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EPHESIANS 6:10-13

STAND!

"Change" is not always good in the work of the Lord!

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:10-13

 

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, INTRODUCTION:

This verse, and others like it, are on my mind today.

 "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16

"Change" may be good in some areas. Things like a newer car or better methods of medical treatment are occasionally needed.

But that need not apply in the area of our religion. Better yet, our relationship with the Lord.

Along this line, read Proverbs 22:28. "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set."

And Proverbs 23:10, "Remove not the old landmark."

The New Testament too! For example, 2 Timothy 4:3 says: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth."

I recently came across a Preacher who said that he no longer believed those old fundamentals of the faith! At least, not like they were at first taught him.

Especially he singled out the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture! In case you're not familiar with that word, it means "without error." A synonym is "infallible." A more thorough definition, "incapable of error!"

This learned professor, eminently educated, could no longer accept the concept of a perfect Bible!

Yet Scripture claims for itself that, "divine inspiration!"

"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul." Psalm 19:7

Psalm 12:6 sounds "perfect" to me! "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."

And since Psalm 119:89 is still in the Book; "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven," I  believe I shall not change either!

With God's help, by his Grace, I want to be faithful!

For the next few days we are going to study, Lord willing, several reasons why we need to just STAND, not run, not compromise, not relax, just stand!

Yes, just stand for Jesus.

Our Text: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:10-13

Pray for us please.

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 10:

It's one of the most "powerful" verses in all the Bible!

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." Ephesians 6:10

Here Paul is nearing the end of his great Ephesian letter. He does so by exhorting the Believers in that heathen city to continue living faithfully for the Lord Jesus Christ.

That opening word, "finally," is spelled "loipos" in Greek and means "for the rest" or "at the last." Paul sometimes uses this marker to hint that his sermon is nearly complete. For example, near the end of 2nd Thessalonians, in its last chapter: "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you ...." The root verb "leipo," from which "loipos" is derived, means "to leave behind." Paul is changing subjects, rapidly proceeding toward his conclusion.

That Believers are in view here is confirmed by the word "brethren," two or more individuals born "from the same womb." "Brethren" is "adelphos," the Greek for "womb" being "delphus." Here that opening "a," the vowel, is a "connector, a linking particle."

Then we come to the three "power" words!

One verb and two nouns.

"Be strong" is the familiar "endunamoo." It obviously blends "en" plus "dunamoo." This refers to a Christian putting into action the strength and power that God has already invested in him or her! "Dunamis" power is often called "inherent" power, being placed within a person by the Holy Spirit of God!

Much like a battery constantly has power residing within it, placed there by a skilled manufacturer, so does the saint of God house godly strength, placed there by his all-wise Creator and Redeemer! Except for this fact, the Christian is always linked to the Holy Spirit, indwelt by God the Third Person, Who constantly "recharges" his or her power!

We can do all God has commanded us to do ... by virtue of the "power" He has invested in us!

To "be strong" in the Lord is an inclination the growing Believer should find easy to follow! After all, like a compass hungering for the "north," so does the indwelling Holy Spirit always "point" to the Lord Jesus Christ, centering on Him and all His Glory!

Now, the two nouns in our verse are "kratos" or "power" and "ischus" or "might." Each represents a different aspect of power.

"Kratos" is often called "manifested" power. It is strength that can be seen! Isn't it true that anything "within" a person will eventually be manifested "outside" as well? Jesus said as much in places like Matthew 12:34. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

If we truly live for God, that miraculous life of ours has its real source in the Lord God Almighty, but will always become visible in our day after day behavior. Herein we are witnesses. Witnesses to the power and presence and essence of our Heavenly Father.

Then "ischus" is often said to be built upon the "echo" stem. The central verb here means "to have" or "to hold!" To keep possession! To hold fast! To hold on! See the determination?

This is not my ability to hold onto God! Rather, apparently, it is God's ability to hold onto me! I serve Jesus, in the "grip" of His mighty power!

God is always faithful, so must I be faithful.

God has, using Paul's word, "apprehended" me! Therefore I must live under the influence of that "apprehension!" I need to live like a man "possessed" of God! Under the control of His great "might," again "ischus."

