Introduction: How would you characterize Paul’s instructions
in Ephesians so far? Isn’t much of it about internal
organization? That is how we relate to fellow family members
and fellow church members. Now that we have our internal
organization right, Paul turns to external challenges.
Unfortunately, what is going on in the world is a war,
spiritual warfare. We are called to be in that battle, so
let’s dive into our study of the Bible and find out how to
be good soldiers!

I. Battle Ready

A. Read Ephesians 6:10. Paul calls on us twice to
show strength. If you were a soldier in a regular
army what would you do to get stronger?

1. Paul suggests a much different approach for
us. What should we do to get stronger (We rely
on God for our strength.)

a. How would you do that? (Keep reading!)

b. What would we not do? (Rely on our own

c. These seem like simple questions, but ask
yourself what is your first impulse when
you face a problem? On who do you rely?

B. Read Ephesians 6:11. How does Paul tell us to get
stronger in God? (To put on armor supplied by

1. Notice the nature of the warfare. What should
we be on the alert against? (“Schemes of the

a. What kind of warfare is that? (This
sounds less like physical warfare than
psychological warfare.)

C. Read Ephesians 6:12. As a soldier, how important
is it to be able to recognize who is and who is
not the enemy? (Understanding who you are fighting
is critical.)

1. I’m currently reading an excellent book which
I recommend to all, “The War on the West,” by
Douglas Kear Murray. In part of the book he
argues that people who have accomplished
essentially nothing are attacking those who
have accomplished great things. The problem,
according to Murray, is that they harbor
feelings of resentment and envy, rather than
an attitude of gratitude. As I’m reading the
book I’m thinking that Murray is missing the
bigger picture – the great controversy between
God and Satan. This is old fashioned coveting
– which is sin. How does the understanding of
the bigger picture affect our attitude in this

2. Do you ever get angry with the people at the
return counter of a store? Is the return
policy of the store their fault? (We need to
understand who should be the true aim of our
battle. Paul says we are not fighting against
other people.)

3. Wait a minute. Don’t we have human agents of
Satan who are fully committed to his side?
(Paul’s reference to “rulers and authorities”
is a reference to the organization of demons
serving Satan. Although Satan has his agents
among humans, Paul tells us the true battle is
against Satan and his fallen angels.)

II. Battle Tactics

A. Read Ephesians 6:13 and look again at
Ephesians 6:11. What strikes you as odd advice for a
soldier? (Paul tells us to “stand.” In verse 11 he
says, “stand against.” In verse 13 he says “stand

1. Isn’t the best defense a vigorous offense? Why
not say that Christians should charge ahead in
their battle with spiritual evil? (It is an
arrogant idea that we can successfully attack
Satan. That is why the battleground seems to
be us. We need to depend on God, our armor
comes from God, and our goal is to stand our
spiritual ground.)

2. How do we “take up” this armor in a practical
sense? (Through prayer, studying the Word,
living a righteous life, sharing the gospel,
having faith, understanding and holding onto
our salvation, and using Scripture.)

B. Read Ephesians 6:14. Again, we are told to
“stand.” As you think about the battle raging
around you today, how important is truth? (In the
battle, the lying, even at very high levels of
government and medicine, is astonishing. Here is
one obvious example: the claim that a man can
become a woman and vice versa.)

1. What would you say if someone told you they
believed they were a cyclops and you should
poke out one of their eyes?

2. I said that they were lying. Doesn’t that
assume that I know the truth? Doesn’t everyone
have their own truth? (It does assume I have
the truth. The truth is God’s truth – what is
revealed in the Bible. There is no truth if
everyone is entitled to their own.)

3. In general I think we should be hesitant to
call people liars. What is the consequence to
children of the lie in this case? (The
consequence of the lie is life-long harm. That
is why the triumph of truth is so important.)

4. What do you think is meant by the “breastplate
of righteousness?” (This is a plate that
covers the torso.)

5. How do we make this plate “righteous.” (Recall
that the armor comes from God. We need first
to claim God’s righteousness. We need to
desire holiness, purity, sincerity in our
life. Pointing out covetousness, dishonesty,
and impurity in others presents a problem if
we display those sins in our life.)

C. Read Ephesians 6:15. Have you ever tried to fight
in bare feet? (You are incredibly vulnerable.)

1. How are shoes like the “gospel of peace?”
(When we have God’s truth and realize that we
are on His side we have peace in spiritual

D. Read Ephesians 6:16. This tells me that Satan’s
forces throw “flaming” darts at you and me. What
should we conclude from the fact that they are
called “flaming?” (They are intended to inflict
damage. They are intended to destroy.)

1. How does our faith help us in these attacks?
(We know we are in the right if we are
following God. The great good news is that the
fiery attacks fail. They are extinguished.)

2. Notice again that this is a defensive act.

E. Read Ephesians 6:17. How is salvation our helmet?
How does it protect our head? (Our confidence in
our salvation keeps us strong. Satan wants to
destroy our confidence in our salvation and our
relationship with our Lord who provides this

1. Let’s consider the only offensive weapon in
the list – “the sword of the Spirit.” In my
translation “Spirit” is capitalized. That
would signal the understanding that this is
the Holy Spirit. How can Paul call the Holy
Spirit “the word of God?” (This is true in at
least two ways. The Holy Spirit inspired the
Bible writers, like Paul (2 Peter 1:21). The
Holy Spirit will also inspire you and me
(John 16:13). Our offensive weapon must be carefully
used. It must be used only in accord with the
will of God.)

F. Read Ephesians 6:18-19. Why does Paul emphasize
prayer after discussing our armor? (Prayer is the
means by which we activate and wield the armor.
It’s our communication line with the Commander of
the heavenly armies!)

1. Who are we praying for? (We are praying not
only for ourselves, but for our fellow
believers and for our leaders.)

G. Read Ephesians 6:20. The question about whether
our battle is defensive or offensive is important.
How does Paul carry on his part of the battle? (He
declares the gospel “boldly.” This interpretation
of what he has been teaching us is revealing. Bold
declarations of the truth are consistent with a
defensive battle.)

H. Friend, the central message Paul wishes to teach
us is that we are in a spiritual war, but God
provides us with the armor and tools to stand firm
and victorious. Will you commit to daily putting
on the full armor of God and standing firm in the
face of spiritual battles?

III. Next week: Waging Peace.

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.