• We’re going to read most of Ephesians 6 together. It’s a famous passage about putting on the armor of God.
  • Want to give some background, then read it, then share what resonates with you—how can this speak to us as a community? How can this speak to you?
  • Invokes Isaiah 59:17, where God is described as a warrior who put on righteousness as his breastplate and the helmet of salvation, the garments of vengeance, and the cloak of zeal.
    • Different pieces of armor, most scholars say Paul not looking to be very specific and symbolic with what virtue is guarding what, so we should be cautious to not read too much into each piece of armor. Major on the majors.
    • Have some pictures of Roman gear on your sheet. My favorite – the turtle formation.
    • The image of a Roman soldier. More heavily armored in the front (the armor here doesn’t cover the back)
      • Roman soldiers were to stand their ground and not retreat.
  • Some commentators compare this section to the “exhortations that generals gave to their armies before battle.”
    • There’s a spiritual battle going on, but victory is in hand. It has been won by Jesus. But you play a role.
  • You can be victorious no matter your personal circumstances—Paul was in prison when he wrote this. Not a worldly image of victory.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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.13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Why this way of life?

  • Every day, we find ourselves in a battle. Do you see that? Feel it?
  • Over the course of many centuries, this battle has had many skirmishes, twists, and turns. 
  • In one sense, it’s the same as it was when Paul wrote these words. 
    • And the ultimate victory of the church is assured. Satan has been dealt a fatal blow on the cross.
  • In another sense, it’s different. For every generation, the war is renewed. The weapons of war are passed down from generation to generation. 

What are the weapons of community? What are we fighting with?

  • Love, faithfulness, encouragement, testimony, spiritual gifts, unity

I believe the SOS is fighting at a specific front. 

  • Frontlines of: Unity. Treasuring the Holy Spirit. Building strong families.
  • The turtle formation! Communities all over the world…

I want to encourage you to ask the Lord to give you clarity on your calling to community. To renew it.

  • For me, I believe my place is at your side.


  • Covenant in Ephesians
    • Bring this before the Lord – sometimes we need a renewal of our calling
  • Paul’s letters often contain two broad sections, same here in Ephesians
    • First he builds his theology: All about what God has done. Redemption through the cross. The power of the Spirit to grasp the love of Christ.
    • Then he moves from “theory” to practice with a “therefore”. If this is who God is and this is what he has done for us, this then is how we should live. 
      • Like in the NFL, the players move from classroom (film sessions) to the field to put it into practice. They need both. 
        • If they just spend their time in the classroom, they don’t actually get in the game.
        • If they don’t learn from the coaches, they’re just relying on natural talent – and they’ll never win. 
  • In Romans, this transition happens in ch 12. “Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God”
    • In Ephesians, it happened last chapter (4). “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received”.
      • So most of chapter 5 is about getting in the game, getting on the field.
        • Ch 5 summarized in the command to “Walk in the way of love”
        • But there are still moments of learning from the coach.

Why this way of life? Because our covenant helps us to walk in the way of love.

First, we need to remember that God IS the Way of Love

  • God has given us a model to follow behind – a pioneer. That’s Jesus. Paul says:
    • Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (v.2) We’ve got someone to imitate.
    • God has given us the person of love – the Holy Spirit
      • Don’t be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit. (v.18) Be under the influence of the Spirit.
      • Isn’t it radical – even unbelievable – that the Spirit of God, a Person, lives in us and flows through us? 
      • This Person is what Augustine called the Gift of love between Father and Son.
    • And God has shined his light on us.
      • For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord … everything that is illuminated becomes a light”. (v.8)
    • What’s one area in your life that was once dark but God illuminated and made light?
  • We’ve been so blessed. “Therefore” we ought to be moved to love God in return.
    • I believe our community’s covenant is a concrete, specific way to walk in love.
      • You can view the upward, inward, and outward dimensions of our covenant as a response to God’s grace and God’s call.

Walking in the Way of Love by Pleasing God

  • One of my favorite lines in Ephesians: 10“Find out what pleases the Lord.”
    • This is the way of love in relationships. When you begin a relationship, you don’t really know what pleases the other person! 
    • With my wife – Even now, been married 4.5 years, I don’t always know! I ask “What would bring you pleasure?” That’s a beautiful question to ask the Lord – what would bring you pleasure?
    • What’s one thing you’ve discovered that gives the Lord pleasure?

