“Super Bold! (Ambassadors)” | Ephesians 6:18-20 Bible Study

First streamed on 2.8.23. First posted on 2.9.23. 

Much of this material was shared in a previous Ephesians 6:17-20 Bible study.

Introduction

Many want to play in the Super Bowl.

   How many will pray to be Super Bold?

Many of us are ready to see the Super Bowl.

   How many of us are ready to be Super Bold?

Christ is the Victor;

   Let’s stand firm in victory.

Let’s be bold for the Lord;

   Let’s be bold with His sword! (Eph 6:17)

James Brown said, “I’ve got soul… and I’m Super Bad”.

Well Jesus saved our soul; let’s be Super Bold!

Now, the last few weeks (“Ambassadors For Christ: Reconciled Reconcilers (Part I)” (2 Cor 5:11-13),  Part II (2 Cor 5:14-17), and Part III (2 Cor 5:18-21)) we’ve been talking about being ambassadors for Christ.

As Paul tells the church in Corinth in 2 Corinthians 5:11-21, we are to be reconciled reconcilers.

We have been reconciled to God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. And, thus, we ought to strive to implore others to also be reconciled to God.

Now, once again, as ambassadors for Christ, though we are authorized messengers for the Master, we don’t have the authority to change the Master’s message.

Our authority comes only from the Author. And, our duty is to relay His message.

And, as we’ve seen, how people respond to Christ’s messengers reflects how they respond to Christ message.

So, if people accept the Master’s messengers who speak the Master’s message, they accept the Master (Mt 10:40; Jn 13:20).

And, if people reject the Master’s messengers who speak the Master’s message, they reject the Master (cf. Mt 10:14-15).

And, as we’ve said, though we are to be diplomats for the Deliverer, in this wicked world, we do not have diplomatic immunity.

There needs to be unity in the Christian community because we’ll be attacked with impunity.

As we seek to spread the message, they will try to shoot the messenger.

As the hymn says, how many of us are ready to be “On The Battlefield” for our Lord?

Brothers and sisters, there’s a war going on. And our struggle is not merely against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12).

And as we’ve said before, if we try to engage in spiritual warfare with secular weapons, it’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight.

We must take up spiritual arms against spiritual adversaries. We must put on godly characteristics; we must be girded in the armor of God.

We are to be God’s armed, armored, ambassadors – who, prayerfully, will be fearless, faithful, and “Super Bold!”

Context

Last time we talked about the Great Exchange that made a way for reconciliation back to God the Father.

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 says:

18 All this is from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself – not counting their transgressions against them – and He entrusted to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors on Christ’s behalf – as God makes His appeal through us. We beg you, on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. 21 The One who knew no sin, for us, was made sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:18-21, AT)

As we’ve said, sin offends God and alienates us from Him; God takes sin personally!

Yet, God personally took the initiative to reconcile us back to Him, sending Christ as our substitute on the cross

God made Him who had no sin, to be a sin offering for us – so that in Him we might be justified and exemplify God’s righteous character.

And, more than that, we creatures can be reconciled back into right relationship with the Creator.

Thanks be to God for the Great Exchange: Christ bore our sin so we might receive His righteousness. And our holy and just God can justly not count our sins against us.

Christ satisfied all the sin debt on our accounts. He paid all the cost when He was slayed on the cross.

And Paul writes something similar to the Colossian church in Colossians 2:13-14, which says:

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. (Col 2:13-14, NIV)

Then, in Colossians 2:15, he says:

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Col 2:15, NIV)

Now thanks be to God, as we’ve studied before, on the cross, Christ already won the victory. The decisive battle against the rebellious spiritual beings has already been won.

Satan and his demons are defeated. At Calvary, Christ triumphed over all rebellious spiritual powers.

And as you may recall, in Ephesians 1, starting at verse 17, Paul writes:

17 [I pray that] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you Spiritual wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened in order that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance in His holy ones, (Eph 1:17-18, AT)

and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power for us who are [continually] faithful. [This power is] the same as that of the working of His mighty strength that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated [Him] at His right [hand] in the heavenly realms (Eph 1:19-20, AT)

–far above every ruler and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. 22 And [God] put everything under His feet, and [God] appointed Him head over everything for the church, 23 which is His body – the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way. (Eph 1:21-23, AT)

For more details on this passage, please see our previous lesson entitled “SuperHeRose” (Eph 1:17-23).

Thanks be to Christ, it’s so super He rose.

With the power of God, let’s be superheroes.

Here, Paul prays that the Ephesian church would have spiritual illumination concerning the knowledge of God, so that they will know the certain hope of His calling, the glorious riches of the eternal spiritual inheritance and blessings that God gives His holy people, and His immeasurably great power for those who are continually faithful.

And that power – that superpower of the Spirit – it’s the same power that raised Christ from the dead and exalted Him in the heavens at the right hand of God – above any other supernatural power at any place at any time.

And in Ephesians 2, we read that those of us who are in Christ – who are faithfully committed to Jesus, who are fruitfully connected to the True Vine – in a way, we have been raised with Christ already.

Ephesians 2:6 says:

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:6, NIV)

Therefore, as we’ve said, the decisive battle has already been won. Christ conquered by the cross. Victory is ours.

Christ is the Victor; we just need to stand firm in victory.

So Paul closes the letter to the Ephesians with a call to arms – an inspirational address from a general to the troops. And four times, Paul tells them to stand – to stand firm against the demonic foes and their schemes. This is a defensive stand.

