Main point summary
Paul exhorts the church to be strengthened by God's power and stand their ground, putting on the whole armour of God, while vigilantly praying for one another.
Finally, e be strengthened in the Lord and in f the strength of his might.
g Put on h the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to stand against i the schemes of the devil.
For j we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,
but against k the rulers, against the authorities, against l the cosmic powers over m this present darkness, against n the spiritual forces of evil o in the heavenly places.
Therefore p take up the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to withstand in q the evil day,
and having done all,
to stand firm.
r having fastened on the belt of truth,
and s having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
and, t as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
In all circumstances take up u the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all v the flaming darts of w the evil one;
and take s the helmet of salvation,
and x the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God,
praying y at all times z in the Spirit,
a with all prayer and supplication.
To that end b keep alert with all perseverance,
making c supplication for all the saints,
and d also for me, that words may be given to me
in opening my mouth e boldly
to proclaim f the mystery of the gospel,
for which I g am an ambassador h in chains,
that I may declare it boldly,
as I ought to speak.
i So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing,
j Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything.
I have sent him to you for this very purpose,
that you may know how we are,
and that he may k encourage your hearts.
l Peace be to the brothers, 1 and m love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace be with all who n love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.
The schemes include the derailing of "walking worthily" —the start of this section.
The "you" is corporate.
cf. Is 59:16-17, 11:5
Continuing to be strengthened. Note the passive exhortation with active application. cf. Josh. 1:7; Rom. 4:20; Phil. 4:13; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 2:1; 4:17
cf. Eph 1:15-23; 3:16, 20
The assumption is that the "ground" we stand on is won.
cf. Eph 4:24 has the same language of "putting on"
Note the connection between Eph 4-6 and this section
Isaiah 11:4-5 Isaiah 59:16-17 God's armour, now worn by believers?
Rom. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:8
Gal. 1:4 Eph. 2:2; 5:16
As much as the power is from the Lord, standing is demanded of us.
1 Cor. 16:13 2 Cor. 1:24 Gal. 5:1 Phil. 4:1 1 Thess. 3:8 2 Thess. 2:15
Eph 1:13, 4:20-32
cf. Eph 4:17-24; 5:9
1:13, 15; 2:8; 3:12, 16-17; 4:5, 13; 6:23 cf. 1 Thess 5:8
Luke 8:11; 11:28; Acts 4:31; 6:7; 8:14; 11:1; 12:24; 13:5, 46; 17:13
Bold Paul needs prayer as well.
Paul’s attitude can also be seen in 2 Timothy 1:8 and 2 Tim 2:9, and how he accomplished this before his trial is described in Acts 28:31. A gospel triumphant in terms of being proclaimed is what the answer to this prayer will bring. The issue for Paul is not his circumstances but his being faithful in them. He had received a call to declare the gospel wherever that might be, so he is following through faithfully (Acts 9:15; 27:24; 1 Cor. 9:16). Later, he seems to have sensed that this prayer had been answered (2 Tim. 4:17). Bock, Darrell L.. Ephesians (p. 172). IVP. Kindle Edition.
cf. 3:13, possibly to encourage those that are discouraged
Acts 20:4, Tit 3:12, Col 4:7, 2 Tim 4:12
Paul’s imprisonment could well have been discouraging, but Paul trusts God in it. In fact, it is amazing how little Paul writes about his predicament. He is more concerned about them. Paul also spoke of encouraging the hearts of the Colossians (Col. 2:2; 4:8; also 2 Thess. 2:16–17). Tychicus will ‘continue what the letter was intended to achieve’.172 He wants to strengthen them (Eph. 1:18; 3:16–17). Colossians 4:9 noted that Onesimus was sent with Tychicus, but Paul gives no mention of that here. Bock, Darrell L.. Ephesians (p. 174). IVP. Kindle Edition.