Put it all together and meditate on these meanings. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." Ephesians 6:10

Ponder these things carefully.

The Holy Spirit will thereby give you "meat" on which to chew all day long! That's a valid word picture of meditation anyway. Like a cow chewing the cud! Get a heartful of Scripture each morning when you rise, or each night when you retire, and consider it for a while! When your mind wanders, do the whole thing again later, and then again and again! God blesses such thought patterns immensely!

What a verse today!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 11:

The verse is familiar. It's part of Paul's great "Whole Armour of God" Passage. "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Ephesians 6:11

The verb "put on" is just lovely! It's spelled "enduo" in Greek. It's our English word "endued." Here it is in the King James Text of Luke 24:49. The resurrected Jesus to His Disciples: "Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." See it? "Endued!" Really "duo" just means "to sink down" into something. "To enter" it. The "en" prefix merely internalizes the idea. It's the word one normally used to indicate he has "put on" his clothes! Jesus just told the Men to wait at Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit had come, clothing them in His Power!

In like manner, we Christian warriors are to "put on" the armament God has provided us!

Next, the expression "whole armour" translates "panoplia," Greek for "all" (spelled "pan") and "tools or implements or weapons" (spelled "hoplon"), all the equipment God has supplied us for fighting the devil! I've heard older Preachers use that term, the "panoply" of God!

This armour will help us to "stand" against Satan! This verb, "histemi," means "to be set, confirmed, resolute, fixed, established." Don't let the devil push you around! Don't run from him either, exposing your back. Stand! Fight! Wield your sword! Paul says something similar back in Ephesians 4:27. "Neither give place to the devil."

The preposition "against" is significant here too. It's "pros" in Greek, and often means "face-to-face!" In other words, "toward" him, "right at" him! Fearing nothing! Remembering, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1st John 4:4

Then comes the noun "wiles." It's "methodia" and has been loaned to us English speakers for daily use. It blends "meta" (in Greek "with" or "after") and "hodos" (a "road, a way, a path"), suggesting the idea of "following" or "stalking" or "sneaking up behind" someone. As our word "method" it indicates "one's normal, habitual way of doing things." Yes, the devil is that sly!

Wow!

The only other time "methodia" is used in Scripture is in Ephesians 4:14 where it's "lie in wait!" Here it is: "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."

Wow again!

Next, the noun "devil" is "diabolos," one who "slanders!" It literally means "to throw" (in Greek "ballo") an accusation or criticism "through" (in Greek "dia") a person! That's why Satan is occasionally called an "accuser," as in Revelation 12:10.

We've covered a fairly significant vocabulary range here. Review the words carefully please. Then ponder their meaning as you quote this verse over and over today!

Learn how to fight your greatest enemy!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 12:

The very "heart" of our Text, one of the most memorized verses in the entire New Testament, is Ephesians 6:12. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

The whole concept of  "wrestling" is built on the "pale" stem, pronounced pal'-ay. Its verbal parent is "pallo," meaning "to vibrate." This is probably a reference to the intense physical stamina required in a fierce wrestling match. Some teachers believe it, "pallo," is a relative of the basic verb "ballo," meaning "to cast, to throw, to hurl." As in throwing your opponent to the floor, the mat.

The other two Biblical uses of "wrestling" occur in Genesis 30, where Jacob's son "Naphtali" is born, his name meaning "wrestling," and Genesis 32, where the Lord "wrestled" with Jacob all night long!

I believe you could say that in each Bible occurrence "wrestling" is used in a positive sense, not a negative one.

Thus, Paul has us so fighting against the forces of evil.

By the expression "flesh and blood," in Greek "aima kai sarx," almost for sure "humanity" is meant. Our warfare is not with other human beings, not in the sense Paul means it here. In the string's five Bible appearances, indications are such. Jesus' first use proves the point. He said to Peter, after that great testimony: "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 16:17

See also 1st Corinthians 15:50 and Galatians 1:16 and Hebrews 2:14, all five references when including our Text.

The enemies against which we "stand" are spiritual!

