Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All
Ephesians 6:10-20 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm, therefore, with your loins girded about with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and with your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in all things, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Through all prayer and petition praying at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, keep awake with all perseverance and making supplication for all the holy ones. 19 Pray also for me, that the words may be given to me when I open my mouth, so that I may be able to speak boldly in making known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
You may be thinking that it seems very unlikely that any human can be at odds with a demonic spirit creature and come out victorious as they have unimaginable superhuman abilities. It is only possible by our reliance on Christ Jesus. We must have a complete grasp of God’s Word and apply it in a balanced manner in our lives each day. Only by doing so, can we be freed from the bodily, moral, emotional and mental harm that those under demonic or satanic control have gone through. – Ephesians 6:11; James 4:7.
Defending the Loins, the Breast, and the Feet
Girding Your Loins with Truth
The loins are the area on each side of the backbone of a human between the ribs and hips. At the time, that the Apostle Paul wrote this to the Ephesians, soldiers wore a belt or girdle-like you see in the image of Roman soldiers. It was 2 to 6 inches in width. This belt served double duty: (1) to protect the soldier’s loins, (2) but it also served as a support for his sword. When a soldier girded up his loins, this meant he was getting ready to go into battle. This soldier and his belt served as the perfect analogy, of how a Christian is to put on the belt of biblical truth, to protect his life. The truths of Scripture should be pulled tight around us, helping us to live a life that is reflective of that truth. Thus, we can use that Bible truth to defend the faith, contend for the faith, and save those who doubt. (1 Pet. 3:15, Jude 3, 21-22) If we are to accomplish these tasks, we will have to study the Bible carefully and consider its contents. Prophetically, it was said of Jesus, “your law is within my heart.” (Ps. 40:8) If Jesus came under attack by the enemy of truth, he was able to refer to biblical truth from memory. – Matthew 19:3-6; 22:23-32.
Isaiah 30:20-21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
20 And though Jehovah give you the bread of distress and the water of oppression, yet your Teacher will no longer hide himself, but your eyes shall behold your Teacher. 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
Breastplate of Righteousness
The breastplate of the soldier was a piece of armor that covered the chest, protecting one of the most important organs, the heart. As all Christians likely know, we have a figurative heart, which is our inner person, and it needs special protection because it leans toward wrongdoing. (Gen. 8:21) For this reason, we must cultivate a love for God’s Word and the standards and values that lie within. (Ps. 119:97, 105) Our love for the Word of God should be to such a depth that we would reject “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life.” (1 Jn. 2:15-17) In addition, once we have developed such a desire for right over wrong, we will be able to avoid paths that would have otherwise led us to a ruination. (Ps. 119:99-101; Am. 5:15) Our greatest example in everything, Jesus Christ, evidenced this to such an extent that Paul could say, “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.”–Hebrews 1:9.
Shod Your Feet with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
Roman soldiers needed suitable footwear, which (1) kept their footing sure in battle, and (2) allowed them to march some 20 miles during a campaign while wearing or carrying some 60 pounds of armor and equipment. Thus, Paul’s ongoing analogy of the armor of a Roman soldier was right on target, as the appropriate footwear for the readiness of a Christian minister active in spreading the gospel message is even more important. Paul shows the importance again in his letters to the Roman congregation. There he asks how will the people get to know God if the Christian is not willing and ready to bring it to him, as he preaches and teaches? – Romans 10:13-15.
Once again, we must look to our example Jesus Christ, as he says to the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate, “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” For three and a half years, Jesus walked throughout the land of Palestine, preaching to all who would listen, giving the ministry top priority in his life. (John 4:5-34; 18:37) If we, like Jesus, are eager to declare the good news, we will find many opportunities to share it with others. In addition, our being absorbed in our ministry will help keep us spiritually strong. – Acts 18:5.
The Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit
Thureon is the Greek word rendered “shield,” which actually refers to a shield that was “large and oblong, protecting every part of the soldier; the word is used metaphorically for faith.” This shield of faith would and will protect the Christian from the “the fiery darts of the evil one.” In ancient times, the darts of the soldiers were often hollowed out having small iron receptacles, which were filled with a clear colorless flammable mixture of light hydrocarbons that burned. This was one of the most lethal weapons as it caused havoc among the enemy troops unless the soldiers had the large body shields that had been drenched in water and could quench the fiery darts. In fact, the earliest manuscripts repeat the definite article, literally “the darts of the evil one, the fiery (darts),” emphasizing the fact that they were, above all, destructive. If the soldier’s shield caught fire, he would be tempted to throw it down, leaving himself open to the enemy’s spear.
What does the highly metaphorical language of the fiery darts depict and how does this weaken or undercut our faith? It may come in the form of minor persecution if we live in the Western world, such as being ridiculed for our Christian faith, even verbally assaulted by Bible critics. Another fiery dart may be the temptation to put money over the ministry. Then, there is the constant temptation from Satan’s world to lure us into immorality. You would have to be literally blindfolded to not see sexually-explicit images hundreds of times per day, as it is used to sell everything. It is not only the images but also the mindset. I will give you just one example, and please excuse the graphic nature. The modern-day junior high school children (13 and 14 years old); literally view oral sex as being no different than kissing one another on the lips.
If we are to protect our Christian family, our congregation of brothers and sisters, and ourselves, we must possess “the shield of faith.” Faith is not a mere belief in Jesus Christ as some misinformed ones might tell us; rather it is an active faith in Jesus Christ. James says at 1:19 “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe, and shudder!” The demons and Satan believe in the existence of Jesus Christ, and yet this brings them no salvation whatever. Faith comes from taking in an active knowledge of the Father and the Son to the point of building a relationship, a friendship based on the deepest love, and the committing of oneself to the point of turning your life over completely. It is regular prayerful communication, understanding and valuing how he protects us. – Joshua 23:14; Luke 17:5; Romans 10:17.
Yet again, we turn to our great exemplar, Jesus Christ, who demonstrated his faith throughout some very trying times. He completely trusted the Father to accomplish his will and purposes. (Matthew 26:42, 53, 54; John 6:38) A great example of this trust can be found when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane. He was in great anguish because he knew that he was going to be executed as a blasphemer of his Father, and even then, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39) Not that he was backing out of the execution, the ransom that is, but he wanted to be executed for another reason, other than a blasphemer. Jesus was an integrity keeper, which brought great joy to the Father. (Proverbs 27:11) As we face difficult times in a world that is alienated from God, we will do well to imitate Jesus’ great faith, and not give out under the pressures of a world that lies in the hands of the evil one. Moreover, our faith will be refined if we trust in God, evidencing our love for him, by applying his Word in our daily walking with him. (Psalm 19:7-11; 1 John 5:3) The immediate gratifications that this world has to offer could never compare with the blessings that lie ahead. Proverbs 10:22.
Not long ago, those trying to curb the use of drugs within the American youth had the saying, “the mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Our next piece of armor of God would be a very useful tool for protecting the Christian mind, the helmet of salvation. The Apostle Paul said to the Thessalonians, “we must stay sober and let our faith and love be like a suit of armor. Our firm hope that we will be saved is our helmet,” because it protects our Christian mind. (1 Thessalonians 5:8) Even though we may have accepted Christ, and have entered onto the path of salvation, we still suffer from imperfect human weaknesses. Even though our foremost desire is to do good, our thinking can be corrupted by this fleshly world that surrounds us. We need to not be like this world, but rather openly allow God to alter the way we think, through his Word the Bible, which will help us fully to grasp everything that is good and pleasing to him. (Romans 7:18; 12:2) You likely recall the test that Jesus faced, where Satan offered him “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.” (Matthew 4:8-10) Jesus’ response was to refer to Scripture, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘you shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Paul had this to say about Jesus, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”—Hebrews 12:2.
