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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Ephesians 6

Verse 1

DOMESTIC CONDUCT OF BELIEVERS, WHETHER: (1) Children, (2) Parents, (3) Slaves, of (4) Masters

1) "Children obey your parents" (ta tekna hupakouete tois goneusin humon) "Children obey ye, or give heed to your parents." As the wife is to be in subjection or submission to the husband in fear and reverence, so the children in the home are to be in obedience to their parents. Disobedience of a child to his father or mother was described as a dark sin in the Old Testament, bringing severe judgment on the stubborn and disobedient, Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 6:20; Proverbs 23:22; Proverbs 30:17.

2) "In the Lord" (en kurio) "in (the) Lord." In the Divine order of family government, for saved and unsaved, obedience of children to parents was to be "in the Lord," in the sense that it is in the will of the Lord for family order ’of behavior and government It is the higher will of God that parents be "in Him," Colossians 3:20; Luke 2:51.

3) "For this is right" (touto gar estin dikaion) "For this (obedience) or giving heed is a right thing," to do, or a righteous thing to do, Exodus 20:12; Matthew 15:4. Disobedience to parents is described as one of the more vicious sins of end times, despised of the Lord among the Gentiles, as well as the Jews, Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2.

A DAUGHTER’S DISOBEDIENCE

A missionary was passing along the streets of London, and he ’taw a little girl lying asleep on the steps in the night, the rain beating in her face, and he awakened her and said, "My little girl, what do you here?" "Oh!" she replied. "My father drove me out and I am waiting until he is asleep, and then I am going in." Then she told the story of her father’s drunkenness. That night, after her father was asleep, she went back and laid down in the house. In the morning she was up early, preparing the meal, and her father turned over, waking up from his scene of drunkenness and debauch, and he saw his little child preparing breakfast, and he said to her, "Mary, why do you stay with me?" "Oh!" she said, "Father, it is because I love you." "Well," he said, "Why do you love me when everybody despises me, and why do you stay with me?" "Well," she said, "Father, you remember when mother was dying, she said to me: ’Mary, never forsake your Father; the rum fiend will some day go out, and he will be very good and kind to you, and my dying charge is, don’t forsake your father;’ and I never will, father, I never will. Mother said I must not, and I never will."

--Copied, Bib. Ill.

Verse 2

1) "Honour thy father and mother" (tima ton patera sou kai matera) "Honor (each of you) his father and mother." As obedience is a duty of children to parents, honor is a disposition of respectful attitude from which obedience is born. True honor or respect of children for parents should result in obedience in the Lord, Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16. It is the first of the commandments with promise; love, reverence, and obedience of children for parents is the will of God.

2) "Which is the first commandment with promise" (hetis estin entole prote en epangellia) "Which exists as the ranking commandment (first in order) with a promise," Deuteronomy 5:16; Deuteronomy 27:16. The phrase "first commandment with promise" indicates priority of promise, of order or rank of all commandments to which promises for the keeping were attached; obedience to this commandment provided extension or length of physical life beyond that expectancy of the disobedient child.

Verse 3

1) "That it may be well with thee" (hina eu soi genetai) “ In order that it may be well with thee;” a provision and expectancy of general temporal good is hereby asserted to the child that honors and obeys his father and mother, Exodus 20:5-6; Exodus 34:7.

2) "And thou mayest live long on the earth" (kai ese makrochronios epi tes ges) "And in order that thou may be a chronological long time upon the habitable earth," or land; Jeremiah 35:16; Jeremiah 35:18-19.

Verse 4

1) "And ye fathers" (kai hoi pateres) "Also, likewise, or even ye fathers;" in a reciprocal or responsive obligatory sense of domestic duty toward children, to whom you give orders or commands, as fathers, head of the family, to whom the wife is in subjection.