Paul describes such foes in four ways. These may represent different "levels or grades or strata" of enemy opposition. The devil's hoards of evil!

We first fight against "principalities." The word is "arche," pronounced ar-kay' in Greek. It means the "beginning" or the "origin" of something. The "first" or the "leader" or the "active cause" of a thing! It also can mean the "extremity" of an item, such as the far corner of a sail or a sheet. Surely this would be the "highest" or "most powerful" group. Satan himself must be the head!

Next are "powers," the Holy Spirit using "exousia," power in the sense of "authority." It is believed that "exousia" is derived from "ek" (meaning "out of") and "eimi" (that is, "to be"), strength and ability simply based on who a person is! Satan's cohorts have been granted certain capabilities it seems.

Remember, even evil serves a certain ironic role in the universe. How else could Isaiah 45:7 have God saying this? "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

Or Paul write this? "For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." 1st Corinthians 11:19

God can even make anger work His Will!  "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain." Psalm 76:10 leaves no room for argument!

"The rulers of the darkness of this world," this whole expression, translates "kosmokrator" as "rulers," world-wide movers and shakers, "kratos" perhaps even being distantly related to our word "creator." "Kosmos" is the world in the sense that it's just like the devil has "arranged" it! It is operating according to his evil specifications! The actual King James noun "world" is "aion," an age or epoch of time, our very word "eon." The implication is that the darker the days grow, the nearer Jesus' Return we get, the more the devil fights! Revelation 12:12 confirms this thought. "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."

Finally, "spiritual wickedness in high places" is our enemy. The noun "wickedness" is "poneria," the most virulent and malignant form of evil in Scripture. This is "active" sin, spreading and infiltrating and destroying as it goes! Actually "high places" is spelled "epouranos," the "heavenlies" some old Preachers used to call it. The celestial sphere! "In the air" perhaps! Satan is "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience," according to Ephesians 2:2.

No wonder we cannot war after the flesh, on a merely human level! Paul wisely says: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds." 2nd Corinthians 10:3-4

As usual, it's best now to again look at the verse wholly. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12

In each case where the word "against" is used, all five times, the little preposition "pros" is employed. It means "against" in this way; "to, toward," or even "in one's face!" Eye-to-eye! An old veteran would say, "hand-to-hand" combat!

Lord willing, tomorrow we shall apply these words to everyday life.

Meanwhile, using just the past two verses, we can conquer! In Jesus' Name! "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Ephesians 6:10-11

Whether I understand all the "levels" my enemies inhabit or not ... I can still lean on Jesus! I can rest "under His Wings," Psalm 91:4 style!

Victory ... in Jesus!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, APPLYING OUR TEXT:

Their number is legion!

And they are growing even more!

Who, Brother Bagwell?

Preachers who once followed the Faith, but now have departed!

One-time fundamentalists who became evangelicals then neo-evangelicals and now they call themselves "post-evangelicals!"

I call them modernists!

Not progressives!

Not ex-conservatives!

Bible deniers!

They faced the foes our Text enumerates, "principalities" and such, and failed to stand!

Or if they stood, even for a short while, they certainly failed to "withstand!"

Casualties in the spiritual war we fight!

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:10-13

The crowd of which I'm speaking today, "having done all," they compromised!

And that's not all. Now they are writing books, by the dozens, bragging on their "enlightenment," their new awareness of the Bible's "difficulties!"

Here's a synopsis of what they are saying!

1. They almost always downplay "doctrine," emphasizing instead "feelings" and "experience!" To them it does not mater what you believe, but rather, that you have a heart of love! I reckon you can love the devil and be fine in their eyes!

Yet Paul taught Titus: "But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine." Titus 2:1

2. They ultimately question the idea of the Bible's "inerrancy!" They will say they believe in "inspiration," but not in a mistake-free Bible! This false step must be taken to ever become an apostate. One in his book ridiculed and mocked the idea of any longer thinking the Bible to be perfect!

