Vol. 17, No. 19 – May 13, 2018
Ephesians 6:15 continued:
And finally in vs. 15, we have, “of peace,” which is related to “the gospel.” It is made up of the Article HO and the Noun eirene, εἰρήνη in the Genitive case that means, “peace, harmony, tranquility, or good health.” It is related to the Hebrew word SHALOM, that had a broader meaning than EIRENE did in the Greek. But its use in the NT took on the broader meanings of the Hebrew usage to include, good health and well-being, prosperity, etc. In addition, the Stoic philosophers sometimes used the word to indicate “inner peace, tranquility” or “peace of mind.” This too, is adopted in the NT usage of the word, as the Word of God resident within your soul is designed to bring you the inner peace, joy, and happiness of God, +H of God.
We have noted this word in Eph 1:2; 2:14, 15, 17; 4:3, and will see it again in vs. 23. The progression of this word in Ephesians includes:
- A salutation for peace that comes from God our Father and Jesus Christ, Eph 1:2.
- Jesus who broke down the dividing barrier between Jews and Gentiles to bring the two to peace, Eph 2:14.
- By taking on the sins of the world, He brought peace to all who believe in Him, making them one body, Eph 2:15.
- He preached the gospel of peace to all, both Jews and Gentiles, Eph 2:17.
- We now are to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit, (the one body), in the bond of Peace, Eph 4:3.
- We are to be prepared to fight the Angelic Warfare with the Gospel of Peace, Eph 6:15.
- God desires us to live in peace, Eph 6:23.
In secular Greek, EIRENE simply meant the opposite of war, a condition of peace, that is, a respite during an endless series of wars. The Greeks, as later did the Romans, considered peace, (i.e., the absence of war), as the foundation for national and personal welfare and prosperity. In fact, they had a goddess of peace named, Eirene, who was believed to give gifts of wealth and well-being. As you can imagine, that was Satan’s counterfeit to what God provided to the Israelites and to all believers throughout history, including today.
In our passage, EIRENE is used first from its original meaning in the Greek of a respite from warfare, which is the Angelic Conflict that we are all a part of, secondly, the peace that the believer has with God, and thirdly, the blessings or welfare that God provides to those who are in fellowship with Him being obedient to His Word. The latter encompasses the broader Hebrew meaning.
As you know, this does not mean that the Angelic Conflict is over; it means Jesus has won the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict at the Cross. As such, all who believe in Him have been given that victory as signified by the freedom from sin and death we receive at the moment we believe in Jesus Christ. We also experience that victory by walking with Christ in fellowship with the Holy Spirit and in application of God’s Word that is resident within our soul.
From the day of the “Fall of Man,” man has been at enmity, at war, with God. People are “alienated and enemies” of God not only because of their deeds but because of their disposition, Rom 8:6-7; Col 1:21.
Rom 8:6-7, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.”
Col 1:21-22, “And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”
If there was to be peace between God and man, God Himself had to take the initiative. He did so when He sent His Son, He who “is our peace,” Eph 2:14. At His atoning death for our sins, we were reconciled to God in spite of our sins.
The message of reconciliation is called “the gospel of peace,” Acts 10:36; Eph 2:17; 6:15, and the God who has performed this is called, “the God of peace,” Rom 5:1-5; 15:33; 16:20; Phil 4:9; 1 Thes 5:23; Heb 13:20.
As mentioned, this peace was given to us because of our faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, who is the Messiah and the Prince of Peace, Isa 9:6; cf. Micah 5:4-5a; Zech 6:13.
Isa 9:6, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Micah 5:4-5a, “And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth. 5This One will be our peace.”
Zech 6:13, “Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices, (King and Priest).”
Everyone who has believed in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, receives this peace, John 14:27; 16:33.
John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
This peace comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all the blessings which accompany and flow from our reconciliation to God through Christ, Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:3; 2 Thes 3:16. Therefore, we see once again in the “armor of God,” that we stand positionally in the peace of God, and are to live experientially in the peace of God.
2 Thes 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!”
That is why Paul wrote in Rom 5:1; 8:6; 15:13; Phil 4:7; Col 3:15, of the tranquil state of a soul that is assured of its salvation through Christ, fearing nothing from God, and consequently content with its earthly lot, whatever it is.
Rom 5:1-2, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”
Rom 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Col 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
Rom 8:6, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”
Phil 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehend-sion, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This is the direct result of our redemption by Christ, Eph 2:15, 17, and consists primarily of a state of conscious reconciliation with God, Rom 5:1, God’s peace is independent of outside conditions and is the fruit of an objective, real salvation with God, arising from reconciliation with God and a sense of His Divine favor in your life.
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
1 Cor 14:33, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”
When the Bible says “The God of peace,” it also means He is the author and giver of Divine blessings, Rom 15:33; 16:20; Phil 4:9; 1 Thes 5:23; Heb 13:20.
