Armor For The Battle

Armor For The Battle

Ephesians 6:1-24
Paul addresses children as responsible members of the congregation, acknowledging their understanding of their relationship to the Lord. He emphasizes the importance of honoring one's parents, citing the fifth commandment. This command applies to obedience and showing respect, even for adult children who have moved out of the house. By addressing children this way, Paul highlights the significance of whole families gathering for worship.

Rather than addressing both parents, Paul specifically directs his exhortations to fathers. In Greco-Roman and Jewish cultures, fathers were responsible for educating and disciplining their children. Paul provides both a negative command, advising fathers not to provoke their children to anger, and a positive one, urging them to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. This instruction entails more than just moralistic discipline and instruction; it encompasses guidance from the Lord and focuses the child's faith and hope on Christ.

Paul regards women, children, and slaves as equal members of the body of Christ, treating them with ethical responsibility. He commands slaves to obey their masters but emphasizes the importance of good attitudes and obedience. The heavenly Master will reward slaves for their good deeds, regardless of whether their earthly masters acknowledge them. This evaluation applies to everyone, irrespective of social status, as God shows no favoritism.

Paul urges slave masters to treat their slaves fairly and respectfully, emphasizing the importance of rejecting any form of manipulation or intimidation. This includes refraining from threats, physical abuse, harassment, or selling them to others. In the eyes of God, social or economic status holds no significance, and everyone will be judged equally. Christian masters should be mindful of this knowledge and apply it to how they treat their slaves.

Paul encourages his readers to take action and reminds them that their power comes from their union with the Lord Jesus Christ. During spiritual warfare, believers can fight and stand firm by putting on the full armor of God. This armor, supplied by God, provides complete protection. Believers are not called to win the victory, as Christ has already secured it, but to stand firm against the attacks of the Devil. The Devil actively plans and strategizes to make believers retreat or fall, so standing firm goes beyond simply not retreating.

Paul envisions a fierce battle, not just an athletic competition, using military imagery like armor and weaponry. This battle is not fought at a distance but in close-quarter hand-to-hand combat. It is not against flesh and blood but against rulers, authorities, and spiritual forces of evil. Christians are strengthened by the truth of God and display the attributes of the Messiah. They imitate God's righteous character and walk in readiness given by the gospel of peace. They have faith as a shield and salvation as a helmet. The Spirit is the source of their powerful sword.

Although the focus shifts to prayer in these verses, they are still connected to the previous verses on spiritual warfare. Paul emphasizes that believers stand firm through prayer. Prayer is not considered as another piece of armor but instead plays a foundational role in effectively using each piece of armor. It represents strength in the Lord. Paul requests prayer not for his release from prison but for the faithful proclamation of the gospel. God appoints him to reveal the mystery of the gospel to the Gentiles. Tychicus, a trusted associate of Paul, will personally update the Ephesian believers on Paul's situation. Paul concludes by praying for the recipients of the letter.





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