A Study Of The Book Of Ephesians:
A verse by verse examination of God's eternal purpose in and through Jesus Christ.
by: Allan Turner
Children And Parents—6:1-4
1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. The home does not stop with the husband and wife relationship, but is expanded to include children. The first commandment given to Adam and Eve after God made them in His image was “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). In Genesis 4:1, the Bible says, “Adam knew his Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain.” Consequently, rules for the home must include both parents and children. As he did in the husband and wife relationship, Paul first addresses the one who is commanded to be in subjection. In this case, it is the child. This obedience is to be done “in the Lord,” and when children respond in the Lord, all is well. Elsewhere, Paul wrote, “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord” (Colossians 3:20), that is, obeying parents in all things as the Lord has indicated children should (i.e., “in the Lord”) is pleasing to Him. It is most unlikely that Paul meant that children were to judge whether or not the things their parents commanded were in harmony with the Lord's will. Most children would not be capable of deciding such things. Simply stated: The duty of the child is to obey. Of course, just as in the case of the wife, the child could refuse to do anything commanded that was contrary to God's will. There is no higher authority than Christ, and all rightful authority ultimately derives from Him. No one has the moral authority to command someone to circumvent God's laws.
2. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:. In this verse, Paul is appealing to the Fifth Commandment (Exodus 20:12), but it is actually the first commandment with a specific promise attached to it. And what is the specific promise? Look at the next verse.
3. “That it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” This promise was twofold: (1) That it may be well with you. Generally speaking, any child that obeys his parents will be spared many troubles and mistakes. He will also be spared much chastisement as well. The law of Moses actually permitted the stoning of a rebellious child (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). This should impress us with the fact that God considers incorrigibility a terrible thing. (2) That you may live long on the earth. This originally referred to the privilege of dwelling in the land of Canaan (cf. Deuteronomy 5:33; 6:2; 11:8,9; 28:36). Of course, this promise has a fulfillment in the present times. The child who obeys his parents will probably have better health, safer habits, wiser ways, and certainly the blessing of God to lengthen and enrich his life. Just think of all the children who have dissipated their lives because they have refused to obey their parents.
4. And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Paul gave the headship to the husband, and he now gives the responsibility of discipline to the father. This, no doubt, includes the mother, but all under the headship of the father. Parents who are unreasonably strict with their children often drive them from home into early, unwise marriages, juvenile gangs, or into the ranks of the hardcore incorrigibles. No parent should tease or repress children until they are in a rage. Foolishness is indeed bound up in the heart of a child (Proverbs 22:15). Consequently, the rod of correction is needed (Proverbs 13:24; 29:15,17), and a child will not long resent just punishment. Even godly parents are not perfect and will occasionally make mistakes with their children. Children who are loved will not hold this against their parents. But, unjust and continuous abuse (corporeal or verbal) inevitably leads to exasperation and discouragement and will be avoided by godly parents. Training means that parents are under divine mandate to train, educate, and chasten their children. Children are not just ours to enjoy and caress, but to train for this life and the life to come. Admonition refers to exhortation, urging, and warning. We need to teach our children not only the truth, but to urge them to live by it. Parents will do well to notice the attitude of entreaty and exhortation found in Proverbs 5:1ff. and 6:1ff.
Servants And Masters—6:5-9
5. Servants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ;. The servants referred to in these verses were bond-servants or slaves (cf. Colossians 3:22-25). Even though Paul may have disliked the concept of masters and slaves, such was a fact of life in the world in which he lived. Therefore, he felt obligated to give spiritual instruction to those in such positions. This is analogous to the way Moses is represented by Jesus as having given instruction about what a man must do when he divorces his wife (i.e., “because of the hardness of your hearts”) without thereby indicating, as those who asked the question were implying, that Moses approved of or encouraged divorce (cf. Matthew 19:7,8). Furthermore, Paul elsewhere indicates that a slave could properly become free (I Corinthians 7:21), therefore, he does not treat slavery as a divinely ordained institution, as he does that of husband and wife and parent and child. Since many households had parents, children, and slaves, he continues his teaching on having a relationship that will please God. The civil law of that time gave masters authority over their slaves, and slaves were legally bound to obey. When one became a Christian, there may have been the feeling that one was no longer under obligation to obey his master. Paul teaches that the gospel of Christ does not automatically cancel slavery, but it does completely change the estimation of the slaves in the master's eyes. To the Romans, slaves were generally looked upon only as things. To the Christian master, they became people, and even brothers in the Lord, if the slaves were Christians. Also, Christianity changed the slave's estimation of his master. The service his master required became an opportunity to serve Christ, and to demonstrate the power of Christ in his heart. Lest he should be displeasing to his master the Christian served with the usual “fear and trembling,” but he served even more earnestly lest he should be displeasing to his Lord, who was expecting him to be an obedient slave. (Although slavery has now been outlawed, the obligations of slave and master cannot longer be specifically obeyed. Nevertheless, in all of our earthly relationships, Christ must be the standard of authority. Consequently, one ought to recognize that the general principles articulated in the days of slavery are applicable to the employer/employee relationship.)