Yet David assures us: "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul." Psalm 19:8

3. They often divide the Bible into two "sections." The "Scripture" portion and the "Word of God" portion. To them only that which is "Scripture" is powerful and inspired! And guess what? They get to decide which is truly authentic! They would say that the Bible "contains" Scripture, which is the Spirit's word to us in these days!

But Paul says: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable." 2nd Timothy 3:16

4. Many of them also inject a kind of "evolutionary" view of Faith! They think, no, they teach that what the Virgin Birth meant at one time, many years ago, might not be the best meaning for it today! Today in our culturally diverse world, pluralistic as it is. I heard one of them say he knew a person who was so "inspired" by a line in the book "Gone with the Wind" that her life was permanently transformed! That preacher then compared such silliness to the now-acceptable view of Biblical inspiration!

Paul however counters: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine." It's here, folks, 2nd Timothy 4:3 is being fulfilled before our very eyes!

5. Then they often advance the old "felt needs" philosophy! Don't minister to people's "heads," just their "hearts!" Don't preach to them what they really need, just what they want or what they desire to hear! In other words, "scratch their itching ears!"

Paul said it first: "After their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears." 2nd Timothy 4:3 again, where "itching ears" equal "felt needs!"

6. One of these neo-whatevers recently said that preaching too much from the Epistles of the New Testament would give the hearers an unbalanced view of Christianity! Too much "doctrine" again, the liberal's arch-enemy! Instead he said we should be preaching from the Bible's "narrative" sections. It's stories, not its cold hard facts!

Here's the truth. If you don't believe right, you will not behave right! If you don't understand Bible doctrine, you will probably will be unstable in your faith! Paul responds: "Preach the Word," including the Epistles I presume! 2nd Timothy 4:2

7. Then there's their love for the "culture!" The Bible, they say, must be made "relevant" for people today, for "humankind." We must accommodate the homosexuals and abortionists and feminists and cultists in some kind of a "big umbrella" of love, never alienating them with a few harsh and archaic Scripture Verses!

Ha!

John said: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." This is 1st John 2:15, to which we add: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" 2nd Corinthians 6:14

8. They want a "progressive" religion. One that has torn away and drifted significantly from its original moorings. One that so questions the traditional view of God that they now suggest the Lord may not, after all, really know everything! He could be ignorant of at least some issues! This is called "open theism!" Can you imagine it?

They also now question the idea of hell, at least as a literal place where all unrepentant sinners go! Eternally anyway!

New "readings" of the Bible, they crave!

But faithful Jeremiah records, straight from the Lord: "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16

And on and on it goes!

Bottom line: These folks have fought against the principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness of this world and lots of spiritual wickedness in high places all right! They fought ... and lost!

They have not stood!

They departed from the faith!

Shame on them!

Here is out Text again: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:10-13

Thank God if you're still standing!

Also, this being Sunday, let your Preacher know today that you appreciate his stand too!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, "THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD:"

The Paragraph we've been studying, Ephesians 6:10-13, incorporates a literary device called "inclusio," partly to advise us of its theme. Watch the phrase used both at its beginning and end. I'll mark it for you.

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

"The whole armour of God."

Without it victory is unlikely.

Minus those God-given "pieces" of hardware, no one will effectively "stand" for God!

Quickly, still quoting from Ephesians 6, here they are: "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:14-17

Truth!

Righteousness!

The Gospel!

Peace!

Faith!

Salvation!

And the Word of God!

Now, watch carefully.

The neo-evangelicals of our day, or post-conservatives or post-modernists, or whatever they call themselves, "progressives" one said, deny most of these Godly qualities or gifts!

Truth?

They now say Truth does not exist! That it's relative! Or a product of culture, not absolute! They, some of them, really believe Truth is an invented means for one group to control another, a power scheme!

No truth, no protection against the devil's lies!

Righteousness?

This comes, and comes alone, by the Blood of Jesus, by the Cross of Calvary! This crowd of liberals has so remodeled the Scriptural doctrine of the Atonement that no Blood is left! No propitiation! No penal substitution! Jesus, according to them, was merely displaying human love on that old rugged cross! Thus, no righteousness, not by God's definition! What Paul said of another group is so true of these post-evangelicals, "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." Romans 10:3

No righteousness, no protection from the devil's new morality!

