Eph. 6:10-13,  “Put On The Full Armor Of God, Our Struggle Is Not Against Flesh And Blood



Jim Bomkamp

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1.     INTRO:


1.1.                     In our last study, we looked at verses 1-9 of chapter 6.


1.1.1.  In that study, we finished up Paul’s admonitions about submission and the Christian as we discussed the fact that children are to be in submission to their parents and slaves are to be in submission to their masters.


1.2.                     In our study today, we are going to look at verses 10-13 of chapter 6.


1.2.1.  In our most recent studies in the book of Ephesians, we have seen that Paul first admonished us as Christians that we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit as this is a prerequisite for applying any of the admonitions of this book (or the Bible in general), and then he admonished us as Christians as to our proper roles of submission.  Paul realized that being victorious in spiritual warfare without first understanding and applying the Biblical understanding of the filling of the Holy Spirit as well as submission would be a venture in futility.  A person must be filled with the Holy Spirit and properly applying the principles of submission in his life if he is to be victorious over the spiritual forces of wickedness that we battle against in this world.


1.2.2.  We are now at Paul’s final teaching and admonitions for this book and they happen to concern spiritual warfare.  It is appropriate that Paul conclude this epistle with a discussion of spiritual warfare and how to fight a spiritual battle because the reality in this world is that when we as Christians attempt to live for the Lord and apply in our lives His precepts and commandments we are going to face an ongoing battle with spiritual forces.  It is important that we as Christians learn about spiritual warfare and the nature of the spirit world and forces because it is true what someone once said, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”


1.2.3.  According to Barna Research’s latest polls of Americans, though 69% believe in God, 60% of all people do not believe in the Devil as a living being but rather see him as a mere symbol of evil.  We can see from this that one of Satan’s main ploys is to get people to not believe in him as a living being.  If people can be convinced that there is no such thing as evil angels who tempt and seek to deceive people then they are not going to be on their guard and thus it will be easier to deceive them.  Conversely, when a person realizes that he has an adversary in the Devil then the Lord uses this information to bring him to see his need for God and the Lord will then draw the person to Himself.


1.2.4.  We Christians must recognize at the outset that we are living in the midst of a huge spiritual battle zone.  When we look around at this world we need to understand that God and His angels and the Devil and his angels are fighting each other all around us.  The battle zone is earth and the battle is for the souls of men and women.


1.2.5.  I have shared this before, but at the age of 19 when I first came to know the Lord I didn’t realize what this Christian life was going to bring.  I somehow had the idea that when a person became a Christian that he was going to have an easy and wonderful life and that everyone around him, especially those who know him well, would want to hear about the wonderful things that God had done in his life in bringing him to salvation through Christ.  However, soon after coming to know the Lord I suddenly began to realize that though I did have a joy, peace, and a hope that I hadn’t had before, that there were always difficulties and complications that arose whenever  I stepped out to serve the Lord.  Things seemed to always go awry whenever I got serious about commitment to the Lord or whenever I attempted to share with someone else about my newfound faith.


1.2.6.  There are numerous places in both the New and Old Testament where you can get a glimpse of what this spiritual battle that is going on for this world is like and how that our being used by the Lord is always going to involve resistance and a battle with demonic spirits, including the following:      In 2 Kings 6:8-19, the king of Aram wanted to attack and conquer the king of Israel but God kept telling Elisha what the plans were which the king of Aram had planned and Elisha would tell the king of Israel and thwart the king of Aram’s plans.  Then, the king of Aram came and attempted to capture Elisha and surrounded the city of Dotham where Elisha was staying, and when a servant was worrying and freaking out about what the king of Aram might do to them Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the eyes of this man to see the battle that was being waged in the spiritual realm about them right then, “8 Now the king of Aram was warring against Israel; and he counseled with his servants saying, “In such and such a place shall be my camp.” 9 The man of God sent word to the king of Israel saying, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Arameans are coming down there.” 10 The king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God had told him; thus he warned him, so that he guarded himself there, more than once or twice. 11 Now the heart of the king of Aram was enraged over this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you tell me which of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 One of his servants said, “No, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” 13 So he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and take him.” And it was told him, saying, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” 14 He sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Strike this people with blindness, I pray.” So He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 19 Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city; follow me and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he brought them to Samaria.”      In the tenth chapter of the book of Daniel we read that Daniel had prayed to the Lord that he might understand what would happen in the latter days and we read in Dan. 10:10-14 how that an angel that was sent from God to Daniel finally came to him to reveal these things but was hindered for twenty one days from coming to him by a demonic angel until Michael the arc angel came and delivered the angel so he could speak with Daniel, “10 Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. 13 “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. 14 “Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.””      In the sixteenth chapter of the book of Acts, we read that as Paul and Silas were attempting to preach the gospel in the city of Thyatira, having first won a business woman named Lydia and her household to the Lord, we read that Paul was hindered in his preaching by a certain slave-girl who was possessed by a demon until in Acts 16:16-18 we read that Paul cast the demon out of the girl, “16 It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” 18 She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment.”


