Thielman, Frank. Ephesians. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010.
Chapter 12, “Standing against the Strategies of the Devil (6:10-20)” pp. 411-437
Ephesians 6:10-20 concludes the body of the letter. As has been typical of Ephesians, it is divided into two parts: here an exhortation to be strong, then one to pray (Thielman 2010, 411). “With this concluding call to arms and exhortation to pray, Paul draws these themes [of identity in Christ and the need for unity in interactions] together and succinctly outlines the task that lies ahead for his readers” (Ibid., 412). Many have viewed this passage as a peroratio, or the speech given before a battle. Thielman does not think this to be a conscious move but does concede the similarity (Ibid., 414). The Ephesians are urged to put on different pieces of armor, each with its own function (v. 10) (Ibid., 415). In this way the believers are strengthened. The idea of putting on character qualities as armaments is not at all foreign to classical literature (Ibid., 418-419). The enemy at hand is not only within our attitudes but includes human and spiritual forces outside us as well (Ibid., 421). Although Christ has secured victory over evil it is still raging Therefore we need these armaments (Ibid., 422). Thielman speaks in order about the importance of the different pieces of armor and how they are parallel to the character qualities related here (Ibid., 424ff). Thus armed the Ephesians stand as an army, engaged in their work of prayer (Ibid., 432). This is identified as a hard and constant work, like a battle (Ibid., 433). Paul particularly asks the readers to pray for him (Ibid., 435).