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Stand strong

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by woundedsoldierofCHRIST, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Stand strong

    V. 17. The most ornamental part of ancient armor, and scarcely less
    important than the breastplate or the shield, was the helmet. The
    Christian, therefore, is exhorted to take
    th<n perikefalai>an tou~
    , the helmet of salvation. According to the analogy of the
    preceding expressions, “the breastplate of righteousness,” and “shield of
    faith,” salvation is itself the helmet. That which adorns and protects the
    Christian, which enables him to hold up his head with confidence and joy,
    is the fact that he is saved. He is one of the redeemed, translated from the
    kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. If still under
    condemnation, if still estranged from God, a foreigner and alien, without
    God and without Christ, he could have no courage to enter into this
    conflict. It is because he is a fellow citizen of the saints, a child of God, a
    partaker of the salvation of the Gospel, that he can face even the most
    potent enemies with confidence, knowing that he shall be brought off more

    than conqueror through him that loved him; Romans 8:37. When in 1
    Thessalonians 5:8, the apostle speaks of the hope of salvation as the
    Christian’s helmet, he presents the same idea in a different form. The latter
    passage does not authorize us to understand, in this place, helmet of
    salvation” as a figurative designation of
    hope. The two passages although
    alike are not identical. In the one salvation is said to be our helmet, in the
    other, hope; just as in one place “faith and love” are said to be our
    breastplate, and in another, righteousness.
    The armor hitherto mentioned is defensive. The only offensive weapon of
    the Christian is “the sword of the Spirit.” Here
    tou~ pneu>matov cannot be
    the genitive of apposition. The Spirit is not the sword; this would be
    incongruous, as the sword is something which the soldier wields, but the
    Christian cannot thus control the Spirit. Besides, the explanation
    immediately follows,
    which is the word of God. “The sword of the Spirit”
    means the sword which the Spirit gives. By the
    rJh~ma qeou~ is not to be
    understood the divine precepts, nor the threatenings of God against his
    enemies. There is nothing to limit the expression. It is that which God has
    spoken, his word, the Bible. This is sharper than any two-edged sword. It
    is the wisdom of God and the power of God. It has a self evidencing light.
    It commends itself to the reason and conscience. It has the power not only
    of truth, but of divine truth. Our Lord promised to give to his disciples a
    word and wisdom which all their adversaries should not be able to gainsay
    or resist. In opposition to all error, to all false philosophy, to all false
    principles of morals, to all the sophistries of vice, to all the suggestions of
    the devil, the sole, simple, and sufficient answer is the word of God. This
    puts to flight all the powers of darkness. The Christian finds this to be
    true in his individual experience. It dissipates his doubts; it drives away his
    fears; it delivers him from the power of Satan. It is also the experience of
    the church collective. All her triumphs over sin and error have been
    effected by the word of God. So long as she uses this and relies on it alone,
    she goes on conquering; but when anything else, be it reason, science,
    tradition, or the commandments of men, is allowed to take its place or to
    share its office, then the church, or the Christian, is at the mercy of the
    adversary. Hoc signo vinces — the apostle may be understood to say to
    every believer and to the whole church.

    V. 18. It is not armor or weapons which make the warrior. There must be
    courage and strength; and even then he often needs help. As the Christian
    has no resources of strength in himself, and can succeed only as aided from
    above, the apostle urges the duty of prayer. The believer is —
    1. To avail himself of all kinds of prayer.
    2. He is to pray on every suitable occasion.
    3. He is to pray in the Spirit.
    4. He is to be alert and persevering in the discharge of this duty.
    5. He is to pray for all the saints; and the Ephesians were urged by the
    apostle to pray for him.
    The connection of this verse is with
    sth~te ou+n of verse 14. “Stand,
    therefore, with all prayer and supplication, praying on every occasion, in
    the Spirit.”
    Dia< pa>shv proseuch~v kai< deh>sewv may be connected with
    the following participle
    proseuco>menoi, as has been done by our
    translators, who render the passage, “praying with all prayer and
    supplication.” But this, renders the passage tautological. Others take this
    clause by itself, and understand
    dia< as expressing the condition or
    circumstances. “Stand, therefore, with all prayer, praying at all times,” etc.
    As to the difference between
    deh>siv, prayer and supplication, some say
    that the former has for its object the attaining of good; the latter, the
    avoidance of evil or deliverance from it. The usage of the words does not
    sustain that view. The more common opinion is that the distinction is
    twofold; first, that
    proseuch> is addressed only to God, whereas deh>siv

    may be addressed to men; and secondly, that the former includes all
    address to God, while the latter is limited to petition. The expression
    , means all kinds of prayer, oral and mental, ejaculatory and formal.
    The prayers which Paul would have the Christian warrior use, are not
    merely those of the closet and of stated seasons, but also those habitual
    and occasional aspirations, and outgoings of the heart after God, which a
    constant sense of his nearness and a constant sense of our necessity must
    Not only must all kinds of prayer be used, but believers should pray
    panti< kairw|~
    , on every occasion; on every emergency. This constancy in
    prayer is commanded by our Lord, Luke 18:1, “Men ought always to pray


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