Monday, August 15, 2011

Ephesians Part 4 (chapter 6:10-20)

Paul closes out his letter to the Ephesians with some last words on how to stay united as a community of Christians.

He reminds us that there is more to this world than what we see with our eyes. There are spiritual forces (good and bad) at work in the world and Paul wants us to be vigilant lest we become complacent and and allow ourselves to be led astray. Paul is not telling us to become hyper fixated on the idea of the "devil" or demonic forces, but he is telling us to be aware that they are out there. If we don't know these forces exist or if we ignore them, it is much easier for us to forget there is an enemy of God that we are standing against. Paul tells us to 'put on the full armor of God" that we may have truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, and salvation.

Even when we are in the presence of evil, when we fail, when we grieve, or when we are mistreated, God is always standing with us. The promise of the gospel is that we will never be alone. In addition to the support of God, we also have the support of our fellow Christians who stand by us. As a Church we are to stand side by side with our fellow Christians and remain connected to God and to each other through all things.

In this way, we can withstand anything that happens to us individually or corporately.

Throughout the book of Ephesians, Paul has told us ways we are to behave as individuals and as the Church in order remain unified as the body of Christ. We are to do these things not only to share the Gospel with the world but also to protect and nurture the Church and the individuals within it. The Church and its members are to not only be a light to those who do not know Jesus, but also a line of defense against the forces of evil that are at work in the world. If we do not remain unified, working together as one body and one mind, the light of Christ cannot shine as brightly in the world as it otherwise might. As you go about your life this week, pray for unity within the Church that the purposes of God might be fulfilled in this world.


And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. - Ephesians 6: 18-20