Ephesians 5:1-2 God’s love relationship with us is the pattern for all of our other relationships. Our lives are offered as living sacrifices to God, given once and for His will.
Ephesians 5:3-14 Following Christ changes the way that we live. God’s love shapes us and distinguishes the Christian’s life from the world.
Ephesians 5:15-21 Living Cross-Centered determines our purpose, our actions, and our relationships.
Ephesians 5:22-33 Cross-Centered Marriages tell the story of God’s love for us by showing the love of Christ to each other. To rightly understand our roles in marriage we must rightly understand the relationship between Jesus and the church
Ephesians 6:1-4 Cross Centered Parenting results in the righteousness of Christ in both the children and the parents as the build and grow the relationship with eternity in mind.
Ephesians 6:5-9 Cross Centered Relationships are built on and modeled after our relationship with God. God has demonstrated to us how we are to love those who are difficult, because as sinners we bring the difficulty to our relationship with Him. In our difficult relationships we need to be cross-centered in all ways, both cross centered in our goal for ourselves, and for the other person.
Text: Ephesians 6:10-24
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
Literally means “to be strengthened in the Lord”
Our strength is not enough to accomplish the Christ Centered Life that we are called too. God strengthens us through His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
The devil has schemes… or “wiles”.
These are subtle, dangerous, and divisive plans of the enemy. This is not war with missiles and grenades, but war that is waged in ploys that divide from within.
Put on the armor of God, not of your own strength.
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 firm.
Not only is the devil our enemy, but the condition of our world and culture is “evil”. We live in an day this is in opposition to God and His ways.
To stand firm in the moment of evil, in the culture that is opposed to God, we must do all that we can do to be protected and prepared.
So how then do we put on the armor of God? What does this mean?
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
The Gospel message is the foundation for our protection. We must believe the truth about Christ. We must know that our righteousness come from Christ and not our works. And we must ground ourselves in the position of the Gospel. (Like being in a stance of readiness…)
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
Regardless of what we are facing, it is our faith that extinguishes the attacks of the evil one. As he lies and manipulates us we must trust God and not waiver in our faith. He conned Adam and Eve, through Christ we must trust God and not the lies of our enemy.
The helmet of salvation is like the helmet of victory! We have already won in Christ! The sword of the Spirit is the very words of God… and like Christ in the desert as he was tempted we too must speak the truth of God’s word to ourselves and the devil.
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Not only do we speak to ourselves and the devil, but we pray and ask God for help. Believing the Gospel and trusting in Christ by faith produces prayer and perseverance. Perseverance is the continued trust in the face of opposition.
21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.
23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.
The devil intends to corrupt our love for God and each other. He intends to scheme and destroy the relationships of believers. That is why our relationships with each other must be Cross Centered. We must be centered on Christ in our church, our marriages, our families, and even in our most difficult relationships.
We are to be fully trusting in Christ, and seeking to love God and love others in all circumstances… basing our lives on every word that comes from the Lord.
Making it Personal
Are you cross-centered?
Are you putting on the full armor of God?
To follow through in our pursuit of following Christ we must believe the truth, trust fully by faith in God, know and use the word of God, and be in prayer for our selves and each other.
Cross Centered Relationships are consistent with God and His relationship with us. Cross-Centered Relationships have the goal of God’s glory and our joy in salvation at their heart. Protect yourself with the Gospel (bad news and good news). Protect your family and your friends with the same truth.