The Gospel?

They have robbed it of its original meaning! No longer the facts of Jesus' Death and Burial and literal Resurrection, they have re-defined it! It's nothing more now that a meeting of one's "felt" needs, whatever they are; self-acceptance or loneliness or alienation or a hundred more!

No Gospel, no real Message to preach! Little wonder they give book reports and political essays and social discourses. No protection against the  wild philosophies of the world! And they are wild nowadays!

Peace?

They say, as did the apostates in Jeremiah's day, "Peace, peace; when there is no peace." This is Jeremiah 6:14. Peace to them is negotiating with some measly dictator who hates God and His people! Peace to them is a white flag of surrender! Peace to them is available only through the United Nations or some political party! They've not thought of the Real "Prince of Peace" in a long time! Isaiah 9:6

But with no real peace with God, they still are at war with Him, At enmity! Under His holy Wrath! Lost in their sins!

Faith?

They are attacking our faith every day! The Virgin Birth is under fire! The Second Coming too! Creation is now a joke to them! The historicity of Abraham and David and Isaiah too!

But with no faith, no real faith, one is "open" to believe anything the devil sends down the road! "Every wind of doctrine," Paul says! Talk about being gullible!

Salvation?

To this crowd that's just relief from stress! A real good "feeling," entertainment at Church! Nothing eternal to it at all! If one denies Jesus the "Saviour," and these enemies do, then "salvation" has automatically been "gutted" as well! To them Jesus is not recognized as God The Son!

But with no salvation as a defense, what awaits but Hell? That's the devil's end! "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Revelation 20:10

And finally, the last piece of armour, what about The Word of God?

They laugh it to scorn! They scoff at any idea of its infallibility, its inerrancy! They assume it to be merely a human production! They don't even believe it is the Word of God, not entirely! They might agree that is "contains" some portions of real Scripture!

But with no Bible, no "sword" as Paul calls it, they've lost their "attack" weapon! It is not surprising that the devil has beat them to shreds! And they don't even realize it! "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." Romans 1:22

No armour, no victory!

No armour, no standing!

No standing, against the devil now, nothing's left but compromise and capitulation and dilution!

Wow!

Saints of God, be fully dressed today, in the whole armour of God!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, THREE COUPLETS:

The spiritual graces that constitute "the whole armour of God" are enumerated in Ephesians 6:14-17. They are, in Biblical order: truth, righteousness, the Gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God.

Strangely so, there are six in number, if one keeps "the Gospel of peace" as a single unit, like Paul does. Obviously it consists of two members, "the Gospel" and then its companion, "peace!" Paul, in Philippians 4:7, called it peace that "passeth all understanding!" But these "two" have become "one" here! So says the Scripture!

Maybe God gives us "six" pieces of armament to fight the devil, Satan, the very spirit of anti-Christ, because his spiritual number is "six" as well. In fact, the anti-Christ will be somehow identified with "666," a trinity of sixes!

Note that these "gifts," all six of them, just precious to the Believer, are also repulsive! Repulsive to the devil that is!

Again they are: "Truth, righteousness, the Gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God."

Take the first and last ones please; truth and the Word of God. They are in reality so close to being identical that Jesus could proclaim to His Father: "Thy word is truth." John 17:17 is the reference. If a false prophet denies the Word of God, he has also debunked God's main source of Truth for his life! Conversely, if a man or woman believes that absolute truth does not even exist, she has already established a doctrine of inspiration that belittles the content of Scripture! Indeed, the two cannot be separated, Truth and the Word of God!

Neither can the next pair, working inwardly as illustrated here.  "Truth, righteousness, the Gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God." Righteousness and salvation are so linked that they are inseparable! Both focus on Jesus! He is our Salvation! He is our Righteousness! If He is not righteous, sinless, then He automatically cannot be our Saviour! He would have had to die for His Own sins! But He had none! He, the "just" One, could suffer for those who were yet "unjust," sinners by the droves! And, again, if He is not the Saviour, it does not really matter if He ever was, or still is, righteous!