1.2.7.   There are a few foundational principles that need to be understood when entering into this study on spiritual warfare:      Jesus has victory over every one of our enemies and even over all of the forces of nature.           When we study Jesus’ earthly life from the gospel accounts we are constantly brought to see Jesus’ power over all, as this chart which was derived from the following internet site :  http://www.jesusanswers.com/bible/miracles.htm



Jesus’ Miracles


The water changed into wine                                      

John 2:1-11

Healing of a nobleman’s son                                       

John 4:46-54

Healing of a sick man                                                  

John 5:1-9

Healing of a man who was born blind                       

John 9:1-41

Raising Lazarus                                                           

John 11:1-44

The hundred and fifty three fish

John 21:1-11

Walking on the sea                                                      

John 6:19-21

Feeding five thousand hungry people

John 6:5-13

Freeing a man’s soul which was possessed by demons

Luke 4:33-35

Healing of Simon’s mother in law

Luke 4:38-39

The enormous catch of fish

Luke 5:1-11

Healing of a leper

Luke 5:12-13

Healing of a man who was paralyzed

Luke 5:18-25

The restoration of the withered hand

Luke 6:6-10

Healing of a centurion’s slave

Luke 7:1-10

The raising of a widow’s son

Luke 7:11-15

Calming the storm

Luke 8:22-25

Freeing Legion from evil spirits

Luke 8:27-35

Healing of Jairus’ daughter

Luke 8:41-56

Healing of a woman with hemorrhage                       

Luke 8:43-48

Freeing a boy’s soul which was seized by demons

Luke 9:38-43

Healing a dumb demon possessed man                      

Luke 11:14

Healing a crippled woman                                          

Luke 13:11-13

Healing a man with dropsy                                         

Luke 14:1-4

Healing ten lepers                                                                  

Luke 17:11-19

Healing of a blind man                                                         

Luke 18:35-43

Healing of a slave’s ear                                               

Luke 22:50-51

Healing of two blind men                                            

Matthew 9:27-31

Healing of a dumb demon possessed man                            

Matthew 9:32-33

Healing of the Canaanite girl who was seized by demons

Matthew 15:21-28

Feeding four thousand hungry people                       

Matthew 15:32-38

The money in the fish’s mouth                                   

Matthew 17:24-27

The withering of the fig tree                                        

Matthew 21:18-22

Healing a deaf and mute man                                              

Mark 7:31-37

Healing a blind man                                                    

Mark 8:2-26           The names of Jesus as found in the scripture (found at the web site mentioned above) also reveal His power and abilities:








Son of God

The special relationship of Jesus to God

Mark 1:1

Son of Man

The human identity of Jesus

Matthew 8:20

Son of David

Jesus is descendant of King David

Matthew 15:22


Jesus revealed God

John 1:1

Lamb of God

Jesus is the sacrifice for world’s sin

John 1:29


The Greek for ‘Anointed One’

