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Spiritual Warfare – Part 6

Subtitle: Stand

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

In the previous article we looked at how unity of Christians is intricately connected to engaging in successful spiritual warfare. We went back through the book of Ephesians and chapter 4 in particular. Today we will be looking at what it means to stand. The Apostle Paul mentioned it over and over in chapter 6. We will see how understanding the book of Ephesians as a whole gives us deep insight into what it means to stand. I will even dare to say without reading the book as a whole the believer will not understand what it means to stand.

The Greek word for stand found in chapter 6 is histēmi and means “to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set.” It carries the idea of being fixed or established. Now, let’s go back to chapter 1 of Ephesians .

In chapter 1 Paul lays out the position of the believer. He has been:

  • blessed us with every spiritual blessing (v3)
  • He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world (v.4)
  • having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself (v.5)
  • In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (v.7)
  • having made known to us the mystery of His will (v.9)
  • In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined (v.11)
  • you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (v.13)

All of that wonderful truth is the foundation on which the believer stands. I encourage you to not only know these truths in your head but know them as true in your heart. Without that intimate knowledge one does not have the basis on which to stand.

Now on to chapter 2. Pay close attention as we go through some truths here. Paul reminds them “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1) I would say being dead in trespasses is the opposite of standing. Now, see this beautiful, wonderful truth in context of standing:

Even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:5-6)

Oh, take that in! We were dead in our sins but God has raised us up together. There is a powerful key to standing: it is done WITH Jesus. We have been raised together and we stand together The Greek word for made us alive together is fascinating and directly connected to our topic. The word is syzōopoieō and comes from two words – syn = “with, beside” and zōopoieō = “to cause to live, make alive, give life.” See it: our standing is a result of Jesus coming along side us and breathing life into us. If this is how He has raised us to our feet will it not be the same method He uses to enable us to continue to stand? Surely yes!

In chapter 3 Paul prays one of the most powerful prayers ever prayed. Now, keep in mind the prayer was connected in part to what he talked about in chapter 2. He asked that the believers would be

That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (vv.16-19)

He was asking that they would be strengthened with might in the inner man. The purpose was Jesus dwelling in their hearts and they would be rooted and grounded in love. Sounds like standing to me. We cannot truly stand unless we are rooted and grounded in love. Also, that they would comprehend how deep and wide and how high is the love of Christ. To comprehend means to know something in your heart of hearts. It supersedes the intellect and goes straight to the spirit man. The end result is being “filled with all the fullness of God.” We cannot stand unless we are first filled. He is the substance that causes us to stand.

On to chapter 4. We can call this the unity chapter. Paul pleads with the believers to walk in humility, longsuffering, gentleness and so on. He describes how God gave the five-fold ministries of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher. He said the purpose of these ministries is to:

for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (vv.12-13)

Take notice of the key words edifying, perfect man and measure of the stature. These words deal with being built up and standing as a Christian. We cannot stand individually unless these offices are operational in the body and we are sitting under them. Paul continues:

but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (vv.15-16)

We cannot stand unless we are knit together and each part does its share. We need each other. I know many have said it but we greatly need each other.

In conclusion, standing can be considered resurrected sitting. We have been raised with Christ and we are seated with Him. The end result is our standing firm.

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