2:14-18, 4:3, 6:15
1:4, 15; 4:15–16; 5:2
1:15; 2:8–10; 3:17
The eternality suggested by the reference to incorruptibility has an impact on both ideas if grace is in view. That connection seems likely here given that Ephesians 2:1–10 is the core illustration of power that Paul wants the Ephesians to grasp. This is a grace that does not fade and is pure. That is the last word lingering eternally at the end of the letter as the product of grace. It includes riches that never end (2:7). The sun never sets on such grace. Bock, Darrell L.. Ephesians (p. 175). IVP. Kindle Edition.
Stand in God's Power! (6:10-18) 6:10-13 As much as we are called to walk in a manner worthy of our calling under God's promises, purposes and power, we are up against it, so to speak. So Paul exhorts his readers to make use of the incredible power we have access to in Christ (see Eph 1:19-21) and be strengthened by the incredible power of God. This involves preparation for intense hand-to-hand combats, not against men, but against a variety of spiritual forces as well as for standing our ground against the devil's wiles. Thus, we need to urgently take up the whole armour of God, do all with this power and thus stand our ground in this evil age, victorious at the end. 6:14-17 Paul explains what standing our ground looks like with the armour of God: having fastened on the belt of truth : referring to the truth in and of Jesus, as well as our living in integrity based on that truth (cf. 4:20-32) having put on the breastplate of righteousness : referring to the righteousness granted to us in Christ as well as, a life that stems from being justified (cf. 4:17-24) as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace : the gospel reconciles man to God and man to man (cf. Eph 2:11-18; 1:10), and it is with this reconciliation that we make our stand take up the shield of faith in all circumstances : referring to both the objective faith in Jesus as well as moment-by-moment application of trusting God for his strength and power (cf. 1:13-15, 3:16-17). This faith-in-all-circumstances protects us from the flaming arrows of the evil one, foiling the devils challenges. take the helmet of salvation : referring to all aspects of salvation, from our past justification to the hope of final glorification (2:1-7). This applies itself in a deep security of identity in who and whose we are. take the sword of the Spirit : referring to the word of God, most specifically the gospel of our salvation, being empowered by the Spirit, its truths being applied offensively and defensively in the evil day (1:13) 6:18 This urgent taking up of armour is accompanied by consistent prayer of all requests in the Spirit, without which standing is not possible. And so it is in order to stand, that we are people of dogged vigilance and prayer, presenting the requests of all saints —the body that takes up the armour. 1. How seriously do we take this call to arms? How intense is our desire to endure and stand our ground? 2. What keeps you from taking the whole armour of God? 3. How real is God’s power to you? 4. How vigorous is your vigilance in prayer? 5. How do you help/hinder the church in her quest to stand her ground? Benediction (6:19-24) 6:19-20 Paul ventures to ask for prayer for himself —for a message to be given him even as he braves the difficult circumstances of his imprisonment to proclaim the mystery of the gospel (3:3-10) boldly as he should. After all, it is because of this gospel that he is "an ambassador" of the King, albeit "in chains". Paul, in effect, prays that he would walk worthy of his call. 6:21-22 Paul explains that he is sending to them his beloved brother and faithful servant in Christ, Tychicus the Asian, with a twofold goal: a. that they may know how Paul and those with him are b. that he may encourage their hearts 6:23-24 "Then comes a waterfall of blessing that has been expounded in the letter as a whole: peace, love and faith, all tied to the grace from which they emerge, a grace that never ends – simply amazing." (Bock, Darrell L.. Ephesians (p. 175). IVP. Kindle Edition.) The benediction includes: Peace, love and faith from God, believed and applied in their lives to walk their calling (2:11-22) Infinite grace (2:1-10, esp. 2:7) from God for those who love Jesus with an undying love 1. In what ways are you focused on the encouragement and growth of others in God’s family? Is that a characteristic you are known for? 2. How are your prayers similar to Paul’s? 3. What is your love for the Lord like? What is your enjoyment of God’s grace like?