Matthew 16:16


The one who saves

John 4:14


Jesus taught people about God

John 1:38, Mark  5:35

Author of life

One who gives life

Acts 3:15

Alpha and Omega


The first and last letters of the Greek alphabets,

meaning that Jesus is the beginning and the end

Revelation 1:8

Lion of Judah

A title of the Messiah

Revelation 5:5

King of Kings/Lord of Lords

The ruler of all people

Revelation 19:16

Bright Morning Star

The one who gives light

Revelation 22:16

Word of God

Jesus is the voice of God

Revelation 19:13

Holy and Righteous

Attributes of Jesus

Acts 3:14

Head of the Church

The leader of all Christians

Ephesians 5:23


God with us

Isaiah 7:14

Prince of Peace

Jesus will bring everlasting peace

Isaiah 9:6

Wonderful Advisor

Jesus will always rule with honesty and justice

Isaiah 9:6

Mighty God

Jesus is supreme

Isaiah 9:6

Eternal Father

Jesus is eternal

Isaiah 9:6               By the way, when you read your Bibles on a daily basis, as I hope that you do, don’t just be mechanical about your reading or be satisfied just to get through it.  As you read your Bible think about what the passages tell you about the Lord and his power and ability for your life.  Think about how you can apply these scriptures to your present situations and then trust God and the power of His might in the midst of these situations.      Jesus in His death upon the cross conquered and rendered powerless the Devil who is now a vanquished foe awaiting eternal judgment:           In Col. 2:10-15, we read about how that on Calvary’s cross that Jesus conquered the Devil and that now He is head over all rule and authority in all creation, “10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”      When we as Christians go out into this world as an ambassador for the Lord we need to understand that we go out with the authority of Christ , as we see from these verses:           When Jesus sent His disciples out on intern mission’s trips He gave them His authority to heal diseases and to cast out demons, as seen in Luke 9:1, “1 And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases.”           When Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure He began telling them about how He had appointed them and thus they would go forth in His Name, and how that at that future time He would answer all of their prayers prayed in His Name (or authority), as seen in these verses:               John 15:16, “16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”  God has chosen each of us who are Christians to be His ambassadors and thus we go out into this world in His authority as His representative.               John 14:13, “13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”      We Christians must have assurance of our salvation in order to be victorious in the Lord, and the scriptures promise us this, including the following:           John 10:27-29, “27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”           1 John 5:11-13, “11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”           Romans 8:38-39, “38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”.


2.     VS.  6:10   - 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. -  Paul admonishes us to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might


2.1.                     Indicating that this next teaching on spiritual warfare contain his final admonitions, Paul begins here by writing, ‘Finally.’


2.2.                     Paul admonishes us as Christians to be ‘strong in the Lord’ and that our strength should not be that which comes from ourselves and our own will power and determination but rather from ‘the strength of His might.’  In order to be victorious in battle against spiritual forces, the Lord must strengthen us with His might and power.


2.3.                     There used to be a teaching that was very prevalent and sometimes even today you hear it, and it states that a Christian  needs to, “Let go and let God.”  The idea in this teaching is that our problems as Christians are the result of our struggling and striving in this life.  If we would then just let go of our life and let the Lord do everything through us then we would be victorious and our life would be simple and easy.  Again, the idea is that we as Christians are not to do anything but just sit around and let the Lord do it all.  This is a call to inaction.  However, this teaching contradicts every admonition in the scriptures given to God’s people, and the scripture (both Testaments) is full of admonitions for us, as these examples show us (note the high-lighted words that require action on our part).


2.3.1.  Philippians 2:12, “12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” 


2.3.2.  Ephesians 5:18, “18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” 


2.3.3.  Romans 13:12-14, “12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” 


2.3.4.  2 Timothy 2:22, “22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”


2.3.5.  James 4:7, “7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”      By the way, notice the order here when it comes to having victory of the Devil.  We first must submit to God and then we are to resist the Devil.  If we attempt to resist the Devil without first submitting to God we shall never be victorious because we have no ability to successfully wage spiritual warfare in the strength and will power of our own flesh.  Satan always wins that battle because he is a very powerful angel and we are no match for him unless the Lord fights for us.


2.4.                     The Christian is not told in this verse that the Lord will do everything for him, but that the Lord will make him strong.  The Christian is admonished here to be ‘strong in the Lord.’  It is the Christian’s responsibility to see that He is filled with the ‘strength of His might.’


2.5.                     We have already looked at the miracles that Jesus’ performed and of the ways in which the scriptures reveal that God’s armies are battling for God’s people in the conflicts that we find ourselves in serving the Lord in this life.  The scriptures constantly reveal to us just how great is the ‘strength of His might.’  There is nothing that the Lord cannot perform and He will show Himself mighty on our behalf when we trust our lives completely to Him and look to Him to empower us.  In some ways you might say that the Lord will show Himself strong on our behalf because His reputation is at stake if He does not do so since we are at that point standing upon His promises from the scripture.


2.6.                     When we Christians look to the Lord in faith to be our strength then He will answer our prayers and fight for us just as the Lord did in Old Testament times:      In 1 Samuel 17:44-47 before David killed the Philistine giant he announced that this day the power of God would be revealed and that all would see that the battle is the Lord’s for David was coming against Goliath in the power of the armies of heaven, “44 The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 “This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”      In Zechariah 4:1-6 Zechariah saw a lampstand and the angel of the Lord told Zechariah that this lampstand was to reveal to Zechariah that it was not by might, nor by power but by God’s Spirit that he would have victory, “1 Then the angel who was speaking with me returned and roused me, as a man who is awakened from his sleep. 2 He said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it; 3 also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side.” 4 Then I said to the angel who was speaking with me saying, “What are these, my lord?” 5 So the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” 6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”


3.     VS 6:11  - 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. -  Paul admonishes us to put on the full armor of God in order to be able to stand firm against the schemes of the Devil.


