“You Have Not Denied My Name” (3)
To stand for the Lord
and for His purpose
as we should we must
take up “the whole
armor of God”
In the Old Testament there was a constant struggle between Israel and the enemies who wanted to invade the Good Land; eventually, of course, the Children of Israel were carried away captive; moreover, the temple, God’s dwelling place, was completely destroyed.
The Apostle Paul tells us that the history of the Children of Israel is a picture of the experience of the church (1 Cor. 10:6). Thus, we can say that this is a picture of how, today, Satan does everything he can to turn the saints away from Christ (who is our real “Good Land”), and then destroy God’s dwelling place, the church, signified by the temple.
Thus, we cannot expect to have the reality of God’s dwelling place among us without also having the spiritual warfare over that dwelling place. In other words, if we truly desire to see the church built up among us, we must be prepared for conflict, even very serious conflict, with “the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4). In this regard it is well to consider the words of D.L. Moody:
Most Christians fail because they underestimate the strength of the enemy.
And we see this conflict not only in the Old Testament type, but also in the reality of New Testament teaching.
Many Christians appreciate Paul’s word regarding the “whole armor of God” in Ephesians 6:10-20. However, to fully understand his meaning there we need to appreciate the context of this passage. That is, it is at the end of the unique book in the New Testament which shows us the church, and how God’s “eternal purpose” will be fulfilled through the church:
God…created all things through Jesus Christ, to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Ephesians 3:9-11
Satan will surely do everything he can to keep God’s purpose from being carried out! That is why there will always be the spiritual warfare over the building up of the church.
And it is also why we should not expect, if we truly stand for the Lord and for His purpose to have the church, that we will have an easy life. Rather, the apostle is faithful to warn us, at the end of Ephesians, that we need the spiritual armor to stand for the Lord as we should:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
— Ephesians 6:10-13
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— 15 August 2023 —