Ephesians 6 … Consider the Strength of His Might

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. (6:10).

Paul wraps up his directives on preserving the unity of the Spirit by turning his attention to the relationships between children and parents, and masters and slaves.

(Note from NIV Study Bible: “Both the OT and the NT included regulations for societal situations, such as slavery and divorce (see Dt 24:1-4), which were the results of the hardness of hearts (Mt 19:8). Such regulations did not encourage or condone such situations but were divinely-given, practical ways of dealing with the realities of the day.”)

Paul segues into the last portion of his letter to the Ephesians, using the word, “Finally.” In English, we tend to use the word, finally, as a way of concluding our conversation when landing on the final point we intended to make. But in the Greek, this word conveys the idea of looking toward the future because there is still more that remains; or from this point forward; henceforth.

Finally:
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
3064. λοιποῦ loipoú; adj., gen. sing. of loipós (3062), remaining… referring to time meaning in the fut., henceforth.

Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament:
63.21 λοιπός, ή, όν; ἐπίλοιπος, ον; κατάλοιπος, ον: pertaining to the part of a whole which remains or continues, and thus constitutes the rest of the whole—‘rest, remaining, what remains, other.’

So, what Paul seems to be saying is, I have given you truth about Who He is, who you now are, what He has done, and what you now need to do. But there’s more; you absolutely cannot do this in your own strength. You can only be strong in Him and the Strength of His Might.

Strength:

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
2479. ἰσχύς ischús; gen. ischúos, fem. noun from is (n.f.), strength, and échō (2192), to have. Physical strength, mental or moral power as an endowment.

Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament:
74.8 ἰσχύςa, ύος f: exceptional capability, with the probable implication of personal potential—‘capability, strength.

Might:

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
2904. κράτος krátos; gen. krátous, neut. noun. Strength or might, more especially manifested power, dominion… Denotes the presence and significance of force or strength rather than its exercise.

Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament:
76.6 κράτοςa, ους n: the power to rule or control—‘power, might.’

He is exceptionally and perfectly capable and strong in His dominion and rule and authority over every created thing; and the only way we can stand strong, is in Him and the Strength of His Might. Why? Because our own strength is no match for the RAPS. You may be wondering what on earth are the RAPS? Well, to begin with, the RAPS are not of the earth.

One of my most treasured blessings from the Lord was my ten years teaching Bible to the eleventh and twelfth grade students in a Christian high school in south Florida. We memorized a lot of Scripture together, a lot. The entire school used the NIV translation, and from that version we came up the acronym, RAPS, as a way of helping us remember Ephesians 6:12.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).

Rulers.
Authorities.
Powers of this dark world.
Spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Our battles, our skirmishes, our struggles are not against people; so, we absolutely cannot use flesh and blood tactics. But we never need to fret, for He has provided every bit of every need to stand strong against those evil, dastardly RAPS! We have access to what they never will: the Strength of His Might.

Consider the Strength of His Might

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil, (6:10-11).

The full armor is needed to stand firm against the RAPS. And a repeat reminder of our need to dress ourselves in His armor is given. And we know, when God repeats Himself, He wants us to pay attention!

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm, (6:13).

The Strength of His Might is our only strength to stand firm against the RAPS.

Stand firm therefore, (6:14).

Therefore, in light of everything that’s been shared, stand firm. Therefore… What exactly is Paul desiring his readers to reflect on? What has this letter to the Ephesians been all about, really? Jesus. And everything we have in Him. The riches of His grace… in Him. Our salvation… in Him. His eternal purpose… in Him. His call to unity… in Him. His call to walk in a manner worthy… in Him. So, continuing on that train of thought, it seems logical to deduce that the Strength His Might must also be… in Him!

We are called to put on the full armor of God, to stand firm in the Strength of His Might. Paul used similar language in his letter to the Romans. Notice what, or Who, Paul told the church in Rome to put on.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts, (Romans 13:14).

Everything about the full armor of God is in Jesus. And we clothe ourselves with Him by faith.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me, (Galatians 2:20).

I know the preceding verse has been quoted in the previous two posts on Ephesians, but it really answers the “how” as we take into account the way this letter is laid out. The first half, doctrine; the second half, application. Understanding the doctrine taught: that it’s all His grace, that He lives in us and that our life is lived in Him by faith; this is really the only way we will be able to comprehend, and put into use, the Strength of His Might.

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, (6:13-18).

  • The Strength of His Might is in Him, our Truth
    •  having girded your loins with truth,
      • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14:6).
  • The Strength of His Might is in Him, our Righteousness
    •  and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
      • He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, (2 Corinthians 5:21).
  • The Strength of His Might is in Him, our Peace
    • and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
      • For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (Ephesians 2:14).
  • The Strength of His Might is in Him, our Shield
    • in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
      • For you have died and your life is hidden [by placing something around or to conceal entirely] with Christ in God, (Colossians 3:3).
  • The Strength of His Might is in Him, our Salvation
    • And take the helmet of salvation,
      • “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved,” (Acts 4:12).
  • The Strength of His Might is in Him, the Word
    •  and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
      • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth, (John 1:1, 14).
    • The Strength of His Might is in His Spirit
    • With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
      • In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God, (Romans 8:26-27).

How do we respond to the Strength of His Might?

Have you ever pictured yourself in battle against the enemy? It even gets a bit more ominous when we consider being in battle against the RAPS. But the armor He has provided for us does not depend on us! It is in Him, and because it is in Him, we know we will prove victorious.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us, (Romans 8:37).

So, if you’re like me, you’re probably familiar with the full armor of God; maybe you’ve even memorized the verses. But, if you’re like me, you may also still feel a bit confused about how we actually go about “putting it on.”

Well, I am no theologian, and definitely no expert in spiritual warfare (although there are days, I wish I were!) But from what I do know, it comes down to just this one thing. Faith. And in order to have faith, we have to know Truth. And in order to know Truth, we have to pursue Truth, and in order to pursue Truth, we have to spend time with Truth, in His Truth, the Word of God.

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,” (John 8:31-32).

It’s a simple answer; really, simple but extremely complex. And while we may not be able to completely explain it in words, our spirit man knows the truth. And the truth is, we already have His full armor… in Jesus.

In Jesus we are perfectly positioned in the Strength of His Might, in the armor of His Truth, His Righteousness and His Peace, and Shielded in His Salvation, His Word and by His Spirit.

So, why then, does Paul tell us to, “Put on the full armor of God,” if we already have it? That’s the faith part. You know, the part that is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” (Hebrews 11:1). Putting on His armor is not grabbing for pieces outside ourselves, like hunting for them in some spiritual storage shed.

Putting on His armor is agreeing with His Truth, believing what He has said, and clothing ourselves in assurance and conviction by faith. And while His armor is not stored away in a shed somewhere, we will certainly be more able-bodied to dress in Him as we spend time with Him in our prayer closet.

“But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly,” (Matthew 6:6 AKJV).

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, (Hebrews 11:6).

What greater reward could we have in this lifetime than to come out standing strong against the RAPS? Our God is able, and He is faithful; He has given us exactly what we need in the Strength of His Might.

And we know, there’s really only one way to be strong in the Strength of His Might; it’s by faith in Him to live the crucified life, that He would live in us.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me, (Galatians 2:20).

Let’s Grow Together!

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