Paul called for us to walk worthy of our calling in Christ (Ephesians 4:1). He wanted the church to live Godly lives in the midst of an ungodly world. He not only called for worthy walks, he also gave us an example and a way to live worthy of the calling and name of Christ.
The example that he gave was that of himself. He worked and taught among the unbelievers and believers of Ephesus for eighteen months. Afterwards, he wrote the church from prison about walking worthy of their call. Paul had learned whether in good times or in bad times to give evidence for his faith in Christ (Philippians 4:11-13).
Paul also gave a way for the believers to stand firm in spite of outward circumstances or inward temptation. Paul knew that the faithful life of obedience was fought on a big battlefield.
He gave seven pieces of battle gear for the believer. He put it in terms of a Roman soldier, the equipment of which he knew well. He had met many Roman soldiers. At the time he dictated these words, he was chained to one (Ephesians 4:1, 6:20).
- Truth. Paul may have meant both spiritual truth and genuine living. Both help us to fight against the schemes of the devil. The devil loves darkness and hates the light. Our sincere and genuine hearts are strong defenses against spiritual darkness.
- Righteousness. We are declared righteous in Christ, and we, therefore, are capable of righteous acts in His name. Satan hates goodness. Righteous character and conduct combined with our pardon from past sin throws up an impenetrable barrier like that of the breastplate of the Roman soldier.
- The Gospel of Peace. Satan hates the Gospel. It is and will be his defeat. The shoes made the soldier stable and secure. Our readiness to advance the Gospel and to give gracious and pithy answers to the outsiders’ questions prepare us for the battle.
- Faith. Our strong trust in God keeps us protected when life would cave in on us and bring on discouragement, fear, and doubt. “For faith lays hold of the promises of God in times of doubt and depression, and faith lays hold of the power of God in times of temptation” (John R. W. Stott).
- Salvation. Salvation is a past, present, and future expectation. The assurance of our past deliverance from sin and our future life with Christ is our sure defense against our enemy.
- The Word of God. Jesus defended against Satan by the word of God. How could we do any differently?
- Prayer. The Roman soldier had six weapons for battle, but the believer has more. Prayer forms a guard around our minds and hearts as we fight against the devil’s schemes. Notice Paul’s call to all prayer, at all times, alert with all perseverance, for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).
God has given us Himself and everything else that we need. If God is for us, who is against us? . . . In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:31,37). Thanks be to God who gives us the victory in Christ Jesus our Lord!