2) "Provoke not your children to wrath" (me parogizete ta tekna humon) "Do not provoke or incite your immature children to wrath." Parental duty is first negatively given, to avoid injustice or severity in speech or deed of discipline that might unfairly exasperate or irritate and indispose the child to parental obedience. Do not aggravate or incite a child to do wrong then punish for an act that you deliberately incited, Colossians 3:21.

3) "But bring them up in the nurture" (alla ektrephete auta en paideia) "But (instead) nurture them up in discipline, or restrained but firm correction," Proverbs 23:22-25. The idea here is to train, discipline, and educate in body and mind and spirit, inclusive of chastening them in a righteous way, 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 12:5; Hebrews 12:7; Hebrews 12:9-11; Proverbs 19:18; Proverbs 29:17; Deuteronomy 4:9.

4) “And admonition of the Lord" (kai nouthesia kuriou) "And mind-setting, fixing, or molding of the Lord," training by means of the Word of God, primarily, though not exclusively by word of reproof, remonstrance, or warning of blame or danger, a side too often neglected by parents, 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Timothy 4:2-3. Such training is designed to lead the child to the Lord, Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Genesis 18:19.

Discipline is the training up of a child in the way he should go positively, while admonition is the negative warning element of training that puts checks to hold one back from ways he should not go.

PARENTAL INFLUENCE

When a little boy, the son of a Christian merchant in New York, was dying, he said, "Oh, Father, don’t weep for me! Don’t cry, Father. When I die, I am going to heaven; and when I get there, I will go right up to Jesus and tell Him that it was through you I came there."

--Anon.

Verse 5

1) "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh" (hoi douloi, hupakouete tois kata sarka kurios) "Slaves, obey or give heed to your masters or lords, according to the flesh," or representing your debt to serve them in matters concerning their ownership right of your service. The term "according to the flesh" refers to earthly masters, Colossians 3:22; Titus 2:9; 1 Peter 2:18; 1 Timothy 6:1-2.

2) "With fear and trembling" (meta phohou kai tromou) “With respectful fear and trembling," lest just punishment be harshly administered for disobedience or disrespect toward the lord or master. The idea is that the servant should take anxious care that he obey his master with honest and visible sincerity, even as Paul obeyed the Lord, 1 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 7:15; Philippians 2:12.

3) "In singleness of your heart" (en haploteti tes kardia humon ) "in oneness, or single purpose, of your heart," without pretense, not in mere formality or hypocrisy, but in Christian sincerity.

4) "As unto the Lord" (hos to christo) "As being obedient or giving heed to Christ," and obedience regarded as if rendered to Jesus Christ, Romans 14:7-9.

Verse 6

1) "Not with eye service" (me kat’ ophtholmodoulian) "Not by way of eye-service," merely while the master is watching, not merely industrious when the master is looking on, Philippians 2:12.

2) "As men-pleasers" (hos anthropareskoi) "As men-pleasers," or satisfiers, as those who look for man’s applause, human approval, Colossians 3:22.

3) "But as the servants of Christ" (all’ hos douloi christou) "But as slaves of Christ, as becomes honest servants of Christ, servants with integrity of character, enslaved to one who sees and knows whether or not service rendered to Him is heart service, 1 Corinthians 10:31.

4) "Doing the will of God" (poiountes to thelema tou theou) "Progressively doing the higher will of God." To understand and do the will of God in sincerity is the highest ideal for the servant of Christ in any church, Ephesians 5:17; John 13:17; James 1:25.

5) "From the heart" (ek psuches) "From the soul," by volitional spirit and mind service to God, from the deeper emotions of the Divine will, 2 Corinthians 8:3; 2 Corinthians 8:11-12. The very character of the bond-slave of Christ should be to do the will of God, the Father, heartily and with readiness, not with grudging or formality, as expressed of love, Mark 11:30.

Verse 7

1) "With good will" (met’ eunoias) "With a good will, disposition, or attitude," a disposition that wishes one well and shows it in one’s attitude and actions.

