Ephesians
Chapter 6

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1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)

3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. (To the Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus.)

Commentary for Ephesians 6

The duties of children and parents. (1-4) Of servants and masters. (5-9) All Christians are to put on spiritual armour against the enemies of their souls. (10-18) The apostle desires their prayers, and ends with his apostolic blessing. (19-24)1-4 The great duty of children is, to obey their parents. That obedience includes inward reverence, as well as outward acts, and in every age prosperity has attended those distinguished for obedience to parents. The duty of parents. Be not impatient; use no unreasonable severities. Deal prudently and wisely with children; convince their judgements and work upon their reason. Bring them up well; under proper and compassionate correction; and in the knowledge of the duty God requires. Often is this duty neglected, even among professors of the gospel. Many set their children against religion; but this does not excuse the children's disobedience, though it may be awfully occasion it. God alone can change the heart, yet he gives his blessing to the good lessons and examples of parents, and answers their prayers. But those, whose chief anxiety is that their children should be rich and accomplished, whatever becomes of their souls, must not look for the blessing of God.

5-9 The duty of servants is summed up in one word, obedience. The servants of old were generally slaves. The apostles were to teach servants and masters their duties, in doing which evils would be lessened, till slavery should be rooted out by the influence of Christianity. Servants are to reverence those over them. They are to be sincere; not pretending obedience when they mean to disobey, but serving faithfully. And they must serve their masters not only when their master's eye is upon them; but must be strict in the discharge of their duty, when he is absent and out of the way. Steady regard to the Lord Jesus Christ will make men faithful and sincere in every station, not grudgingly or by constraint, but from a principle of love to the masters and their concerns. This makes service easy to them, pleasing to their masters, and acceptable to the Lord Christ. God will reward even the meanest drudgery done from a sense of duty, and with a view to glorify him. Here is the duty of masters. Act after the same manner. Be just to servants, as you expect they should be to you; show the like good-will and concern for them, and be careful herein to approve yourselves to God. Be not tyrannical and overbearing. You have a Master to obey, and you and they are but fellow-servants in respect to Christ Jesus. If masters and servants would consider their duties to God, and the account they must shortly give to him, they would be more mindful of their duty to each other, and thus families would be more orderly and happy.

10-18 Spiritual strength and courage are needed for our spiritual warfare and suffering. Those who would prove themselves to have true grace, must aim at all grace; and put on the whole armour of God, which he prepares and bestows. The Christian armour is made to be worn; and there is no putting off our armour till we have done our warfare, and finished our course. The combat is not against human enemies, nor against our own corrupt nature only; we have to do with an enemy who has a thousand ways of beguiling unstable souls. The devils assault us in the things that belong to our souls, and labour to deface the heavenly image in our hearts. We must resolve by God's grace, not to yield to Satan. Resist him, and he will flee. If we give way, he will get ground. If we distrust either our cause, or our Leader, or our armour, we give him advantage. The different parts of the armour of heavy-armed soldiers, who had to sustain the fiercest assaults of the enemy, are here described. There is none for the back; nothing to defend those who turn back in the Christian warfare. Truth, or sincerity, is the girdle. This girds on all the other pieces of our armour, and is first mentioned. There can be no religion without sincerity. The righteousness of Christ, imputed to us, is a breastplate against the arrows of Divine wrath. The righteousness of Christ implanted in us, fortifies the heart against the attacks of Satan. Resolution must be as greaves, or armour to our legs; and to stand their ground or to march forward in rugged paths, the feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Motives to obedience, amidst trials, must be drawn from a clear knowledge of the gospel. Faith is all in all in an hour of temptation. Faith, as relying on unseen objects, receiving Christ and the benefits of redemption, and so deriving grace from him, is like a shield, a defence every way. The devil is the wicked one. Violent temptations, by which the soul is set on fire of hell, are darts Satan shoots at us. Also, hard thoughts of God, and as to ourselves. Faith applying the word of God and the grace of Christ, quenches the darts of temptation. Salvation must be our helmet. A good hope of salvation, a Scriptural expectation of victory, will purify the soul, and keep it from being defiled by Satan. To the Christian armed for defense in battle, the apostle recommends only one weapon of attack; but it is enough, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. It subdues and mortifies evil desires and blasphemous thoughts as they rise within; and answers unbelief and error as they assault from without. A single text, well understood, and rightly applied, at once destroys a temptation or an objection, and subdues the most formidable adversary. Prayer must fasten all the other parts of our Christian armour. There are other duties of religion, and of our stations in the world, but we must keep up times of prayer. Though set and solemn prayer may not be seasonable when other duties are to be done, yet short pious prayers darted out, always are so. We must use holy thoughts in our ordinary course. A vain heart will be vain in prayer. We must pray with all kinds of prayer, public, private, and secret; social and solitary; solemn and sudden: with all the parts of prayer; confession of sin, petition for mercy, and thanksgiving for favours received. And we must do it by the grace of God the Holy Spirit, in dependence on, and according to, his teaching. We must preserve in particular requests, notwithstanding discouragements. We must pray, not for ourselves only, but for all saints. Our enemies are mighty, and we are without strength, but our Redeemer is almighty, and in the power of his mighty we may overcome. Wherefore we must stir up ourselves. Have not we, when God has called, often neglected to answer? Let us think upon these things, and continue our prayers with patience.

