Take the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God

January 23, 2020By Mark D. Roberts

The final piece of the divine armor in Ephesians 6 helps us see how we might do more than simply stand in our spiritual battle. We are told to take up “the sword of the Spirit, which is the [rhēma] word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). ..The good news of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ, with all that it entails, is the most effective offensive weapon in our spiritual arsenal.

Take the Helmet of Salvation

January 22, 2020By Mark D. Roberts

Putting on the helmet of salvation doesn’t mean taking sin lightly or neglecting repentance. But it does mean that we recognize God’s grace at work in us when we hate our sin and turn away from it. Furthermore, we know that God’s grace enables us “to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Take Up the Shield of Faith

January 21, 2020By Mark D. Roberts

How does faith extinguish demonic attack? If the particular demonic attack is doubt, then faith will obviously and effectively quench it. But more is intended here. The Greek phrasing behind “shield of faith” could also be translated “shield of the faith.” What protects us from Satan’s assault is not just only our personal trust in God but also the core of Christian belief. When we are being harassed by the enemy, we hang on tight to what we believe.

Put On the Gospel of Peace

January 20, 2020By Mark D. Roberts

The good news of peace plays a leading role in Ephesians. The phrase “gospel of peace” echoes Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”

Put on the Breastplate of Righteousness

January 16, 2020By Mark D. Roberts

As Christians, we often speak of Christ’s righteousness being applied to us so that we might be justified before God. Though our donning the breastplate of righteousness depends on our having received God’s grace through Christ, it’s unlikely that the language of Ephesians 6 refers to Christ’s righteousness justifying us. Rather, the breastplate of righteousness is living rightly, being in right relationship with God and people. It is righteousness in individual relationships and justice in social systems and structures.

Put on the Belt of Truth

January 15, 2020By Mark D. Roberts

In Ephesians, truth is specifically connected to Jesus Christ. It is, at its core, the veritable content of the good news of God’s salvation by grace given through Christ. Thus, the belt of truth is closely related to “the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15) and “the helmet of salvation” (Ephesians 6:17). But when we think of putting on God’s truth, we rightly infer that this includes more than merely the good news of Christ. We put on the belt of truth whenever we speak and live the truth.

To Do Spiritual Battle, Major in the Majors

January 14, 2020By Mark D. Roberts

For many of us, the notion of spiritual warfare feels foreign. We’re not apt to think in these terms or experience life in this way. In some segments of the church, however, believers easily—even eagerly—recognize the demonic dimension of our battle.

Put on the Armor of God

January 13, 2020By Mark D. Roberts

We do not have to fight in our own strength. Rather, we can “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10). How do we do this? Twice our passage gives the same answer: “Put on the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11, 6:13).