Acts 19:11-12 God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled.
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city that became subject to the Roman Empire. It was famous for the Temple of Artemis (also known as Diana) and for its land and sea trade routes. It was the economic and religious center of the province of Asia. Paul’s mission of spreading the gospel interfered with the spiritual forces that resided in Ephesus.
In the First Century, people thought that their success or failure depended on the fickleness of the spirits, and they feared them. Today, Paul would be surprised to learn that people no longer fear the spirit world, but they try to use it for their advantage believing the spirit world is here to help. Even believers seek out mediums and palm readers.
“Demons are evil spirits, hostile to us and eager to gain some kind of access to our lives so they can make us as miserable and unproductive as possible.”¹
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is about how to overcome the forces of evil. In Chapter 6, Paul uses the Roman legion’s standard suit of armor to describe the spiritual armor God provides for us. (See Ephesians 6:14-17)
Each piece of armor stands for a spiritual truth or resource:Belt = Truth Ephesians 5:8-6:9 Breastplate = Righteousness Ephesians 4:17-5:7 Sandals = Preparation that comes Ephesians 2:11-4:16 from the gospel of peace Shield = Faith Ephesians 2:1-10 Helmet = Salvation Ephesians 1:1-23
The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Ephesians 6:10-24²
We can fight our spiritual battles and win if we understand Satan’s schemes and put on the armor of God.
[Read Acts 19]
Help me understand the truth that Paul presented to the Ephesians. The spiritual world is not to be treated casually, but it is also not to be feared because You have provided the tools we need to fight and win. As I dress today and every day, remind me also to put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. Amen.