Don’t Ignore the Last Words!
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
In the sixth chapter of Ephesians, the apostle Paul writes his great text about spiritual warfare and spiritual weapons. But before Paul goes into detailed explanation of our spiritual armor, he first passionately beseeches us, “finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord…”
The word “finally” is one of the most important words in this text. It is taken from the Greek phrase tou loipou and would be better translated for the rest of the matter; in conclusion; or in summation. The phrase tou loipou is used in the Greek manuscripts of that same period to depict something so extremely important that it is placed at the end of the letter. This way if the reader remembers nothing else in the letter, he will be more likely to remember this one thing.
With this in mind, the word “finally” in Ephesians 6:10 carries this idea:
“In conclusion, I have saved the most important issue of this epistle until the end of the letter, so if you remember nothing else I have said, you will remember this. I want this to stand out in your mind!…”
This is a remarkable statement! The book of Ephesians contains some of the deepest theological teachings in the New Testament. Let me mention just a few of these theological points. Paul writes about:
- The election of the saints (Ephesians 1:4)
- The predestination work of God (Ephesians 1:5)
- The adoption of the sons of God (Ephesians 1:5)
- The dispensation of the fullness of time (Ephesians 1:10)
- The sealing of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)
- The earnest of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:14)
- The power of God that is available to every believer (Ephesians 1:19)
- The grace of God (Ephesians 2:1-10)
- The eternal plan of God (Ephesians 3:10-11)
- The five fold ministry gifts (Ephesians 4:11-13)
- The infilling with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-19)
- And the list goes on!
But in addition to these important theological points, the book of Ephesians also includes some of the most practical instructions in the New Testament regarding such issues as:
- The relationship between believers (Ephesians 4:25-5:2)
- The relationship between believers and the world (Ephesians 5:3-6)
- The relationship between husbands and wives (Ephesians 5:22-33)
- The relationship between parents and children (Ephesians 6:1-4)
- The relationship between employers and employees (Ephesians 6:5-9)
Yet when you come to the end of this epistle that is so jam-packed with theological and practical truths, Paul says, “Finally…” and then begins to speak to us about spiritual warfare!
Why is this? Because like so many in the Church world today, the Ephesians believers had gathered together a vast accumulation of spiritual knowledge, information, and facts; nevertheless, this alone was not enough to keep the devil under their feet where he belonged! As we read through chapter 4, we can see that the devil was apparently attacking the Ephesian church and was having some success!
That’s why Paul had to instruct these believers to put away lying, steal no more, let no corrupt communication out of their mouths, grieve not the Holy Spirit, and put aside all anger and malice (Ephesians 4:25-31). Does this sound like a church full of victorious people to you? The Ephesian believers were part of the biggest church of that day, yet they were not fully experiencing the overcoming, abundant life that Jesus Christ had come to offer them.
Consider your own life. Are you experiencing victory in most areas of your life, or are you suffering defeat in key areas? Have you ignored the fact that spiritual warfare is real? Have you gathered lots of spiritual information, knowledge, and facts, yet forgotten to put on the whole armor of God?
Praise God for all the knowledge you’ve gained, but now it’s time to turn your intellectual knowledge of God’s Word into the sword of the Spirit. Then you must raise it high and brandish it against the onslaughts the enemy has been trying to bring against you. It’s also time for you to turn your knowledge about faith into a shield that withstands every demonic attack! That’s why Paul said, “Finally…” In case the Ephesian believers didn’t remember anything else, he wanted them to remember that they had to have spiritual weapons to keep the devil under their feet.
How about you? Are you dressed in the whole armor of God today?
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord, help me not to get so brain-heavy with facts, knowledge, and information that I forget I must have more than brain power. I am asking You to help me focus on my spiritual side and to stay equipped with the spiritual weapons You have provided for me, for I know that knowledge alone is not enough to keep the devil under my feet. Today I choose to pick up those weapons and to walk in the whole armor of God!
I pray this in Jesus name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY:
I confess that I have spiritual weapons to defeat the enemy! I walk in those weapons and use them every time the devil tries to attack my life or the lives of those I love. Because I have the whole armor of God, I am fit and equipped to shove back every assault the devil may try to bring against me. God has more than adequately outfitted me with every weapon I need to maintain the victory Jesus obtained for me.
I declare this by faith in Jesus name!
PASTOR TROY’S COMMENTS:
Not very long ago we did a series on “spiritual warfare” one of the points was, “if you choose to not believe there is spiritual warfare going on all around you” if you “choose to ignore the fact that you are under attack by the devil and his demons” or think “if I leave him alone, he will leave me alone” if that’s your thinking you’ve already lost the battle, you just surrendered to the enemy.
The battle is real, weather you believe it or not!
The people in Ukraine are not going around as if it’s business as usual; everything about their lives has changed, knowing they are in a battle!
How about you and I? Are we “finally” ready to live our lives knowing there is spiritual warfare going on all around us? All the knowledge we have will not do us, or those around us any good if we choose to sit on the sidelines. It’s time to “finally” get in the battle!