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Protect Yourself from Satan's Attacks, Ephesians 6:10-24

Recommended Procedure. Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading

Idea for group leader: Have a discussion on terrorist attacks and ask, how can we protect ourselves?

Review of background and significance for this lesson: Ephesus was an immoral city that practiced sorcery and idolized a goddess named Artemis, whose image supposedly fell from heaven. Ephesus was also a mixed city of Jews and Gentiles. This created a lot of tension between the two groups in the church. Paul writes to give them a new understanding.

Application and Summary of Ephesians 1:1-5:31: The five walks

Because God called Jews and Gentiles to inherit salvation and all its blessings, because God saved us from our former way of life, because we are fellow heirs as sons and daughters of God, therefore we are to

•  Walk worthy of the calling we have received (4:1-3)

•  Walk as those who are learning the ways of Christ - in righteousness with a renewed mind, not like people who do not know God. (4:17-32)

•  Walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us (5:2)

•  Walk as children of Light - in all goodness and righteousness and truth, trying to learn what pleases the Lord - not in the darkness of sin and deception (5:6-14)

•  Walk in wisdom by using the opportunities God gives you for his glory, by living joyfully in the Spirit, and living in subjection to each other - wives to husbands, husbands to the Lord, children to parents, employees to employers, and employers to the Lord (5:15-6:9)

Ephesians 6:10 begins with "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." (NIV). Remembering the culture of the Ephesians and the context we have just reviewed, why might Paul say that?

Answer 1


How can we be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power? (read 6:11-18) What observations can you make on this section of Scripture?

Answer 2


In verse 12 there is a description of our adversaries. Who are the rulers, powers, forces of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places described in verse 12? These verses will help you: Ephesians 1:19-21; 2:1-2; 3:10; Colossians 1:13-16; 2:15; Revelation 12:7-9

Answer 3


The Ephesians (and we also) are to put on the full armor of God so that they (we) may resist the devil and stand firm (mentioned four times, [withstand is one form of it], v.11, 13 (resist, stand), 14)

Description of the armor: The armor described is like that of a Roman soldier

  • Waist girded about with the belt of truth. From the belt on a Roman uniform every weapon hung. The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the N.T. by Walvoord and Zuck, © 1985, p.643 says,

    The belt of truth refers not to the facts of the gospel but to subjective truth, a believer's integrity and faithfulness. As a soldier's belt or sash gave ease and freedom of movement, so truth gives freedom with self, others, and God.

  • The breastplate of righteousness. What does this mean? What does this peace of armor protect? We have an idea because of a letter Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers (1Thessalonians 5:8).

Answer 4

  • Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Contrary to what many think and teach, this verse does not speak of spreading the gospel, for the picture is one of a soldier standing in combat, not advancing (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the N.T., by Walvoord and Zuck, © 1985, p.643). When the soldier went out to fight battles, he put boots on with spikes to give him a firm footing during the battle. In a similar manner, the gospel gives us peace and a firm foundation when facing conflicts. We go out to battle with the gospel. When we know the gospel and the truth of God, we stand firm against the attacks of the enemy, which may come in the form of opposing doctrines or philosophies.
  • The Shield of Faith. Does this mean confidence in your ability to defeat the enemy? If not, what does it mean and how does it work?

Answer 5

  • What is the helmet of salvation and what is its' importance? Clue: Paul writes earlier of it in 1Thessalonians 5:8.

Answer 6


•  The sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. This is the only weapon which was designed for offense or defense. How were the Ephesians to use it and how did Jesus use it? (Matthew 4:1-11)

Answer 7


•  What is the importance of prayer and boldness? Why does Paul mention this after his discussion of putting on the armor of God? (vss.18-20).

Answer 8


What is the purpose given for Ephesians 6:21-24? How might this relate to our present discussion about our spiritual warfare?

