August 19, 2014
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 19 August 2014
Ephesians 1 indicated the believer’s possessions in Christ as being “every spiritual blessing.” Ephesians 2—3 indicated the believer’s position as being “fellow citizens with the saints,” who “are of God’s household.” Ephesians 4—6 indicated the believer’s purpose as living “in a manner worthy of the calling with which [they] have been called.” To accomplish this purpose effectively, believers must “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (6:10).
The only adequate strength for the spiritual conflicts of life is to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (6:10). God alone has the “might” sufficient to win the spiritual conflicts against the demonic enemy. To “be strong in the Lord” is to “put of the full armor of God,” which makes the believer able to “stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” The “armor of God” is a metaphor for obedience to certain instructions from Scripture.
The reason for the “armor of God” is due to the reality that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” (6:12). The battle is not against a physical army; rather, it is against a spiritual army, which is the reason for spiritual weaponry. Believers are to be mature in their understanding and application of Scripture “to stand firm.”
The reason for standing “firm” is to withstand the attacks of the enemy. The devil is extremely crafty. The deceiver’s strategy is to make Christ appear foolish, blind people to the gospel of grace, separate believers from one another, and cause believers to desire darkness and wickedness (1 Cor 1:18; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 4:1-7). When the “armor of God” is used in spiritual conflicts, the only thing to dread is fear itself because “greater is He [Christ] who is in you than he [Satan] who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The armor for spiritual conflict is for defense against "close quarters" battle (combat). There are six weapons.
- Belt (truth): the large leather belt of the Roman soldier held other weapons and kept the outer garments in place. To have the belt of truth is to hear and heed God’s Word.
- Breastplate (righteousness): this metal armor was in the shape of the human torso. To have the breastplate of righteousness is persevering to be Christlike, and to therefore fight with honor, integrity, and righteousness.
- Shoes (gospel): the hobnailed sandals of the soldiers gave sure footing in battle. To wear these shoes is to understand the gospel and to trust God’s promises.
- Shield (faith): the small, round shield of the Roman soldier deflected attacks and gave extra protection. To take this shield is to reject sin and temptations, and to believe the truth of God’s Word and act on the basis of it.
- Helmet (salvation): the helmet was the Roman soldier’s metal protective headgear. The helmet is the protection and assurance of belonging to Christ, and living according to the value system of the eternal (cf. Col 3:2; 1 Thess 5:8).
- Sword (Scripture): the sword of the Roman solider was used for both offensive and defensive purposes. The sword is used to defend and overcome the enemy.
Prayer is essential prior to the battle, and to prevail in spiritual conflict. Not only do believers “petition” God personally (6:18), but also we intercede for one another (6:19-20). For this reason, Capitol Commission, in partnership with the church, is committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ and promoting the biblical mandate to pray for Capitol communities throughout the United States and around the world. If there is something specific for which we can intercede for you, please do let us know.
Your missionary to our Capitol community,