(Eph. 6:10-13  10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the  wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of [b]the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

          Warren Wiersbe wrote the following,

          “Sooner or later every believer discovers the Christian life is a battleground, not a playground, and that he faces an enemy who is much stronger than he is—apart from the Lord.”

          When the Apostle Paul was writing this epistle, he was in a Roman prison, chained to a guard.  So, he was very familiar with the physical armor a soldier wore Christians have three enemies: (1) The world, (2) the flesh, and (3) the devil. We need to know our enemies.

          Concerning the devil who is our enemy, the accuser of the brethren, there is much said about him in the Word of God. Tony Merida, in “Exalting Jesus in Ephesians,” writes the following,

          “Paul has already mentioned ‘the devil’ in Eph. 4:27.” Some of his titles are:

  • The Devil (Matt. 4:1; 14:39; 25:41; Rev. 12:9; 12:20.
  • Satan is the head of the demons and his minions (Rev. 20:2)
  • The Serpent (Gen. 3:1, 14; Rev. 20:9;
  • Beelzebub (Matt. 10:25; 12:24-27; Luke 11:15.
  • The ruler of this world (John 12:31.
  • The god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4)
  • The evil one (1 John 2:13)
  • The dragon (Rev. 12:9)”

We’re told to “put on the WHOLE armor of God.” One wonders why Paul then uses an “athletic term,” to describe how we are to engage in this spiritual warfare.  He compares it to a wrestling match.

Jack Cottrell writes the. following in studies in Ephesians,

     “Why does Paul describe our conflict with Satan’s forces with this athletic word rather than a military term? For one thing, wrestling was a common sport in the Graeco-Roman world, and the Ephesians would readily relate to it. Also, Paul can communicate to us how intense  and personal is our battle against evil spirits. Winning a wrestling match requires extreme and constant effort; it is a form of close, difficult, tiring, hand to hand combat.”

We must realize that Satan is a strong enemy and we cannot battle him on our own. We need the power of God to stand against him. We must never underestimate the power of the devil. Not only is  he strong, he is also wise and subtle. We have the word “wiles or schemes” mentioned.  This means he is cunning. 2 Cor. 11:14 describes him as  “an angel of light.”

In closing, we need to avail ourselves of  all the resources available to combat him. Christians, if they will desire to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus” (2 Pet 3:18), will want or utilize these resources.  We have the Word of God to read and study; we have the indwelt Holy Spirit to guide us (Acts 2:38) in the truth. We must realize that, in and of ourselves, we can’t win the battle, but with the Lord’s help, we can.  The Word of God tells us that “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”

So, let’s strive daily to avail ourselves of  everything that  the Lord has for us. Remember what Paul said in Eph. 1:3, “we  have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” 


        Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word & Work and attends Cherry St. Church of Christ in New Albany, IN.