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EPHESIANS - Chapter 6 - Verse 11

Verse 11. Put on the whole armour of God. The whole description here is derived from the weapons of an ancient soldier. The various parts of those weapons—constituting the "whole panoply"—are specified in Eph 6:14-17. The word rendered "whole armour," (panoplian, panoply,) means complete armour, offensive and defensive. See Lu 11:22. See Barnes "Ro 13:12, See Barnes "2 Co 6:7".

"The armour of God" is not that which God wears, but that which he has provided for the Christian soldier. The meaning here is,

(1.) that we are not to provide in our warfare such weapons as men employ in their contests, but such as God provides; that we are to renounce the weapons which are carnal, and put on such as God has directed for the achievement of the victory.

(2.) We are to put on the "whole armour." We are not to go armed partly with what God has appointed, and partly with such weapons as men use; nor are we to put on a part of the armour only, but the whole of it. A man needs all that armour if he is about to fight the battles of the Lord; and if he lacks one of the weapons which God has appointed, defeat may be the consequence.

That ye may be able to stand. The foes are so numerous and mighty, that, unless clothed with the Divine armour, victory will be impossible.

Against the wiles of the devil. The word rendered "wiles" meyodeia means, properly, that which is traced out with method; that which is methodized; and then that which is well laid—art, skill, cunning. It occurs in the New Testament only in Eph 4:14, and in this place. It is appropriately here rendered wiles, meaning cunning devices, arts, attempts to delude and destroy us. The wiles of the devil are the various arts and stratagems which he employs to drag souls down to perdition. We can more easily encounter open force than we can cunning; and we need the weapons of Christian armour to meet the attempts to draw us into a snare, as much as to meet open force. The idea here is, that Satan does not carry on an open warfare. He does not meet the Christian soldier face to face. He advances covertly; makes his approaches in darkness; employs cunning rather than power, and seeks rather to deceive and betray than to vanquish by mere force. Hence the necessity of being constantly armed to meet him whenever the attack is made. A man who has to contend with a visible enemy may feel safe, if he only prepares to meet him in the open field. But far different is the case if the enemy is invisible; if he steals upon us slyly and stealthily; if he practices war only by ambushes and by surprises. Such is the foe that we have to contend with—and almost all the Christian struggle is a warfare against stratagems and wiles. Satan does not openly appear. He approaches us not in repulsive forms, but comes to recommend some plausible doctrine, to lay before us some temptation that shall not immediately repel us. He presents the world in an alluring aspect; invites to pleasures that seem to be harmless; and leads us in indulgence, until we have gone so far that we cannot retreat.

{b} "of God" Ro 13:12; 2 Co 6:7

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