Ephesians 6

Ephesians 6

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Children and Parents

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Bondservants and Masters

Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

The Whole Armor of God

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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. 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. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Final Greetings

So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.

Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

(ESV)


Ephesians 6 Commentary

by Hank Workman

As Paul brings his final thoughts to a close within his letter, he has spoken of a deep calling upon every Believer’s life.  He’s been practical as to how to live.  He’s called our relationships to be honorable.  Now he gives a battle cry.  All these things written are for us to live right are on the line for the enemy of our soul, the god of this age, has marked every single Believer as a target.

We are to look upon these things and be ready for war for we are in it.  Paul practically lays out specifics and a mindset me must hold to enter this battle.  Uniquely he draws comparison between the armor needed to fight.  Every piece of this battle garb comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Belt of Truth

There is reason Paul lists this as the first piece of armor in Ephesians 6. Without truth we are lost.  We get overpowered by the power of suggestions and lies.  Truth is what holds our lives together and keeps everything in place.  The belt of truth is essential for we must actively hold onto truth as it’s an important piece of our defense.

The Breastplate of Righteousness

Roman soldiers wore breastplates made of bronze or chain mail.  Its purpose was to protect vital organs, mainly the heart.  On it had large loops or buckles that would attach the belt to it.  If the belt was loose, the breastplate fell off. When we came to Jesus this piece of armor was given to every individual.  Its purpose is to protect our heart and soul from deception.  Our own righteousness gets us nowhere from Satan’s attacks.

Putting this on is done through our continual seeking Him.  Those who put this on each day, something begins to change within.  What it covers is our heart and when a purity of heart develops, actions follow.  The breastplate creates a lifestyle of change as we act on what we believe in our hearts.

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace

Soldiers who won were soldiers prepared.  He would have studied his enemy’s strategy.  A good soldier entering the battlefield would have been confident to defeat him.  He would have his feet firmly planted so he could hold his ground and not give up what he gained.  What’s most interesting is in those days, soldiers’ shoes were studded with nails, spikes, and cleats.  It helped them keep their balance and yes dig in their heels literally.

If a soldier lost his footing, he went down and it was game over.  We who are continually under the attack of the enemy need peace and we need the shoes of peace to plant our feet.  Shoes were both offensive and defensive.  In order to defend yourself, you must hold your ground.  As a Believer, you must stand firm on the Word of God. You must embrace the grace given to you and stop abusing it.

Shield of Faith

In ancient times shields of warfare were not like we imagine.  They were as large as a door, had hooks on the side so you could connect them to other shields making a wall.  It wasn’t just for defending yourself, it was an offensive weapon as well as you could push your opponents out of the way.  Many times when soldiers were surrounded, they would circle up, connect their shields and form an enclosure.  This blocked the arrows and fiery handmade missiles launched from the walls.

Satan loves to stir doubt.  He loves to create questions that seem true.  Many times our temptation is to question God and wonder where He is in some situation.  Faith is believing in God despite.  This is a vital piece of equipment.  There are a couple thoughts to ponder with this.  We need full coverage within our faith.  Like a door, we need our faith to completely cover us and something we can hide behind.  When the battle gets hot, there is power in numbers.  We need to lock our shields with other Believers who will help us move forward together as a team.

Helmet of Salvation

The last piece of armor here in Ephesians 6 was the helmet.  It’s a vital piece of equipment that protected the command center, the brain.  We need daily protection of our mind so we don’t fall to the schemes of the devil.  Our helmets must be strapped and buckled tightly.  The missiles of doubt aimed at our thoughts can set us afire.  Tighten the helmet.  Destroy the arguments of every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God.  Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.  Renew your mind daily.  Don’t let the battles determine the course of your walk. Reject doubts that come from circumstances.  Keep an eternal perspective.

Sword of the Spirit

What is interesting is all of these pieces of armor could work as a weapon but the true one we pick up is the sword.  It’s offensive and defensive.  Warriors used it as both to kill and protect.  The Sword being the Word of God is something we must pick up daily.  It is our defense and is also what we use as offense to demolish the strongholds.

Roman swords were 2 edged.  Having 2 sharp sides made it easier to penetrate and cut in every way.  So too, the Word of God can reach within deep areas of our hearts, the center of our actions exposing motives and feelings but also lead us in strength.  The Word will deepen our maturity, sharpen our senses toward truth and is essential to walk confidently in what and where God is leading.