Answer 9


Lessons to Live by: (If you are the leader, ask for members' input first)

Today's Bible memory verses: " Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. (Eph 6:10-11, NIV)

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A1: There is a spiritual battle going on - we can't do it on our own - we need the Lord.

A2: Some possible answers or observations:

  • We are to be strong and in his power, not our own. His power is mighty. Is ours? No, we are quite weak in comparison to God. (v.10)
  • Put on the full armor of God (mentioned twice), the whole panoply of God. The armor is there, available for us. Our responsibility is to put it on - all of it, not just some of it. What soldier would go into battle with just part of his equipment? (v.11)
  • The devil is scheming and the Ephesians were in a spiritual battle against him and his evil forces. The battle continues in our generation. (v.11)
  • It is a spiritual battle, not a battle with the flesh. The devil and his demons are spiritual beings (v.12)
  • There seems to be a hint of rank in the spiritual battle we are waging: it is against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (v.12)
  • Because we are in a spiritual battle, we need the full armor of God (v.13)
  • The word "When" (v.13) indicates time. There will be a time when the day of evil will come so we must be ready!
  • Paul wanted the Ephesian believers to stand firm in that day, not to cower or surrender (v.13, 14). By application, God wants us to stand firm today.
  • There seems to be an implication that if we do not put on the full armour of God we may not be able to stand in that day. Hence, this is Paul's desire for them (and us) to put on the full armor of God, (v.13). It is not enough just to put on the belt of truth, or the breastplate of righteousness, or have your feet firmly grounded in the gospel which gives peace, or having the shield of faith, or the helmet of salvation, or the sword of the Spirit, or even to be alert and praying (vs.14-18). All the pieces of the armour have a purpose and are necessary to fight spiritual battles. We need it all.

A3: These are apparently Satanic forces that are in battle with God's angels (1:19-21; 2:1-2; 3:10; Colossians 1:13-16; 2:15; Revelation 12:7-9). As we saw in the observations of verse 12, they seem to have ranks - rulers, authorities, the powers of this dark world, and the spiritual forces of evil.

A4: Comparing Ephesians 6:14 with 1Thessalonians 5:8 Paul connects the breastplate with faith and love. These are only possible through Christ (more...). Righteousness in Christ leads to righteous character and deeds. This peace of armor protects our vital organs, spiritually speaking, from Satan's assaults.

A5: No, the shield of faith means confidence in God facing the fiery darts of temptation in spiritual battles, inwardly or outwardly. With faith in Him you will be able to face all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

A6: The helmet protects the head. In 1Thess 5:8 the helmet of salvation means the hope (confidence) of salvation. You need to keep that in mind as you face spiritual battles - you are going to win eventually no matter what kind of lies the devil might tell you.

A7: Everything in Ephesians 6:11-18 suggest the armour, including the sword, was to be used to take our stand in defense against Satan's attacks, and it is the weapon Jesus used to defeat Satan's temptations in the wilderness. Notice it, too, was used for defense (Matthew 4:1-11). You cannot fight against an enemy you cannot see, but you can defend yourself with the armour of God.

A8: We do not wish to give into fear as we are attacked, especially when spreading the gospel or suffering persecution. We cannot fight spiritual battles alone. We need the comradery of fellow soldiers in the fight, and it is God that gives us the victory and boldness. We need his power, which we may have by asking for it.

A9: When you are fighting in spiritual warfare, you don't fight alone. Others are in the fight and you need communication from your leaders. Paul wanted to communicate with them and to give them encouragement in their fight. Then Paul blesses them in the name of the Lord. It is the Lord that gives peace, faith and love. Perhaps, this was one last encouragement that they, both Jews and Gentiles, are all one in Christ and fellow soldiers.

Lessons to Live by:

  • There is a spiritual battle going on with Satan and his forces, and we need the almighty power of God to win the fight.
  • We need to put on all the armour of God to stand against Satan.
  • Prayer is also important, for we need courage and power to stand against Satan.
  • The comradery of other Christian soldiers is important to encourage us and help us in the battle.

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