Brief Notes on Ephesians Chapter 6:10-24

Ephesians 6:10‑24  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 7
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The doctrine of the Epistle to the Ephesians closes with chapter 4:16. From that point to chapter 6:9, we get practical instructions. From chapter 6:9 to the end, we get conflict. So this epistle naturally distributes itself into three parts teaching, walk and conflict.
The teaching, we remember, was the education of the church the body of Christ. We have constant proof all along the line of Old Testament days of heavenly calling, but only distant, shadowy intimations of the body of Christ. It is not said of Abraham that he was blessed in heavenly places in Christ, incorporated in Christ. This is the grand teaching of this highest of all the epistles.
When we leave the doctrinal part, we get the practical part and there the doctrinal part is gloriously honored. Precepts become, by the Spirit, the expression of the moral virtue of my calling.
In the next place precepts are given a dispensational character. God is not dwelling in the same light now as when He was sitting on the throne in Jerusalem. That was an earthly light. The light that God now dwells in is the awful yet most precious mystery that He has been rejected here in His dear Son and that that Son is now glorified in heaven. Now you must be in the light where God dwells. You must make God’s dispensational truth the rule of your ways. I speak not, of course, of the light in which God dwells, as in His own proper glory as we read in 1 Timothy 6:1616Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:16).
The difference between chapters 5 and 6 is that in chapter 5 we see the saint walking in the midst of the circumstances of human life. In chapter 6 we see the saint in the field of battle. You are in conflict today and you will be again tomorrow. There is plenty of work for us to do if we are practical, living saints of God.
Now, in opening this third view, he tells us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, taking to us the whole armor of God, that we may withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. The Spirit contemplates that it is a war from the beginning to end. There may be specific battles, but you must still stand as in war. Are you prepared for finding human life a war? It is to be incessant war until you have done with this world, this flesh and the devil.
“The evil day” is a specific battle. If we have won the victory, why are we still called to stand? Because war has been proclaimed. You are to recognize that while you are in the body, you are a fighting man. That being your position, you are to put on the whole armor of God, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,... against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Now, how do you understand this? Do you rest in the thought that wicked spirits are in heavenly places?
But what do these wicked spirits do? They come down with all their wiles and lies and deceivings to practice them in your heart and mine. Paul says, “We are not ignorant of his devices,” and again, “O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil.” All these prove that he acts by wiles. He acts by violence and by persecution also, but that is not contemplated here. If we go over the story of Satan in Scripture, we shall find him an accuser. Was he not an accuser of the brethren in the book of Job? And is not the very same character attached to him in the book of the Revelation? Thus, finding myself in the presence of the enemy, I am to put on the whole armor of God.
Let us inspect each part of this armor. There is not one single piece of this armor which is fitted to battle against flesh and blood. There are no slings or jawbones of asses as with David and Samson. If I have not the armor here, I am not fighting for Christ. Saints may take carnal weapons, but if I do if, for instance, I go into a court of justice to assert my rights do not let me talk of being in the light of God. That is where dispensational truth is so important. I find here that the Spirit sends me into a field of battle, and I find that my security depends on truth, righteousness, faith, peace and the sword of the Spirit.
Now suppose we were to describe a few of these wiles: infidel heresies, superstitious vanities, evil doctrines. We are not here in conflict with our lusts but with the direct attempts of the enemy. We withstand the temptations of our hearts in this world in chapter 5. In chapter 6 we are set face to face with Satan. How could you attach yourself to Jesus and not turn round in the face of the enemy and let him know that you are at war with him?
Then we find that having this armor on us, if a quickened condition of soul be not maintained in communion, the armor will be cumbrous. “Praying always... 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, for which I am an ambassador in bonds.” Did you ever hear of such a thing as the ambassador of one nation being put in bonds by the nation to which he was sent? Why, God has fared worse in this world than any nation in it would! And what message did this ambassador bring? A message of boundless grace. And that is the way He has been treated. The law of nations would not allow it for an instant. Yet that is the way God, for almost two thousand years, in the person of His servants, has consented to be treated.
The Apostle tells them that he sends Tychicus “that he might comfort your hearts.” Oh, if we could be in prison, yet able to comfort others! As a dear believer, a clergyman in the Bishop of London’s coalhole, sent to his wife, “Be merry, dear wife, be merry; we’re all merry here. We weep with Him now, but we shall laugh with Him forever.” That is equal to Paul sending from a prison in Rome a cheering word to his brethren at Ephesus.
God grant that we may be taught by the doctrine, instructed in the morals and put on something of strength for the battle by this closing scene.
J. G. Bellett