6. Not with eyeservice, as men pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,. Paul does not stop with asking slaves to obey, but specifies for them to obey “as servants of Christ” and “fearing God” (Colossians 3:22). With Christ as the standard, they will obey even if the master is not kind and good (cf. I Peter 2:18,19). With Christ as their model, Christian slaves will obey when the master is watching, and when he is not watching. This service will not be affected in any way—it will be absolutely genuine!
7. With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,. See the comments that are made on the next verse.
8. Knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. Those who serve with eyeservice, as men-pleasers only, will work when the master is watching, but when they can get by with it they will engage in fraud, laziness, deceit, etc. This is not true of the Christian servant. They “Have regard for good things in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17), and they follow the rule: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance” (Colossians 3:23,24). The Bible says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10). This fact is true whether one is a slave or free!
9. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Masters are under obligation to exercise the same benevolent, conscientious acts toward his slaves that Christ requires of the slave toward the master. He must give up threatening his slaves, knowing that the Lord of both slave and master is in heaven on His throne, and in the judgment that Christ shall conduct upon His servants, He will respect no man's earthly rank or title, but will reward or punish everyone according to his deeds. Those who are obedient and faithful to the Lord will be saved, but those who rebel in sin will be lost (Matthew 25:32-34). (The phrase “giving up threatening” carries the idea of moderating threats, relaxing threats, or omitting threats. Threats often produce more terror and hurt more deeply than stripes and lashings.)
The Panoply Of God—6:10-20
10. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. The word “finally” lets the reader know that Paul is getting ready to close this letter, and now desires to leave them something very special. In being “strong in the Lord,” Christians must not trust their own strength. Instead, they must rely upon “the power of His might.” God's power is the only true resistance against the devil. This power is in the “panoply” or “whole armor” of God. Without it, they have no chance of winning against satan.
11. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. In describing the Christian's spiritual panoply, the apostle Paul uses the Roman soldier as an analogy. Those of his day would immediately be able to understand the effect of such an analogy because they were accustomed to seeing the Roman soldiers in their midst. For us to get a better appreciation of what Paul is saying, it will be necessary to explore the actual panoply of the Roman foot soldier. We will do this starting in verse 14. In this verse, Paul makes it clear from the very beginning that protection is not afforded one who simply puts on one piece of the panoply—he must put it all on. If just one part is missing, this is the place where the enemy will strike. Paul also makes it clear that the foe we fight against is not an unskilled enemy—he is deceitful and will use every trick in the book. The devil is a murderer, without truth, a liar, and the father of lies (John 8:44), full of deceit, an enemy of righteousness, and a perverter of the right way (Acts 13:10), who can transform himself into an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14), and goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). Again, without the whole armor of God, one will not be able to stand against him, which brings up a very important point: Christians are called upon, not to run or retreat from the devil, but rather to stand and fight.
12. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. This passage makes it clear that behind the physical confrontations we experience with our fellow human beings, there are unseen spiritual hosts of evil at work. There is an ongoing confrontation between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. The powers which are opposed to us, and against us, and making war on us are the very highest order of evil angels, those with great power, those who rule over the idolatrous and sinful men in this world of darkness. They are a wicked spiritual host that inhabits the heavenlies, that is, the regions of the air, from which they continually assault us and seek to get us to commit sin. This battle is unseen but real. If we do not guard our hearts, satan has the ability to fill them with evil thoughts (Acts 5:3). If we do not “gird up the loins of our minds,” then satan can blind our eyes and lead us astray (II Corinthians 4:4; 11:3). The Bible warns us that through some “snare,” satan can take us captive to do “his will” (II Timothy 2:26). This snare is evidently the devil's allurement (temptation) to do evil. Of course, this does not teach us that satan can force us to do his bidding against our own free wills, only that if we are not careful he can fool us or snare us through the “deceitfulness of sin” and the “deceivableness of unrighteousness” (Hebrews 3:13; II Thessalonians 2:10). Finally, the Bible clearly informs us that Christians, even in the 20th century, must not be ignorant of satan's “devices” (II Corinthians 2:11). Although we are told to put on the armor, as if to fight on a battlefield, we are told that our struggle is also a “wrestling.” No armor is worn by wrestlers. Consequently, there is a mixing of metaphors in these verses, but correctly so. We are engaged in a battle, and all that is involved in this metaphor is important to understanding our spiritual battle with the forces of evil. We are also involved in a close, personal struggle with the forces of evil that is best described as wrestling. The close, hand to hand combat of the ancient battlefield could very well be described as wrestling, and is, therefore, not out of place in this verse.
13. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. This is the second time Paul tells the Ephesians to “take up” or “put on” the whole armor of God. However, the first time they were not fully aware of its importance. After giving a powerful description of the enemy, he says, “take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day.” Soldiers do not do battle every day, but the day of battle is the day of testing. A soldier who, on the day of battle, had not “taken up” his full armor, would be unprepared to stand against and prevail over the enemy. Consequently, the “evil day” under discussion in this verse is the day of severe trial or testing, the critical moments in our lives when the devil and his sinister horde assault us fiercely. Seeing as one never knows when these crises will occur, one needs to be ready always. When the Christian makes all the preparations God has specified, then he will be able to “stand” and prevail against him, for the Bible tells us that if we resist satan, he will flee from us (James 4:7).
14. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth,. Truth here is not objective but subjective and is not, therefore, the Word of God, but truthfulness. The Christian is to be sincere and non-hypocritical. He puts away lying (Ephesians 4:25) and learns to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) as he demonstrates the fruit of the Spirit in his life (Ephesians 5:9). Paul is allegorizing the thick belt the Roman soldier placed around his waist. To this belt the soldier attached his dagger and sword. Furthermore, the breastplate was held in place by being attached to this belt. In addition, leather straps reaching to the knees hung from this belt and protected the soldier from sword strokes to that part of his body. What Paul was saying was that honesty and truthfulness are foundational in our fight against satan and his evil horde. The apostle Peter taught this same principle when he wrote that the very first thing a person needed to add to his faith was virtue or moral integrity (II Peter 1:5). According to Peter, moral integrity must precede a further knowledge of God's Word because without it one will never apply the truth of God's Word to his life. One cannot defeat satan and his horde without first being honest. Having put on the breastplate of righteousness,. Righteousness in an ethical sense is here meant (Ephesians 4:24; 5:9). In order to defeat the enemy, the Christian must lead a devout and holy life as he presents the members of his body as “instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13; 14:17). The breastplate was a very important part of the Roman soldier's battle gear. It protected his vital organs, particularly his heart, from serious injury. If we think in terms of the heart as representing the mind, as the Bible sometimes does, then we understand how the breastplate of righteousness protects the Christian soldier from the arrows of satan. Furthermore, awards the Roman soldier won were attached to the breastplate in medallion form for all to see. Likewise, when one looks at the Christian today, he ought to see the many medallions that reflect the righteous acts of the faithful Christian soldier. Clearly, then, unless the Christian puts on “the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left” (II Corinthians 6:7), and walks worthy of the Christian army into which he has been called (Ephesians 4:1), he can have no real defense against satan.
