Scratching the Surface of Ephesians
I'm old enough to have some historical perspective; and while I may be wrong, I am convinced until proven otherwise that there are more miscreants causing meanness, madness, and misery than ever before.
Surely, things have been tough ever since the first (original) rebellion (sin) in the garden; but it seems like the instances of meanness, madness, and misery are increasingly intense and frequent in an eschatological kinda way.
Indeed, and, again, I may be wrong, but I am convinced anyone who doesn't think things are getting worse than ever before is living in the ozone layer of reality with two feet planted firmly in the air or over-dosed on St. John's Wort.
We're in a war; precisely as Paul cautioned in Ephesians: "Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet...This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels."
Then he describes our best defense: "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand...withstand...stand firm..."
Paul uses the metaphor of a Roman soldier preparing for battle to remind us how/why we can live victoriously and win sooner or later and definitely in the end.
We have the blessed assurance of victory because our Lord has provided what we need to win the war: "We are human, but we don't wage war with human plans and methods. We use God's mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil's strongholds."
If you would like a printed "spiritual warfare" prayer with Ephesians 6:10-20 as a guide, just contact me at email@example.com and I will send it to you with permission to print and forward.
In short, Luther taught us to sing victoriously, "One little word shall fell him!...Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He!...And He must win the battle!"
Let me put it another way.
Remembering all of the pieces of the armor isn't nearly as important as remembering Who is the armor.
Or as many have done so victoriously when the Devil and its accomplices come knocking at the door, "Jesus, please get that for me. Thank You!"
While Ephesians, like Paul's other letters, includes lots of other important parentheses of counsel, encouragement, and exhortation, the big focus is on the war with the Devil and its accomplices that no one can avoid with the good news that we will win the war sooner or later and definitely in the end.
Francis Frangipane wrote, "How do we defeat the enemy? Victory begins with the name of Jesus on our lips. It is consummated by the nature of Jesus in our hearts."
That's what this letter is all about.
We belong to Him, we belong to each other, and, together with Him, we will win the war sooner or later and definitely in the end.
In the meantime of miscreance, meanness, madness, and misery, we will pray and labor to live the holy lives of winners: "Therefore be imitators of God...Look carefully then how you walk...making the best use of time...understand what the will of the Lord is...Grace...[will]...be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible."
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!
Right on! This is so timely and so necessary to Believers! Jesus IS our Victory!
I love your "Jesus, please get that for me." it's very much what I find myself doing.
et moi, mon ami!
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