Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 3

God uses his people to defeat the devil’s forces

Ephesians 3:9-10

By means of his people, called the church, God is showing his wisdom (his wise plan) to the rulers of the spirit world. He is causing them to know the plan that he made long ago to bring all things under Christ’s rule.

As in Ephesians 6:12, Paul is referring to those evil spirits, for example the devil, who have positions of high (great) authority. They do not have any place in heaven itself (Revelation 12:7-9); Paul describes their power by how it seems to people on earth. The power of evil forces is greater than any human power; it comes from another, much more powerful world.

However, God’s plan is for the complete defeat of every evil force. As he makes his plans clear, their defeat is absolutely certain. No evil spirit, however powerful, can stand against God’s wisdom. God laughs at their complete weakness (compare Psalm 2:4-6).

Then God does something that astonishes us. We might expect that it would need the most powerful forces in heaven to defeat those evil spirits. However, God chooses to use something that seems to us very weak – surely we Christians are the weakest of all God’s forces (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)! It is as if God has sent babies and children to fight his battle (Psalm 8:2). Our only power is to agree with what God has said – but in that, there is great power. We declare God’s word, the Bible, and with it, we defeat the devil’s lies. We believe and trust God, and that is faith, with the power to achieve great things (Mark 11:23). We bring our requests to God, and he hears and answers our prayers. In these and other ways, God’s people are like soldiers who fight in his army (6:10-20). The power to defeat the spirit forces that oppose them comes not from themselves, but from Christ.

Next part: The relationship between Christ's death and our prayers (Ephesians 3:11-12)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.