Ephesians 5:33 - Paul closes this particular section on marriage by saying that a husband must love his wife as he loves himself. And that the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
Children and Parents (Ephesians 6:1-4)
Ephesians 6:1-3 - Children are directly addressed in the section. God is speaking directly to them Himself. He is not relaying a message through their parents. The message is that they are to obey their parents. One of the characteristics of the last days is disobedience (see 2 Timothy 3:1-2). This has come about through many avenues; among them, the complete disregard for the authority of God’s Word and the teaching of the evolutionary philosophy, which denies God’s power.
There are three reasons why children should obey their parents:
It is right (Ephesians 6:1) - Even Jesus, who was God incarnate, was subject to His earthly parents. This is a lovely example for all children.
Out of Obedience (Ephesians 6:2) - Paul quotes from the Ten Commandments, saying, “Honor your father and mother.” It is not a reluctant, grudging obedience that God expects, but an obedience that will honor father and mother.
For the promise that says, “That it may be well with you, and that you may live a long time.” (Ephesians 6:3) – Material blessings were promised to the children of the O.T. for obedience to their parents. This is repeated here to N.T. children. God will bless children who obey their parents.
Ephesians 6:4 - Fathers must also take heed to God’s Word and exercise wisdom in discipline. Children are not to be provoked to anger by inconsistency and over-correction. Children are to be brought up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Servants and Masters (Ephesians 6:5-9)
Ephesians 6:5 - “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters, obeying them as you would obey Christ.” Perhaps not in the same harsh way, these instructions apply to employees and employers today. We must serve our employer with respect in the same way we would serve Christ.
Ephesians 6:6 - We must serve faithfully, not only when they are watching, but also when they are not. We are not to serve with the idea of winning their favor. We must serve as the servants of Christ, trying to carry out the will of God.
Ephesians 6:7 - In this day of disobedience and insubordination, any believers who work according to God’s rules will shine as a light in a dark place. Why will a believer extend himself to this extent? It is because he is serving the Lord and not men.
Ephesians 6:8 - In this verse the matter of wages is now mentioned. They may be grossly inadequate down here, but we are given assurance that if our service has been unto the Lord, He will acknowledge such and repay accordingly. No man will be paid less than he deserves.
Ephesians 6:9 - The masters or employers are now addressed. They are instructed to act in the same manner to their employees. They must not threaten them with undue force or unjust retaliation. They are reminded that they also have a Master in heaven and He is no respecter of persons. He has no favorites.
The Christian Conflict—The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20)
In this last section of the epistle, the believer finds himself engaged in fierce conflict. This is a spiritual conflict “in the heavenlies.” Earthly weapons are of no avail here. Note the word, “stand” is used three times. The weapons that are given to us are with one exception, all for defense. There is a very important meaning in all this. Most Christians believe that Spiritual warfare is warfare of offensive action. This may be true in some areas of the Christian life, but this is not the picture here. This warfare is waged against us by Satan and his hosts; the reason for this is because we belong to Christ.
In our unregenerate days, we belonged to Satan, but Christ defeated him and rescued him from his powers and control. This formidable enemy is constantly attacking us to prevent us from enjoying the spiritual blessings which are ours in Christ (see the previous chapter). In the face of these attacks, it is our duty to “stand”, to hold, and to maintain the spiritual blessings we have. If we understand the conflict in this way it will help us to appreciate its meaning.
Ephesians 6:10 - Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord. We cannot triumph in our own strength. Human resources and abilities are inadequate to withstand the devilish attacks. When properly armed in Christ, we can never be defeated. We must use the power of Christ’s might; we must use the invincibility of His powers. The standard of His power in this age is “Resurrection Power” (see Philippians 3:10). No enemy, whether angelic, human, demonic, or satanic can prevail against it. This is the power and might that is at our disposal.
Ephesians 6:11 - This verse tells us to, “put on the complete, full armor of God.” We must put on every part of God’s armor. We must not leave off one part. Our formidable enemy is the god of this world (see 1 Corinthians 4:4). The world lies in wickedness—in the wicked one (see 1 John 5:19). Our enemy is a roaring lion (see 1 Peter 5:8). He is an angel of light (see 2 Corinth 11:14). He was cast out of heaven (see Isaiah 14:12-17). He is cast onto the earth (read Revelation 12:9). Paul struggles with the world, flesh, and the devil. See 2 Corinthians chapters 4, 9, and 11. The TRUTH can be found as we consider the replies of the Lord during His temptation.
The reason for this instruction is that you might be able to stand against the cunning devices, schemes, methods, and stratagems of the devil. Satan, our adversary, is the attacker. We are the attacked, and to survive in this spiritual conflict we must use the whole armor of God. Note that the armor covers our front completely; there is no protection for our backs. We must face the enemy armed with the full armor of God and then and only then will we be able to stand against the cunning devices and schemes of the devil, the slanderer. James 4:7 tells us to submit to God and resist the devil.
Ephesians 6:12 - For a moment, Paul changes the figure of the soldier to that of a wrestler. This would teach us that our conflict is individual and personal. It is not a physical conflict, but a spiritual war.
