-The last chapter in Ephesians begins with a continuation of instructions and exhortations for the family unit and to children in particular. Paul reiterates the Torah’s first command with a promise in telling children to obey their parents in the Lord. This is the primary command for children in the Word of God. Their obedience to their parents will train them up to fear and respect, in time, their Heavenly Father and come to know Him as the proper authority and direction for their lives. The other side of the coin is also explained. Fathers are to raise their children in the loving discipline and instruction of the Lord, not provoking them to anger (Ephesians 6:1-4, Hebrews 12:5-15). *Application* If we want things to go well for us and have a long life in the land God has given to us we must live by these principles. It is not easy in the world we live in to discipline our children with loving correction that is focused and productive. We live in an age of tolerance and extreme license where obedience and a healthy fear of parents is becoming more and more uncommon. We are now experiencing the repercussions of that philosophy in our land with the violent and uncontrolled actions of our youth. As for you and your family, you should serve the Lord your God (Joshua 24:15). Trust Him that He will bless and reward your submission in these areas.
-Paul also gives imperatives for bondservants (slaves, in our context employer/employee primarily) and masters. The emphasis for slaves is on proper recognition of authority in a person’s given situation with obedience from a sincere heart of service (Ephesians 6:5-7). The emphasis for masters is on having proper respect for those under you without threatening (Ephesians 6:9). The author through the Spirit maintains that “whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord (Ephesians 6:8).” *Application* An important biblical concept to remember here that Paul points out is God’s impartiality (Ephesians 6:9b). It is critical for us to remember that God loves each and every one of us the exact same. He loves the lost man in a jungle tribe on the Amazon as much as He loves you. He loves the Japanese or Chinese person who has no knowledge of the Lord and His truth as much as He loves you. He loves the most hardened Islamic terrorist as much as He loves you. He loves the most notorious and ruthless national leader as much as He loves you. He loves the atheistic professor leading young people toward rejecting God as much as He loves you. He loves the homeless man that is in utter and total despair because of life circumstances as much as He loves you. God loves the whole world and gave Himself for us all (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9). Internalize that concept and resolve to go change the world with the message of deliverance in Christ Jesus.
-Paul’s final admonition is a perfect climax of his encouragement and challenge to the Ephesians and us as well. We are to be strong in the Lord (not weak!) and in the strength of His might (Ephesians 6:10). We are to be equipped and fitted with the whole armor of God so that we might be able to stand against the schemes and devices of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). Our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, and the cosmic powers that rule this present worldly darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Because of this fact, we are instructed to put on the full armor of God so that we might be able to stand firm in the evil day (Ephesians 6:13). The pieces of the armor are important to consider. The list includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace in readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (this is our only offensive weapon and how we can storm the gates of hell, Ephesians 6:14-17, for a more detailed and excellent description and explanation of this whole armor of God read Designed to be Like Him: Understanding God’s Plan for Fellowship, Conduct, Conflict, and Maturity, by J. Dwight Pentecost, 1966, chapters 24-30). Paul challenges his readers and us to pray in the Spirit at all times with all prayer and supplication keeping alert with all perseverance for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18). He also implored them to pray for him that he would have the Lord’s words given to him in the opening of his mouth to speak boldly in his proclamation of the gospel of Christ and His mystery to which he was an ambassador in chains (Ephesians 6:19-20). After some brief instructions on further information coming, Paul bids them farewell with peace and love with faith along with all grace from the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:21-23).
Verses to Memorize- Ephesians 6:10