Friday 19th August 2016 - Daily Reading:
Ephesians 6:10-20 - Against Principalities and Powers from

Most Christians have heard a sermon from Ephesians 6 about the whole armour of God and that we should “Put it on so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes”. Paul says that we “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and evil forces in the heavenly realm”. Now what has provoked Paul to say these things in his letter to the Church. We find his reference to authorities, powers and every dominion in Ephesians 1:21 where Paul speaks of Jesus being seated above them.

The next significant reference is in Ephesians 3:10-11 where he says that “God’s intent was” (from times past) “that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realm, according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord”. What then is this mystery which is revealed to the Church, for which we are called to fight a battle against demonic rulers? What is it which is the biggest best hidden mystery awaiting revelation by the Church of the firstborn?

If we look back in chapter 3 to verse 6 we read this: “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body and sharers together in the promise of Jesus Christ”. Paul is summing up his previous comments in chapter 2 that God has taken down the middle wall of partition and made one humanity of the two peoples. The problem which he had and many have today, is that this, although it carries such seriousness and weight, is intolerable to postponement theology. So weighty is this that Paul gives it centrality in His battle for truth about the New Covenant and the one people. Back in Ephesians 6:19, Paul lets us know that this declaration for which he asks for prayer that he might declare it fearlessly, is itself the mystery which is the gospel. Little wonder that he refers to those who oppose it as “dogs”.

There are those whose renown is for their deliverance ministry, for which they rely on Ephesians 6 as biblical validation. Some others rely on Ephesians 4 for accreditation of their gift ministries. In order to arrive at either of those, our basis must be that which fully acknowledges the body of Christ in the context of one people, one Lord, faith, baptism and God who is through in and over all.
Denial stands with the strong and contrary forces. Now, put on truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation.

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