We often fall in spiritual conflict because we stand in our armor instead of God’s armor. Being clothed like Jesus in spiritual conflict, as well as understanding the individual parts of God’s armor, help us to stand in new way.
Some of us under-spiritualize reality. We receive truth only if we can touch, see and quantify it. Some of us tend to super-spiritualize reality. We ignore the material world or focus upon renouncing demons instead of repenting of sin. Some of us pseudo-spiritualize reality, that is seek to fashion our own spiritual reality. Ephesians 6 teaches any of these three make it impossible to endure spiritual conflict, and then provides an effective way to stand.
Some of us see work as “punching the clock”–drudgery that finances the leisure of our lives. Others of us see work as self-fulfillment. Both are forms of using, not valuing work. The Bible says that God values work and that He values work that values Him. This is the message of Ephesians 6.5-9
The portrayal of family today usually depicts parents who are either out of touch and inept, or live by the creed: “Because I’m the parent, that’s why!”. On the other hand, kids are depicted as navigating their worlds without adults–really the competent ones to call the shots. Is this the best we can do? The Bible says a family is more glorious than that.
Is marriage more than two people merging their goals and agendas? A oneness that is deeper and more profound? One that is both a demonstration and experience of glory? This is the message of Ephesians 5.
In Ephesians 5 Paul gives us the way back to the glory which God intended in marriage. In their make up and roles men and woman offer a distinctive picture of God’s glory–given to compliment one another. However, that glory now comes with a rub.
When it comes to the discussion of gender and roles in society at large, and marriage specifically two tendencies dominate: One is oversimplification of gender and roles, the other obliteration. The Bible avoids both and presents the glory and mystery of men and women, husband and wife.
The glory of romance is most often depicted outside of marriage. Marriage itself as boredom and drudgery–the end of romance. Yet, Ephesians 5 teaches the opposite. It says apart from the commitment of marriage, the glory of romance is superficial and short-lived. And, the intimate and lasting love for which we long, can only be experienced in the commitment of marriage. No Guts, No Glory.
Many religions call us to walk to the light (find our way to God). Christianity teaches us to walk in the light because the Light has already found us in our darkness. Wisdom is learning to walk in light of Jesus, the Light of God.
Having a new identity means new attitudes and actions in the areas of our words, rights, responsibilities, and sexuality. The new self which God recreates is never experienced in a vacuum, but in community.