10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
be strong (v.10) = make strong — the tense is “be continually strengthened” in the passive tense — the idea is to put on strength as you would put on clothing
in the Lord (v.10) — qualifies “be strong,” which can only occur in union with the Lord — Ephesians 1:20-22
power of His might (v.10) — “in the active efficacy of the might that is inherent in Him” — Ephesians 1:19-20
put on (v.11) = envelope, hide in, clothe with
whole armor (v.11) = lit. “all the weapons” — the Greek word gives us “panoply” — complete without lack of a single part — used in Greek of the entire outfit, including weapons, of a heavily-armed soldier
stand against (v.11) — a military expression used of a soldier that stands his ground as against taking flight
wiles (v.11) = cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery — stratagem
wrestle (v.12) — in Greek wrestling in Paul’s time, the stakes were high — the loser often had his eyes gouged out
principalities (v.12) = first ones, preeminent ones, leaders
powers (v.12) = rulers
heavenly places (v.12) — the lower heaven, the atmosphere surrounding earth
In 2 Corinthians 10, the apostle speaks of this same warfare. He tells us that it is not a conflict with the flesh. We are not told to fight the flesh but to reckon ourselves dead to sin in the flesh. Our conflict is with the fallen spirits that dominate this present age of evil. — Ironside, page 307
I included Ironside’s quote because I think he gets close to the meaning of this passage. During this age of grace, I don’t believe Satan and his angels attack us with physical manifestations of supernatural power. Instead, he’s working through false doctrine, religion and the passions and agendas offered by the world in place of passion for Christ. We can’t fight these things with physical battles, nor can we fight them with our fleshly natures. We must realize this is a spiritual battle and fight with our spiritual weapons (next post).
Romans 13:11-14 — And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 — For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.