2) "Doing service, as to the Lord" (douleuontes)

Actively, progressively serving as slaves," (hos to kurio) "As to or toward the Lord;" as service rendered with good will and readiness to please the Lord, meeting His standards of Divine obedience to Him, as wives to husbands, husbands to wives, children to parents, and servants to their masters.

3) "And not to men" (kai ouk anthropois) "And not (merely doing service) to men;" to receive the applause or praise of men, but of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 9:17. The faithful servant, among the masses, who lives obediently to his Earthly Lord, will one day hear his Heavenly Master’s "Well done thou good and faithful servant," as surely as His Earthly Master, hears a well done from His Heavenly Master – Matthew 25:21; Matthew 25:23.

Verse 8

1) "Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth" (eidotes hoti hekastos ean ti poiese agathon) “Perceiving that whatever good thing each person does." Every man shall not only give an account of himself to the Lord as servant or master, but also receive due reward for his services rendered in obedience to Jesus Christ, Colossians 3:24-25.

2) "The same shall he receive of the Lord" (touto komisetai para kuriou) "This he will obtain from the Lord;" 1 Corinthians 3:14; Daniel 12:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:19. This should give courage to each who renders sincere service to his fellow-man, as to the Lord, with hearty good will. In return for this obedience one is assured of receiving back of the good from the Lord, 2 Corinthians 5:10; Luke 6:38.

3) "Whether he be bond or free", (eite doulos eite elutheros) “Whether he be a slave or a free man," a man without contractual obligations of life and service to another man. At the judgment of Divine justice, at the coming of the Lord and the rewarding of believers, there will be no social status influence of distinction recognized as a basis of merit or reward, Romans 2:6-7; Proverbs 24:12; Romans 14:11-12.

Verse 9

1) "And, ye masters" (kai hoi kurioi) "And ye lords or earthly masters, slave-workers." As a Christian order of conduct was given for (1) wives and husbands, (2) children to parents, (3) servants to masters, then (4) masters were correspondingly to behave with love, compassion, kindness, and consideration toward their servants.

2) "Do the same things unto them" (ta auta poleite pros autous) ’Do ye the same things, take the same attitude or disposition to or toward them, the slaves;” the same spirit of Christian good will that the servant was to give to his master, void of harshness.

3) "Forbearing threatening" (anientes ten apeilen) "Forbearing or acting, learning to get along without the threatening," or giving up and avoiding threatenings, Colossians 4:1; 1 Corinthians 7:20-24.

4) "Knowing that your Master also is in heaven" (eidotes hoti kai auton kai humon ho kurios estin en ouranois) "Perceiving that the Lord of both of you is in the heavens," looking on, seated, Lord of both master and servant.

5) "Neither is there respect of persons with him" (kai prosopolempsia ouk estin par’ auto) "And respect of favor of persons (high or low in society) exists not with him," or His sanction. The heavenly Master is not partial or does not show special favors to orders of society or men in society, Colossians 3:25. Respect of persons has been considered wrong from the early days of the Law of Moses, Deuteronomy 10:17; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11.

Verse 10

THE CALL TO WARFARE

A) The Warrior’s Power House

1) "Finally, my brethren" (tou loipou) "For the rest, my brethren," as a final but most important consideration -- indicating an approaching conclusion to the Epistle -- henceforth or for the remaining charge and instruction, regarding your future conduct and behavior.

2) "Be strong in the Lord" (endunamousthe en kurio) "Be ye all empowered in the Lord," or be strengthened, as a Christian, strengthened in the Lord, Acts 9:22; 2 Timothy 2:1; Hebrews 11:34; Colossians 1:11. This charge to the Ephesian brethren is so much like that to Joshua of old also, Joshua 1:5-6; Joshua 1:9.

3) "And in the power of his might" (kai en to kratei) tes ischuos autou) "And in the might of his strength," or the power of Christ that works in the faithful, willing believer, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Philippians 4:13; John 15:5.

