Commentary on Ephesians, 6:10-13

Ephesians 6:10-13

“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.”

In closing

This is the third time in this book that Paul has talked about being “strong in the Lord.” 

In Eph 1:19,20 he says:

“19 and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of the strength of His might 
20 that He worked in Christ when He raised him from the dead, and made Him to sit at His right hand in the heavenlies,”
In Eph 3:16-19 he says:

“16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inward man;
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may be strong to grasp with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
19 and to know the love of Christ that transcends knowledge, that you may be filled to capacity with all fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,”

Before you move on in this chapter, I think it would be helpful for you to reread the commentary on those two passages. Here are the links below:

“strong” (Gr. endunamoo – 1743)

Preceptaustin:  “Endunamoo then means “to put power in” (like a car needs gas for power) and so to make strong, vigorous, to strengthen (active voice), or to be strengthened (passive voice), be enabled or be empowered inwardly. This word is found only in biblical and ecclesiastical Greek. The idea is to cause one to be able to function or do something. It can refer to physical strengthening as in (Heb 11:34) but is more often used with the figurative sense referring to spiritual or moral strengthening…”
“in the strength of His might”

“strength”  (Gr. kratos – 2904)

Force, mighty with great power.

Preceptaustin:  “Refers to manifested power or power that is put forth in action. Kratos represents the exercise of might (ischus). When the muscular man uses his might to bend an iron bar, he uses his power (kratos). Kratos means that the reserve of strength is actually in operation. It is power to overcome resistance or whatever stands in the way.

Kratos refers to the inherent strength which displays itself in the rule over others. Thus it is strength or might, the power to rule or control or exert dominion (power to rule, supreme authority, sovereignty, the right to govern or rule or determine).”

“might”  (Gr. Ischus – 2479)

Ability, force, strength.

Preceptaustin:  “Refers to “power as an enduement.” Ischus is the inherent ability which stresses the factuality of the ability, not necessarily the accomplishment. Ischus is inherent power or force. A muscular man’s big muscles display his might, even if he doesn’t use them. It is the reserve of strength. Ischus therefore conveys the sense of endowed power or ability. The idea is that it is the active efficacy of the might that is inherent in God, His indwelling strength. Ischus is that strength which one has in possession or ability. One might think of ischus as God’s latent power. It is His capability to function effectively. He is able!”

In preparation for what Paul is about to say next, he tells the Ephesian Christians to “be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.” We’re not to try to be strong in ourselves, but “in the Lord.” We’re powerless to live the Christian life ourselves. Our power is in God. In addition to what he told us in the other two passages (above), he’s getting ready to instruct us how to tap into that power.

“11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter, so he was probably guarded by a Roman soldier. Thus he was able to get a close-up view of his armor. He uses the soldier’s armor as a way of illustrating spiritual truth, as we’ll soon be looking at in detail. 

“wiles”  (Gr. methodeia – 3180)

Crafty schemes

In order to stand against the crafty schemes of the devil, we must put on the whole armor of God. 

“12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies.”

“principalities”  (Gr. arche – 746)

Rulers, princes, chiefs

Refers to the chief rulers among the evil angelic world. 

“powers”  (Gr. exousia – 1849)

Permissible, allowed, power of right or authority, power to act.

Demonic forces are permitted or allowed limited power and freedom to operate in this world.

“world rulers”  (Gr. kosmokrator – 2888)

Refers to Satanic and demonic rulers over this world system. 
“spiritual”  (pneumatikos – 4152)

Refers to what belongs to the supernatural world as opposed to the natural world. In this case it refers to the sphere of darkness and evil.

“spiritual hosts of wickedness”

Spiritual beings of wickedness or evil.

“heavenlies”  (Gr. epouranios – 2032)

Refers not to the highest heavens where the holy angels dwell, but to the lower heavens that surround this earth.

“13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

The only way to live in victory over the enemy is to put on the complete armor of God. Part of the armor won’t do. If even one part of the armor is left off, we leave ourselves vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. To walk in victory, to live the Christian life, to serve in God in His power, we can’t compromise. We must be faithful in all things. We must be a complete Christian. The Christian life was never meant to be lived in half-hearted obedience. That’s not who we are in Christ.

“resist in the evil day”

The days are evil, and we must be fully prepared to resist the attacks and temptations of the powers of darkness. Notice we’re to resist. We don’t take the opposition against the enemy. We merely stand firm and resist in the power of God, with the armor He has provided.

“having done all, to stand”

“Having accomplished all things necessary to stand,” 

By putting on the complete armor of God, we have done everything necessary to stand against the attacks of the enemy.