Brother John, good article on the armour of God (see Q#36 Faith and the Armor of God). My question is, is there a difference between having v14 and taking, take v16-17. Does having indicate a completed action that we must recognize and taking up an action we do by faith? Or am I just looking at this to deeply, maybe splitting hairs? Just a thought. Would like to know what you think. I greatly respect your opinion.
Hello Bro. Bob,
Thanks for the great follow-up question! The mood, tense and voice of the verbs in this passage are as fascinating as they are significant. Regarding your specific question, there are several considerations.
All the responsibility verbs are in the aorist tense, indicating the fact of an action. In this context the use of the aorist points up the act or transaction of faith.
The admonitions “be strong” (10), “Put on” (11), “take” (13), and “Stand” (14), are all imperatives. This lead up emphasis, especially in the imperative “Stand” at the beginning of verse fourteen, makes the participles “having” (14 [2x]), “shod” (15), and “taking” (16), that follow have an imperative sense. Then the next “take” (17) is another actual imperative.
The word having is not a single Greek word being translated. It is a translation coming out of the participle flowing out of the imperative. The idea is “Stand therefore, girding your waist with truth, and putting on the breastplate of righteousness” etc. The participles provide the details of the imperative (as in the Great Commission).
The distinction between the “having” phrases and “taking/take” phrases is minor and comes from the voice of the verbs. The former uses the middle voice, indicating you initiate the action (faith) and then participate in the results of the action. The latter uses the active voice, indicating you produce the action, but still it is the action of faith.
Therefore, in all the verses in question, the emphasis is to by faith put on the specific provisions of Christ. There is not much distinction in the having versus the taking in this particular context.
Yet, there is a distinction in other contexts. Galatians 3:27 says you, as a believer, “have put on Christ,” yet Romans 13:14 commands “put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.” All has been provided—in Christ; therefore take the provision—of Christ. Since you have put on Christ as a matter of fact when you received Christ, put on Christ as a matter of function in daily living. The armor in Ephesians 6 provides both imagery and detail to putting on Christ in daily life.
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