Oh how bittersweet it is as we wrap up our Inductive Bible Study on the book of Ephesians, “Free from Bondage God’s Way” by Kay Arthur. We just completed our final week of study, Week Seven, “Stand Firm!” Did you notice the exclamation point? This is not a suggestion, but a command. Throughout our study these past seven weeks, Paul has given us instructions on how to walk in a manner worthy of the calling. But now we are commanded to “Stand Firm!”
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to STAND FIRM against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11
We all start our busy day by dressing appropriately for the weather or for a specific activity. But how often do we leave the house unprepared for the battle we will no doubt encounter in the course of the day? I am not talking about a physical battle. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
So how do we prepare for spiritual battle? First of all, we must pray on our armor… the Armor of God, so that we are not defenseless when the fiery arrows of Satan are aimed our way (Ephesians 6:13-18).
An article written by Charles F. Stanley in the Life Principles Bible states it perfectly—that our first prayer before rising should include a step-by-step application of God’s armor:
“First, we strap on the belt of truth. Just as a leather apron protected the Roman soldier’s abdomen, our protective girdle is the truth of who we are in Christ—we are supernaturally empowered by God’s indwelling Spirit.” (6:14)
“Next, the breastplate of righteousness deflects the enemy’s fiery arrows. As difficult situations arise, we can repel the temptation to sin or live by emotion—whether anger, fear, or dissatisfaction—and we can respond in a manner that honors God instead.” (6:14)
“The sandals of the gospel of peace help us to STAND FIRM. Roman battle sandals usually had thick, spiked soles so that the soldier could anchor himself in the ground and remain steadfast. Regardless of how fiercely the enemy buffets us, we can remain firmly planted in the knowledge of who we are in Christ—redeemed saints and children of the living Lord with an important message to share with those who are lost.” (6:15)
“The shield of faith is no tiny piece of armor. It is a full-body safeguard that represents Christ’s protection against anything the enemy can throw at us. With full confidence in Christ, we confront every battle, knowing He will give us the victory. (6:16)
“Faith in God’s grace that was shown at the Cross brought us salvation—the point at which we exchanged our old sinful self for a new eternal life in the Lord Jesus. Consequently, with salvation’s helmet, we put on the mind of Christ, which gives us His discernment and wisdom.” (6:17)
“Finally, we take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, so that we can combat the enemy’s lies with the truth and promises of Scripture.” (6:17)
God knows exactly what we will face each day, and He has provided us with the perfect tools we need to face these spiritual battles in our journey of life. All we have to do is accept the challenge, dress for battle, be prepared, and stand firm!
Kay Arthur writes in the Thought for the Week…
“Be alert, be vigilant. The battle is not going to lessen. These are the last days. The enemy’s time is short and he knows it. He’s desperate, but he’s defeated. Don’t ever forget that. So put on the armor of God daily. Keep girding your loins with God’s Word. His Word is pure, unadulterated truth. Stay away from sin. Live the way God says to live. Be filled with the Spirit!”
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students. https://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCInductiveStudies/
- Do an online word study on “Stand Firm” (Ephesians 6:10-12) at www.blueletterbible.org. Instructions for doing a word study are located in “Files” in the Inductive Studies chat room.
- Store in your heart Ephesians 6:10-12 (Week Seven, Day Seven).
- Register for the Book of Job Inductive Bible study which begins on May 9th when you CLICK HERE
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here)
- According to Ephesians 6:11-17, Paul tells us to “put on the full armor of God.” How are you doing at fighting the spiritual battle? Where are you most vulnerable in the schemes of the devil, and what piece of God’s armor do you need to wear more securely?
- Are you undergirding your battle with prayer? What place do you think prayer has in spiritual warfare?
- How important is making regular Bible study a habit, such as you are doing in this Inductive Bible study of Ephesians? What is this study helping you to do?
- In our study over these past seven weeks, what truths from Ephesians have liberated you and freed you from bondage? And how have these truths freed you from bondage?