Question: Our only confusion with last night’s content has been the seeming contradiction that the battle has been won but yet we are to put on the armor of God and do battle / war. Is it as simple as taking our stand and claiming the victory? It’s not so much that we have to engage against Satan (we are in a war?) but to simply stand victorious, right?
This is a very good question and one that we need to understand! Let’s look closer at the tense of some of the verbs in this passage. (NOTE a word-for-word translation like the King James, New American Standard, or ESV shows this much more clearly) Here is the ESV of Ephesians 6:13-18
13 Therefere take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Neil Anderson writes about this passage
“It would appear from the verb tenses in Ephesians 6;14, 15, that three of the pieces of armor—belt (truth), breastplate (righteousness) and shoes (peace)–are already on you: “having girded . . .”; “having put on . . .”; having shod. . . .” These pieces of armor represent the elements of your protection made possible when you receive Jesus Christ and in which you are commanded to stand firm. The Greek tense of “having” signifies that the action it refers to was completed before we were commanded to stand firm. That’s the logical way a soldier would prepare for action: He would put on his belt, breastplate and shoes before attempting to stand firm. Likewise, we are to put on the full armor of God after having already put on Christ.”
This is so powerful! As with so much of Christ’s saving work there are past, present, and future ramifications of His victory. From this passage there are things that have already been done at salvation and these give us the power to stand in victory! Yet the victory is not automatic. We have responsibility to take up the shield of faith (believe), take up the helmet of salvation (renew our mind), and to pray (asking our Heavenly Father for His Spirit to help us and each other).
We are already seated with Him Ephesians 2:6, yet at the same time we are here on this earth, working to carry out His kingdom work. Christ has already won The WAR and declared PEACE and He sat down, but the “Rebel Prince of this Age” continues to battle in pockets of resistance he has been temporarily allowed to have. As the sons and daughters of God we are representing Him and proclaiming His PEACE to our generation; until Christ returns to finalize all things.
This past, present and future work is so clear in Hebrews 10:12-13, which reads:
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected (made perfect) for all time those who are being sanctified (are being made holy).
This is also illustrated in the Old Testament when God told the people that the “Promised Land “ was already theirs, given to them as a free gift of God. However they had to be obedient to march around Jericho (on one occasion), and at other times to engage their enemy.
I BELIEVE GOD DOES NOT DRIVE OUT OUR ENEMY COMPLETELY BECAUSE HE WANTS US TO COMPLETELY DEPEND OF HIM AS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND THE SOURCE OF OUR STRENGTH. (Check out Exodus 23:20-31 for some interesting read sometime)
I hope help this helps all of us as we stand in the Victory that Christ won as we do our part. Praying that the eyes of our hearts may be open to see God’s amazing authority and power for us who believe! Remember we don’t have to dispel the darkness, we just need to shine His Light in our own lives and in our world!