Sunday, 13 November 2016
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10
Paul now comes to the closing thoughts of the epistle. This is evidenced by the word “Finally.” He has presented an amazing display of the wonder of the work of Christ and how it pertains to His redeemed, but he wants them to not forget that there is still an on-going battle which is being waged.
Though the victory is assured, and though the redeemed are already saved once and for all (Ephesians 1:13, 14), and though we are even now seated in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6), we still have this earthly life to get through. It is one which can wear down the hardy, and it is one which can cause us to take our eyes off of the Lord.
And so, Paul now takes the time to admonish the faithful to “be strong in the Lord.” The word in Greek is in the present imperative, and so it literally reads, “be strengthened in the Lord.” It is something that we are to actively do as we live out this life. The way that we are to do this has already been given –
“…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,” Ephesians 3:16
It is “through His Spirit” that we can do this. Paul will explain what that means in the verses ahead. However, before getting to those verses, it can be noted that thetr are things which we must actively do, using the tools which the Spirit has already granted to us. If we fail to act; we will not be strengthened. In turn, our walk will be filled with trials and woes, and yet it will be a bed of our own making. This was reflected in the words of Ephesians 4:30 –
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
In the coming words of Paul, he will use terminology that is reflected in the uniform and armament of a Roman soldier. It is probable that he was being guarded by a Roman soldier as he wrote, and he looked at him and contemplated a spiritual analogy to his earthy adornment. This is similar to what David and others had done in the Old Testament.
The guards, being Roman soldiers, would be well disciplined, meticulously careful with their attire and weapons, and encouraged in what those things stood for. These implements would be their protection in battle, and it is in battle that soldiers are the most dependent on one another, even as if they were brothers by blood. This is seen in the use of the term “my brethren” while finishing his thoughts to the Ephesians.
He has told them to be strong in the Lord, but they are also to be strong “in the power of His might.” Roman soldiers were individually strong in the empire, but they were also strong as a member of the empire. In other words, an individual soldier may be strong and great in battle, but he is not disconnected from the empire he served. Likewise, we may be strong in the knowledge of the word, a great orator, or an excellent missionary, but apart from the body of Christ as a whole, we are waging a losing battle.
We are to be strong in His great power as well as strong in our individual stations within His body. The two, combined together, are what make it possible for us to endure the trials which are sure to come in this life.
Life application: The Lord has given us His word by which we can be strong in the Lord. But we also must apply that word to our lives. Knowledge without application is wasted knowledge. Let us trust in the power of the Lord to direct us in all ways, but let us also not be deficient in growing in our knowledge of Him as well.
Lord God, for us to be strong and faithful as Your followers, we must be strong in You. We can’t do this unless we know what You expect. And that is detailed in Your word. We also cannot be strong in the power of Your might, unless we apply that word to our lives. Together, these two things bring about the ability for us to stand firm in this earthly life we live. Thank You for Your word. And now, give us wisdom to learn it and apply it to our daily walk. Amen.