Ephesians 6:13-24

Eph 6:13 (KJV)
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Now Paul begins a section giving analogies of the different parts of armor that the soldier in battle array wears. Now Paul is continuing the thought from verse 12. Since we are facing all the rulers of Hell which are determined to come against the body of believers and the individual Christian, we are to take the whole armor of God with us wherever we go. This is so we will be able to oppose or resist the evil when it comes upon us. The Christian is going to face the temptations of the world. To be tempted is not a sin but to succumb to temptation is a sin and this is why we are to clothe ourselves in the full armor of God. When we do this, we will be able to resist the attacks of Satan. (James 4:7 KJV) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
The result that Paul is seeking in the believer is that once we take the complete armor of God to face all and any temptation that comes our way, by resisting and overcoming the desire to succumb to the temptation, we will be able to stand. That word “stand” means for us to “stand firm or be established.” Once we resist the temptation, we will have a victory in our spiritual life and that is the reason we clothe ourselves in the full armor of God. Too many Christians think they are strong enough to stand. This self-aggrandizing attitude is what sets Christians up to fall. We look at some Christians today, that just a few years ago were very strong in the faith, who have allowed themselves to spiritually decline. One major reason for this is that in Christendom we have the idea that if a person has a lot of knowledge or has as many degrees as a thermometer, they would be strong in the faith. The fact is there is a trade-off, the more education you have on peripheral and extra-biblical issues, the weaker you are in the faith. This is because there is one principle which education teaches you, and that is to keep an open mind. Unfortunately, the Gospel is for narrow minded people. (Mat 7:14 KJV) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Jesus didn’t even endorse works for salvation, never mind other religions or philosophies.
Eph 6:14 (KJV)
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
In the ancient days, when men wore long flowing robes or clothing, it was necessary, during a time of crisis, that they were able to girt up or tie up those robes to be able to maneuver better. Sometimes the girdle or large belt was a fancy one with many sequins or silver. Peter had to girt up his loins when he saw the Lord Jesus on the beach. (John 21:7 KJV) Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. Girting up the loins was something which was done to facilitate both defensive and offensive positions.
We are told that we need to have our loins girt about with truth. In the Scriptures, the term “loins” meant the place of strength. (Deu 33:11 KJV) Bless, LORD, his substance, and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again. We also read in Scripture that the loins were where used in reference to progeny. (Exo 1:5 KJV) And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. So as the loins were involved in the creation of a lineage, they are also being used symbolically as the place of our strength. We are being told that we need to be strong in the Lord and strong in His truth. (Psa 91:4 KJV) He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. The loins represent human strength but our human strength must be cloaked in the strength of the truth of the Gospel for us to be able to stand against the attacks of the Satan.
In the next part of this verse we are told to put on the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate protected all the vital organs. To modernize it, you could compare it to a Kevlar vest which Police use to stop bullets. The breastplate of righteousness is one that the Christian wears as a result of becoming saved. The physical breastplate guarded the heart, lungs, and the other organs from sword, arrows, or even spear penetration. When the soldier was in battle, he would have been able to concentrate on winning the battle rather than worrying about being pierced, which would divide the mind and maybe cause him to lose concentration, and thus his life. It gave him a certain confidence to be able to give the extra strength to defeat his opponent. When we put on the breastplate of righteousness, we too, may also have the confidence that when we go into spiritual battle we need not worry that we will be pierced with whatever Satan is sending our way. Normally, the physical temptation will be easy to spot but it is the spiritual temptation, the accepting of unbiblical ideas, is what we have to be on our guard about. If we are wearing the breastplate, no matter how many times we are hit with these spiritual anomalies, we will be unharmed. That is how we are able to stand in the presence of the enemy’s attacks.
Eph 6:15 (KJV)
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Then we are not only to prepare for a defensive war, but we are to prepare for an offensive war. That offensive is the propagation of the Gospel. In the midst of the temptations or the attacks with false Gospels, we must always have the true Gospel to counter the attacks of the false. (Isa 52:7 KJV) How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Our defense is incomplete unless we have an offense. In war, is only a defensive strategy necessary for victory? The answer is no, there must be an offensive war fought also. (Mat 28:19 KJV) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: The word “preparation” in this verse means that we are to be prepared or ready. (1 Pet 3:15 KJV) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Ignorant Christians do not bring glory to God and live a very unfruitful existence. It is these that Satan targets with false Gospels, because they are easy prey.
