord¶s strength in the believer ensure that we are not fighting this fight alone. God has already won and our victory is ensured in the end. it is Satan who is scheming to defeat us. Paul has . When Paul describes ³flesh and blood. 3) He must first be a prayer warrior. using violence. spreading conflict. The Christian soldier must always live in a sense of alertness in order to be prepared to defend themselves against the sneak attack of the enemy. CONCLUSION The Christian Soldier having put on the full armor of God can stand firm against the schemes of the devil in spiritual warfare. The person who prays is the person whose senses are heightened to the things in the spiritual realm.´ he is reminding us that no matter how evil men may act. The battle does not belong to the Soldier but to God. Without this perspective. While his tactics are most often visualize through the actions of individuals. It is won not in the strength. people are not the enemy. or talent of the soldier but in the receiving of all God has given. 4) He should always represent Christ. it is impossible to ³be strong´ when the attack ensues. no matter how intense the battle becomes. because of its doctrinal nature is one of the easiest books of the Bible for finding application for modern living. Our foe exists in the spiritual realm. and promoting dissension by instilling fear and suspicion.

there is not enough evidence to substantiate a claim that Paul has this in view. In order to communicate the defensive duties of the believer he changes both the image of Isaiah and that of the Roman soldier by omitting their offensive characteristics.´ . it is apparent from the text that Paul was picturing God as the warrior from the prophet Isaiah. the tools and His presence through the Holy Spirit. has done that work. The Christian soldier does not find his power in the equipment itself but from the one who commissioned them to their post. While Paul was certainly familiar with gladiatorial fighting as a Roman citizen. He does venture out on the attack as our God. sin and temptation still lurk. In examining this passage.18 given perspective. first to the church at Ephesus and other churches in Asia but the message still rings true to today¶s audience. While the world¶s culture and focus has shifted. While God ultimately defeated Satan through the redemptive work of His Son. It is Paul¶s desire to communicate that God is victorious and has provided the necessary means for victory in our in our assignment to ³stand firm. it is clear that God has called all believers to engage in the battle. Finally. the spiritual conflict will continue until the end of this age. But he contextualized his message for his original audience by describing the Christian soldier in the appearance of the Roman soldier. God supplies the power. the warrior. The believer is to put on the armor and pray while maintaining their position in a right relationship with God. Our roles are clearly spelled out. which is the truth.

42. Preaching the Word Wheaton. TN: Word. 2003. New York.. Thomas D. 2nd ed. Andrew T. Michael E. Vol. Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ. Longman III. A Profound Mystery. Gudorf. TN: Broadman and Holman. NY: Brill. Tremper.A. Gene R. ³The Use of PALH in Ephesians 6:12. Word Biblical Commentary. 1996. Kent. IL: Crossway. 1990. Nashville. MI: Zondervan. Smillie.19 BIBLIOGRAPHY Carson. and Douglas J.´ Westminster Theological Journal 44:2 (Fall 1982): 291-307. David L. Hoehner. Ephesians An Exegetical Commentary. Lea. The Use of the Old Testament in Ephesians. D. Lincoln. Moo. Grand Rapids. 200-241 . 1990.´ Trinity Journal 18:2 (Fall 1997). Thorsten. Grand Rapids. MI: Baker Academic. ³Ephesians 6:19-20 A Mystery For the Sake Of Which The Apostle Is An Ambassador In Chains. R. 2002 Hughes. The New Testament. Harold W. Its Background and Message.´ JBL 117 (summer 1998): 332-34. Moritz. Ephesians. and Black. An Introduction to the New Testament. ³The Divine Warrior: The New Testament Use of an Old Testament Motif. 2005. Nashville.

11 of the Expositor¶s Bible Commentary. Reprinted ed. Zodhiates. Leicester. Vol. Spiros. 1979. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. Stott. Colossians and Philemon.K. Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters: Ephesians. 12 vols. Wright. Ephesians. England. and Downers Grove. The Bible Speaks Today series. John R. ³Ephesians. MI: Eerdmans. 1978. N. Philippians. Chattanooga. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids. A. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. The Message of Ephesians.T. Klyne. E. 1957. and Bruce F. Grand Rapids. Snodgrass. . 1996. 2004.F. Skevington. W. Grand Rapids. Wood. IL: InterVarsity Press. MI: Zondervan Publishing House. 1993. TN: AMG. MI: Zondervan.´ In Ephesians-Philemon. Commentary on the Epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians.20 Simpson.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.