Ephesians 6:1-24, the Armor of God
VV 1-4, 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
On Parenting: Children must obey their parents. The first commandment is a commandment with a promise of long life. The fathers must not put too much expectation on their children. They must nurture and train their children in the way of the Lord. Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it”. They must raise their children tenderly, teaching them the truth of the Bible from an early age.
VV 5-9, 5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
On Employer and Employee relationship: Employees must obey their employer, as servants of Christ doing the will of God, with good hearts, serving in honor to the Lord. Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him”. 1 Cor 10:31, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”. Employers should do the same to their employees, treating them with kindness, fairness, and respect, realizing that the Lord is watching them from heaven.
V 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
On Spiritual warfare: We must rely on the strength of the Lord and not on our strength. Jesus’ strength is made perfect through our weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:19 a, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
VV 11-13, 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness 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.
We must put on the armor of God to protect against the attacks of the devil. We are not fighting against human beings with flesh and blood. We are fighting against evil spirits in the spiritual realm of the unseen world. Our enemies are the hierarchy of evil spirits called principalities and power, rulers and authorities, and spiritual wickedness in high places, We must win the battle in the spiritual realm before we can win the battle in the physical realm.
VV 14-17, 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
Jesus, the armor of God: Chained to a Roman soldier, Paul used the Roman soldier’s uniform to illustrate the armor of God. Jesus is the belt of truth. John 14:7, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. Jesus is the breastplate of righteousness. 2 Cor 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is the shoe of the preparation of the gospel of peace. We must always be ready to share the gospel of peace in our walk. 1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear”. Jesus is the shield of faith. Psalm 35:1-2, “Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me. Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help”.
Jesus is the helmet of salvation. 1Thess 5:8, “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation”. We must look forward to our hope of salvation. Jesus, the Word, is the sword of the Spirit. John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”. The sword of the Spirit is double-edged, a defensive and an offensive weapon. Put on Jesus, the full armor of God.
VV 18- 20, 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
We must pray with perseverance, watchfulness, and supplication.
We must cultivate the discipline of intercession. In Ezekiel 22:30, God was looking for an intercessor but he could not find any, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one”. 2 Chronicles 7:14, “ if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”. Paul implored his audience to pray for him so that he could preach the gospel with boldness in prison.
VV 21-22, 21 But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you; 22 whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts.
Paul assigned Tychicus, a beloved brother, and faithful minister to explained all things to his audience.
VV 23-24, 23 Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
Paul ends the epistle of Ephesians with a doxology, benediction, prayer, and Amen.
Ephesians 5: 1-33
VV 1-4, 1Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, not coarse testing which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
Given the positional truths in Ephesians 1-3, we must be imitators of God, walk in love as Christ loved and died for us. Christ gave Himself both as an offering for our sin and a sacrifice to God. We must not involve adultery, immorality, covetousness, doublespeak, and indecent jokes. We must talk about the Lord and be thankful to the Lord.
VV 5-7, 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
No adulterer, no covetous man, and no idolater will inherit the Kingdom of God. We must not be deceived by empty talkers and have nothing to do with them.
VV 8-11, 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
We were once darkness, but now we are the light of the world. We must walk as children of light exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law”, Galatians 5:22-23. We must have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness.
VV 12-16, 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time because the days are evil.
When the light of Christ shines, all the secret and shameful things will be exposed and revealed. Hebrews 4:13, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account”. We must be awake and not be asleep or we will miss the blessing. We must walk wisely in the light of Christ. We must use our time wisely, redeeming the time because the days are evil.
VV 17-21, 17 Therefore do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
We must seek God’s will. We must not be drunk with wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit. We must sing to ourselves and one other, psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs of praise to the Lord. We must thank God always for all things in Jesus’ name submitting to each other. 1 Thess 5: 16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”.
VV 22-28, 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
The wife should submit to her husband, the husband should love his wife, and both should submit to Christ. The husband should love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave His life for the Church. The husband should sanctify his wife with the word, just as Christ sanctifies the Church with His word. The husband should love his wife as his own body, just as Christ loves the Church as His own body.
VV 29-33, 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
All Christians are members of Christ’s body, of which Christ is the head. The Church is the bride of Christ. Marriage is for eternity. Paul speaks of the marriage relationship as a great mystery. A man leaves his father and mother in marriage and cleaves to his wife.
Ephesians 4: 1-32, Unity in Diversity
Ephesians 1-3, is the doctrine regarding our position in Christ. Jesus broke down the wall between the Jews and the Gentiles to create a one new man in Christ, the Church.
Ephesians 4-6, is the practical application regarding our walk with Christ, our response to the love and grace of Christ.
VV 1-6, 1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Therefore in view of all the positional truths in Ephesians 1-3, Paul implored us to walk worthy of our calling, with humility, lowliness, meekness, patience, tolerance, unity in Spirit and peace. Christians are united in one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God, who is above all, through all and in all.
VV 7-10, 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” 9 (Now this, “He ascended”, what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
Paul quoted from Psalm 68:18, “You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the Lord God might dwell there”. When Jesus died, He descended to hell and preached to the dead. 1 Peter 4:6, “For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit”.
VV 11-13, 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Jesus through the Holy Spirit gave to us a diversity of spiritual gifts, apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral, and teaching for one single purpose, to build up, mature, edify, and unite the one new man in Christ, the Church.
Romans 12:6-8, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness”.
1 Cor 12: 7-10, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all, for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues”.
VV 14-16, 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head, Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Do not be shaken and deceived by every kind of controversial doctrines. Grow up in maturity by speaking the truth in love. Speak the truth, with wisdom, mercy, grace, and love. Christ is the head of the body the Church. We are the different parts of the body joined together with Him, synergistically, in unison, by love. Jesus brought everyone together in love so that all may be built up and edified.
VV 17-19, 17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Do not walk as the non-believing Gentiles, who were ignorant of the truth, alienated from God, given over to immorality, their minds darkened, their hearts blinded, and their behavior flawed.
VV 20-24, 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Put off the old man and put on the new man, Jesus Christ. Be renewed in your mind and transformed in your character. Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”.
VV 25-28, 25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
Do not lie. If you are angry do not sin by losing control. Let your anger be short lived. Deal with it, take it to the Lord in prayer, and resolve it by the same day. Do not give any opportunity to the devil. Do not steal. If you are jobless, get a job, work with your own hand, and help people in need.
VV 29-32, 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
The words that we speak must edify and impart grace to people. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by harbouring bitterness, wrath, anger, demanding, evil speaking, and malicious acts. Be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving because Christ died for you and forgave you.