In this series we do not pretend to cover the whole of our subject in detail. We
hope to be able to pick out some features of the subject which will encourage
our readers to engage in a more complete and detailed study. Of course, there is
a tremendous amount of material in In Heavenly Places by Charles H. Welch, and
there is the exposition by Stuart Allen in Letters From Prison. Stuart Allen
deals with Practical Truth in pages 71-96 (chapter 4), pages 97-105 (chapter 5),
and in pages 106-114 he deals with chapter 6 of Ephesians. As the author has a
lucid style, we recommend his book Letters From Prison.
The first three chapters of Ephesians are devoted to Doctrine and the final
three to Practice. In Charles Welch's book there is a
chart which demonstrates that in the structure
of the epistle, Practice is shown to be the outworking of the Doctrine, so
making a perfect balance. As Stuart Allen says in his book:
. . . but the truth of God is nothing if it is not balance from start to finish:
not all doctrine and little or no practice: or all practice and little or no
doctrine. By themselves, each of these would lead to lopsidedness".
He goes on to explain that it is important to base Christian practice on sound
We shall take Ephesians chapter 6 first because this balances with Ephesians
1-2:7. Actually, the balancing section is Ephesians 6:10-20. At the moment we
are looking at Ephesians 6:10, but the reader may like to read Ephesians 1 to
2:7 as an introduction to our study.
In Ephesians 1:19 there is the reference to the mighty power which was wrought
in Christ when He was raised from the dead. We will quote part of verse 18 and
verses 19 and 20:
.. . that ye may
know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His
inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to
us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He
wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right
hand in the heavenly places".
In Ephesians 1:19 we have the "greatness of His power
to usward", and the "working of His mighty
power", while Ephesians 6:10 reads:
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the
power of His might".
These are not words that would be addressed to children. Indeed, the Scriptures
tell us of the growth that should take place. Ephesians 4:14 says ". . . that we
henceforth be no longer children . . . .", while Philippians expresses the
growth in terms of a race or contest. Verses 12 to 14 of chapter 3 read,
"Not as though I had already attained, either
were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which
also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have
apprehended: but this one I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and
reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for
the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus".
To encourage us, he adds that if in any thing we are "otherwise minded" God will
reveal even this to us. So there is much encouragement for all who no longer
wish to remain as babes or children, but wish to grow in grace and in the
knowledge of our Lord Christ Jesus.
The instruction "be strong" reminds us of Joshua 1:6, "Be
strong and of a good courage". Joshua was not a babe; he was full
grown man and indeed to be strong to lead the children c Israel into the
promised land. He had to face enemies outside an doubters within the circle of
the children of Israel. So we must be ready to face opposition, from any
quarter, and taking the analogy of the soldier, we must endure hardship and
continue right on to the end. But our strength is insufficient for such a task,
so we must be strong in the Lord. It
is not our strength, but the
power of His might. Remember also Paul's
word to Timothy,
"For God hat not given us the spirit of fear; but of
power, and of love, and of sound mind" (2 Tim. 1:7).
Also Paul gave Timothy advice which is in line with Ephesians 6:10:
"Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is
in Christ Jesu (2 Tim. 2:1).
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of
Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this
life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (2 Tim.
Then changing the figure to that of an athlete, he continues in verse 5:
"And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not
crowned, except strive lawfully".
We conclude therefore that;
1. The instruction is to a fully grown man who is able to bear the heat and
burden of the day.
2. He is like a soldier whose life is wholely committed to his duties, and
3. Like the athlete who must keep to the rules of the game. He must realize that
we face an enemy who is powerful, sly, and cunning and he cannot deal with such
an enemy in his own strength.
The Greek word that is translated "be strong" is
endunamoo and it appears 8 times in the New Testament. It is
sometimes translated "strengthen", or "in strength", or "enabled me". We will
list the eight passages for easy consideration:
Eph. 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in
2 Tim. 2:1 Thou therefore my son, be strong
in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Rom. 4:20 He staggered not . . . but was strong
Heb. 11:34 . . . out of weakness were made strong.
Acts 9:22 But Saul increased the more in strength.
Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which
2 Tim. 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord . . . and
1 Tim. 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, Who hath
Charles H. Welch in his book In Heavenly Places
devotes a paragraph to this Greek word and its eight occurrences. We
cannot do better than end this article with his remarks which are set out on
The Power of His Resurrection
No other writer in the New Testament uses the word that is here translated "be
strong" except Luke, who in Acts 9:22 uses it of Paul himself. The exception
proves the rule. The word is peculiar to the teaching of Paul and his own
experience of the risen Lord. The eight occurrences of the word
endunamoo speak of resurrection, and the seven
occurrences in the epistles are worth a moment's attention:
A Rom. 4:19,20 Strong, not weak in faith.
B a Eph. 6:10 Strong
in the Lord- WAR
b Phil. 4:13 Strong in Christ - ENDURANCE
C 1 Tim. 1:12 Christ Jesus -
B a 2 Tim. 2:1
Strong in grace - WAR
b 2 Tim. 4: 17 Strong in the Lord -
A Heb. 11:34 Strong in faith, out of
The first example, that of Abraham, is a strong witness for "the power of His
resurrection", for it is said that "he believed God Who quickeneth the dead".
The words of Ephesians 6:10 look back to Ephesians 1:19. In 6:10 we have
endunamoo "be strong",
ischus "might". In 1:19 we have
The believer is turned back to the risen and ascended Christ as the source of
the power whereby he may stand the shock of battle. There is no other power at
present either available or sufficient. All believers, whether conscious of it
as an experimental fact or not,
"have the sentence of death in themselves that
they should not trust in themselves, but in God which raiseth the dead" (2 Cor.