ephesians 6a spiritual warfare - .basic framework: 1:18-19, ... skills your command requires.”

Download Ephesians 6a Spiritual Warfare - .Basic framework: 1:18-19, ... skills your command requires.”

Post on 05-Jul-2018

212 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

  • Ephesians 6a Spiritual Warfare

    7/16/00 Copyright 2000, 2016, H. Van Dyke Parunak. All Rights Reserved. Page 1 May be freely reprinted noncommercially with attribution and citation of www.cyber-chapel.org

    Ephesians 6a Spiritual Warfare 6/5/00 6:36 AM

    Overview

    Consider how 6:10-20 fits into the rest of the book, and then its internal structure.

    External structure

    Review book structure, and the place of this paragraph within it.

    Basic framework: 1:18-19, three things he wants them to know:

    1. the hope of his calling

    2. the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

    3. the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe

    #s 2 and 3 outline the first half of the book. The emphasis here is doctrinal; there are no imperatives, just indicative verbs.

    o Gods power in raising Christ, and in raising us with him, 1:20-2:10

    o His glorious inheritance, no longer just in Israel, but in all the saints, 2:11-3:21

    The first of these, hope of his calling, is the subject of the latter half of the book. This half is full of imperatives. It tells us how to live in view of the truths in the first half, and

    revisits the two themes discussed there:

    o Implications of our unity with other believers in the church, and our resulting distinction from the world, 4:1-6:9

    o Implications of Gods power in us, 6:10-20. Note the reprise in 6:10: power of his might is the same in Greek as his mighty power in 1:19.

    Internal structure

    (ab)B(ab)A

    11 and 13 each contain a method for being strong (put on the armor) and a motive (that ye may be able ).

    12 amplifies the motive, giving details of the enemy whom we face.

    14ff amplify the method, giving details of the armor with which God has provided us.

    10, Reprise of 1:19, 1:20-2:10

    Be strong in the Lord. If only we could grasp this truth, how different our lives would be. The

    key to our strength lies not in ourselves, but in the Lord. We are strongest when we realize our

    weakness and learn to trust in him. If we say, I cannot, we are simply making a true statement.

    The real spiritual issue is what we say next:

    If we continue, therefore I will not, we are denying that the Lord is with us.

    http://www.cyber-chapel.org/

  • Ephesians 6a Spiritual Warfare

    7/16/00 Copyright 2000, 2016, H. Van Dyke Parunak. All Rights Reserved. Page 2 May be freely reprinted noncommercially with attribution and citation of www.cyber-chapel.org

    We ought to continue, but the Lord can, and therefore I will.

    The heroes of the Bible are not strong people, but weak people who trusted in the Lord.

    Compare:

    Exodus 3, the call of Moses.

    Note his repeated protestations:

    3:11, Who am I? No self confidence.

    3:13, Who are you? In other words, I dont know you well enough. Im not spiritual enough; my own walk with God isnt nearly enough to enable me to carry out his work.

    4:1 They wont believe me. After excuses based on himself and God, he turns to the people.

    4:10 I cant talk. Now hes back to making excuses about himself. I dont have the specific skills your command requires.

    4:13 Send someone else. This denial earns him the Lords wrath.

    Five times Moses protests. The outcome is twofold.

    The Lord is angry with him. If we have any fear of God in us, this is an outcome we should steadfastly avoid.

    He ends up doing the job anyway, but sharing it with Aaron. He still must confront the wrath of Pharaoh and of the Israelite elders.

    Paul, 2 Cor 12:7-10.

    God intentionally burdened him with a bodily weakness, so that he would learn to trust in God.

    Cf. 2 Cor 4:7, treasure in earthen vessels. Note that he only petitions the Lord three times,

    perhaps mindful of the danger in which Moses put himself.

    11, 13, The Summaries

    Two parts, corresponding chiastically to the Motive and Method sections to follow.

    Method

    Motive

    Action Adversary

    v.11 Put on the whole armour

    of God, that ye may be able to stand

    against the wiles of

    the devil.

    v.13 Wherefore take unto you

    the whole armour of God,

    that ye may be able to withstand,

    and having done all, to stand in the evil day

    Note the progression from v.11 to v.13.

    Method:

    10-11 shows that put on, take up the whole armor of God is metaphor for be strong in the

    Lord. The point is that we are helpless in ourselves, but can be victorious in Gods power. Our

    http://www.cyber-chapel.org/

  • Ephesians 6a Spiritual Warfare

    7/16/00 Copyright 2000, 2016, H. Van Dyke Parunak. All Rights Reserved. Page 3 May be freely reprinted noncommercially with attribution and citation of www.cyber-chapel.org

    victory in the Christian life depends on learning that we need this strength, and how to

    appropriate it.

