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« Themes of Philippians: Chapter One | Main | Themes of Ephesians Chapter Five »

Themes in Ephesians Chapter Six

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.

Children are to obey parents in all things. (Colossians 3:20)

In the Lord does not mean to obey believing parents only. It only confirms the law.
Honoring parents. Regardless of individual cases, this command is fundamental to social stability. Dishonor would soon destroy the family unit.
There is never a good reason for dishonoring parents, even parents who are dishonorable.

Two reasons for obeying and honoring parents:
    Your life may go well .
    You will have long life . (Disobedient children were stoned in the Old Testament!)
Hophni and Phineas (1 Samuel 4:11)

Fathers are to treat their children with mutual respect .

This was a relatively new development in social and familial thinking. In the ancient world, children were considered to be chattel or possessions. They did not become persons in their own right until the father recognized them as such or they reached a certain age. Before that, a child’s life was literally in the hands of the father.

Jewish and Greco-Roman writers unanimously agreed that children needed to honor their parents, and, at least till they grew up, needed to obey them as well. The command to honor one’s parents was in the Old Testament (Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16) and included living in such a way as to bring honor on them in a godly society (Deut 21:18–21). Many Jewish writers believed that honoring one’s parents was the most important commandment.

At the same time, children were often taught through beating, which was standard in child rearing and education; fathers were considered responsible for their education. Paul is among the minority of ancient writers who seem to disapprove of excessive discipline (6:4). (Greek and Roman society was even harsher on newborn children; because an infant was accepted as a legal person only when the father officially recognized it, babies could be abandoned or, if deformed, killed. Early Christians and Jews unanimously opposed both abortion and abandonment. This text, however, addresses the discipline of minors in the household.) [1] Keener, C. S., & InterVarsity Press. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary : New Testament (Eph 6:10 ). Downers Grove , Ill. : InterVarsity Press.

Fathers are also commanded to raise their children with:

Nurture - Greek - paidea, (Educate; further their development)
Admonition of the Lord – Greek - nouthesia, (teach, warn, instruct)

Every decision, every act of the parents should be taken with the children in mind. Will it be good for their spirituality? Will it be a good example? Can it be defended in the scripture?

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.

This passage about servants and masters corresponds to employees and bosses or owners.
The greater principle is that the job you work at in this life becomes an illustration of your faith in Christ. You should do your job with:

Doing God’s will
Knowing that God rewards honest, hard work even if an employer does not
If you always work for God and not men, you will always have a good report.
Employers have spiritual principles to follow as well:

Do not threaten ( apeilē ) - threaten to do harm
Do not show respect of persons ( prosōpolēmpsia ) - show partiality

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.

Our strength is in the Lord and in the power of his might.

Do not place undue confidence in your own ability . Zechariah 4:6
1 Corinthians 1:19-31
Stand against the wiles of the devil. (We are in a spiritual warfare.)
Wrestling. (Grapple, hold, try to submit, overcome, contest of strength)
Our opponent is not flesh and blood.
Spouse, neighbor, boss, fellow worker, children, relative.
Physical armies, military powers

The real enemies of the church:

  • Principalities (Units of government)
  • Powers (Enforcers, determiners of rights, agents of worldly power)
  • Rulers of the darkness of this world (Those who rule in evil. Jude 13)
  • Spiritual wickedness (pornea=wickedness)
  • High places (Not in the background, but in places of honor and influence.)

Daniel’s experience:

10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. 11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. 12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. 15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.

This is why we ought to be keying on the spiritual mission of the church.

Romans 8:1-16.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is not only to complete our new birth experience .
The Spirit of God lives in us to help us fight our enemies.
If you are not fighting your enemies with the Spirit of God, you are losing !

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:

Equipment needed to fight the battle:

  • Armor: Protection is absolutely necessary.
  • Whole: Nothing is to be minimized or left out.
  • Loins girt about with truth . Clothed with truth.
  • Breastplate of righteousness. Heart protection. (Keep thy heart…)
  • Feet shod with preparation of the gospel of peace. Ready to witness)
  • Shield of faith . (Faith is not a weapon, it is an instrument of protection)
  • Helmut of salvation. Guard your thought processes.
  • Sword of the Spirit . (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; 19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

We need to pray in the Holy Ghost.

Jude 20-25

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.

In sincerity. How easy it is to allow ourselves to drift into complacence and become preoccupied with the affairs of life.


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