(Vs. 11.) The believer lives in a world of evil. He is surrounded by evil powers and evil people. This world is not the friend of grace nor of God. Not only is sin around us, but sin is within us. The Christian life is a race to be run (Heb. 12:l), a battle to be fought (l Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4: 7) and a conflict that will not be over until we die. We need help and strength to stand up against all of the deceit and strategies of Satan, who is the, great enemy of Christ and his people. God has provided an armour for his people and weapons to be used against Satan, sin and error.
(Vs. 12.) We are not contending against physical opponents. Frail, mortal men are not our real enemies. Our battle is against wicked spirits, who inhabit the supernatural sphere and who deal in lies, pride, idolatry, covetousness, lust, deceit, self-righteousness and all manner of sin against God.
(Vs. 13.) "Take upon yourselves the complete armour that God has provided for you, that you may be able to resist these evils and stand during every trial, conflict and temptation and having met every demand to continue to stand firmly in Christ." The battle is not against the flesh; therefore, the armour and weapons which God provides are not carnal but spiritual (2 Cor. 10:3-5).
(Vs. 14-18.) The parts of this armour are given in these verses.
1. "Your loins girt about with truth. Wrap about you (as a strong girdle) the gospel of God's redemptive glory in and through Christ Jesus" (1 Peter 1:13). This is the first part of the armour mentioned, for it is the most important and the foundation of all the rest. The truth about God, myself and my race and Christ and his redemptive work keeps me close to God and defends me against all evil suggestions of Satan which lead to a false hope.
2. "The breastplate of righteousness." This breastplate of integrity, right standing before God and holiness cannot be works of righteousness and moral integrity done and produced by me, for Satan could easily find a defect in that breastplate and destroy me. But this is the righteousness of Christ, my Lord. His perfect righteousness imputed to me and received by faith repels any accusation or charge which Satan can bring (Rom. 8:33,34).
3. "Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." Several things could be taught here: a firm-footed stability or foundation in the gospel of peace; a godly walk that is agreeable to the gospel of peace; a readiness to go forth into the highways and hedges declaring the good news of peace through Christ.
4. "Take the shield of faith." Satan hurls darts of doubt, fear, depression, weariness and all manner of questions regarding our spiritual state. We can only be shielded against these fiery darts by faith in God's Word (Rom. 4:20,21), faith in God's purpose (Rom. 8:29,30) and faith in Christ's redeeming work (Rom. 8:34-39).
5. "Take the helmet of salvation." The helmet is a piece of armour for the head and protects the head against false doctrines. This helmet is the hope of salvation in Christ alone the salvation of which Christ is the author and the finisher (1 Thess. 5:8,9; 1 Cor. 1:30).
6. "The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." The Word of God is compared to a sword in that it has two edges the law and the gospel (Heb. 4:12). It is all edge; it has no blunt side. One cannot come near the Word without its having some effect. It convicts of sin, cutting away the righteousness of men; it kills pride, envy, lusts and all sin; it reaches the hidden and secret parts; it is the weapon God uses to defeat all his enemies (Luke 4: 3-12).
7. "Praying." The last weapon is prayer and includes all sorts of prayer mental, vocal, private and public. We should live in an attitude of prayer continually. Our prayers must and will be in the Spirit, by the assistance of the Spirit of God, with a sincere heart for all believers. We will persevere in prayer regardless of the suggestions of Satan or our own weak hearts.
(Vs. 19.) Pray for the ministers of the gospel, that God will not only open effectual doors for them to preach, but that he will give them boldness and wisdom to preach the gospel of Christ (which is a mystery only understood as the Holy Spirit reveals it 1 Cor. 2:8-10; Rom. 10:13-17).
(Vs. 20.) Paul called himself an ambassador of Christ (2 Cor. 5:19,20). He was at that time in prison.
(Vs.21, 22.) Tychicus was a beloved brother, who accompanied Paul on his travels, whom Paul sent to the Ephesians to relate to them Paul's affairs and to encourage them in the gospel.
(Vs. 23, 24.) The epistle is concluded with the apostle's salutation. Those saluted are the brethren who love Christ sincerely. He wishes for them peace, love, faith and grace.