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For We Do Not Wrestle Against Flesh & Blood, But Against The Devil Himself! St. Michael Defend Us…

For We Do Not Wrestle Against Flesh & Blood, But Against The Devil Himself! St. Michael Defend Us…

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For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
For we wrestle.–Properly, For our wrestling is. That there is a struggle, a “battle of life,” must be assumed at once by all who look at the world as it is; the question is whether it is against flesh and blood, or against a more unearthly power of evil.
Flesh and blood.–Or rather (as perhaps also in Hebrews 2:14), blood and flesh. So in John 1:13, “Not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh.” In Matthew 16:17, 1 Corinthians 15:50, we have “flesh and blood.” The sense is clearly, as the comparison of all these passages shows, “mere human power.” Possibly the word “blood” is here put first to prevent even a moment’s confusion with the idea of wrestling against “the flesh” as an evil power within ourselves. In many passages of this Epistle St. Paul had dwelt on the opposition of the Christian to the heathen life, and the duty of rebuking and putting to shame the works of darkness; but here he warns us that the struggle is not a struggle with the “flesh and blood” of wicked men–a struggle which may still admit of some reserve of sympathy–but a truceless war with the spiritual powers of evil themselves.
Against principalities, against powers.–See Note on Ephesians 1:21. . .
Verse 12. – For we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Our conflict is not with men, here denoted by “flesh and blood,” which is usually a symbol of weakness, therefore denoting that our opponents are not weak mortals, but powers of a far more formidable order. But against the principalities, against the powers. The same words as in Ephesians 1:21; therefore the definite article is prefixed, as denoting what we are already familiar with: for though all of these, evil as well as good, have been put under Christ the Head, they have not been put under the members, but the evil among them are warring against these members with all the greater ferocity that they cannot assail the Head. Against the world-rulers of this [state of] darkness (comp. Ephesians 2:2). “World-rulers” denotes the extent of the dominion of these invisible foes – the term is applied only to the rulers of the most widely extended tracts; there is no part of the globe to which their influence does not extend, and where their dark rule does not show itself (comp. Luke 4:6). “This darkness” expressively denotes the element and the results of their rule. Observe contrast with Christ’s servants, who are children of light, equivalent to order, knowledge, purity, joy, peace, etc.; while the element of the devil and his servants is darkness, equivalent to confusion, ignorance, crime, terror, strife, and all misery. Against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. The natural meaning, though questioned by some, is, either that these hosts of wickedness have their residence in heavenly places, or, that these places are the scene of our conflict with them. The latter seems more agreeable to the context, for “in heavenly places” does not denote a geographical locality here any more than in Ephesians 1:3 and Ephesians 2:6. When it is said that “we have been seated with Christ in heavenly places,” the allusion is to the spiritual experience of his people; in spirit they are at the gate of heaven, where their hearts are full of heavenly thoughts and feelings; the statement now before us is that, even in such places, amid their most fervent experiences or their most sublime services, they are subject to the attacks of the spirits of wickedness.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safe guard against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world seeking for the ruin of souls. Amen!
Blessed Michael, archangel, defend us in the hour of conflict. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil (may God restrain him, we humbly pray): and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God thrust Satan down to hell and with him those other wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.
Amen.

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