3.1.                     Here we see yet more words that requires action on our parts as Christians, Paul writes to us to:  put on’ the full armor of God.


3.2.                     Every piece of our armor we have been given as Christians is important for us to wear, therefore Paul writes that we are to put on ‘the full’ armor of God.  Can you imagine if you were a soldier sent to battle for our country and you took with you your M-16 rifle but left your ammunition clip at home?  Can you imagine putting on your combat uniform and heading off into battle but forgetting to take your helmet with you?  Every piece of your gear is essential to being able to successfully fight in a battle and in the same way every piece of the armor of God which we Christians have been given is essential to utilize in the spiritual warfare that we have to fight in this world as we serve the Lord. 


3.3.                     Note here that it is as we put on the full armor of God that we will then be able to ‘stand firm against the schemes of the devil.’  Again, God does not do everything for us and we are not called to just sit and wait for God to do everything.  We as Christians are called to action, we have to be proactive and put on the full armor of God.


3.4.                     We could spend an entire study just talking about the ways in which the ‘schemes of the devil’ occur in our lives as Christians.  We won’t do that but it is sufficient to say that in light of all that we have thought about so far that the Devil is going to do everything that God gives him the authority to do in order to keep us from being successfully used by the Lord.  All who serve the Lord are going to face temptations, trials, testings, hindrances, persecutions, etc., because we have a real foe and the Lord is going to give the Devil some leeway to try to hinder us from being fruitful for the Lord.  Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:4 about how as soldiers of Christ that we can sometimes become distracted from focusing upon the things that God has called us to do, and this comes about from the Devil, “4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”  In Hebrews 12:1 we are told that in this race that we are in that we must lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily can entangle us, “1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  Satan has so many schemes which he can work against us.


3.5.                      It is critical to our spiritual walk to realize that we have an enemy who is constantly pondering us and dreaming up ways in which to ensnare us by tempting us to sin and do some act that will cause us to stumble in our faith and witness, and thus keep us from being used of God.  Satan is also trying to keep every unsaved person from understanding the gospel message and placing his faith and trust in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, thereby receiving the gift of eternal life.  More than anything the Devil would like to take as many people on this earth to hell with him as he can.


4.     VS 6:12-13  - 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. -  Paul tells us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against powers and world forces of this darkness


4.1.                     In this world, we Christians are in the midst of a war that is really being waged between God and His angels and the Devil and the fallen angels.  Though we have a big part to play in this war as well as responsibilities before the Lord, it is the Lord who fights against the wicked spirits around us.


4.2.                     These verses reveal to us that there is an animating force behind everything that affects peoples’ lives in this world.  People who tempt or hinder us in our Christian walk are being animated by the Devil to do so, whether or not they realize this or not. 


4.3.                     We need to realize that people who try to hinder or persecute us are just pawns in the hand of the Devil and by realizing this we should be able to have some compassion on those people in our lives. 


4.4.                     It is important for us as Christians to realize that behind every persecution which we may face is the Devil himself who is trying to somehow discourage or discredit us from fulfilling the Great Commission, and the calling and ministries that the Lord has for our lives.


4.5.                     Paul again repeats what he has previously said, that because we Christians realize that we are in a spiritual warfare and that there is an animating force behind everything that occurs in our lives in this world, it is just so much more imperative that we ‘take up the full armor of God’ for it is only as we take up this armor that we will ‘be able to resist in the evil day’ (when we are tempted and tested) and ‘having done everything to stand firm.’


4.6.                     I want to make one final comment about these verses and spiritual warfare, and that is that it is imperative that when we realize that we are going through spiritual warfare as people and circumstances are attempting to hinder us from being used by the Lord, that we ‘stand firm.’  I tell people sometimes that if you are going through spiritual warfare that this is a good thing for it indicates that you are doing something right and that God is intending to use your life.  Knowing this fact encourages us to ‘stand firm’ and watch the Lord get the final victory (even though the Devil might have won some of the battles).  A coward cuts and run when he sees the battle being waged, may it never be said of us that we are cowards and ashamed to stand up for Jesus in this world.


4.7.                     In our next study we will look at the individual pieces of the armor of God that God has provided for us to fight these spiritual battles we are in.




5.1.                     As we consider this study and how that it applies to our life, lets be committed to being Christians who are strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.


5.2.                     Lets recognize the futility of trying to wage this war against wicked spirits in our own strength and will power, in the power of the flesh.


5.3.                     Lets remember to recognize daily that we are in a spiritual warfare and that our struggles are not against flesh and blood but against wicked spirits in high places. 


5.4.                     Lets remember that we need not part of the armor that God has provided for us to fight this war, but all of it.  Lets daily put on the full armor of God.


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