GodSpeak: Spring 2019 – “Be Strong in the Lord”

GodSpeak for the Week of May 12

“Be Strong in the Lord”

Day 1…Read Ephesians 6:10-20

  • Consider this – our translation of 6:10 reads: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”
    • The way this is worded could leave someone feeling that it’s her responsibility and determination which is necessary to “be strong”.
    • However, the Greek Paul uses here clearly notes that we are to “be strengthened” in the Lord and in His mighty power!
      • It’s the LORD who is doing the work of strengthening; it does NOT come from our own will or abilities!
  • Answer this – given that important fact, what does that do for you?  What does it mean to you that the Lord will strengthen you?

Day 2…Read Ephesians 6:10 (again)

  • Consider this – Paul notes that being strengthened by the Lord will give us His “mighty power”; that is, we are afforded strength by His power working through us.
  • Answer this – practically speaking, what does that promise mean in day-to-day life?  What does the strength that comes from the Lord’s mighty power working through us allow us to do?

Day 3…Read Ephesians 6:12

  • Consider this – Paul notes that our struggle isn’t against a mere two things – namely, “flesh” and “blood”; our struggle is against FOUR things…
    • …the rulers of this world;
    • …the authorities of this world;
    • …the “powers of this dark world” (which Paul literally uses to refer to the devil and his demons)
    • …and, the “spiritual forces of evil” (the Greek words Paul uses literally mean the “breath” of wickedness [contrast literally to God’s “breath” of life and the Holy Spirit]
  • Answer this – why does Paul reference our struggles in this way?  What does Paul’s specific references to the devil and his “breath of wickedness” do for your understanding of what the world is up against?

Day 4…Read Ephesians 6:13

  • Consider this – to all of this dark power, Paul calls for followers of Christ to put on God’s “full armor” of God, including:
    • …the belt of truth;
    • …the breastplate of righteousness;
    • …feet fitted with readiness from the Gospel of peace;
    • …the shield of faith;
    • …the helmet of salvation;
    • …and, the sword of the Spirit – literally, the Word of God.
  • Consider this – in v. 13, Paul calls for Christians to put on all of these pieces of God’s full armor in order to “stand your ground”, then be able to “stand.”
    • The Greek word for “stand your ground” is “antihisteme” (from which we get our English word “antihistamine”?) – which carries the idea of standing one’s ground in the face of attack.
    • The Greek word for “stand” is “histeme” – which carries the idea of overcoming a foe and holding one’s ground.
  • Answer this – in all of what Paul is saying, what is God calling US to do?  What is God promising to do FOR us?

Day 5…Read Ephesians 6:18

  • Consider this – in everything you endure, Paul calls for the faithful to “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions…”
  • Answer this – why would Paul need to make specific reference to the Holy Spirit?  Why not just call on people to “pray”?  (Hint – remember that the word for “Spirit” means “breath”)

Day 6…Read Ephesians 6:19-20

  • Consider this – historians believe Paul wrote Ephesians in the mid-60’s A.D. during his imprisonment in Rome.
    • It is no insignificant detail that the Roman emperor at the time was Nero – one of Rome’s most fickle, moody and violent of leaders.
  • Consider this – in light of that, Paul ends this passage with the request: “Pray that I may declare [the Gospel] fearlessly, as I should.”
    • When Paul says “fearlessly,” he’s saying he hopes to declare the Gospel with “bold courage”.
  • Answer this – how might Paul have understood God’s “full armor” in terms of how he would put it on in the face of Nero?  What is the role of prayer in putting on God’s full armor?  What is the role of other people praying for you in putting on God’s full armor?

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