15. And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;. This is perhaps a difficult metaphor to understand. Just what Paul had in mind cannot be understood without some knowledge of the Roman soldier's footwear. The Roman soldier wore a thick-soled sandal with hobnails embedded on the underside for traction. The sandal was laced to the foot and lower leg with leather straps. During the winter months these straps were tied around leather leggings for warmth. Shod like this, the Roman soldier was able to quickly traverse various kinds of terrain. The Roman legions were notorious for their ability to quick-march fifty miles in one day. Surprising their enemy by being where it was thought they could not be, the legions were prepared for battle on any kind of terrain, whether it happened to be the rough and rocky highlands or the hot and dry deserts. When the command came to stand and hold, the legionnaire was able to do so partly because of the traction he could get with his hobnailed sandals. In other words, the Roman sandal was both an offensive and defensive weapon. Likewise, the Christian soldier, having his feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, is always ready to give an answer to every man that asks a reason for the hope that is in him (I Peter 3:15). Just as the Roman soldiers were ready for any set of circumstances that came their way, Christian soldiers, likewise, are “anxious for nothing” and know that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard [their] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
16. Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Paul is alluding to the large shield used by the Roman foot soldier of his day. This shield was not the small round one used by the cavalry; it was, instead, four feet long, two feet wide and resembled a door. It was constructed of wood and wicker over which animal skins were stretched and the edges were studded with iron to protect the leather. The shield, in addition to providing the normal protection one would expect from a shield, was designed specifically to stop and extinguish the flaming projectiles of the enemy. The leather was stretched over the wicker so as to provide a space between it and the wood underneath. When the fiery arrows and darts passed through the leather and stuck to the wood underneath, they were extinguished. It was this very effect to which Paul was referring. In the devil's quiver there are all types of fiery missiles. The apostle mentions tribulation, anguish, persecution, famine, etc. All of these can start the fires of doubt, lust, greed, vanity, envy, etc. But when the Christian soldier takes up his shield (his belief or conviction or trust) he is able to quench all the fiery darts of satan and his army. The Christian knows that God is able to deliver him from every temptation (II Peter 2:9) and will always be faithful in that He will not allow him to be tempted beyond what he is able to endure and with every temptation will also make a way of escape (I Corinthians 10:13).
As we contemplate the strength and power God has designed into this shield, we are reminded of a battle technique used so effectively by the Roman soldiers. Upon approaching the enemy's ramparts, the Romans would be pelted with every kind of missile the enemy had at his disposal. In such circumstances, the soldiers were commanded to form the “movement of the tortoise.” This was accomplished by closing ranks and locking shields in front, on the sides and over the top. The shields had hooks at the top, bottom and sides that allowed them to be locked together. When in the formation of the turtle the soldiers were practically invulnerable. Consequently, when spiritual soldiers of the cross lock their shields of faith together in spiritual combat, they are, as the apostle Paul wrote, “more than conquerors through Him who loved [them]” (Romans 8:37). He went on to say, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
The Christian soldier who steps out on the battlefield without his shield is committing spiritual suicide. This very foolish and hurtful process is described in I Timothy 6:9-10, which reads: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Yes, it is unfortunate that there are Christian soldiers who are pierced through with satan's fiery darts. Wounded and dying they cry out that the Lord has not been faithful to them. On the contrary, it is they who have not been faithful to Him. It is they who have failed to take up the shield of faith. The fault is with them, not God.
17. And take the helmet of salvation,. The Roman soldier's helmet in Paul's time was very different than the skullcap type that is usually depicted by modern artists. The Roman soldier of the First Century and thereafter wore a helmet that flared out on the sides and back to protect the neck area as well as the head. If the soldier got careless or became weary and let his guard down, this helmet protected him from a sword stroke that would have otherwise been fatal. Likewise, the Christian who, either through carelessness or weariness, lets his guard down is still protected from the death blows of the enemy. As Christian soldiers we sometimes make serious mistakes (in other words, in a weakened state of faith, we sin), but isn't it wonderful to know that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9)? Although our shield of faith is the greatest defensive weapon we have in our entire panoply, in that it is able to quench all the fiery darts of the enemy, it is heartening to know that even when we fail to use it as God has designed it, we are still protected. The blow of the enemy still hurts and we may even be knocked to our knees, but the enemy's death stroke does not kill. Praise God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
In many instances the Roman soldiers placed some kind of plumage on the tops of their helmets, and when observed from a distance by the enemy they looked to be seven feet tall. Consequently, many adversaries were known to have fled just at the approach of the Roman legions. Frankly, with the panoply of God firmly in place, it would not surprise us one bit if our enemy was sometimes tempted to flee at our approach. In I Thessalonians 5:8, Paul refers to this helmet as the “hope of salvation.” Realizing that the helmet of salvation protects us from our own weaknesses and carelessness, we confidently enter the affray knowing that we are going to be victorious with God's help (cf. Romans 8:14-17). And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. The Spanish gladius, a two-edged sword which was used by the Romans during Paul's lifetime, was two feet long and two and one half inches wide, and was designed primarily as a thrusting weapon. With it, the Roman legions were successful in conquering the world. A great deal of skill was needed to master the gladius sword. It has been reported that the Roman authorities thought it needful for their soldiers to train for up to five years before they ever saw combat. Often the sword the soldier practiced with was twice as heavy as the one he would actually use in combat. Developing the strength to wield the heavier practice sword enabled the soldier to use the gladius sword very effectively. He also had to be broken from the natural human tendency to slash with the sword. As we have already mentioned, the gladius sword was designed for thrusting and it was this use of the sword that made it so deadly effective. Most of the armies the Romans fought against used curved swords designed primarily for slashing. Consequently, when the enemy soldier lifted his arm to slash with his sword, he left himself vulnerable under his arm where there was no protection from his breastplate. As the enemy soldier swung with all his might, the Roman soldier would block his swing with his shield as he stepped to the left where he would thrust forward with his short sword and ram it into the armpit of his opponent. Without practice the Roman soldier was destined to fail; but with it he conquered every enemy.
