Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.Ephesians 6:11 RSV
The Christian does not oppose evil in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord.
Only the armor of God is sufficient to the warfare involved.
“THE WILES OF THE DEVIL” refers to the strategems employed by the evil one with the design of destroying the faith of Christians.
Paul was familiar with many of the devices by which Satan had sought to hinder and thwart his apostolic labors.
He mentioned a glaring instance of this (1 Thessalonians 2:18), knew that the most intimate human relationships could be exploited to the detriment of Christianity (1 Corinthians 7:5), and pointed out that the devil could even take the form of an angel of light so as to lead believers away from the truth (2 Corinthians 11:3,14).
Paul described the spiritual enemy. He had already mentioned the “devil”; but Satan has many allies, “the spiritual hosts of wickedness.”
It is an unpardonable error to suppose that Paul here had any reference to the mythological gods of the Greeks and Romans, or to any of the complicated theories of vain speculators regarding the unseen creation.
Of them, Paul affirmed nothing. It is a fact beyond denial that the ancient pagan world was organized along patterns of evil, and the whole pagan complex of antiquity was fitted together, dovetailed and interwoven in such a manner as to forbid the notion that such a sprawling, powerful, effective and arrogant pagan society was merely accidental.
“PRINCIPALITIES” There are various dominions of evil, that is, certain classifications of it.
Paul’s use of some of these words here appears to be figurative; nevertheless, there were and are genuine realities behind them.
World-rulers Of This Darkness – This is a “poetic expression of the idea conveyed by the expression `prince of this world,’ applied by Jesus himself to Satan (John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11).
This whole passage, including the discussion of the armor, is figurative, setting forth the Christian’s struggle against evil as a warfare; and this passage is a description of the foe.
besides all these, taking the SHIELD of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD.Ephesians 6:16-17 RSV
WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD – These last six words are descriptive, not merely of the sword of the Spirit, but of the whole armor of God, and of each several part of it also.
Note the following:
TRUTH … What is this, if it is not the sacred word?
RIGHTEOUSNESS … The Biblical definition of righteousness is “all the commandments of God” (Psalms 119:172).
THE GOSPEL OF PEACE … This is the word of God.
FAITH … “Faith comes by hearing God’s word” (Romans 10:17).
SALVATION … Paul wrote to Timothy that “From a babe thou hast learned the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation” (2 Timothy 3:15).
Thus salvation comes only of the sacred writings which are the word of God.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.Ephesians 6:17 RSV
THE WORD OF GOD is also the sword of the Spirit.
No passage in all the Bible any more dramatically teaches the absolute necessity of the Christian’s thorough knowledge of the word of God.
Not having it, he is naked, barefooted, bare-headed and helpless before the enemy.
The SWORD OF THE SPIRIT IS THE WORD of God, the means by which God’s Spirit enables Christians to stand against the enemy and overcome.
There is nothing here to support the view that God’s Spirit, apart from the word of God, will ever enable the child of God to overcome.