Research Paper: Ephesians 6 10 20

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Ephesians 6:10-20.

One of the clearest spiritual warfare definitions from apostles Paul's pen is perhaps Ephesians 2:10-20. The passage not only retaliate the fact that there is spiritual war, but also castigates us that we are underpowered hopelessly if we don't utilize the weapons provided by God. We are also informed about our divine weapons are by this passage. Beyond this, the nature of our everyday struggle is implied by the passage. The attacks of Satan are best repelled by the weapons which we have been provided by God therefore by simply bearing in mind those weapon that are availed to us, a lot can be learned about the nature of the opposition of Satan.

Background of the Passage

The epistle to the Ephesians was written by Apostle Paul to a group of believers who boosted richness in Christ but didn't in fact understand the real wealth because of their ignorance. Ephesus city was regarded as a religious center and was popular due to its temple which was dedicated to Artemis/Diana (Greek and Roman names to refer to the pagan god). The practice of occultic arts such as magic was related to the practice of the temple and it was regarded as one of the seven marvels of the world. In the Roman Empire, the city was the biggest in the wealthy regions and also in the Roman world it was the third largest. A positive grounding in Jesus Christ's gospel was the purpose of the epistle written by Paul to the converts and to urge them to pursue a markedly Christian lifestyle.

On the third missionary trip of Apostle Paul, he preached for three years in the city of Ephesus (Acts 19; 20:30). He left Aquilla and Priscilla behind at the end of his missionary journey when he visited the city previously and this was also his second ministering effort (Acts 18:18-21). A church plant that would later impact the area greatly was as a result of his efforts together with those others who struggled with him in Ephesus.

During the incarceration of Paul in Rome, he is said to have authored four prison letters and the epistles is believed to be one of them in the period of 60-62 A.D. There are some theories proposed by some contemporaries that Caesarian imprisonment is the one referred to in the imprisonment cited in the epistle (Eph. 3:1; 4:1) however these school of thoughts are not bolstered or accepted generally.

Context within the book

Ephesians 6:10-17's periscope is laid amid the context of explanation of conduct and practice of Christian life by Paul (Eph. 4:1-6:24). The larger section of the context church unity concerns are addressed (4:1-16), holiness and purity in Christian living (Eph. 4:17-5:21), duties and responsibilities at work and home and the conduct of Christians in times of conflict (Eph. 6:10-24). Therefore the purpose of Paul was to enlighten the believers of their important position in Christ as the source of strength while living in the lord.

O'Brien writes while focusing upon Ephesians 6:10-17, that through a broadercosmic perspective apostle Paul examines the responsibility of the Christians living in the world. Apostle Paul deals with moral issues which can't be taken simply as personal preference like most people content, contrary to this, they important components in the bigger fight between evil and good forces

Exegesis of the passage

In the commentary Epistle to the Ephesians by Dr. Peter O' Brien, he categorizes the Ephesians paragraph (6:10-20) into three groups. He notes that verse 10-13 cautions the Christians to be firm and well rooted in the lord and to adorn themselves with God's armor in their fight with supernatural powers of the darkness. Obrien writes that verses 14-17 which has the important stand firm calling is preceded by the types of armors to be adorned. He further observes that verses 18-20 puts emphasis on the importance of watchfulness and constant prayers by the believers

This work represents a renovation of biblical imagery so as to support the author's view of the church as having being unified through the work of Christ further takes an active role in pursuing the righteousness and justice that comes from God. The author compares this view to the one of Isaiah 59 in which God is seen as a divine warrior who will bring justice (see Isaiah 59:15b-19; this is the tradition developed in Wisdom of Solomon 5:17-23 and 1 Thessalonians 5:8). In Isaiah 59:17, the "armor of God" includes "the breastplate of righteousness" (Ephesians 6:14), and "the helmet of salvation" (Ephesians 6:17). In Ephesians the author uses the imagery of the community of the faithful to represent the armor. They are able to do so "in the Lord" suggesting that they wage this battle alongside the Lord. The language used in Isaiah however indicates that as "there was no one to intervene" (59:16), resulting in God fighting for justice on his own. There is a unique expression of the role that the church plays in salvation and justice in Ephesians. The community becomes active in the struggle against spiritual forces by taking up God's armor (cf. verse 12).

The verbs in verses 10-11, communicates the active role that the community plays. "Be strong" in verse 10 (Greek: endunamousthe), and "clothe yourselves" in verse 11(Greek: endusasthe) are both middle verbs in Greek which gives them a reflexive quality: meaning literally, "Strengthen yourselves" as well as "clothe yourselves." The active role that the community plays has not been explicitly stated in the author's earlier discussions of the power the God has. This power, as stated in 1:19-20, was put in Christ's work and is far above other powers (1:21). The author prays that the readers may be strengthened with the power of God (3:16) and at the same time recognizes the "power at work within us" (3:20). This notion is further extended in Ephesians 6:10-11 and suggests that the community itself acts to take up God's power partially through its own initiative

The writer's previous indication that God has "raised us up with (Christ) and seated us with him in the heavenly places" (2:6) further shows that the church's active role is not surprising. This exaltation expresses uniquely, the identity of the church among New Testament writings. This is interesting as Christians are already seated with Christ in the heavenly places and this does not eliminate the need for them to struggle. The wrestling "against the spiritual forces of evil" occurs in "the heavenly places" (6:12). This can also be viewed in the way by which most Christians struggle with choices of doing what is right and wrong within them as the body is viewed as the Lord's temple and therefore is considered a holy place as well

Modern Christians are likely to view heaven as a paradise where no evil dwells, the author of Ephesians draws from a different set of cultural assumptions whereby there is a struggle between cosmic forces which takes place in the heavenly realm. The Christians who already reign with Christ are required to participate in this struggle. By being the armor of God, the church is able to relate the message that the author laid out. The theological message of Ephesians 1-3 depicts metaphorically the preparation for a spiritual battle that believers engage in through their actions. Readers prepare themselves metaphorically for the work that they have been already called for by girding themselves with the "belt of truth" (6:14) which is to "speak the truth in love" to each other (cf 4:15, 25). The "breastplate of righteousness" relates to the "new self" with whom they are to clothe themselves as beings "created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness" (4:24).

The author explained earlier that the "gospel of peace" (6:15), for which readers should ready themselves by putting on shoes. Christ becomes "our peace" by reconciling Jews and Gentiles into a single body (2:14)

. The elimination of hostility by the death of Christ on the cross is central to the letter's understanding of the heart of the gospel message. In dying on the cross, our sins are washed clean and therefore making us new beings and reconciling us with the church and most of all God. This message of reconciliation leads the church to the behavior that is indicated in this verse and in the rest of Ephesians 4-6. In addition to this, the reader is exhorted to take up "the shield of faith" (6:16). The faith activates the power of God according to Ephesians (cf. 1:19; 2:8). Faith also gives one the strength to go on with the spiritual hardships that one encounters in their lives. Faith gives the believer a reason to believe that what is promised to them will actually come to be and is not just pure talk. Salvation is God's gift as it also comes through the believer's faith (3:12). It is "through faith" that Christ dwells in the believer's heart (3:17). Metaphorically, the protection that faith activates is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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