Read Ephesians 6 at Bible Gateway.
This interesting structure is in the middle of the chapter (please see the teaching tools of scripture if you are unfamiliar with chiastic structures):
1a) Eph 6:10, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might;
1b) Eph 6:11, Put on the whole armor of God to stand against the wiles of the devil;
1c) Eph 6:12a, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood;
central axis) Eph 6:12b, But against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age;
2c) Eph 6:12c, Against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places;
2b) Eph 6:13-17, Therefore take up the whole armor of God to withstand in the evil day;
2a) Eph 6:18, Praying with all prayer + supplication in the Spirit.
What this structure and the themes of Ephesians are teaching me about spiritual warfare:
The A pair shows that to renew my strength in the Lord and in His might, I should be remaining in prayer. Prayer is, after all, the connection my presence has with His presence. It is His presence that imparts strength and might.
The B pair shows that we need the whole armor, not just parts and pieces. Parts and pieces are better than nothing, I suppose, but to come through standing and not beaten down, the whole armor is better.
The B pair also emphasizes that the one who stands the longest, wins. Keep standing – giving up is the only way to be defeated!
The C pair reveals who the real enemy is. The enemy will make it seem as if our real enemy is our spouse, our coworkers, our boss, our political leaders, or anyone human. But the real enemy is not flesh and blood, but spirit – spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places, to be precise. One major strategy of the enemy is to misdirect our fighting energy against human beings, because then he avoids being the recipient of it. It is up to us to keep our fighting energy directed in the right direction, and away from human beings.
Now it might seem as if we are behind the eight ball, when the real enemy is principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. But let’s not forget Eph 1:
“… He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” Eph 1:20b-21
Our armor is effective and our warfare is effective, because no matter how high and mighty the spiritual hosts of wickedness are, Jesus Christ is far above them, and by the authority of His name, we are too, since we have been seated in heavenly places with Him (Eph 2:6). We do not have to take anything laying down – we can stand up, and win!
ephesians index of studies
ephesians 6:1-9, nurture and admonition 2011 jun 30
ephesians 6:10-24, stand therefore 2011 jun 30