- 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.