Verse 11

B) The Warrior’s Equipment

1) "Put on the whole armor of God" (endusasthe ten panoplian tou theou) "Put, ye on the Penelope (whole armor suit) of God." It is as if Paul were negatively saying, "Don’t go out undressed for warfare or to war." The armor is God’s...not man’s. Man is to dress up in it voluntarily to have (1) security, (2) comfort, and (3) victory in spiritual warfare. God’s armor of warfare equipment is available, sufficient and offers all that is needed for every soldier of the cross, light, and truth. Armor unused is like clothes unworn, 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

2) "That ye may be able to stand" (pros to dunasthai humas stenai) "So that ye are (all) able to stand," like battle-ready soldiers, especially like a sentry guard, one who is prepared-not so much to march, but as to defend the fortress of the Christian life and the church against the crafty assaults and malicious strategies of the world, the flesh, and the Devil, Romans 13:12; 2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 6:7.

3) "Against the wiles of the devil" (pros tas methodias tou diabolou) "Against the craftiness, deceitful methods of the devil;" 2 Corinthians 2:11 teaches that Satan may get or take advantage of the Christian soldier who does not put on the armor God provides for him, 1 Thessalonians 2:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Peter 5:8. The devil uses base, crafty, sneaky stratagems to entrap soldiers of Christ and to assault and destroy the influence of His church.

THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD

It is reported by the poets of Achilles, ’ the Grecian captain, that his mother, being warned by the oracle, dipped him -- being a child -- in the river Lethe, to prevent any danger that might ensue by reason of the Trojan war; but Paris, his inveterate enemy, understanding also by the oracle that he was impenetrable all over his body, except the heel or small part of his leg, which his mother held him by when she dipped him, took his advantage, shot him in the heel, and killed him. Thus every man is, or ought to be, armed “cap-a’-pie" with the panoply -- the whole armor of God. For the devil will be sure to hit the least part that he finds unarmed; if it be the eye, he will dart in at that casement by the presentation of one lewd object or other; if it be the ear, he will force that door open by bad counsel; if the tongue, that shall be made a world of mischief; if the feet they shall be swift to shed blood.

--Spencer

Verse 12

C) The Warrior’s Arch-Foes

1) "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood" (hoti ouk estin hemin he pale pros haima kai sarka) "But your conflict or struggle is not against feeble flesh and blood." In addition to the armor of the soldier for battle, Paul used the term "pale" to indicate the hand to hand nature of encounter one has with the Devil, much as that of the struggle of wrestlers, Luke 13:34; Romans 7:22-23. "Not against flesh and blood" indicates our struggle is not merely against man, Hebrews 2:14.

2) "But against principalities" (alla pros tas archas) "But toward the rulers;" Not a wrestling, struggling with flesh and blood, so much as a fight with principalities or rulers, here used in the sense of powers of evil that are devil-inspired, Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 2:2; John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:30.

3) "Against powers" (pros tas ekousias) "Against or toward the authorities," evil order of angels or spirits, demons that influence and harm men, Luke 8:26-33; Acts 19:11-18. Evil spirits are under chains of restraint on the extent to which they may harm man, by the permissive will of God. Their certain judgment is sealed, Judges 1:7.

4) "Against the rulers of darkness of this world" (pros tous kosmokratoras tou skotous toutou) "Against this world-order of rulers of darkness," 2 Corinthians 4:4. Their evil and dark enmity against God is to terminate in defeat of their head, the Devil, to whom they are slaves and serfs, Hebrews 2:14. These demons and spirit-rulers operate world-wide, universally.

5) "Against spiritual wickedness" (pros ta pneumatika tes ponerias) "Toward or against the spiritual retinue or hosts of wickedness," (we struggle). The term "spiritual wickedness" is used to indicate, by way of special emphasis, that this struggle is more than that against "flesh and blood." It indicates a band of "spirit pirates;" hosts, hordes, or armies of wicked characters.

6) "In high places" (en tois epouranios) "in the heavenlies," means super-earthly, not merely tied to the earth, but also operating in space super-terrestrial (above the earth) and sub-celestial (below the heaven) where Christ intercedes. The Christian soldier’s struggle with Satan and sin is against an horde of hostile spiritual pirates of the soul who must be resisted, 1 Peter 5:8-9.