Then the last grouping, "Truth, righteousness, the Gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God." As you well know, the Gospel and faith belong together! You can't enjoy one without the other! It's faith that saves! No faith, no peace! No peace, likely then there's also a lack of true Gospel belief! Read with me Romans 5:1. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." If one has been justified, by believing the Gospel, by being saved, he also possesses "peace" with God!

Three couplets, each of which I suspect is listed in ascending order of weight, like this: Truth and THE WORD OF GOD! Then, Righteousness and SALVATION! Finally, the Gospel of Peace and FAITH! The second member of each pair is predominant. Lose it, and the other is minimized!

Without "the whole armour," just doubting in any way God's Word or mocking soul Salvation or slyly departing from the Faith, such will not only fail to repel, but will likely "invite" the onslaughts of Satan!

The significance of the order of these pieces is suggested by Paul's words "above all" as in: "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." Ephesians 6:16

It does matter if one believes the Bible to be the infallible Word of God!

It is critical, eternally so, that one be truly SAVED!

And it is also essential that one not depart from the FAITH!

No wonder so many today are no longer STANDING! Remember, "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

And that's tomorrow's Verse, Lord willing, Ephesians 10:13.

God, help us to obey!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, VERSE 13:

This Verse has been our goal for days now. It incorporates two verbs that are critical to our theme, "standing" for God!

A Christian will either "stand" for Jesus, or he will "run" when the battle is engaged.

A Saint of God will either "withstand" the enemy, or she will "surrender" in the time of war.

Those are the only two choices!

Engage!

Or, retreat!

Some certainly have, using Paul's words from 1st Timothy 4:1, "departed from the faith."

They have given heed to "seducing spirits and doctrines of devils."

They have, concerning their faith, "made shipwreck." 1st Timothy 1:19

They have, like Demas, "forsaken" the Lord, "having loved this present world." 2nd Timothy 4:10

Others, thank the Lord, have just "stood!"

In the spirit of Galatians 2:5 they can say of the devil: "To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour."

Amen!

But I must get to the Verse at hand, studying it thoroughly. Talking about the Verse is not sufficient. We must let the Verse talk to us!

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:13

See it?

Stand!

The opening preposition is "dia" in Greek, "wherefore" in English. It means. when expressed "dia touto" as here, "for this reason."

Since we are at war!

Since the devil is attacking!

Since God has armed us so well!

Since the enemies are supernatural!

"FOR THIS REASON" ... take unto you the whole armour of God!

The verb "take" is the compound "analambano," a strong expression like "taking hold of something with one's hands!" The prefixed "ana" intensifies and perhaps internalizes the verb's meaning. Also "analambano" is here expressed as an imperative.

The "whole armour" of God is spelled "panoplia," literally meaning "all" (in Greek "pan") the available "tools" (in Greek "hoplon") or "equipment" or "weapons" God has provided!

The pronoun "that," more of a conjunction in Greek, is spelled "hina." It is introducing a "purpose clause." It tells us "why" we must dress ourselves so militantly!

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

The verb "may be able" is the familiar "dunamai," having the God-given "power" to accomplish a task! Being subjunctive here, the word is suggesting the will of God for us, His desire for the saints. It's also a middle voice verb, telling us that the subject is personally impacted by this action!

Stand against the devil!

Let that armour do its job!

Experience God's conquering Power!

You will never be the same again!

You will have reached "overcomer" status!

You're no longer a spiritual infant, feeding just on milk and honey!

Congratulations, you're now a "bona fide" warrior, a soldier in arms! It just means, in Latin, "good faith," in our parlance, "genuine, the real thing!"

The infinitive "to withstand" is a form of "antihistemi," actually meaning "to set oneself against" or "to resist" or "oppose" an enemy!

The "evil" day is the day of attack! The day of siege! It's "poneros" in Greek, evil that "spreads and infects and penetrates and ultimately destroys!"

The participle "having done all," blended as "katergazomai," involving both "kata" and a verbal form of "ergon," suggests "working with everything one has available!" Using all the resources! Not omitting a thing! Complete obedience! Every piece of armour is properly engaged!

Ready!

Battle ready!

On alert!

