Like good angels, they were regarded as divided into ranks and orders, and were supposed to be under the control of one mighty leader; see the notes on Ephesians 1:21. Milton represents Satan as addressing the fallen angels in similar language: "Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers.". It is against such spirits, and all their malignant influences, that Christians are called to contend. But against principalities - There can be no doubt whatever that the apostle alludes here to evil spirits. It has been consolidated by ages. Hugh Binning, The Christian HomeScripture references: Ephesians 6:1-9; 5:25-33; Colossians 3:17-25; 1 Corinthians 7:12-17; Mark 10:2-12; 7:9-13; 5:19; 1 Timothy 5:4; Luke 15:6; Titus 2:1-15; Exodus 20:12,17; Deuteronomy 6:1-9. "Darkness" is an emblem of ignorance, misery, and sin; and no description could be more accurate than that of representing these malignant spirits as ruling over a dark world. THE HOME What is a Home?--It has been answered that, "It is the unit of society." 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Twenty First Sunday after Trinity the Christian Armor and Weapons. THE HOME What is a Home?--It has been answered that, "It is the unit of society." No empire has been so extended, or has continued so long, as that empire of darkness; and nothing on earth is so difficult to destroy. Literally, "The spiritual things of wickedness;" but the allusion is undoubtedly to evil spirits, and to their influences on earth. When he speaks of the Christian warfare here, he refers to the contest with the powers of this dark kingdom. 12 For our (A)struggle is not against [a](B)flesh and blood, but (C)against the rulers, against the powers, against the (D)world forces of this (E)darkness, against the (F)spiritual forces of wickedness in (G)the heavenly places. The apostle does not mean to say that Christians had no enemies among men that opposed them, for they were exposed often to fiery persecution; nor that they had nothing to contend with in the carnal and corrupt propensities of their nature, which was true of them then as it is now; but that their main controversy was with the invisible spirits of wickedness that sought to destroy them. Yet the apostle says that it was on that kingdom they were to make war. (5) with the wickedness of the pagan world - the sins of benighted nations - also a part of that kingdom. Ephesians 6:12, NASB: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the … Read verse in New American Standard Bible Against spiritual wickedness - Margin, "or wicked spirits." In whatever way their power is put forth - whether in the prevalence of vice and error; of superstition and magic arts; of infidelity, atheism, or antinomianism; of evil customs and laws; of pernicious fashions and opinions, or in the corruptions of our own hearts, we are to make war on all these forms of evil, and never to yield in the conflict. 14. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. This is the allusion here. 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. where the prophet, in a figure of extreme boldness, describes the Lord as arming Himself to deliver the oppressed faithful, and coming as a Redeemer to Zion. He regards each and every Christian as a soldier to wage war on it in whatever way he could, and wherever he could attack it. And there is no greater subtilty of Satan, nor no stronger self deceit, than this, to palliate and cover vices with the shadow of virtue, and to present corruptions under the similitude of graces. Yet in maintaining the warfare, the struggle will be with such portions of that kingdom as we come in contact with and will actually relate: (1) to our own sinful propensities - which are a part of the kingdom of darkness; (2) with the evil passions of others - their pride, ambition, and spirit of revenge - which are also a part of that kingdom; (3) with the evil customs, laws, opinions, employments, pleasures of the world - which are also a part of that dark kingdom; (4) with error, superstition, false doctrine - which are also a part of that kingdom; and. In that passage the Lord puts on righteousness as a breastplate--that is to say, God, in His manifestation of Himself for the deliverance of His people, comes forth as if arrayed, Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John. In high places - ἐν τοῖς ἐπουράνιοις - "in celestial or heavenly places." The same phrase occurs in Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:6, where it is translated, "in heavenly places." 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. Wherever we come in contact with evil - whether in our own hearts or elsewhere - there we are to make war. For we wrestle - Greek, "The wrestling to us;" or, "There is not to us a wrestling with flesh and blood." It is sustained by all the authority of law; by all the omnipotence of the perverted religious principle; by all the reverence for antiquity; by all the power of selfish, corrupt, and base passions. The contest therefore was not primarily with people, or with the internal corrupt propensities of the soul; it was with this vast and dark kingdom that had been set up over mankind. 14.--"But if ye have bitter envying," &c. The cunning of Satan, and the deceitfulness of our own hearts, are such that when a grosser temptation will not prevail with conscience in some measure enlightened, then they transform themselves into angels of light, and deal more subtilely with us. It has also been pointed out that this unit must be kept clean, pure and right, in all its relations, or society and the state will suffer grave consequences. Ephesians 6:12 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 12 For our struggle is not against [ a]flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Wherefore take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, 'Having put on the breastplate of righteousness.'--Eph.
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