Likewise, “the word of God,” which is actually “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12), requires practice if it is going to be used effectively. Therefore, in his instructions to Timothy, Paul wrote: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). The skillful use of God's Word “belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). When used skillfully, the sword of the Spirit pierces the heart (cf. Acts 2:37; 7:54). In order to defeat the enemy, the Christian soldier must learn to use the sword of the Spirit expertly.
18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints—. Although some think Paul is still using the military metaphor of the soldier's appeal to his General, we are of the opinion that Paul is now referring to something not available to the carnal soldier. The Christian soldier, unlike the Roman soldier, has at his disposal a means whereby he can continuously communicate (through Christ, of course) with the General (viz. God, the Father). Understanding the seriousness of his warfare, the Christian soldier is always (not just on special occasions) involved in prayer and supplication in harmony with the truths taught in God's Word (i.e., “in the Spirit”). As he fights the good fight of faith, the Christian soldier petitions for the fulfillment of definite needs with the understanding that the One to whom he appeals is not just interested and concerned, but loving too.
Praying for the fulfillment of one's own needs, as well as the needs of “all saints,” requires that one must be acquainted with the specific situations that are taking place in the world today. Part of our problem today is that many Christians are uninformed as to what is happening and consequently they are not praying frequently and knowledgeably. Unalert or indifferent to what is happening in the world, their country, their town, their church, and their home, they have a very restricted prayer life. We must remember that if there is any fault it is not with God. We must repent and pray to God for forgiveness and that He keep us from temptation.
19. And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,. Paul's request is not selfish! So many prayers are: “Lord, give me!” It is, of course, not wrong to ask for personal things, but our prayers must certainly not stop there. Paul felt the weight of responsibility of preaching the gospel (I Corinthians 9:16). However, it was not just enough to preach the gospel, he wanted to speak it “boldly.” Why? Because that which had been a mystery needed to be revealed. The world needed to know that Jesus died, was buried, and arose from the dead so that both Jews and Gentiles might be saved and be ONE in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). The gospel to the Gentiles was not a popular subject, and it took courage to go against the opposition of the Jews. Thus, Paul felt the need of prayers so that he could open his mouth and speak boldly. Today, society is more interested in entertainment, sports, and materialism than the gospel, but this must not keep Christians from spreading the “power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16), for the gospel represents lost humanity's only hope in eternity.
20. For which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Paul, as we have already learned, is writing this letter from prison. He is in prison not for murder, theft, or insurrection, but because he dared preach the gospel of Christ. He asks that the Ephesians pray for him that he might “speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
A Gracious Greeting—6:21-24
21. But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you;. This verse reminds us once again of Paul's great concern for others. He believed that these brethren would be deeply concerned about him being in prison, therefore, he sent word by Tychicus. What a great recommendation Paul gave this man! He is described as a beloved brother who was faithful in the Lord. Every faithful preacher of the gospel should desire this kind of description. Tychicus is mentioned in other places and was of great value to Paul and his work as a “faithful minister,” “fellow servant,” and messenger (Acts 20:4; Colossians 4:7; II Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12).
22. Whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts. Surely, he was able to bring great comfort to the Ephesians, since he was faithful to Paul and the Lord.
23. Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (24) Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. Paul closes this wonderful letter with four of his favorite words: peace, love, faith, and grace.
Note: Paul did not fail in his mission, and neither must we. Like Paul, ultimately, victory is ours. With the full armor of God, we know that we are “thoroughly equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:17) and that we are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). As such, we are confident that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38--39). In other words, we know we have no excuse for failing to win the battles of life. By faith, we know we can do everything the Lord has determined that we should do (cf. Philippians 4:13). By faith, we know that “those who are with us are more than those who are with [our enemy]” (II Kings 6:16).