Then comes that last command, "stand!"

"Histemi" in Greek!

By now it's not even an imperative either!

It's an aorist infinitive!

Implying that the "standing" by now is automatic!

We should now be so well trained that the fighting is instinctive!

It's a fact so secure that God places it in the "having been accomplished" department!

There's no question about this soldier's loyalty, his resolve, his determination to stand and fight!

The cowards, the quitters, the weaklings, they've all gone by now!

The remaining few, of which I hope you are one, are among those who have ... "endured hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!" 2nd Timothy 2:3

Here it is again. "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:13

Lord, help us to be worthy combatants in the Name of Jesus!

Help us to stand!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, CONCLUSION:

I sensed the Lord's leading.

He yesterday nudged me to write about the two infinitives in Ephesians 6:13. They are "to withstand" and "to stand," in that order too.

Look carefully.

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:13

The precise definition for "withstand" is "to set oneself against" a foe! It's "anthistemi" in Greek, in its simplest form. The prefix "anti" means "against, opposite," or even "before" something or someone. The verbal stem, "histemi," means "to stand, to be set, to establish," more loosely, "to be firm, immoveable!"

But one Greek teacher, perhaps the best known of his generation, says it also means "to stand face to face!"

See that?

Face-to-face combat with the devil!

We'd call that today, hand-to-hand combat!

Using our God-given defensive armour, wearing every piece of it, plus wielding our swords, the very Word of God, we are to battle the forces of evil!

After all, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

"Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1st John 4:4

"In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." Romans 8:37

Victory seems assured, promised of God!

But then, in an ironic reversal of logic, comes the verb "stand!"

"Histemi" alone, without any prefix, means, as we've just seen, "to stand, to be set, to establish," more loosely, "to be firm, immoveable!"

But with "histemi" the presence of the enemy is no longer emphasized!

Again, let me mark it for you. "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand ("anthistemi") in the evil day, and having done all, to stand ("histemi")." Ephesians 6:13

"Anthistemi" is "standing," but specifically in the face of the enemy! "Against" the adversary!

But then comes "histemi," just "standing," the hand-to-hand combat having vanished!

I have a question.

Where did the devil go?

What happened between these two verbal units?

I know the answser!

"Withstand" the Satan who hates you so, the devil, the prince of the power of the air! And as you do, with God's armour and help and power, he will assuredly be defeated!

He will "flee" from you!

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7

Then, after the dust has settled and you survey the landscape, the devil having been overcome, just keep on "standing" for God!

Satan could return of course, and will! Even with Jesus we are told, "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season." Luke 4:13

But even when the final battle is over and the devil is eternally vanquished, burning in the lake of fire forever, we shall still spend all eternity "standing!"

Standing for Jesus!

Robed always in the qualities that make up our armour; truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God!

Makes me want to sing "Stand up, Stand up for Jesus!"

Final victory is ours!

We shall stand with that glorious throng some day and proclaim: "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever." Revelation 11:5

"Withstand!"

"Stand!"

It's the Christian way of life!

Listen to what Paul said of Jesus in Hebrews 3:1-2. "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to Him that appointed him."

Jesus knew how "to stand!" He was faithful!

So must we be also!

One last verse: "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." 1st Corinthians 16:3, in other words: Stay alert! Persist, persevere, stand without retreating! Act like godly men and women! Be strong in the Lord too! All these verbs are imperatives, all four of them!

Stand!

I'm not an ex-fundamentalist!

I'm still a fundamentalist!

I have not quit believing in the inerrancy of the Bible! I still think we have a perfect Book from which to preach!

I've not stepped back, not one bit, from the belief that Jesus is coming again! Both at the Rapture to catch us away, the Church, and again later at the beginning of the Millennium, riding that white horse!  I still believe it with all my heart!

And the Blood still saves sinners!

And God continues to answer prayer!

Oh, God is still omniscient too, knowing everything!

And yes, hell still exists! And the only way to escape its flames is to be born-again into the family of God, saved by Grace!

Keep standing, dear friends!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

          Thank the Lord for this portion of Scripture! It certainly is powerful!

 

 

 

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