Next the enemy is described. These are demonic forces—hosts of fallen angels—evil spirits who wield tremendous powers. Though we cannot see them, we are constantly surrounded by hosts of wicked spirit-beings. While these evil spirits cannot include a true believer, they can oppress and harass him.
Ephesians 6:13 - We need to be constantly reminded to put on and keep on twenty-four hours a day, the whole armor of God. “Therefore.” Brethren and Sisters, we must put on the whole armor of God as the conflict reaches new intensity, so that when the smoke of battle has cleared we may be found still standing victorious. The “evil day” is when the enemy seems to overwhelm us. Satan’s attacks are never consistent; they come in waves of varying intensity, advancing then receding. He never leaves us alone for long, as Luke 4:13 describes, which says “He left the Lord for a season.”
Ephesians 6:14 - The first piece of armor mentioned is the belt of truth. The loins speak of physical strength. Transferring this to the spiritual sphere, Peter talks of the “loins of our mind.” Chapter 1, verse 13 says that our mind and being must be saturated with God’s Word. Psalm 119.
The second piece of armor mentioned is the breastplate of righteousness. Every believer is clothed in the righteousness of God (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). But we must in turn show integrity and uprightness in our lives. If we are right in our relationship with God and man, Satan has nothing to shoot at. The breastplate is an important part of our armor; it protects the hearts and affections. When a man is wearing the breastplate of righteousness he is impregnable.
Ephesians 6:15 - Our feet must be shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. This is a peculiar piece of equipment for war—the Gospel of peace. This suggests a readiness to go forth with the Gospel into enemy territory. When we relax in our tents we are in deadly peril. May we emulate the beautiful feet of the Savior on the mountains, bearing good tidings and publishing peace. Romans 10:15 says, “How beautiful are the feet…”
Ephesians 6:16 - Next comes the shield of faith. Above all, take up the shield of faith. Nothing is more important than the shield of faith. With it we are able to survive the flaming darts that Satan launches will hit the shield and fall harmlessly to the ground. Faith here is unshakeable confidence in the Lord and His unchangeable Word. When temptations assail, when doubts threaten, and shipwreck seems inevitable, faith looks up and says like Paul, “I believe God.”
Ephesians 6:17 - The helmet of salvation is to protect the head. The helmet is the salvation that God provides. It is eternal. No matter how fierce the battle, the Christian is not daunted, because wrapped in God’s salvation he knows that ultimately victory is assured. Faith in God preserves him from retreat or surrender. Romans 8:31 says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Finally, the soldier takes the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This appears to be the only offensive weapon. The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is sharper than any man-made sword (see Hebrews 4:12).
The classic illustration of the use of this sword is when the Lord used the Scripture in His encounter with Satan in the wilderness. The times when He quoted the Word of God—not at random—He used appropriate verses which the Holy Spirit gave Him for the occasion (see Luke 4:1-13). The source of victory is when, under the Spirit, we use verses which best suit the circumstances.
Ephesians 6:18 [Quote: “Praying always” - unceasing prayer, use every kind of prayer] Prayer is not mentioned as part of the armor, but it surely could be included. This is the atmosphere in which the Christian soldier must live and breathe. It is the spirit in which he must put on the whole armor and face the foe. Without prayer, our life and warfare will be a disaster.
The Christian soldier’s prayer should not be sporadic or habitual. He should use all kinds of prayer, inclusive of public, private, contemplated, spontaneous, supplication and intercessory prayer, along with confession and humiliation, praise and thanksgiving. This kind of victorious prayer is “watching thereunto.” We watch against drowsiness, mind-wandering, and preoccupation with other things. The prayer of the victorious Christian warrior is keen, alert, and concentrated.
The prayer of the Christian soldier is uttered in unwearied perseverance; he keeps on asking, seeking, and knocking (see Matthew 7). The Christian soldier is continually engaged in supplicatory prayer for all saints fighting the good fight and for fellow-soldiers in the thick of battle.
Ephesians 6:19 - This final section contains a personal message and a benediction. Paul needed their prayers—he was writing from prison. Notice that he did not ask them to pray for an early release. He asked them to pray that when he opened his mouth in testimony that God would give Him the right words. He wanted to make known the Gospel with boldness—fearlessly.
Ephesians 6:20 - Paul was the Lord’s ambassador and he was in chains. Ambassadors usually are granted diplomatic immunity; they are not arrested nor imprisoned. But the Lord’s ambassador was in chains. The particular part of Paul’s message that stirred Jews to anger was the announcement that believing Jews and Gentiles were now formed into one new society, sharing equal privileges, and acknowledging Christ as Head.
Personal Greetings from the Apostle (Ephesians 6:21-24)
Ephesians 6:21 - Paul announces here that he will send Tychicus to them and he would tell them all the news about Paul. There are only four references to him in the New Testament. He came to them with high recommendations. He was a beloved brother and a faithful helper in the Lord.
Ephesians 6:22 - When he met with them, he would bring them up to date concerning Paul’s welfare in prison, and he would encourage them and remove any unnecessary fears they had for his safety.
Ephesians 6:23-24 - These verses contain Paul’s benediction for them. He asked, in true apostolic fashion, that peace and love and faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ would be their portion. Lastly, he wishes grace for all who sincerely love the Lord Jesus with an incorruptible love.