Click Here for more information on the Ephesians Reading Challenge
Read the entire book of Ephesians 3 times in 3 weeks
The main theme of Ephesians: Moving with Christ from death to life. Christianity is a movement, a journey of faith.
In his book, Sit, Walk, Stand, Watchman Nee divides the book of Ephesians into three main sections.
- Sit, chapters 1-3
- Sitting with Christ, Resting in God, Receiving from God, our identity and being
- Walk, chapters 4-6:9
- Walking the Walk, Living a life in the Spirit in practical ways, movement of faith
- Stand, chapter 6:10-24
- Sit, Walk, Stand seems out of order. A baby learns to sit, then stand, then walk. Yet in the spiritual life, we sit so we can walk. We sit so we can stand.
Walking the Walk – Making an Impression
- Life looks different because we’re followers of Jesus Christ
- Our character is transformed, taking on the character of Christ, bearing the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
- Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self- control
- Our actions are transformed
- generous in time talents treasure in serving others, forgiving folks and loving your enemies
- We start taking our Baptismal Vows seriously
- We renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, repent of your sin
- We accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, oppression in whatever forms they present themselves
- We accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, put our whole trust in His grace, and promise to serve him as our Lord, in union with the church which Christ has opened to all people.
- When you start walking the walk the Evil One is going to notice. Walking with Jesus, life becomes better and harder. We’re living a life of integrity plus all the normal trouble of life.
- Life can feel like a battle.
- Love is a Battlefield, song by Pat Benatar
- God is Love. Walking in the love of Christ can feel like a battlefield.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.
- We take on guilt and shame because we aren’t strong enough, we can’t handle it. It’s false guilt and shame. God knows we can’t handle it. Be strong in the Lord!
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
- The Evil One wants us to trick us into thinking our battle is against blood and flesh, people vs. people. See people as people, not enemies.
- The curtain is pulled back. We can see things now we couldn’t see before.
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
- 3 types of standing- stand, withstand (take the hit), stand firm (push back)
Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
We sit with Christ so we can walk with Christ.
We sit with Christ so we can stand with Christ.
God wants to strengthen you and protect you.
Ephesians 6:10-11 Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. (strength) Put on the whole armor of God (protection)
How we blow it-
- We put on our own armor instead of God’s.
- financial security, connections, achievement, expertise, stiff upper lip, my big girl pants
- We put on some of God’s armor, but not all of it
- We put on someone else’s armor
- Someone else’s prayers, faith, encounter with God’s word, salvation. You need your own.
- It’s like David going out to fight Goliath, the giant. King Saul wants David to wear his royal armor, his human armor. It doesn’t fit, doesn’t work, weighs him down. David refuses and faces Goliath in God’s armor.
- We put on the Evil One’s armor. We choose the ways of the Evil One for my protection and weapons.
- The Evil One focuses on attacking because Jesus already brought victory. The armor of God is defensive, not offensive.
Ephesians 6:10-11 Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God
Paul writes to the believers in Ephesus in Turkey from his prison in Rome. He uses the image of a Roman centurion because that’s what he can see.
Belt of Truth
- Like Batman’s utility belt. Holds everything in place
- The battle for what is real
- Evil One’s Weapons- lies, falsehood, misinformation, miscommunication
- God’s Weapons- integrity, honesty, we humbly take the high ground because Jesus is already victorious
Breastplate of Righteousness
- Righteousness = Right Relationship with God and Others
- The battle for your heart.
- Who is on the throne of your heart
- What are your primary motivations in all you do
- The Evil One wants broken relationships. Anyone or anything on the throne of your heart other than Jesus. For your primary motivation to be a heart of war, looking at people and treating people as if they are not people. Go to war with flesh and blood.
- God’s Weapons- Jesus on the throne of our heart. Our primary motivation is a heart of peace- looking at people and treating people as people.
Shoes for the Gospel of Peace
- How and why we move
- Battle for our Mission and Priorities
- Weapons of the Evil One- Busy, Distracted, using our time talent and treasure for missions not of God
- God’s weapons- bringing glory to God, building up others, making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We do this by making peace and offering the Good News of Christ’s peace
Shield of Faith
- We hold on to faith like we hold on to a shield
- The Evil One will throw everything at us in order to get us to give up- give up the mission, give up our heart, believe a lie instead of trusting God.
- We claim who we are in Christ. We claim the promises of God. We hold on to faith and hope. We persevere. We endure.
Helmet of Salvation
- Battle for your thoughts, your mind.
- We ruminate- we replay situations over and over. This is not of God. Jesus take the wheel of my monkey brain!
- Let the same mind be in me that was in Christ Jesus- Phillippians 2:5
- The Evil One wants us distracted, discouraged, and despairing.
- I know who I am in Christ- I am a child of God. I am beloved and blessed of God. I am made in the image of God and nothing can separate me from the love of God and my salvation in Jesus Christ.
- I know it in my head and my heart. Salvation means wholeness and I am whole in Christ.
Sword of the Spirit
- The Evil One wants us to use the weapons of the world
- The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
- We claim the Word of God and pray in the Spirit for ourselves and others.
- It is always scripture and prayer. Always and forever.
This is why we always sit first.
- I need to sit in the presence of God. I need to sit with the word of God so I can walk, live this life so that it’s worthy of Jesus. So it overflows in love and good deeds.
- I need to sit with the word and in prayer so I can stand when the Evil One takes notice because the Evil One will.
- This is why we sit first. We receive when we rest- we receive our identity in Christ, we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we receive God’s strength and power, we receive the Armor of God.
What would it be like if God’s people sit to receive, and then when we’re finished we live in such a way the Devil says, “Oh no, they’re up!”
Romans 13:12 encourages us to put on the armor of light. Click Here for a wonderful reflection on this passage by Steve Garnaas Holmes.
Standing in the Armor of God © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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