spiritual rather than carnal, I have always found the wording of verses 11 and 12 confusing. As I struggled to understand this passage while writing my book, The Promise of the Father, I felt led to look up the meaning of each of the Greek words Paul used in these verses.
Most translations render verse 11 of this passage – Put on the full armor of God so you may stand against the “schemes” of the devil. The Greek word translated “schemes” is “methodeia”from which we get the word method. Paul is speaking here not of what the devil does, but of his methods – the way he does things. In other words, the devil does not attack us in the physical realms but in the spiritual realms. What we experience in the physical realms, like sickness for instance may have its cause in the spiritual realms.
Interestingly, the Greek word translated“rulers” in verse 12, is “arche” which denotes authority based in a causal action. The Greek word translated“powers” is “exousia” which means having the authority, right or power to do something. The Greek words translated “world forces of this darkness” are “kosmokrator toutou skotos”. “Kosmokrator” literally means “world holder”. “Toutou” means “this”,and “skotos” means “darkness”. The Greek words translated “spiritual forces of wickedness” are “pneumatikos poneria” which means, “the things of the evil spirit”.
This passage might therefore be better understood: Put on the full armor of God so that you may stand against the devil’s method of operation. We don’t wrestle against physical onslaughts, but against their causes, against those who have the authority to do such things in the spiritual realms, against the holder of the darkness of this world, against the things of the evil spirit in heavenly places. In my next post I will examine what Jude has to say about praying in the Holy Spirit.