Clothed and Ready

Clothed and Ready
February 19
00:00 2015

Scripture: Ephesians 6: 10-20

By the end of this lesson, we should

• Recognize that the church is in a constant battle against evil

• Understand the need to be ready for battle

• Include prayer as a daily part of our lives

Background: The fifth epistle was written by Paul to the young church at Ephesus. This ancient gateway city was a religious and commercial center that was fertile ground for lots of ideas and practices. There wasn’t an apparent problem there but the apostle wanted to know “how to live” as believers. Don’t forget that church means people not buildings. Paul viewed the church as a living organism that would grow and grow. As he wrapped up this letter, he chose to encourage them to always be ready to fight evil wherever it pops up. The Roman soldier’s battle gear is the model.

Lesson: Paul declares that the church, as a living organism, is in constant warfare against evil. He points out that evil isn’t just physical but spiritual also. The battle is real and will confront every believer. They must be ready! To do battle, each believer (the church) must be clothed physically and mentally for it. Each item mentioned in the text comes in the order that a soldier would put them on. Preparedness ahead of time is vital. The first step is to know the Word of God. Study, not memorization, is the key. Knowing the truth paves the way for righteous living.  Not perfection but intentionally living according to God’s standards – love, mercy, patience, forgiveness, longsuffering (etc). Believer’s feet are to be ready when the Commander speaks. That means standing for and being balanced when the orders are given. The shield provides protection as the enemy throws whatever he (they) can, to deter the effort. Where the believer’s head is will determine behavior. Salvation comes through Jesus Christ. He overcame death and will defeat evil once for all. The church can never forget this no matter how hot the battle is. The sword can be used to defend or to attack. To cap off the armor, the believer has to remain in relationship with God. This is done by prayer and study. Both keeps the church connected to the Almighty. That connection makes everything worthwhile.

Life’s Application: Are you clothed and ready for battle? We face the enemy daily whether it is on the job, in the community, over the airwaves, in our homes and even in the congregation! We’ve got to stay prayed up or our surroundings will get the best of us. Regardless of what’s before us, there is hope because we know who the victor will be! As a good soldier clothed and ready, we know our Commander’s voice and His love for us and we know what is right. When we stand for God, it has to be in love, not hate; in humility not arrogance; and in forgiveness not vengeance.

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