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EPHESIANS

CHAPTER  SIX

6:1-3

(1) Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
(2) Honor 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.
KJV


- CHILDREN -

The Command Obey your parents  (vs. 1)
Obey  =  hupakouo (hoop-ak-oo'-o). 
A stronger word than hupotasso (hoop-ot-as'-so) used in 5:22  =  "submit".  
The wives are expected to submit themselves, without the husband demanding it. Children, on the other hand must be taught and trained in the area of obedience. The whole burden of this command rests, not on the children alone, but also on the parents, to enforce and teach obedience. However, as the child matures the responsibility of obedience becomes more and more his/hers.
Why? Because it is right   (vs. 1)
The Command Honor thy father and mother   (vs. 2)

Esteem and value as precious.
It also has the idea of reverence and respect.  The obedience of verse 1 is the action.
The honor, esteem, valueing as precious, reverence, and respect of verse 2 is the attitude in which obedience is given. 
If one begrudgingly obeys their parents, they stand to lose out on the promise.

Why? It is the first commandment with promise  (vs. 2)
The Promise That it may be well with you   (vs. 3)
That you may live long on the earth  (vs. 3)

From  "The Pentateuch And Haftorahs"  edited by J.H.Hertz:
"Each parent alike is entitled to these (the honoring).  And this obligation extends beyond the grave. The child must revere the memory of the departed parent in act and feeling.  Respect to parents is among the primary human duties; and no excellence can atone for the lack of such respect. Only in cases of extreme rarity (e.g. where Godless parents would guide children towards crime) can disobedience be justified.  Proper respect to parents may at times involve immeasurable hardship;  yet the duty remains.  The greatest achievement open to parents is to be ever fully worthy of their children's reverence and trust and love.  The honouring one's parents will be rewarded by happiness and blessing.  The Commandment is addressed to the individual as a member of society, as the child of a people.  The home is infinitely more important to a people than the schools, the professions or its political life; and filial respect is the ground of national permanence and prosperity.  If a nation thinks of its past with contempt, it may well contemplate its future with despair; it perishes through moral suicide."

6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
KJV
- FATHERS -
The Command

Provoke not your children to wrath.   (vs. 4)

Negative

"… do not irritate … to anger - do not exasperate them to resentment… " ( Amplified)
This could refer to excessive teasing, as well as unjust severity.  Those are active ways of provoking to wrath.
A passive way is to continually ignore or refuse to discipline the child at all.
To provoke to wrath is not necessarily only an immediate result, but it can be a long range result of going to either extreme.
The Command Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord   (vs. 4)

Positive

"...rear them tenderly in the training and discipline..."  (Amplified)
Included here is the idea of an example set before the child,  with tenderness and encouragement, as well as reproof and punishment.
6:5-8
(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 eye service, as men pleasers; 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.
KJV
- SERVANTS -
The Command Be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh.   (vs. 25)
Be obedient to those who are your physical masters, having respect for them and eager concern to please them, .."  (Amplified)
Here again, it includes the attitude and the desire to please, as well as outright obedience.
How? With Fear and trembling   (vs. 5)
In singleness of heart   (vs. 5)
As unto Christ
Not with eye service   (vs. 6)
As men pleasers
As the servants of Christ   (6)
Doing the will of God
From the heart
With good will   (vs. 7)
As to the Lord
Not to men
The Result Whatever you do, the Lord repays the same.   (vs. 8)

6:9

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.
KJV
- MASTERS -
The Command Do the same things unto them   (vs. 9)
"Act on the same principle toward them..."  (Amplified)
The same attitude of the servant  (employee)  is required also of the master  (employer).
How? Forbearing threatening
"...give up threatening and using violent and abusive words..."  (Amplified)
Why? Your master is in heaven   (vs. 9)
There is a double emphasis here:
"Master" - 
As a physical master over a servant or slave, he is to remember that he also has a Master to whom he must answer.
"Is"  -  speaking of existence
The actual and real and literal existence of the Master over us all.
Neither is there respect of persons with Him
6:10-12
(10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
(11) Put on the whole armor 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.
KJV

      Be Strengthened

Be strong  -  to make strong, to endue with strength.
The idea is, "to clothe one's self with strength as one puts on a garment." Here the verb is in the passive voice, "be continually strengthened." The qualifying phrase, "in the Lord," defines the strengthening as
CHRISTIAN strengthening, such as can take effect only in union with the Lord. The rendering, "be strong," could encourage one to self-effort at being strong, whereas the translation "be strengthened," causes the saint to depend on the Lord for the supply of that strength.    (Wuest)

      Put On

Put on  -  to envelope in, to hide in, to clothe with.   (Wuest)

      THE  WHOLE  ARMOR

"Whole armor" is  panoplia
Wholly armed, in full armor.  The word "panoply" is the English spelling of the Greek word.  In classical Greek, it was used of the full armor of a heavy-armed soldier.  It is, literally, "all the weapons".