Eph 6:16 (KJV)
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Quench - Extinguish or put out
The next piece of equipment that the Apostle Paul brings to light is the shield. Sometimes the shield was about 4 feet by 2 feet (1.22 meters by 762 mm). In the Roman Army, they used an alternating combination of ox hide and Bronze. Whenever they faced an onslaught of flaming arrows, the shield had the ability, by its construction, to stop the flaming arrow and thus it would fall harmlessly to the ground. The shield was vital to the survival of the Roman soldier as he went from battle to battle. If he lost his shield, he would certainly face death that very day.
The Christian goes from faith to faith. (Rom 1:17 KJV) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. The shield of faith is the faith which is rooted in the Lord Jesus Christ and is imputed to us upon salvation. (Gal 2:16 KJV) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Whenever we go into battle, it is the faith of the Christian in Christ that sustains us during the great battles in our life.
(Psa 27:13 KJV) I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
(1 Tim 4:10 KJV) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
When we become saved we are given that shield to protect us against those fiery darts or missiles. The word “darts” carries with it the meaning of “javelins, arrows, or spears.” The same way that the physical shield protected the soldier in battle, the same way we are protected from the spiritual darts which Satan hurls at us. Faith in God and the Lord Jesus Christ has allowed many to give their lives rather than deny Christ. In the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, true believers were accused of witchcraft and rather than admit to a false charge and live, they kept their testimony and died for it. They refused to let the fiery darts of Satan wreck their testimony. Even facing death, the shield of faith will still protect us, because we go to heaven by means of the faith of Christ. So when Satan attacks with all kinds of temptations or false teachings, we just enact our faith in Christ to extinguish the fiery darts and just let them hit the ground harmlessly. (Psa 91:4 KJV) He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. The truth is the unadulterated truth of the Gospel. It becomes our shield. When we are totally immersed in the truth of Scripture, false teachings and temptations bounce off of us and hit the ground. The true child of God, will never fall to the false teachings given by Satan and his minions, unless they lose their shield or neglect to use it in battle. The only way to lose a shield is to lose your salvation, and that cannot happen. We can neglect to use our shield in battle by simply laying it aside and believing we are strong enough to quench the darts on our own. How foolish!
Eph 6:17 (KJV)
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
The helmet was made of thick leather or brass and was designed to protect the head from blows received from an axe, sword, or even a club. This piece of armor protects the physical head but is likened to those who are truly saved. The helmet of salvation is there to protect the mind which is the new mind of Christ which we have received upon salvation. When Satan comes at us with false teachings and philosophies, it is like being attacked with a blunt instrument. When we wear that helmet of truth, those false teachings will be unable to penetrate the renewed mind that we now possess. It is in our mind where we begin to ponder thoughts which could be detrimental to the Christian walk but when our mind is protected by that helmet, they will have no effect upon us nor will they affect our thinking concerning spiritual things. The helmet of salvation is designed to keep our minds stayed upon the Lord. (Isa 26:3 KJV) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
The next piece of equipment we are to take is the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. The sword was used both as an offensive weapon and a defensive weapon. It was the primary fighting tool of the soldier. When we think of the Scriptures, it is the primary weapon of the Christian and the most powerful we have in our spiritual armory. The word of God is used as a defensive weapon to protect us against any false teachings or doctrines which come our way. We can go right to the Bible and compare what we are being taught to what the Bible teaches. If they do not match, then the Bible becomes our offensive weapon when we begin to attack the false teachings and basically rip it apart and destroy it. Sometimes in sword fighting, it was used to decapitate the opponent. This is what the spiritual sword is to do, to decapitate the false teaching so the rest of the teaching will become innocuous.  (Heb 4:12 KJV) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Eph 6:18 (KJV)
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Watching - Be on the alert or vigilant
Perseverance - Strong, firmness or endurance
Now Paul switches from the actual weapons of warfare to the attitude of using those weapons. The first counsel is to always be in prayer. Praying that God will guide the Christian during the spiritual warfare and to give them wisdom. Wisdom would also dictate that we pray before we go into any spiritual battle, even before we know what is coming. Prayer must also be in the Spirit, this means according to the Word and will of God. Praying in the Spirit does not mean that one is speaking in unknown tongues. We pray in our own intelligible language. (1 Cor 14:19 KJV) Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
Dovetailing our vigilance in prayer is being watchful. It does no good to have all those spiritual weapons if we ourselves do not remain vigilant to false teachings and satanic attacks of temptation. The idea of having those spiritual weapons is to combine them with prayer and remaining strong during the times when we face spiritual attacks. (1 Pet 4:7 KJV) But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
These spiritual weapons are designed for the believer to remain strong in the faith under the most adverse spiritual circumstances. The believer must also realize that unless we are dependent upon the Lord for our protection, none of the weapons mentioned will ever be effective. This verse also teaches us that our prayers must also include other believers. (Phil 2:4 KJV) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Eph 6:19 (KJV)
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
The Apostle Paul is now turning to his own desires which should be the desire of every Christian. He desired that he was able to preach the word of God with great boldness. That word “boldly” in the verse carries with it the meaning of being able to preach freely, especially the entire counsel of God. Many times in modern times whenever someone mentions hell, others get nervous and want that person to be quiet. Paul is hoping to be able to preach the Gospel without any hindrance from those who want to silence the truth. (2 Th 3:1 KJV) Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: Paul’s desire is that no matter what his situation is, that he would be able to proclaim the message of salvation. Our personal situations should not be a hindrance in us proclaiming the Gospel either.