As we see in Ephesians 6:10-13, Paul says:

10 Finally, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 Because, for us, the battle is not against blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this dark [age], against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Because of this, take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to stand in resistance on the day when evil comes and, after having prepared everything, to stand. (Eph 6:10-13, AT)

Christ is the Victor; we just need to stand firm in victory.

Then, in Ephesians 6:14-16, Paul says:

14 Stand, therefore, having girded your waist in truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having feet strapped with [the] readiness of the Gospel of peace. 16 In [addition to] all this, having taken up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all of the flaming arrows of the Evil One, (Eph 6:14-16, AT)

You see, we need to gird our loins with truthful, Christ-like integrity, and put on the breastplate of morally righteous living.

We need to have our feet strapped with the stable readiness that comes from understanding the Gospel that brings vertical peace with God through Christ, and horizontal peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

We can have peaceful unity not merely as people of the same country, but people of the same Christ. Not because of political affiliation, but because of spiritual reconciliation. Not because of the shade of our skin, but because we’ve been saved from our sin.

Let’s be united as one in Christ, for we have already won in Christ.

And we’ve said we need to take up the shield of faith – the shield of faith in and faithfulness to God – that we may extinguish the tempting, panic-inducing, flaming arrows of the Evil One.

Let’s not let anything divide us as Christians. Let’s hold the line as God’s soldiers, standing shoulder-to-shoulder as one.

Then, Paul continues in Ephesians 6:17, which says:

also receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph 6:17, AT)

You see, we must stand confidently with the helmet of the assurance of our salvation – the assurance of our deliverance from evil – along with the sword of the Spirit, the word of God.

When faced with the temptation of Satan and the twisting of Scripture, like Jesus when He was tempted in the wilderness (Mt 4:1-11; Lk 4:1-13) (see our previous study on Luke 4:1-13, “Divine Paternity Tests”), we need to strike back with the truth of God’s word.1

And, as you may recall from our previous lessons on the full armor of God, all of this armor imagery can be traced back to the armor of the LORD and the Messiah in the Old Testament (Is 11:4-5; 49:2; 52:7; 59:17; Ps 35:1-3; 140:7).

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2-8-23 Bible Study Slides Ephesians 6-18-20

Conclusion

Many want to play in the Super Bowl.

   How many will pray to be Super Bold?

Many of us are ready to see the Super Bowl.

   How many of us are ready to be Super Bold?

We must pray for and watch out for each other – continually – on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers, for all perseverance, and for all God’s people (Eph 6:18).

We need to pray for boldness, so that we may fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel (Eph 6:19):  that all who are faithful to Jesus — both Jew and Gentile — are united in Christ as one (Eph 3:2-6, 2:14f., etc.).

The Gospel brings vertical peace with God through Christ, and horizontal peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Let’s be one in Christ, for we have already won in Christ!

And though we are to be ambassadors for Christ (Eph 6:20), though we are to be diplomats for the Deliverer, in this wicked world, we do not have diplomatic immunity. There needs to be unity in the Christian community because we’ll be attacked with impunity.

And we never know exactly when we will be targeted. Thus, we must always watch, fight, and pray — with the full armor of God (Eph 6:10-17).

Brothers and sisters, let’s strive to be the authorized messengers for the One with all authority – whether we are defending or proclaiming the Gospel.

Let’s be armed, armored, ambassadors for Christ.

He saved our soul; let’s be Super Bold!

Bibliography

  • Arnold, Clinton E. Ephesians. Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010.
  • Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. [BDAG]
  • Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider. Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990–. [EDNT]
  • Bock, Darrell L. Ephesians: An Introduction and Commentary. Edited by Eckhard J. Schnabel. Vol. 10. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. London: Inter-Varsity Press, 2019.
  • Bratcher, Robert G., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. UBS Handbook Series. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. [UBS]
  • Bruce, F. F. The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1984.
  • Erickson, Richard J. “Ephesians”. In Burge, Gary M., and Andrew E. Hill, eds. The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2012.
  • Gurtner, Daniel M. “Ephesians.” In The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Acts–Philemon, edited by Craig A. Evans and Craig A. Bubeck, First Edition., 547–67. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2004.
  • Hoehner, Harold W., Philip W. Comfort, and Peter H. Davids. Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, Philemon. Vol. 16. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2008.
  • Foulkes, Francis. Ephesians: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 10. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1989.
  • Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Second Edition. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014.
  • Liefeld, Walter L. Ephesians. Vol. 10. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997.
  • Lincoln, Andrew T. Ephesians. Vol. 42. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1990.
  • Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. New York: United Bible Societies, 1996. [LN]
  • Patzia, Arthur G. Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon. Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011.
  • Thielman, Frank. Ephesians. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010.
  • Silva, Moisés, ed. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014. [NIDNTTE]
  • Snodgrass, Klyne. Ephesians. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996.
  • Stott, John R. W. God’s New Society: The Message of Ephesians. The Bible Speaks Today. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979.
  • Turner, Max. “Ephesians.” In New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, edited by D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, and G. J. Wenham, 4th ed., 1222–44. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994.
  • Witherington, Ben, III. The Letters to Philemon, the Colossians, and the Ephesians : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Captivity Epistles. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007.

Sources

  1. Turner, 1244; cf. Foulkes, 182
About @DannyScottonJr 456 Articles
Imperfect Servant ✝?⛪ | Husband | Princeton U. Alum | M. Div. | Assistant (to the) Pastor | Sound Doctrine & Apologetics @catchforchrist