    Both verses emphasize the whole armor = . Cf. Luke 11:22, he taketh from him all his armour ( ) wherein he trusted. The complete set of weapons, offensive

    and defensive; the warriors full battle pack. No single weapon can do the job. The warrior must

    have them all.

    Leave no unguarded place,

    No weakness of the soul.

    Take every virtue, every grace

    And fortify the whole.

    The Iliad tells of the Greek warrior Achilles, whose mother dipped him as an infant in the river

    Styx, thereby rendering him invincible to arrows, swords, and spears. However, when she dipped

    him, she held him by the heel, which was thereby not exposed to the waters, and remained

    vulnerable, and he was slain by an arrow in the heel. The armor that God has given us is

    comprehensive; let us not despise any aspect of it.

    The progression between the verses is seen in their verbs:

    put on, v.11. It does no good to have the weapons in your locker. You must wear them if they are to help. Perhaps the primary reference here is to defensive weapons, the first to

    put in place, since these are the ones that are worn. In v.14, used of the breastplate of

    righteousness.

    take up, v.13. Pick it up. Its lying there on the ground, ready for you, but you must appropriate it to yourself. Used with reference to things that are held in the hand, after the

    basic defensive armor is put on; used in reference to the shield of faith in v.16. Thus we

    have an advance here from defense to offense.

    Motive:

    Here we see a progression in both our Action and our Adversary.

    The Action

    Both verses mention our need to stand. V.13 goes further and tells us to withstand.

    The opposite of stand is fall, 1 Cor 10:12: Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. The focus is on our surviving the onslaught.

    The opposite of withstand is permit. The verb is used three times in the Balaam story (Num 22:23, 31, 34) of what the angel of the Lord did to Balaam, blocking his way so

    that he could not pass. This is what we are commanded to do to the Devil in Jas 4:7

    (resist the Devil, and he will flee from you) and 1 Pet 5:9 (whom resist steadfast in the

    faith). Here our stature is much more active, resisting the Devils progress, so that we

    may turn him back.

    The Adversary

    Two adversaries are mentioned, and these also show a progression:

    http://www.cyber-chapel.org/

  • Ephesians 6a Spiritual Warfare

    7/16/00 Copyright 2000, 2016, H. Van Dyke Parunak. All Rights Reserved. Page 4 May be freely reprinted noncommercially with attribution and citation of www.cyber-chapel.org

    11, the wiles of the devil, his deceitful trickery. He doesnt play fair, but will try in every way he can to trip us up.

    13, the evil day. In NT only elsewhere in Eph 5:16 (pl). 5x in LXX (all indefinite): Ps 40:2 (41:1); 48:6; 93:13; Jer:17:17,18, the day of Gods judgment on Israel; always Heb

    or . Cf. Amos 6:3; Eccl 12:1 (of old age). The days now are evil, but there

    comes a singularly evil day. Cf. 1 John: there are many antichrists, but the great antichrist

    is still coming. Paul continually warns believers to be prepared for persecution and

    tribulation (Acts 14:22; 1 Thes 3:3; 2 Tim 3:12). This armor is Gods provision to be able

    not only to survive, but to triumph in such struggles.

    12, The Motive

    Here again we have the action and the adversary.

    Action

    Wrestlenotice the personal, intimate nature of the struggle. This is not long-range artillery

    bombardment, but face-to-face, hand-to-hand.

    Grammatically, in heavenly places at the end of the verse most readily modifies the elided

    positive of this verb: We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but we do wrestle against spiritual

    foes, and that wrestling takes place in heavenly places. Ephesians is the only book in the NT

    that uses the heavenlies (pl) as a noun; elsewhere the word is an adjective, as in heavenly

    kingdom 2 Tim 4:18 or heavenly Father Matt 18:35. Consider the things that are said to

    happen in this realm throughout our epistle:

    1:3, where we are blessed with all spiritual blessings

    1:20, where Christ is seated at the Fathers right hand

    2:6, where we sit together with Christ

    3:10, where principalities and powers learn through the church the manifold wisdom of God

    6:12, where our struggle takes place.

    Some suggest that situating this struggle in heavenly places is incompatible with the exalted

    description of this realm. But the Scriptures bear witness to conflict in heaven (Rev 12:7,8; Dan