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Ephesians 6:10–17 and a Biblical Theology of Clothing

Will Wood develops a biblical theology of clothing, drawing a thread [pun somewhat intended] through the Old Testament to Paul’s discussion of the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10–17.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:10–17, ESV)

Will is a PhD student in Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and recently delivered a lecture titled, “Clothed in the Image of the Resurrected and Ascended Christ: A Biblical-Theological Analysis of Eph. 6:10–17.” He writes:

Ephesians 6:10–17 culminates a Biblical-Theological trajectory of being clothed (or, more particularly to the postlapsarian context, re-clothed) in the image of God, with a particular referent to the new-creational image of the resurrected and ascended Christ in our already-not yet eschatological context of conflict with the Satanic forces. The main point of this passage, then, is that you would be able to withstand Satanic opposition by means of being clothed in the Spirit-given armor of the resurrected and ascended Christ.

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