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Stand Firm

 

This last Sunday we considered spiritual warfare from Ephesians 6:10-20. This is a classic passage on spiritual warfare, and it gives great encouragement and wisdom as it speaks to our identity in Christ, the implications of the gospel, and how we are to engage in spiritual conflict.

If you missed the sermon, I invite you to listen to the sermon podcast. Discussion and study questions are provided below.

Ephesians 6:10-20

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
13 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 firm.
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth,
and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
17 and take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Outline

I. Stand Firm (vv. 10-13)

II. The Armor of God (vv. 14-17)

          A. The Belt of Truth

          B. The Breastplate of Righteousness

          C. Feet of Gospel Readiness

          D. The Shield of Faith

          E. The Helmet of Salvation

          F. The Sword of the Spirit

III. Prayer for Gospel Boldness (vv. 18-20)

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the role of Ephesians 6:10-20 in the book of Ephesians? How is it connected to the book as a whole?
  2. How does one practically draw on the Lord’s strength in order to stand firm?
  3. Why is it important to understand the identity of our foe? (Eph 6:12)
  4. How do you recognize the devil’s schemes? (2 Cor 2:11; 11:3,13-15; Eph 4:13,26-27; 2 Thess 2:9-11; Rev 12:9)
  5. What is already true about our enemies? (Eph 1:20-21; Rom 8:35-39; Heb 2:14-15)
  6. Why is it important to understand the distinction between our roles as warriors and ambassadors?
  7. What is the danger of confusing cultural conflict with spiritual warfare?
  8. Which pieces of armor do you find easier to put on, and which pieces of armor are more difficult to wear to use?
  9. Which pieces of armor might you assume, and what would it look like for you to be more intentional in seeking to avail yourself of them?
  10. What dangers are you in if you do not use the complete armor of God?
  11. What might make it difficult to have gospel boldness?
  12. In what ways do you need to grow in boldness for the sake of the gospel?
  13. What is the significance of Paul’s emphasis on prayer? (Eph 6:18-20)

Recommended Reading

  1. The Christian in Complete Armor by William Gurnall
  2. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  3. Spiritual Warfare: A Balanced and Biblical Perspective by Brian Borgman & Rob Ventura