The apostle considers every Christian as having a warfare to maintain against numerous, powerful, and subtle foes; and that therefore they would need much strength, much courage, complete armor, and skill to use it. The panoply which is mentioned here refers to the armor of the heavy troops among the Greeks; those who were to sustain the rudest attacks, who were to sap the foundations of walls, storm cities, etc. Their ordinary armor was the shield, the helmet, the sword, and the greaves or brazen boots.   (Clarke)

Wiles  -  methodeia
Cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery.  The word "stratagem" will translate it adequately.    (Wuest)

The armor is a defense against STRATEGY as well as ASSAULT.    (Vincent)

"Stand against"  is a soldier's expression, used for standing one's ground, as against taking to flight.   (Wuest)

"Put on God's whole armor  - the armor of a heavy-armed soldier, which God supplies - that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
(Amplified)

      Hand to Hand Combat

Wrestle  -  a contest between two in which each endeavors to throw the other, and which is decided when the victor is able to press and hold down his prostrate antagonist, namely, hold him down with his hand upon his neck.
When we consider that the loser in a Greek wrestling contest had his eyes gouged out with resulting blindness for the rest of his days, we can form some conception of the Ephesian Greek's reaction to Paul's illustration.  The Christian's wrestling against the powers of darkness is no less desperate and fateful.    (Wuest)

Flesh and blood foes are Satan's mere tools, the real foe lurking behind them is Satan himself, with whom our conflict is.   (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown)

      In The Spirit

Since the actual enemy is in the Spirit realm so must be our defense and attack.
The enemy is real
The threat is real
The armor is real
The battle is real
However, reality does not necessarily mean physical.
Human reasoning is powerless
Human methods are powerless
Human strategy is powerless
Human weapons are powerless
No matter how brilliant and invincible they may be in the physical realm, they are totally helpless in a spiritual battle.
Principalities
Evil spirits.   It is probable that the allusion here is to the ranks and orders.  The word "principalities" refers to principal rulers, or chieftains.
Powers  
Those who had power, or to whom the name of "powers" was given. Milton represents Satan as addressing the fallen angels in similar language
Rulers of the Darkness
The rulers that preside over the regions of ignorance and sin with which the earth abounds,
  "Darkness"  is an emblem of ignorance, misery, and sin; and no description could be more accurate than that of representing these malignant spirits as ruling over a dark world.  It is a wide and a powerful empire. It has been consolidated by ages. It is sustained by all the authority of law; by all the omnipotence of the perverted religious principle; by all the reverence for antiquity; by all the power of selfish, corrupt, and base passions. No empire has been so extended, or has continued so long, as that empire of darkness; and nothing on earth is so difficult to destroy.
Spiritual Wickedness
Wicked spirits.  Literally,  "The spiritual things of wickedness;"  but the allusion is undoubtedly to evil spirits, and to their influences on earth.
In High Places
"in celestial or heavenly places."    The evil spirits occupy the lofty regions of the air, and thence to exert a baleful influence on the affairs of man. 
It is against such spirits, and all their malignant influences, that Christians are called to contend. In whatever way their power is put forth-whether in the prevalence of vice and error; of superstition and magic arts; of infidelity, atheism, or antinomianism; of evil customs and laws; of pernicious fashions and opinions, or in the corruptions of our own hearts, we are to make war on all these forms of evil, and never to yield in the conflict.

(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

6:13-18

(13)  Wherefore take unto you the whole armor 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;
KJV

      Arm Yourselves and Stand Firmly

Wherefore
Because the fight is with such powers as the demons of Satan.
We must remember who and what the true enemy is.
The battle is not with our neighbor, fellow worker, or family member.  
The battle is not about any circumstance in which we find ourselves, regardless of how unpleasant it may be.
It is a spiritual battle in which the enemy of our soul would attempt to discourage, defeat, and destroy not only ourselves, but all who claim Jesus as Saviour and Lord. 

Take unto you
As one takes up armor to put it on.  The verb is aorist imperative, which construction issues a command given with military snap and  curtness, a command to be obeyed at once and once for all.    (Wuest)

Stand
The repetition in Eph 6:11  shows that standing-i.e., maintaining our ground during the life-long battle, not yielding or fleeing-is the grand aim.   (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown)

The idea seems to be, that they were to overcome or vanquish all their foes, and thus to stand firm. The whole language here is taken from war; and the idea is, that every foe was to be subdued-no matter how numerous or formidable they might be. Safety and triumph could be looked for only when every enemy was slain.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

THE  ARMOR

Natural Armor Spiritual Armor

Girdle
This went about the loins, and served to brace the armor tight to the body, and to support daggers, short swords, and such like weapons, which were frequently stuck in it. This kind of girdle is in general use among the Asiatic nations to the present day.