Eph 6:20 (KJV)
For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Paul is an ambassador of the kingdom of Christ while in prison. No matter where we are, we need to think of ourselves as ambassadors of the kingdom of Christ. Are you an ambassador in a wheelchair? Are you an ambassador on your job? Are you an ambassador at your church? Wherever you are, you are a representative of the kingdom of God and you are to speak boldly in the name of Christ. (2 Cor 5:20 KJV) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. We are never to allow those in false religions or those who are atheists to speak bolder about their false religion than we do about the truth. Boldness does not mean out shouting them, it means we are to be wiser in our presentation and we are to stand firm in our convictions. No false Gospel should ever go unchallenged by the truth even if it means we are looked upon as the enemy. (Gal 4:16 KJV) Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
Eph 6:21 (KJV)
But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:
As Paul now comes to the end of this epistle, he now personalizes the letter. He does this ending almost identical to the Epistle to the Colossians. He mentions Tychicus who seemed to have been a very close associate of Paul and was his means of getting the various writings to the different churches. Here is an example of a great ministry. You may not be able to write or to preach, but you can carry the Gospel to different people. You can be the conduit of salvation to others. Maybe you are an airplane pilot, or you drive a truck and can deliver Gospel packages to different places. There is always a ministry for every believer in the kingdom of God. Paul calls him a faithful minister (servant) in the Lord who will tell the Ephesian Christians what is happening in the life of Paul. A faithful servant of God need not be a preacher or teacher, but can be a ministry of helps, and this is probably the spiritual gift that Tychicus had. (1 Cor 12:28 KJV) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. The gift of helps carries with it the idea of “support.” You may not be able to preach but you can volunteer to carry the preacher’s materials and set up the literature table in the back. Helps is a genuine spiritual gift which is needed in every situation where the Gospel is proclaimed. If it wasn’t for the ministry of helps by indigenous Christians in foreign lands, missionaries would have been in dire straits, especially in the early days of missions. Carrying the suitcases is as much a part of Christian ministry as preaching.
Eph 6:22 (KJV)
Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
Paul wanted to send Tychicus to Ephesus to make sure these Christians knew what was going on in the life of Paul. There may have been some anxieties as to what may happen to Paul and he wanted to comfort them by means of both the Epistle and a verbal report. Maybe some of the Ephesian Christians were concerned that if Paul was imprisoned that they could face the same thing too and then the word of God would not be preached. Since Paul was the founder of this church, he wanted to reassure them that the Word of God is not bound just because he was. He wanted them to know that if something happened to him, the Gospel would still be preached since it is not limited to one man. Having founded the church there, he no doubt had many friends who were near and dear to him and that he knew were concerned for him. Paul wanted to refocus their thinking on the Gospel and Lord Jesus Christ and not to get bogged down in his imprisonment. (1 Th 5:11 KJV) Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Eph 6:23 (KJV)
Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
As Paul began this letter, he now closes it. He wishes them peace, which is the inner peace that God gives the Christian under the worst of circumstances. He also wishes them the “agape” love of God which is the unconditional love that God gives to His redeemed children. Notice Paul is saying that these two items belong to the brethren and not to everyone, because those who are unsaved neither experience the love or peace of God. Both God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are authors of peace and love in the Christian walk.
Eph 6:24 (KJV)
Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
In Sincerity - In incorruption
Paul was a great believer in grace and was bestowing his desire for grace upon all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. He is speaking about those who love Jesus because of their salvation and not those unbelievers who only pretend to love Jesus for show. (2 Cor 2:17 KJV) For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. Every church has them, the pious unbeliever with the phony smile.
Amen - So Let it Be, let it be indeed!