Someone said, “We often speak of how people cannot comprehend the wonder of grace unless they grasp the badness of sin. And that is true. But it is equally true that people cannot grasp the badness of sin until they grasp the goodness of the life that sin corrupts.” Because Believers were once in darkness Paul writes, “Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be sharers with them, 8 for you were at one-time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live like children of light— 9 for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth— 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:6-11 NET2. We must not hesitate to expose the sin that surrounds us, the evil at work in our world for sometimes people we know are involved. Paul encouraged the church in Corinth, “Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong. 14 Everything you do should be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13. Our presence must be accomplished within the bounds of God’s love living in us. We must never do anything for our purposes.
Not everyone understands their call from God to accomplish His work. Every Believer is not only called to accomplish the work of God but is also equipped by the Holy Spirit to do so. Spiritual gifts, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, is that equipment duly supplied and we must know our gift and how to use it as found in Romans 12. The gifts mentioned there are permanently attached to every Believer. In 1 Corinthians 12 is another list of spiritual gifts which are given by the Holy Spirit as He chooses, but these are given for certain things that God wants to be accomplished for His purpose and glory for a moment in time. In Ephesians 4 there is another shortlist, but these are what some refer to as ‘vocational’ gifts and what we might call ‘life-calling’ gifts. These seem to be for a long period of time, perhaps for a lifetime. At any rate, every Believer should discover the Spiritual Gift God has appropriated for them in order to accomplish God’s task for Him.
We are in a very serious spiritual battle on a daily basis which constitutes a life-long war against evil. These are not battles against sin and the war is not about sin, but these are conflicts concerning evil which comes from Satan, the Tempter. Ultimately the war is against him. Make no mistake, this is real.
Those who understand also know that there are people who will stand against anyone who is known to speak against evil and addresses those who are evil. Those who speak against us may be Believers themselves but do not understand the conflict. For this reason, we are to be prepared for the conflict. Paul writes, “10 Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm, therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace, 16 and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). 18 With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and petitions for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:10-18.
Pray for the Saints
There is no reason to explain the articles of God’s armor because the purpose is briefly explained. But we must know that this is a spiritual conflict against “the world rulers of darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” Some do not believe these forces are real and some do not seem to understand that we who speak against evil are not the bad guys and therefore speak against us and call us ‘Pharisees’ because we sometimes name those who are evil. But this is not the point for Paul instructs us to pray for fellow saints. We are to pray for their protection and power for the conflict at hand.
Jesus is Lord.