WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
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CLOTHED AND READY
(Getting ready for the spiritual battle)
In Ephesians 6:10-20, the Apostle Paul closes out his letter to the Ephesians with a remarkably creative summary of his overall message for them. Here he paints a vivid picture of the spiritual resources one would have to clothe himself, or herself in, if, he or she is to do battle with the unseen spiritual world of evil, that dictates to our “sin nature”, and manifests its negative results in our physical lives.
As human beings, we are waging the fight of our lives on a daily basis, against strife, sickness and death, and our opponent is not one who is visible to our physical eyes. And while certainly we can feel this unseen assault on our bodies, sadly, we continue to fight a losing battle, because we fail to recognize that our problems are, at their root, really spiritual, and not physical.
In order to wage a successful battle we must first realize that the enemy is not other people, but rather, it is satan himself. And if we are going to fight against this enemy, and win, we must first turn our battles over to GOD, by accepting CHRIST JESUS as our LORD and SAVIOR, in earnest. The battle with satan is a battle for our souls (the eternal part of mankind), and in order to overcome him, we must put on “the full armor of GOD”.
In order to beat us, satan uses such weapons as “pride”, “lust”, “other people”, and “doubt”. If we are to make a successful stand against him, we must incorporate “truth”, “righteousness”, “peace”, “faith”, “salvation”, and “the Word of GOD”. In short, we must don the full armor of GOD daily. We cannot use carnal weapons and expect to defeat the “evil one” in our own natural strength. But by clothing ourselves with the full armor of GOD, we become more than conquerors through our strength in CHRIST JESUS.
When we equip ourselves with all that GOD provides us with, we are well able to win the spiritual battles that we will inevitably have to wage every single day of our lives here on earth, not just as human beings, but even more so as Christians. Paul’s colorful description of “the battle attire of GOD”, is cleverly likened to the panoply of a Roman soldier, because he wants to ensure that the people understand exactly what they are up against, and how GOD has already provided the resources needed to overcome such a formidable foe.
Warren Wiersbe once wrote, “Sooner or later every believer discovers that the Christian life is a battleground, not a playground, and that he faces an enemy who is much stronger than he is, apart from GOD”.
As Christians, and, as human beings, we face, on a daily basis, three weapons, that are perpetually exploited by satan:
· First, there is “the world”, which refers to the systematic opposition to GOD that surrounds us everywhere we go, and is indeed, “the anti-CHRIST influence”.
· Then there is “the flesh” which is controlled by our own “sin nature” which we inherited from Adam’s disobedience to GOD, and, that is opposed to GOD, and can naturally do nothing to please GOD in any way.
· And then finally, there is the “evil spirit”, the devil himself, who gets into us and manipulates our thoughts, and thus dictates our actions and deeds, causing us to make all sorts of ungodly decisions in life.
We should be eternally thankful to JESUS for salvation through HIS overcoming of “the world”, “the flesh”, and “the evil spirit” of satan. Thanks to HIM, we do not have to fight for victory, because the victory is already won. Now, we only have to fight from “the victorious standpoint” that CHRIST JESUS has given us. And the HOLY SPIRIT enables us, by faith, to appropriate HIS victory for ourselves, when we choose to fight and pray in GOD’s army, and, in the name of CHRIST JESUS, our LORD and DELIVERER.
In Paul’s closing words to the Ephesians he lets them know that he is sending Tychicus, his beloved brother in CHRIST, to encourage them, and, to let them know how he was getting along while he is incarcerated there in Rome. In his final words we find a blessing being called down from GOD, by Paul, upon the people at the Church in Ephesus. Here Paul calls for the “peace of GOD” (man’s highest good), the “love of GOD” (the complete resting of “faith” in CHRIST), and, the all-important “grace of GOD”, which sustains us all, as HE longs for us to abide with HIM, forever.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
IN MEMORY OF CHARLESTINE ANGELA JONES
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website