Children obey your Parents: 6:1-4.
Because of the gospel of Christ, the children should obey their parents. This is God’s plan for the family and the primary responsibility of children connected to the fifth commandment (Ex 20:12). This is the right thing to do. Secondly, it pleases God (Col 3:20). Thirdly, if children honor their parents, things will go well for them. Fourthly, children who obey their parents have long life on earth (6:1-3). Disobeying parent is a sin (2 Tim 3:2). There is a spiritual purpose in being an obedient child. It is more than an accepted custom. Obedience carries the idea of obeying promptly, habitually and cheerfully. To honor means to have an attitude of love and respect by caring. God gives negative and positive instructions to fathers. They should not deliberately provoke their children to anger. Parents often provoke children by inconsistent behavior, unfair discipline, showing favoritism and becoming insensitive to their needs. Children will get angry and parents need to know how to deal with it. Discipline has to do with correction in mind and not emotion (Pro 23:13). Parents should instruct and discipline their children. Failing to do that will bring tragic results. It brought disgrace to David and Eli. Favoritism brought division in the Isaac’s and Jacob’s families. When children are provoked they will be discouraged and rebel against parents.
Servants and Masters: 6:5-9.
In Paul’s day, the slave/master relationship was an extension of home life. Slavery in the context of American history means, one race enslaving another race. But that is not the context of slavery in the Bible. In the first century many Christians were slaves. History shows that where gospel was proclaimed, Christian brotherhood prevailed and slavery disappeared. The slaves, Paul addressing were people who became slave under Roman authority with little reference to race. They should obey their earthly masters in the Lord with respect and fear (6:5). They should serve them sincerely as they would serve Christ. They should not work to please masters to gain their praise. The Lord will reward them for their work. Masters should treat their slaves with fairness and do not threaten them. They should remember that they have a master in heaven and there is no partiality with him. There is no area of life or work, this principle of “in Chris” is irrelevant. Both the slave and free will be judged by the perfect standards of God. There is no respect of person with God. The gospel instructs and transforms everything in life.
Put on the Whole Armor of God: 6:10-13.
The Christian life is a spiritual battle. The devil is the ultimate enemy and he will attack us when it is least expected. We do not underestimate his power and his deceptive schemes. Satan even appears as angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). The Christians must stand against the schemes of the devil because it is an ongoing battle (6:11). When Christians are weak, lonely and tried, they are more vulnerable to Satan’s attack. We should be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might to resist Devil. We can’t have victory over Satan by our own strength. We are exhorted to stand against the schemes of Satan knowing that Christ has already won the victory over him. We are not sent without divine assistance. The Holy Spirit who is in us is greater than the Satan who controls the world system (1 John 4:4). Our standing is almost entirely defensive and the only offensive weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (6:17). The battle is real though it is invisible, demonic, vicious and against God. Christians must put on the whole armor of God to stand against the spiritual forces of evil. Satan’s strategy is to keep us under the fear death (Heb 2:14). Christ has died to destroy the power of devil and death.
The Pieces of Armor of God: 6:14-20.
Christians must fasten their waist with the belt of truth: 6:14.
Roman soldiers used to wear heavy duty belt. The belt of truth is the objective facts about God. Christ is the embodiment of truth (John 14:6). Truthfulness is essential in our fight against devil. Unless we practice personal integrity, we can’t win the battle. Lack of integrity made King David ineffective until he repented (Psalms 32; 51:10-13).
Christians should put on the breastplate of righteousness: 6:14.
The breastplate was to cover the front of the body from neck down to the thigh. It was designed to protect the soldier’s vital organs. By virtue of our union with Christ, we have a righteous standing before holy God (1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:21). This would motivate us to live a righteous life. Practical righteousness is the strong defense against Satan’s attack (Rev 12:9-10). Without it we are vulnerable and will be defeated.
Put on the shoe of the gospel of peace: 6:15.
The Roman soldiers used to wear sandals studded with sharp nails. This made Caesar’s army successful in the battle. When we stand firm on the gospel, we have peace with God. It gives us advantage over Satan. How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace (Rom 10:15). Witnessing Christians are the victorious Christians.
The Shield of Faith to stop the fiery arrows of the Devil: 6:16.
The shield is for full protection of the body. When soldiers hold the shield together, they act like a wall. Believers are not in the spiritual battle alone. This shield is made with leather to protect the soldier from fiery arrows. Satan fires the arrows of doubts, temptations and sinful passion to destroy the testimony and effectiveness of believers. They must be extinguished by faith (1 John 5:4). The shield is our faith in God and in his promises (Gen 15:1; Isaiah 26:3; Phil 4:6-8). This is not the saving faith but the living faith.
Put on the Helmet of Salvation: 6:17.
This helmet was made of iron and designed to protect the soldier's head. If we don’t have the assurance of salvation, Satan can attack our mind with doubts. Without a renewed and Spirit controlled mind, we are useless. We must renew our minds daily with God’s unchanging promises to protect us from Satan’s attack (2 Tim 1:12; 1 John 5:11-13).
Take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 6:17.
This sword is for hand to hand conflict. It is an offensive weapon. It is the sword of the Spirit because it is inspired of the God (2 Tim 3:16-17; Heb 4:12). We need to develop skill to use the Word to counter attach of Satan effectively (2 Tim 2:15). It comes only by our commitment to the Word of God. It was our Lord’s powerful weapon against Satan in the wilderness (Matt 4:4-10). The spiritual sword should not be used in physical strength. But when it is used in the power of the Holy Spirit, it will bring life and healing to those who believe. In reality Christ is the whole armor of God. He is the truth (John 14:6), our righteousness ((2 Cor 5:21), our peace (Ephesians 2:14); our shield (Gal 2:20), our salvation (Luke 2:30) and the sword of the Spirit (John 1:14). Paul exhorts us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its evil desires (Rom 13:14).
Christians should pray in Spirit: 6:18-20.
Prayer and the Word of God can’t be separated. Prayer is the energy that enables us to use the armor of God effectively. Moses prayed when Joshua fought against the Amalekites (Ex 17:8-16). Prayer is not getting man’s will done in heaven but God’s will done on earth. Prayer includes adoration, confession, thanksgiving, petition, intercession and supplication for all believers. Praying in the Spirit means to pray according to the will of God (Rom 8:26-27; John 14:13). Paul requests prayer for himself. He is Christ's ambassador to speak for him and to make his message known to the lost world (2 Cor 5:20). Paul seeks prayer support to preach the gospel boldly. Are you ready to share the gospel?
Paul concludes the letter of Ephesians with a reference to believer’s love for Christ. He sent Tychicus, the bearer of this letter to inform his readers how he is getting along. Paul wanted to encourage their troubled hearts. The Christians should encourage one another because we are in a battle. Tichicus was a beloved brother and faithful fellow worker. Ephesians gives God’s great plan for Christian living. Those who love the Lord will guard their tongues and live worthy of their calling. They honor their spouses, obey their parents and stand against the devil (4-6). Before time began we are elected by a loving and all-wise God (1:3-23). We are made alive in Christ. It is a sovereign act of God (2:1-2). Also we are united in Christ as a family in the church (2:4-3:21). We are called to walk worthy of our calling in unity (4:1-6). We should be eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace by submitting to Christ’s Lordship. We should live a Spirit controlled life before the watching world (5:15-6:9). We also must be properly equipped to battle against Satan (6:10-20). Paul concludes the epistle by wishing grace to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ. God does all things to the praise of the glory of His grace. Pray that God makes his power and grace evident in your life. God bless you all.