1 Thes 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Phil 4:9, “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Heb 13:20-21, “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
True peace is a blessing of which God alone is the author, Job 25:2; Psa 147:14; Isa 45:7. He, the author of peace, is the only One who can bestow it upon the righteous, Gen 15:15, upon Abraham; 2 Kings 22:20, upon Josiah, Psa 37:37, upon the perfect man; Psa 119:165, upon those who love God’s Word, Prov 3:1-2, upon those who follow Divine wisdom, Psa 4:8; Job 5:23; Isa 32:17, and therefore upon you.
Thus, it is a gift which God desires to impart to all His people, Jer 29:11, but which He is often unable to grant because of their sins, Isa 48:18; and Jer 4:10 cf. Jer 4:14.
Jer 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare (SHALOM) and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
Isa 48:18, “If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being (SHALOM) would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”
There can be no peace to the wicked, Isa 57:19; cf. Isa 57:20-21; 48:22. Those who hope for it, while continuing in their iniquity, are self-deceived, Jer 6:14; 8:11, 15; cf. Ezek 13:10, 16. Therefore, peace speaks of our relation to God, as God grants peace to His people.
As such, the attitude of peace within you is acquired through your new relationship with God. Satan has declared war, but you and I are ambassadors of peace, 2 Cor 5:18-21, as such, we take the Gospel of peace wherever we go. In turn, you affect your surroundings with peace, as it says in Mat 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Literally it means, “those who make peace.” Therefore, we as believers in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, are admonished to bring that peace to and live peaceably with all men, if it is possible, Rom 12:18; Heb 12:14; James 3:18.
Rom 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
Heb 12:14, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.”
James 3:18, “And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
We are to seek peace and to pursue it, 1 Peter 3:11, especially with our fellow believers, 2 Cor 13:11; Eph 4:3; 1 Thes 5:13; 2 Tim 2:22.
2 Cor 13:11, “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
“The quiet heart will be able to fling its whole strength into its work. And that is what troubled hearts never can do, for half their energy is taken up in steadying or quieting themselves, or is dissipated in going after a hundred other things. But when we are wholly engaged in quiet fellowship with Jesus Christ we have the whole of our energies at our command, and can fling ourselves wholly into our work for Him. Duty that is done reluctantly, with hesitation, is not done. We must fling ourselves into the work gladly and be always ‘ready for all Thy perfect will’. Yet. we never shall be, unless we live habitually in tranquil communion with God, and in the full faith that we are at peace with Him through the blood of His Son. A quiet heart makes us ready for duty.” (Expositions of Holy Scripture.)
The Gospel is a peace-bringing power, in the midst of this picture of warfare. It brings us peace first, and then it says to us, “Now, having peace in your own heart, go out and fight to keep it and give it to others.” For, if we are warring with the devil, we are at peace with God; and if we are at peace with the devil, we are warring with God.
Therefore, the two states of peace and war go together. The two conditions, though they seem to be opposite, will unite us. This is the paradox of the Christian life.
Jesus was the ultimate One with beautiful feet, who came with His gospel shoes, announcing peace to Jews and Gentiles. Those who know Christ have His peace and have this same mission. This is the difference with our mission and other religious missions. We are not taking life; we are offering life. We are willing even to lay down our lives, because Christ laid His down for us, and we know He will raise us up.
All of this means that you stand in peace before God, and should be enjoying peace in the mentality of your soul at all times. When you realize these two aspects of peace, you are equipped to share your peace, the gospel of peace, with others. Thus, the Christian soldier should see to it that his feet are equipped with the sandals which will give him a firm footing, namely, the good news that speaks peace to a sinful heart, for the Lord Jesus made peace by the blood of His Cross, making a way for a holy God to reunite Himself with a believing sinner who in Adam had been separated from Him and His life. This is to be to us the protection and equipment that the sandals were to the Roman soldier. With this, we are strengthened and protected to face the foe with courage and readiness, Phil 4:6-7; Luke 1:79.
Phil 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Luke 1:79, “To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death (Isa 9:2), to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Let us hold fast to that Gospel which brings peace and also gives peace.
Having noted the first three pieces of armor, we now turn to the fourth in vs. 16.
Eph 6:16, “In addition to all (the first three pieces of armor), taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.”
It begins with, “In addition to all,” which in the Greek is simply, EN PAS, ἐν πᾶς in the Dative case. The words “addition to” were added to emphasize the other parts of the armor of God that the “shield of faith” is now included with to make up the “full” armor of God.
“Taking up,” is the Verb ANALAMBANO, which we saw in vs. 13, regarding “taking up” the full armor of God. It is in the Aorist, Active, Participle, Nominative, Plural. Here, we are to “take up” this piece of equipment to join the other pieces that we are arming ourselves with.
The Culminative Aorist, once again emphasize completed past action where the results continue today. In vs. 13, it was in the Imperative mood for a command.
