In our final study in the series today, we find Paul giving his concluding words and greetings to the Ephesians. His final words include encouragement for them to be strong in the Lord put putting on the whole armor of God, and his final greetings are regarding Tychicus who delivered the letter and someone he considered to be a faithful minister in the Lord.
Verse 11: Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. To be strong, the Ephesians are told that they are to put on the armor of God. Paul uses the analogy of the clothing that was worn by the Roman Centurion. His warning was that it was the only way that they were going to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Verse 12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. The point was that our struggle is not against our fellow man. Yes, we are all the race of man. We are all men. (I say that for those who struggle with that concept today by politicizing this fact.) Instead, our struggle is against principalities, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places. All of these entities are not in the physical, but in the spiritual realm. That does not mean that our fellow man can not be our enemy, but that what drives them is ultimately in the spiritual realm.
Verse 13: Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. With that in mind, we must take up our spiritual armor if we are to withstand them as that a spiritual enemy can not be defeated by physical means. Of course, armor implies defense and to withstand means to set or stand against.
So, when is they evil day? Albert Barnes says that it is any day that we are assaulted.
Verse 14-17: Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: No doubt Paul by now was intimately familiar with the attire of a Roman soldier since he found himself chained to one on a few occasions. His point was that without truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and the word of God, it would be impossible for them to walk worthily, circumspectfully, or to redeem the time.
Verse 18: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And of course, prayer is needful always. Just as a side note, I have yet to meet a Marine or a soldier who did not acknowledge a supreme power, e.g., supreme commandant, especially in times of uncertainty. Nothing like staring the possibility of death in the face to make one reach out to something bigger than himself. This is often referred to as foxhole religion. Trust me, the chapel service is always full before things are about to get interesting!
Verse 19: And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, Now Paul asks for prayer for his own ministry in proclaiming the mystery of the gospel. What is the mystery of the gospel? It is the grace gospel which is an individual salvation compared to the kingdom gospel which was a national salvation. It will be taught until the rapture of the Body of Christ, and then the kingdom gospel will once again be taught.
Verse 20: For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. He says that it is because of the mystery of the gospel that he is in chains. His prayer request was that in spite of his chains, he would continue to speak boldly as he should.
It is interesting that he didn't ask to be released. He was more focused on his eternal calling than his temporary condition. He also might have been thinking of his upcoming appearance before Caesar.
Verses 21-22: But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. Tychicus was the one that carried Paul's letters to the Ephesians (2 Timothy 4:12), and the Colossians (Colossians 4:7).
Verses 23-24: Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. Paul's final words to the Ephesians.