Our Battle Against Spiritual Darkness: Ephesians 6:12
Scripture: Ephesians 6:12
This section of Ephesians describes the unseen powers in the realm of the spirits which are arrayed against believers. We see that the term “wrestle” comes from matches that were common in Rome and Asia Minor where the key goal was to get one’s opponent off his feet and down. This metaphor helps us understand why in Ephesians 6, Paul uses “stand” four times to describe the goal of the Christian in this battle.
This battle is against spiritual enemies and not against human being or civil governments. Paul uses terms that describe rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, and spiritual forces. We do not directly interact with such beings nor seek to know their names. We cite various sources from that area of the world and time in history when Paul wrote. Both the pagans and Hellenized Jews used magical incantations, formulae, and objects to engage the beings of the spirit world in order to effect a positive outcome. Paul affirms the existence of these beings but does not subscribe to the practices that were common. Rather than addressing these beings hoping to influence them, Paul calls Christians to stand firm in Christ and the faith of the gospel.
To show what spiritual warfare is like, we address Luke 22:31-34 where Satan demanded permission to sift Peter. Peter did not directly engage Satan but was told that Jesus prayed for him that his faith would not fail. We show the difference between what happened to Judas earlier in the chapter and then Peter. Jesus predicted Peter’s conversion and future ministry. We also point out that conversion is going from darkness to light. Jesus came as light into the world and called us to come to Him.