Walking in the Way of Love in our Households

  • Community shines in helping develop strong households – whether single households or families (or combined, like mine has been).
  • Being filled with the Spirit  Mutual submission. 
    • In families this looks like:
      • Godly marriages where husbands lay down their life for their wives
        • Where wives respect and honor their husbands
        • Where children obey their parents, and parents bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord
      • In single households this looks like honoring one another above yourselves, laying down preferences, encouraging one another, sharing your lives.
  • How can your household grow in the way of love?

Quiz on Ephesians 4

Paul explains our calling

  1. What are we called by Paul to do? (4:1)
  2. Yes or No – Is our calling about living a specific way? (4:2-3)
  3. V.2-3, list one way that your practical living matches your spiritual position.
  4. What is Paul saying here when he said, “One body, one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all.”
    1. That we should all recite the Nicene Creed.
    1. That Paul opposes anyone who thinks and acts like an individual.
    1. That the Spirit brings unity – us with God and us with each other.
    1. That Paul owns stock in a company named “One.”
  5. Yes or No – Is our calling about practicing a specific gift? (4:11)
  6. What is the goal of living a specific way and practicing our specific gifts? (4:12-13)
  7. What does Ephesians 2:10 say?
  8. What would you say is the great work God has created you to do?
  9. What happens if we do not grow up in our faith and become mature? (4:14)
  10. V.14 – Would you say that there is a lot of “wavy and windy teaching today??
  11. According to Paul, “what is the “Old Self?”
  12. According to Paul, “what is the “New Self?
  13. According to Paul, “Our Old Self died with Christ at baptism and our New Self was raised with Christ, so that we may live a new life (Romans 6:4;6). If the Old Self “died with Christ” and the “New Self “was raised with Christ, how is it that the Old Self is so active in our minds?
  14. Can you describe the battle for your mind (4:22-24)
  15. What does Paul say in Ephesians 3:18-19 To be F _ _ _ _ _ with G _ _ _ L _ _ _
  16. What does Paul say in Ephesians 1:12? Live for the P _ _ _ _ _ of H _ _ G _ _ _ _
  17. How? By P_ _ _ _ _ _ off the O _ _ S _ _ _ and P_ _ _ _ _ _ on the N _ _  S _ _ _
  18. What does Paul say in Ephesians 2:10? We were C _ _ _ _ _ _ to do G _ _ _ W _ _ _ _

On our Covenant according to Ephesians

  1. The Upward Life: Be filled with the fullness of God – the width, the length, the height, and the depth of God’s love (Eph 3:18-19)
  2. The Inward Life: Put off the old self and put on the new self  (Eph 4:22-24)
  3. The Outward Life: Live for the praise of his glory (Eph 1:12) 

The Pandemic is having a negative effect in the Church

1 – 60% of the Bishops say morale is down among priests and lay leaders.

2 – 50% say that the ability to serve the poor, Catholic Charities is down 50%.

3 – Mass attendance is down 25% to 65%.

4 – Donations are down 30% to 60%.

5 – Schools – 100 have closed; 20% are unlikely to survive.

6 – 31% of churches say they have significantly cut staff.

7 – 5% of the parishes will close by the end of the year.

The coronavirus pandemic is a real and serious tragedy. 

Cases & Deaths

6.5 million cases in America. 195 thousand have died. 

29 million around the world, 925 thousand have died.

Stress on Health Care Services (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Feeling irritation, anger, or denial

Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious

Feeling helpless or powerless

Lacking motivation

Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out

Feeling sad or depressed

Having trouble sleeping

Having trouble concentrating

Loss of jobs – as of April 2020, 30 million (WSJ); 22 million (Market watch)  

As of late August 40% recovery

So, what can we do?

The Upward – Be filled with God’s love.

The Inward – Let grace move in your heart – Put on care, love, compassion, joy. 

The Outward – Give away what you have received. Be the light of the world.

Comfort and encourage people you know and meet.

Share your resources as best you can.

Send your pastor an encouraging message.

The hand of the Lord is on Sword of the Spirit all over the world. 

May we encourage each other on a regular basis to live for the praise of his glory.