I wonder what Apostle Paul meant when he said,
…be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Ephesian 6
I think the ‘devil’s schemes’ are synonymous with ‘the rulers, the authorities, the power, and the spiritual forces of evil.’ Walter Rauschenbusch (1) coined the term for this thing as ‘structural evil,’ and the Korean bible translation called it ‘the authorities of the air.’ This is not detected in the person-to-person level but is the structures of evil dominate the higher (upper) or spiritual level over a group of people or geographical area. The examples of structural evil we face today would be materialism, pseudo-Christianity, political manipulations and conspiracies, militarism, and more. Unless we deal with or fight against the authorities of the air, our human world will grow dark as the source of these are from the darkness. The schemes of evil and destruction have infiltrated in every vein of our systems and occupied and control our lives. We need to have sharp discernment and radical daily readiness as advanced soldiers, equipping ourselves with the full armour of God. Remember God? Paul continues,
“Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” — Ephesians 6
The number one armour is ‘the belt of truth.’ Truth and facts matters in big ways. Any twisted ideas or covers about our reality will open opportunities for devil’s schemes. Let’s honour God and be honest with the truth about us and the world around us. Paul thought, to be of God meant to be truth and facts. There is no room for ungrounded rumours, suspicions, or conspiracy theories for those hate darkness. The word ‘truth’ used in biblical language has a meaning closer to the English word ‘reality,’ as, in another part of the bible, Jesus declared ‘you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’
Achieving freedom is a very important Christian virtue, as freedom is a state that humans can achieve and is one way of spiritual completion in a transcendental state over the distinction between body and soul. Therefore, freedom is in line with our salvation. Paul said in another letter,
It is for freedom that God has set you free. Thus, freedom is not a means but salvation itself. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.Galatians 5:1
It also means overcoming dark forces and moving on to God’s brightness. Freedom is ultimately the achievement of God’s purpose in us. Righteousness and peace are two important principles of the kingdom of God, toward which we ought to stride: righteousness, peace and joy is the kingdom of God, according to Romans 14:17.
Faith unwavering in us is to stand firm in what we know to be the truth that achieves us freedom, encourages us in righteousness. Salvation is to know that we are safe in the relationship with God. It is timeless that the safety in knowing God’s unwavering care secures us and protects against any doubt arising. Neither feelings nor emotions, but the willfulness of the Word that stem from the volition of God is an offensive weapon against the fakeness and falsehood of the devil’s schemes.
- Walter Rausenbusch. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Rauschenbusch
by David Gyeong Han