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By Carl Carmody Editor Challenge

Over the next few months, I want to look at Ephesians 6, The armor of God. We live in a time of moral and ethical
relativism; a time when any absolutes are considered intolerant and outmoded because we live in an enlightened
age. Even more sinister is the reversal of what is good and what is evil. Isaiah 5:20-21, clearly addresses this issue,
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter
for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”

So how does a Christian manage to survive and keep a vital relationship with the Lord, in an environment that is
less than conducive to spiritual growth?

Paul then talks about peace in Christ, walking in the Spirit, equipping of the saints, sound doctrine, marriage and
family. I think it highly significant that Paul leaves it to the final chapter to indicate how we can achieve all the
things he has so passionately pointed to.

So, only a Christian can resist the world, but even then it is a matter of faith as we trust God to live His life in and
through us. We have to resist in the power of God. I can assure you that if you attempt to be strong for the Lord in
your own strength, you are setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment. The next thing we must
understand is that this armor is most effective when we put it all on. If we choose to put on some parts only, then
we leave ourselves open to the attacks of Satan. We also do what Paul warns us not to do in Ephesians 4v27, “nor
give place to the devil”.

In the book of Ephesians, Paul covers a whole gamut of issues relating to our Christian walk. The subject matter
starts with our blessings in Christ. In fact, the phrase ‘in Christ’ is a constantly recurring expression. So walking
consistently in Christ Jesus is the key to surviving in an ever-increasing secular environment.

The word PLACE means to give Satan an opportunity or occasion to attack us. It has military implications in terms
of allowing the enemy a foothold from which to launch an attack. Obviously if we sin we need to sort it out quickly
to avoid being exposed to further attacks.

The Armor: Yes. All of it!

Have you ever wondered why Satan’s tactics of church division and disharmony have been so successful? The main
reason may be that many churches and Christians have failed to identify who is behind the problem in the first
place. They have failed to recognize that as a church and as individual Christians we do not wrestle against flesh
and blood, but against principalities and powers that, unlike the Christian church at times, are absolutely united in
their efforts to destroy the church.

We must see that these principalities and powers are way beyond our ability to deal with. We have tried to gain
the victory over Satan and his forces in the flesh, and have unfortunately become victims rather than conquerors.
This is why Paul twice emphasizes that we must put on the whole armor of God so that we can stand against him in
Christ. Romans 8v31, “If God is for us, who can be against us.” 1 Cor. 15:57-58, “But thanks be to God! He gives us
the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always
give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

We need to see that we have an enemy. Because we can’t see his physical presence some Christians have come to
the conclusion that there is no literal devil. They fail to see that our battle in the Christian life is in the spiritual
realm. A Christian quipped once that he couldn’t understand what all this talk about the devil and his scheme
meant. He declared that he had never had any trouble and was mystified why anyone else was having a problem. A
wise response was ‘Try turning around and heading in the opposite direction, and I can assure you it won’t be long
before you meet him.’ I think that sums it up well because the spiritual Christians are the ones most aware of
Satan’s spiritual opposition.

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