We need to understand that the above examples of faith, does not come to us automatically. If we are focusing on what this current world run by Satanic influence has to offer, as opposed to focusing on the hopes that are plainly laid out in Scripture, we will be weak in the face of any difficult trial. After a few stumbles, it may be that we suffer spiritual shipwreck and lose our hope altogether. Then again, if we frequently feed our minds, or concentrate the mind on the promises of God, we will carry on delighting in the hope that has been offered us. Romans 12:12.
If we are to keep our Christian mind on the hope that lies ahead, we need to possess the Sword of the Spirit. The loving letter from our heavenly Father, his Word, the Bible is stated to be “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” This Word, if understood correctly, and applied in a balanced manner, can transform our lives, and help us avoid or minimize the pitfalls of this imperfect life. We can depend on that Word when we are overwhelmed, or temple to give way to the flesh, and when the Bible critics of this world attempt to do away with our faith. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) We need to heed the words of the Apostle Paul to his spiritual son, Timothy:
2 Timothy 3:14-17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 You, however, continue in the things you [Timothy] have learned and were persuaded to believe, knowing from whom you have learned them [Paul, who Timothy traveled with and studied under for 15 years], 15 and that from infancy you have known the sacred writings [the whole Old Testament], which are able to make you wise for salvation through trust in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be fully competent, equipped for every good work.
On these verses, New Testament Bible scholar Knute Larson writes,
3:14–15. Each of us is susceptible to this dangerous trap of deception unless we obey Scripture vigilantly. Following Christ is more than a one-time decision or an occasional church service or kind act. True Christianity involves continual dependence and obedience to Christ the king. Paul told Timothy to continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of. Our faith is proved by its endurance.
Two elements are necessary for faithful living. First, we must possess knowledge of the truth. Truth enlightens a person about what is right and wrong, what constitutes purpose and happiness. We cannot trust or love which we do not know. The second element is conviction or belief. We express our belief system in the daily decisions we make and the behaviors in which we engage. No one acts contrary to belief (though we may act contrary to our professions of belief).
Paul also wanted Timothy to consider those from whom you learned [truth], and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures. Once again he had Timothy’s mother and grandmother in mind (see 2 Tim. 1:5). Timothy was schooled in the Old Testament writings and had learned the need for forgiveness, the provision of God, and the necessity of faith. He had also been discipled by Paul, learning Christ and the church. In each case, Timothy had not only been given knowledge; he had been witness to godly lives.
These people served as examples to Timothy about the truth of God, the need for endurance, and the reward of faithfulness. Each person had staked his or her life on the revelation of the Scriptures which, according to Paul, are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
3:16. The power of the Bible to affect change and demand obedience resides in the fact that all Scripture is God-breathed. The Bible originates with God. Claims of origins carry great significance because authority lives in the Creator. This is why people invest such Herculean efforts in trying to disprove God as the earth’s Creator and in questioning the authenticity of the Bible. Admitting to God’s authorship is an acceptance of his authority over every aspect of life. By stating that Scriptures are God breathed, Paul established the Bible’s claim as God’s authoritative Word over all people.
The Scriptures were written by men “as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21). The picture is that of a sailboat being moved along by the wind. Indeed, men wrote the Bible, but the words and substance of what they wrote came from God. This makes the Bible useful. Paul listed four main uses of Scripture, all of which intertwine with one another.
Teaching involves instruction. Since Timothy was feeling the attacks of false teachers, Paul encouraged the young pastor to continue in teaching correct doctrine and correct living. The Scriptures must be known so people will grasp their need of salvation and so the confessing community will adhere to its instructions on proper Christian conduct.