19-24 The gospel was a mystery till made known by Divine revelation; and it is the work of Christ's ministers to declare it. The best and most eminent ministers need the prayers of believers. Those particularly should be prayed for, who are exposed to great hardships and perils in their work. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith. By peace, understand all manner of peace; peace with God, peace of conscience, peace among themselves. And the grace of the Spirit, producing faith and love, and every grace. These he desires for those in whom they were already begun. And all grace and blessings come to the saints from God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Grace, that is, the favour of God; and all good, spiritual and temporal, which is from it, is and shall be with all those who thus love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and with them only.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Ephesians 6

  • Tameka M Wright on Ephesians 6:14
    This is so powerful.We have to remember to put on the Full Armor of God everyday. The day is so much better when i start with this chapter.
  • Chris - in Reply on Ephesians 6:14
    That was very interesting what you mentioned, Tameka.

    Many years ago, I heard a preacher share how, at the start of each day, he would take each piece of his spiritual armour & animatedly put it on himself. This made the act of preparedness to face each day, with the Enemy of our souls at the door, a graphical reminder of how every part of his body was prepared for the day's battle. This at first sounded a little childish & simplistic, but it meant to him, being alert in mind & spirit as he stepped outside his front door. I say, that if it takes a few minutes each day to do this & we are better prepared to tackle the enemy, then go for it. But watchfulness is the key & not spiritual slumber. May you grow closer to your Lord & win many battles with your holy Armour.
  • Onyekachukwu Ogechi Levinus Alaka on Ephesians 6:10
    It is clear that we are fighting a spiritual war against enemies who are far greater in numbers, intelligence, subtlety, and power than Israel had to wage war against in terms of the Amalekites, the Moabites, and so forth. In addition, our enemy is invisible."Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."
  • Sheila Hedgepeth on Ephesians 6
    it says in verse 12 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and so on. Is it not flesh and blood (people) that runs these principalities?
  • Chris - in Reply on Ephesians 6
    You're right that Satan is the god of this World, but Almighty God our Father is also the Creator of this World & mankind. Ultimately, we have to answer to God not to Satan for the condition of our hearts & quality of our lives. If Satan created us, then I agree, God is out of the picture & praying to Him would be useless. So, if we're so burdened to pray for the world, & specific sinners particularly, then this must be a good thing which is in harmony with the Purposes of God who created us.
  • Sheila Hedgepeth - in Reply on Ephesians 6
    Thank you.
  • Chris - in Reply on Ephesians 6
    Sheila, when we look at this chapter in Ephesians from verse 10, we see the apostle Paul speaking about the Devil (v11). So when he speaks about "flesh & blood" you have understood this correctly, that it refers to people. So the contrast to this fight is found in the spiritual realm, the part of the invisible world of spirits that our human eyes cannot see.

    The mention of "principalities, powers, rulers of darkness & spiritual wickedness" are all terms referring to this spirit world of evil. And we know that the god of this world is the devil (2 Cor 4:4, Jn 12:31, 16:11) for he rules for now, capturing the hearts of many, seducing & causing them to believe in his lies. He's have a wild time with mankind & knows that his days are numbered when he, his wicked demons, & all who reject the Lord & His Christ, will one day be locked away forever - all sin will have gone & we will return to the beauty & perfection which was in Eden.

    You mentioned specifically 'principalities'. A principality is an area, whether small or large, that is ruled by a prince. My earlier Bible references speak of this 'prince'. He has ruined God's creation with sin & suffering & has a host of angels (demons) that do his bidding. He wreaks havoc over the world, yet so many are blissfully unaware of his presence & power & believe this is a normal life we live. But those who have put their trust in God & attend to His Word are Satan's prime targets & we need to remain vigilant, putting on the whole armour of God (vv 13-18) & defeat him daily in the Lord's Power. We can't get away from it - we are in a fight - the battle will be long - but the end is victory through Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:57).
  • Sheila - in Reply on Ephesians 6
    "And we know Satan is the God of this world". ? So is it useless to pray for this world?
  • Cole - in Reply on Ephesians 6:4
    I don't think they're very toxic... Not saying they aren't but.. Maybe they're troubled inside. I pray that you find the answers to this. And I sure do pray that you find resolution to such an issue. In times like any.. Be sure to remain thankful to God as Job did. He will surely reward you.
  • Adam - in Reply on Ephesians 6:4
    Also take a look at Matthew 13:57 - Jesus had the same problem with his family not respecting him.


 

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What allows you to 'stand against the wiles of the devil'?
  • the sword of righteousness
  • prayer
  • holy water
  • the armor of God