At first glance, Ephesians 6 seems to be broken into two unrelated topics. First off we have obedience to earthly authorities, and secondly, we have the armor of God.
However, Ephesians 6 is a lot deeper than most people realize the first time they read it. I’d even say bot halves complement each other really well.
One thing we have to keep in mind when reading this chapter is that God is more worried about our souls than he cares about current situations and circumstances.
I don’t mean that he doesn’t care about your life, but when push comes to shove. He doesn’t care that you’re in a job you hate if the job you want leads you away from him.
God does care about those things, but in the long run, they don’t matter if we don’t know him. We need to stop thinking short term and realize that eternity is on the line. (a good message for me this morning)
6 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. 2 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
All authority comes from God, and we are given to our parents by God (for a time). He knew what type of people they were, and were going to be. but he made you and knew that you could handle it.
By going through trials we become stronger and more resilient, and we shore up our weaknesses. In addition to that, we can learn a lot from our parents, even if they’re not the best people.
For example, I learned how to manage money from my dad, because I watched him fail at it for years. He made bad choices and when I started to do the same, I connected the dots. I realized that I was poor because I ALWAYS overspent, never saved, and got myself into debt.
So I made a plan to fix that issue, and have never looked back.
things might not be that simple for you, but if you examine the situation as something that happened, you can learn a lot from it.
We aren’t being obedient to our parents because they deserve it, we are being obedient because that’s God’s authority that they have. And rebellion against God is the original sin that Satan did.
I’m not about to go down that path…
Ephesians 6 Slaves and Masters
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. 6 Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. 7 Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 8 Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.
9 Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don’t threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites.
Ephesians 6 can be controversial because of the previous verses, and I alluded to my thoughts above. Our lives are super short here on earth, the bible refers to them as wisps of smoke, that disappear.
Eternity is so much longer, but what we do down here affects what happens up (or down) there.
God is more worried about our character and who we are than social standing. I’m not saying slavery is right, in fact, I would argue enslaving others is one of the evilest and heinous a person could do to another.
Look at it this way. A slave master isn’t saved, and a slave is. That slave makes it known they’re a Christian but treats the master with contempt.
How is that showing the love of Christ? Would that slavemaster ever think, “Hey I wanna know Jesus too?”
I’m pretty sure they’d be turned off, and they’d go to hell, and while I believe that’s a choice, it’s a choice made because they had bad information.
That’s why Paul is saying to serve to the best of your ability in Ephesians 6. He wants the gospel of Jesus to be shared and shown. The love of Jesus is the most important tool we have to win people over to Jesus, but if we’re not sharing that love, what’s the point?
In Ephesians 6, I believe Paul is trying to say no matter what situation you’re in, love God, and love those above you. You’ll be surprised about who’s life you could change.
Ephesians 6: Putting On The Whole Armor of God
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in times of evil. Then after the battle, you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
We need to remember that we are being attacked daily, heck I was this morning. These attacks are mental, and oftentimes very subtle. This is the reason Paul talks about the armor of God. If we are wearing the armor daily, we will succeed in fighting off the enemy.
And when you’re winning battles against the enemy, you’ll be full of the Joy of the lord. And other people will notice.
However, when a soldier goes into battle without their armor, they’re usually the first to die. No protection means no future.
Keep in mind when reading this, that we are not fighting against people, in fact, they’re our brothers and sisters. Many of them have been brainwashed or blinded. Either way, they lack the truth about this world. This is why we fight satan and all his dark minions.
Ephesians 6 gives a nice breakdown of what we need, to survive spiritual warfare.
Ephesians 6:14 The Belt Of Truth
What do belts do? If you didn’t know they hold pants up, and the belt of truth has a similar function. The truth holds every belief we have together. It’s a centerpiece to our armor, tying in the shoes of the gospel to the helmet of salvation.
Without truth, we have nothing. That’s why the belt is mentioned first.
Ephesians 6:14 Breastplate of Righteousness
The breastplate of righteousness is about protecting the heart. Our physical hearts can be damaged easily, but so can our spiritual ones.
If we are full of righteousness and make proper moral and ethical choices. We have no fear that the enemy can hit us. Righteous living is key to defeating the blows of the enemy.
Ephesians 6:15 Shoes Of Peace
Shoes of peace come from knowing that Jesus has saved you, God is protecting you, and the Holy Spirit is with you. When you have peace in God, you’re light of foot, and nothing can slow you down.
The shield of faith is your first line of defense, and shields are used to hide behind and protect from sword strikes and arrows.
Your faith in God may not make sense, but if you stand behind it, knowing and believing. You’ll see great things happen.
Ephesians 6:17 Helmet Of Salvation
A lot of people think that salvation is a prayer that we say when to Pastor calls us forward after church. And it is to an extent. But salvation is something you need to work out for yourself.
The prayer is just the beginning, eventually, you need to make choices and keep following God. And that blends into the belt of truth, and the breastplate of righteousness.
Ephesians 6:17 The Sword of The Spirit
This is the only offensive weapon we have. Yeah, you can beat someone with a shield, and with faith, it can work too. But nothing cuts like a sword.
However this sword works differently, the sword of the spirit is the word of God, whether it’s written in the bible, spoken into your heart, or in tongues.
I know a lot of people out there believe tongues to be nonexistent anymore. They say it disappeared after the apostolic age.
I find that to be rubbish, and lies of the enemy. You need to be baptized in the holy spirit. It’s what sharpens your sword. Otherwise, you’re using a blunt instrument. And how far will that get you in battle? Ask God for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
It doesn’t stop at tongues either, there’s also a prophecy, words of knowledge, healings, miracles, and a few more.
Desire these gifts, submit yourself to God and chase after them.
Ephesians 6: Pauls Gives His Final Greetings
21 To bring you up to date, Tychicus will give you a full report about what I am doing and how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper in the Lord’s work. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you.
23 Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. 24 May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.
The end of Ephesians 6 is Paul giving his final greetings. But we have to ask ourselves a few things.
What armor of God am I not putting on daily? It might be beneficial to read Ephesians 6 every day. Or at least the verses about the armor of God.
Ephesians 6 is a treasure trove of truth and I’m only scratching the surface of what God is trying to tell us here.
Sterling grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. As a kid he loved skateboarding but mostly did street riding. He injured his ankle badly when he dropped into his first half pipe. His skateboarding slowed down after that, but he still loved the sport.
While in his 20's he needed to make a change, so he did some world traveling with a motivational speaking group. Through it all, he visited 46 states and 3 continents and eventually lived in Mississippi. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through the state. He jumped into the fray, helping mobilize support for the evacuees of New Orleans & The Gulf Coast. During the aftermath he helped run a shelter and drove food & medical supplies to affected areas by truck. Currently he lives in Minneapolis, runs his snowboard shop, and shreds Vail Whenever he can.