This is a call for endurance.  We’ve been drafted into a war.  A war to keep believing the Gospel and one to continue to spread the Gospel. Wars are long.  They’re exhausting but we can’t give up.  We can’t stop fighting.  There is too much at stake.

Don’t give up when you’ve become tired and weak.  Don’t give up when that familiar sin, still crouching at your door after all these years pounces again.  Don’t give up when your weary and your soul is exhausted from the battle.  Don’t give up when your long asked, sought and knocked for prayers have not been answered.

Don’t give up when the darts of doubts make you question.  Don’t give up when the filed of which God has assigned you to work is hard and the harvest does not look promising.  Don’t give up when your reputation has been damaged because you’re trying to be faithful.  Don’t give up when the waiting on God seems endless.  Don’t give up.


Ephesians 6 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

It all begins with Psalm 82:1.

God presides in the heavenly council; in the assembly of the gods he gives his decision:

Psalms 82:1 GNB

That word gods is translated from the Hebrew word elohim, which has several different meanings over the sweep of Scripture. The most accurate definition we can derive from this word is spiritual beings. If you want a more detailed description of why the Hebrew word elohim means spiritual beings, you can check out Michael Heiser’s book “The Unseen Realm.” A quick summary of this idea can be found on the LogosTalk Blog.

Though God didn’t need a divine counsel to help Him rule over His domain, He chose to create image-bearers both in the spiritual realm as well as here on earth. Humanity was created to run the affairs of God on earth and His divine family (angels being the most common) were created to be image-bearers in the cosmos.

The Divine Council in Job

The book of Job, being the oldest book in the Bible, describes a time when Satan (an original son of God and member of the divine council) decided that God was being preferential toward one of his image-bearers on earth – Job. Notice that Satan seemed to be delegated to earth in order to be the eyes and ears of God, and that he had a responsibility to report back to God on his findings.

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.  2  And the LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”

Job 2:1-2 ESV

When Satan was called to the divine council meeting with the other members, he was irritated by the fact that God was showing favor to Job and believed that if God removed His hand, Job would curse Him. Of course, we know how that story turns out.

The Nephilim

The Nephilim are somewhat controversial in Scripture. The Bible plainly tells us they are a result of disobedient spiritual beings who chose to infiltrate God’s creation and turn it for evil.

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.  5  The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 6:4-5 ESV

How did this happen? It was an inside job. They were attempting to hijack God’s creation. Those who God formed to bear His image on earth were being tainted and degraded by the disobedient sons of God hellbent on ruling over earth themselves. And of course, God destroyed His creation at the flood but found favor in Noah. The rainbow we see in Revelation 4 is the evidence that even though God’s creation was polluted by rebellion, He still had a plan for His children.

From the Nephilim come disembodied spirits, or, demons. Because they chose to disobey God and produce unnatural offspring with humans, their spirits do not really have a place in either the spiritual or human world. This may be why they attempt to possess human bodies, idols, and animals as we see in the New Testament.

Paul pulls back the curtain on all of these forms of spiritual adversaries.

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.

Ephesians 6:12 ESV

Against the rulers

Some translations say principalities. It is probable that in the spiritual realm, rulers have ranks and orders just as some of God’s angels are described as archangels. Rulers, keep in mind, are usually localized to a specific area or region. But Paul does not stop there. He describes them as powers, as having a firm grip on the darkness of this world, and as have spiritual influence over both the heavenlies as well as earth. There is no doubt these forces of darkness are territorial as we see with the Prince of Persia in Daniel 10.

The point is, we tend to focus so much on what we see in the earthly realm while neglecting the spiritual. Humanity’s sinful nature was a choice that we are held accountable for, however, it is important to remember that the forces of darkness in the spiritual realm add fuel to the fire of disobedience.

It is critical we don’t just skip over these verses and picture spiritual beings as casually sitting on our shoulders tempting us. We must truly grasp the dark, wretched, and sinful dominion that looms over conduct, perspective, worldviews, cultures, religions, nations, and the entire world on into the spiritual realm of heavenly places. This is the “why” behind our spiritual armor. The war is real and God has enlisted His soldiers to raid the battlefield! We have a responsibility to bear God’s image and work alongside the Holy Spirit to take back the ground that has been stolen by the enemy.

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