Here, the Participle continues that mandate with this piece of armament.
The Active voice in both verses, tells us that we are the ones to perform this action. It emphasizes our volitional responsibility, in the non-meritorious act of faith, to take up the weaponry that God has provided for us found in His Word, so that we can stand firm against our adversary, Satan.
The piece of equipment we are to take up here is “the shield,” HO THUREOS in the Direct Object Accusative case. THUREOS, θυρεός is a military term that means not just any shield, but a “long shield or large shield.” It is a hapaxlegomena that means, it is only used here in the NT.
It was designated the shield of the heavy infantry, large, oblong, and four-cornered, four feet long by two and a half feet wide. It was made of a metal or wooden frame, with an insert of metal, leather, or wicker-work, and held on the left arm by means of a handle. If leather, there were several layers of leather spread over the frame, perhaps as thick as a hands breadth. Often the leather was soaked in water so as to put out any flaming arrows hurled by the enemy.
Its cognates THURA and THURIS mean, “door, gate, or entrance,” referring to a stone for closing the entrance of a cave or a window, respectfully. Thus, Homer used THUREOS in his writings for that which is placed in front of the doorway, where in Odyssey, the character Polyphemus used a THURA as the stone placed in front of his cave, (“Odyssey,” ix., 240). Therefore, THUREOS is used to describe a large, door-shaped shield.
The earliest dating of this word appears to be from papyri of 3 B.C.
It also occurs 24 times in the Septuagint. Eleven times it used for the Hebrew word TSINNAH that denotes “a large rectangular protective shield,” which usually covered the entire body. Thirteen times it is used for the Hebrew MAGHEN that was typically a smaller shield used by an individual soldier who was active in battle. During the time of the NT, it commonly referred to the Roman legionary shield that was door-shaped with an iron frame.
The emphasis of the term is upon the shield most commonly used by an army in front-line combat. It was a basic tool of warfare, particularly significant for troops which were in the most intense fighting. It did not indicate the ornamental shield or armor which was reserved for those of higher rank.
Paul uses it only here in the NT to figuratively describe the “shield of faith” that the believer needs to take up in order to extinguish the flaming arrows / missiles of the enemy, Satan. So, it is used symbolically of shielding like a door for every believer.
The Roman shield was made from metal and leather. Yet, the believer’s shield is made up “of faith,” which is HO PISTIS in the Descriptive Genitive case. PISTIS πίστις can mean, “Faith, trust, trustworthiness, reliability; con-fidence, assurance, conviction, belief, or Bible doctrine / the Word of God.” In classical Greek writings, it denoted the trust one has in another, and indicated the trustworthiness, reliability, of someone, (i.e., faith in the object of your faith). Both the noun PISTIS and the verb PISTEUO have a wide range of usages in the NT.
The basis of faith is the Word of God and His action in history; thus, faith is directed at God Himself. God and Jesus Christ are the objects of faith, central to the life lived by faith, John 14:1. Jesus is rightly called the “author (leader, pacesetter) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith,” Heb 12:2.
It is used extensively throughout the NT, and we have seen it in Eph 1:15; 2:8; 3:12, 17; 4:5, 13. We will see it again in Eph 6:23. In a survey of the usage in Ephesians we see:
Eph 1:15, “For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints.”
Eph 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Eph 3:12, “In whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.”
Eph 3:17, “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love.”
Eph 4:5, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
Eph 4:13, “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”
Eph 6:16, “In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Eph 6:23, “Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Therefore, those who have faith in the Lord are commended:
- We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, (i.e., our entrance into the spiritual life by faith).
- Faith in Christ gives us boldness and confident access to the Father, (i.e., our prayer life of faith).
- Christ is at home in the heart of faith, (i.e., our walk in faith).
- We have One Faith, (i.e., positional unity in the Body of Christ).
- We are to attain a unity of faith with the brethren, (i.e., experiential unity in the body of Christ).
- We are protected by the shield of faith, (i.e., the guardianship that is faith).
- God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and Paul desire us to have faith, (i.e., their hope of faith for us).
In the Old and New Testaments, faith has a broad array of application. The LXX uses PISTIS to translate several Hebrew words including, EMUNAH, AMAN, BATACH, and CHASAH.
It ranges from, “fidelity and faithfulness,” to the “faithful attitude” toward another human being, and our relationship with God, Gen 15:6; Ex 14:31; 2 Chron 20:20. It also indicates a trust in God with respect to His Word and His promises, Joshua 3:5; Psa 106:12, and obedience to His commands, Psa 119:66. It also means, “to rely on, put confidence in,” as well as, “to seek refuge in.” God is the object in whom trust/confidence/refuge is placed or sought.
Psa 106:12, “Then they believed His words; They sang His praise.”
Psa 119:66, “Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments.”
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#18-049 & 18-050 & 18-051
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I Welcome You to the Eternal Family of God !!!