Rebuking and correcting are the disciplinary authority of Scripture. Because the Bible is God’s Word and because it reveals truth, it exercises authority over those who deviate from its standard. “Rebuking” points out sin and confronts disobedience. “Correcting” recognizes that a person has strayed from the truth. Graciously, lovingly, yet firmly, we should try to guide the errant individual back into obedience.
Many times the Old Testament relates Israel’s disobedience to God, how the people suffered God’s chastisement for their rebellion, and how God corrected their sinful habits. The New Testament continues with stories and instructions, warnings regarding disobedience, disciplinary actions for those who fail to heed God’s revelation, and teachings on proper conduct.
Training in righteousness is the counterpoint to correction. The Scriptures give us positive guidance for maturing in faith and acceptable conduct.
3:17. The goal of all this instruction, discipline, and training is not to keep us busy. God intends that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. We study the Bible, we rely upon God’s Spirit, his revelation, and the community of the faithful to keep us on track—obedient and maturing in faith. Continuing in this commitment will enable us to do whatever God calls us to do. Timothy could withstand the attacks of false teachers, the abandonment of professing believers, and the persecution that surrounded him because God had equipped him for the task. God never calls us to do something without first enabling us through his Spirit and the power of his truth to accomplish the task.
We neglect the Scriptures at our own peril. Through them we gain the ability to serve God and others. The Scriptures not only point the way; through the mysterious union of God’s Word and faith, they give us the ability to serve.
The apostle Paul stressed the significance of God’s Word when he wrote to Timothy, “Continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed.” “The things” that Paul revealed are Bible truths, which moved Timothy to grow into having faith in the gospel. These same truths, along with the entire Word of God (i.e., “All Scripture), can affect us today in the same way, making us “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All
SCROLL THROUGH DIFFERENT CATEGORIES BELOW
BIBLE TRANSLATION AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM
BIBLICAL STUDIES / INTERPRETATION
CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM
CHURCH ISSUES, GROWTH, AND HISTORY
 Or struggle
 Armor: (Heb. keli; Gr. panoplia) The weapons and armor worn by soldiers used in fighting, which makes up the whole of his offensive and defensive equipment. This would include a helmet to protect the head, the girdle, and a leather belt worn around the waist or hips to protect the loins, the breastplate to protect vital organs, especially the heart. It also included a coat of mail, i.e., scale body armor for protection during battle, greaves, namely shin guards, and the shield, usually carried on the left arm or in the left hand.–1 Sam. 7:5-6; 31:9; Eph. 6:13-17.
 (an idiom, literally ‘to gird up the loins’) to cause oneself to be in a state of readiness–‘to get ready, to prepare oneself.’
 Mystery; Secret: (Gr. mystērion) A sacred divine mystery or secret doctrine that lies with God alone, which is withheld from both the angelic body and humans, until the time he determines that it is to be revealed, and to those to whom he chooses to make it known.–Mark 4:11; Rom. 11:25; 16:25; 1 Cor. 2:1; 4:1; 13:2; 14:2; 15:51; Eph. 1:9; 6:19; Col. 1:26; 2:2; 2 Thess. 2:7; 1 Tim. 3:9; Rev. 17:5.
 Lit a chain
 One of 134 scribal changes from YHWH to Adhonai.
 Lit your teachers. The Hebrew verb is plural to denote grandeur or excellence.
 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Jr., vol. 2, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 571.
 6.36 belos, ous n: a missile, including arrows (propelled by a bow) or darts (hurled by hand)—‘arrow, dart.’ In the NT belos occurs only in a highly figurative context, to bele … peporomena ‘flaming arrows (or darts)’ Eph 6:16, and refers to temptations by the Devil.―Louw and Nida 6.36.
 Brephos is the period of time when one is very young–‘childhood (probably implying a time when a child is still nursing), infancy.
 Pisteuo is “to believe to the extent of complete trust and reliance—‘to believe in, to have confidence in, to have faith in, to trust, faith, trust.’
 Knute Larson, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, vol. 9, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 305–307.