Sunday, September 21, 2014

Armour in times of conflict

In a world where Satan and his servants are busy at the high levels of society and also roaming as a lion attacking at the personal level, the believer is to stand firm. Ephesians 6 does not portray the soldier as aggressively conquering the enemy, but rather to stand firm with the armour of God. The progress of light overcoming darkness, is not dependent upon cunning or conflict, but rather as the  rising sun dispels the night, so truth conquers by its declaration (Ch6.9). God’s love, mercy and grace received by faith result in good works to replace the characteristics of this world.
As we by faith are built up into Christ, we become the objects of Satan’s hatred and his schemes to bring Christ down (in us ) are many. What do we have for protection? – the armour of God.

1      Truth – this is the revelation of God, in particular in Christ. This is the focus of the devil’s attack – to diminish the glory of Christ.

     Righteousness – I suggest this is referring to God’s righteousness imputed  to the believer in Christ. So much of this letter is about God’s actions on our behalf for our acceptance with Him. If our defence depended on our own righteousness, the we would be bound to fail under the cross-examination of the accuser of the brethren
3     The Gospel of peace – in keeping with the teaching and characteristics of the Lord Jesus Himself, we who bear good tidings for all mankind, should be walking in peace.

4     Faith – reasoning and debating has a useful place and time, but in time of conflict, faith in God is the best shield. Like Job when under attack we can say “if He slay me , yet will I trust in Him”.

5     Salvation – What God has done and is doing in Christ on our behalf – yes , and as we understand what God has saved us from, and bringing us to, our minds can then hold true direction and clear our thinking.

6     The word of God. God’s revelation through Moses, the prophets, the Lord Jesus, the apostles remains a unique yet abundant enlightenment that neither time nor human ingenuity can  erase. God’s word is reliable and the Spirit of God still chooses to use this to bring people to God.

7     Prayer and perseverance.  We remain vulnerable unless we maintain connection with God in prayer. Prayer sharpens our alertness to the real dangers and letting God by His Spirit communicate to us , brings the strength and purpose to persevere.

          This presentation of God given armour is concluded with these words....."prayer...for all saints".  we do well to stand with those saved by God's grace. We are in the common cause  with all saints including the apostle Paul. Let us discern the real enemy and stand for HIM who was faithful unto the end.


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