Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ephesians, Chapter 6

Today we will finish the final chapter in the book of Ephesians, and with that comes a list of advice on how to avoid the pitfalls of a fallen world. Up to this point we have been told what not to do, but not really given a way to avoid these evil things. Chapter 6 ends with advice on how to prepare our hearts for all that is wrong in the world. First of all there is a message for parents and a message for those in bondage. We may not think of being in bondage of the conventional sort, but we are still slaves to Christ.

"4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. 5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ." Ephesians 6:4-5


We see that children should obey their parents, but as a parent we have a responsibility to raise our children correctly and in the Lord. One of the things that bothers me the most about society is that children are hardly raised to respect and follow discipline anymore. Parents cause more harm than good when they raise their child and give them everything without allowing the least bit of hardship to come into their lives. An example is a group of parents who won't let a sports league keep score because it will make the child feel bad if his or her team loses. This is going too far, and we need to teach children early that there are difficulties you need to overcome in life. It is how you react to them that makes your character.


In the very next verse we see that we are to obey our earthly masters. While this rarely takes the form of slavery now, we still have early masters in the form of parents, bosses, etc. They are far from the full authority in our lives, but it is still important to follow the rules. You won't get farther than a prison cell if you break some law because you aren't following the ways of some earthly master.


"11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." – Ephesians 6:11-13


Paul shifts gears here at the end of the chapter and gives us tactics that allow us to go on the defensive against the schemes of Satan. His armor of God speech is a powerful treatise and gives us a list of tools in which to arm ourselves against Satan. It's a fact that Satan still has much influence on this world, and that the world hates those who stand against it. If we rely on our own strength we will quickly be overwhelmed by a world that will tell us what to believe and why to believe it. With the truth of God shielding us, however, and the strength that only Christ can provide we can stand against this world and be an example unto the Father and the Son. It is also important that we put on the full armor each day, because each piece of the armor is reinforced by the others, making us strong and fully prepared.


Notice the list of elements in the armor of God though in verses 14 through 17. All but one of the tools in the armor of God is a defensive weapon. This is a subtle way of letting God do the work of defense for us, because we cannot defend ourselves without Him. The shield of faith is built on our own belief, while the helmet of salvation protects our minds because we are saved. The only offensive weapon is the sword of truth which is the Word of God. As we know the Word of God is the Bible, and we are also to keep it written on our hearts through the memorization of Scripture. In this way it is also a defensive mechanism, but the Word is also a very powerful offensive weapon. Words can accomplish so much, and they are truly a weapon because they have changed so much throughout the course of human history. If you'll remember Jesus Himself often got His point across with words instead of with actions. This is because His words were truth, and that is all He needed.



  1. How does the role discipline play in raising children?
  2. When do we know when we should disobey earthly masters?
  3. How do you put on the full armor of God each day.


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