Truth
You may ask:  "What is truth?"
The answer is John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
(KJV)

And this is followed by Rom 13:14
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh...  (KJV)

John 8:32
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  (KJV)

Breastplate
This consisted of two parts, called pteruges or wing's: one covered the whole region of the thorax or breast, in which the principal viscera of life are contained; and the other covered the back, as far down as the front part extended.  
(Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft)
Righteousness
Here it may imply a consciousness of justification through the blood of the cross; the principle of righteousness or true holiness implanted in the heart; and a holy life, a life regulated according to the testimonies of God. As the breast-plate defends the heart and lungs, and all those vital functionaries that are contained in what is called the region of the thorax; so this righteousness, this life of God in the soul of man, defines everything upon which the man's spiritual existence depends. While he possesses this principle, and acts from it, his spiritual and eternal life is secure.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft)

The righteousness here is not justifying righteousness given the believer when he first believes, but sanctifying righteousness - the product of the Holy Spirit in the life of the yielded believer.  (Wuest)

Boots
Brazen boots, which covered the shin or front of the leg; a kind of sole was often used, which covered the sole, and laced about the instep, and prevented the foot from being wounded by rugged ways, thorns, stones, etc.
The boots gave the soldier firm footing in case of attack.
Preparation of the Gospel of peace
The word "preparation" was used in classical Greek in the sense of establishment, or firm foundation.  

The preparedness, the mental alacrity with which we are inspired by the gospel with its message of peace  with God, is to be to us the protection and equipment which the sandals that cover the feet are to the soldier.  (Wuest)

I Peter 3:15 
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.  (KJV)

Shield
The word "shield" used here designated the shield of the heavy infantry, a large, oblong one, four by two and one half feet, sometimes curved on the inner side. (Wuest)

Faith
The shield which the Christian soldier uses is faith, a present faith in the Lord Jesus for victory over sin and the hosts of the devil.  (Wuest)

Faith is all in all to us in an hour of temptation. The breast-plate secures the vitals; but with the shield we turn every way.   (Matthew Henry)

1 John 5:4
This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
(NIV)

Helmet
The head was among the principal parts to be defended, as on it the deadliest strokes might fall, and it commands the whole body. 
(Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown)
The helmet was a cap made of thick leather, or brass, fitted to the head, and was usually crowned with a plume, or crest, as an ornament. Its use was to guard the head from a blow by a sword, or war-club, or battle-axe.
( Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Salvation
Eph 6:17
That is, "of the hope of salvation;" for so it is expressed in the parallel place in 1 Thess 5:8. The idea is, that a well-founded hope of salvation will preserve us in the day of spiritual conflict, and will guard us from the blows which an enemy would strike.
(Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)
"Take" - different Greek from Eph 6:13,16. 'Receive' the helmet provided by the Lord-namely, "salvation," appropriated already, as 1 Thess 5:8, "helmet, the hope of salvation;" not uncertain, but bringing with it no shame of disappointment. It is subjoined to the shield of faith, as its inseparable accompaniment (cf. Rom 5:1,5). 
(Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown

1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  (NIV)

Sword
The sword was an essential part of the armor of an ancient soldier. His other weapons were the bow, the spear, or the battle-axe. But, without a sword, no soldier would have regarded himself as well armed. The ancient sword was short, and usually two-edged, and resembled very much a dagger.
(Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)
Word of God
The word of God serves both for attack and to parry the thrusts of the enemy.  Thus Christ used it in His temptation.  It is the "sword of the Spirit" because the Spirit of God gives it and inspires it. (Wuest)

The Gospel word is "the power of God" to the believer (Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:18). 
(Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown)

It is called the sword of the Spirit, because it is of the Spirit's indicting and he renders it efficacious and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword. 
(Matthew Henry)
The Secret Weapon
Grecian armies, before they engaged, to offer prayers to the gods for their success...  (Adam Clarke)

Every army desires to enter into battle with a weapon for which the enemy is totally unprepared, and to which the enemy has no defense.

Praying...in the Spirit
Satan can't touch you here. And he has no weapon or defense against it.

Prayerproseuche  (pros-yoo-khay')
 prayer (worship)   (Strong's Concordance)

Eph 5:19-20
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
   (KJV)

Before we can have victory, we must first do battle, and a believer that goes into battle with the praises of God in the heart and on the lips is assured of eventual victory. 

Supplication - deesis (deh'-ay-sis)
a petition    (Strong's Concordance)

With all kinds of prayer; prayer in the closet, the family, the social meeting, the great assembly; prayer at the usual hours, prayer when we are specially tempted, ... prayer in the form of supplication for ourselves, and in the form of intercession for others. This is, after all, the great weapon of our spiritual armor, and by this we may hope to prevail.  (from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Rom 8:26-27
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 
   (KJV)

Standing Watch Watching
The word here is agrupneo (ag-roop-neh'-o)
To be sleepless,  keep awake.  It means "to be attentive, vigilant."  It is the opposite of listlessness, complacency.

 6:21

Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord
(KJV)

Tychicus
Tychicus was of the province of Asia, in Asia Minor, of which Ephesus was the capital; see Acts 20:4. It is not improbable that he was of Ephesus, and that he was well known to the church there. He also carried the letter to the Colossians (Col 4:7), and probably the Second Epistle to Timothy; 2 Tim 4:12. Paul also proposed to send him to Crete to succeed Titus; Titus 3:12. He was high in the confidence of: Paul, but it is not known when he was converted, or why he was now at Rome. The Greeks speak of him as one of the seventy disciples, and make him bishop of Colophon, in the province of Asia.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

 

End of Chapter 6

 

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