Verse 13

1) "Wherefore take unto you" (dia touto analabete) "Therefore take ye up," or "receive ye in your behalf," because your enemies are such as these, for your own good and the honor of the Lord, "take up," or "receive ye" (Gk. analabete) as one who dresses in soldier array or armor, as in Deuteronomy 1:41; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.

2) "The whole armor of God" (ten panoplian tou theou) "The hole armor of God," or "all the warfare equipment of God." It lies at the Christian’s feet to perfectly equip him for every struggle and battle with Satan and sin, if only he will act in taking it up, putting it on, fitting it to his own need and use, 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:15-16.

3) "That ye may be able to withstand" (hina dunethete antistenai) "In order that ye may be able to resist" The armor of God for the Christian soldier, the church member in particular, is adequate for both defensive and offensive needs and purposes.

4) "In the evil day" (en te hemera te ponera) "In the wicked day," the evil or dishonorable day when the battle is in full array.

5) "And having done all, to stand" (kai hapanta katergasamenoi) "And having wrought all kind of things thoroughly of your own accord or volition, to stand;" all things pertaining to your struggle, to stand when the conflict is ended -- neither dislodged nor fallen in the struggle, but standing victorious as a sentry guard when the battle is over, Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 1 John 5:4.

Verse 14

1) "Stand therefore" (stete oun) "Stand ye therefore," or "take your-stand" with all your armor on. It is too late to put it on when the enemy has come. Stand fast in liberty, Galatians 5:11; Stand fast in one Spirit, Philippians 1:27; Stand fast in the Lord, immovable, 1 Thessalonians 3:8.

2) "Having your loins girt about with truth" (perizosamenoi fen sophun humon en aletheia) "Being girded around your loins with truth," or "having girded yourself, by your own accord or voluntary choice, not by compulsion," with truth, John 8:32; John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 5:8; 2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1. Isaiah combines righteousness and truth or faithfulness as the girdle of the loins of our Lord’s reign, Isaiah 11:5. Truth supports for warfare.

3) "And having on the breastplate of righteousness" (kai enclusamenoi ten thoraka tes dikaiosunes) "And putting on the- breastplate of righteousness or which is righteousness." Isaiah described man’s sinfulness when truth had "fallen in the streets" and the Lord "brought salvation" and "put on righteousness as a breastplate," Isaiah 59:14-17; 2 Corinthians 6:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:8. The breastplate or righteousness, imputed to the believer through faith in Christ, is to be "put on" from without, by speech, conduct, and manner of life set forth in the Word of truth, to put Satan at bay, to stand him off, 1 Peter 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Verse 15

1) "And your feet shod" (kai hupodesomenoi tous podas) "And your feet shod, or under-bound." Having shod your feet, which need to be protected, stand. The feet were to be shod with military sandals, not a mere house sandal, ready for a battle stand. Let it be remembered that the living and written Word of truth is a "lamp and light" to a good soldier’s feet and path, Psalms 119:105; Psalms 119:130; Romans 10:15; Isaiah 52:7-8.

2) "With the preparation" (en hetoimasia) "With readiness or preparation," or making ready the mind and attitude for warfare and battle; a firmness of mind, a good footing, ground, or foundation.

3) "Of the gospel of peace" (tou evangelliou tes eirenes) "Of the good news (gospel) of peace." The preparedness which comes to the soldier is from the gospel message of peace in Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1. It is a peace which gives a sense of freedom, relief, and release from the burden of sin and provides a spirit of courage for battle, Isaiah 52:7; Nahum 1:15; Romans 10:15. With this peace within one may face the foe with courage, John 14:27; John 16:33; Colossians 3:15.

Verse 16

1) "Above all" (en pasin) "In all things," or above all things with highest priority among all pieces of Christian armor.

2) "Taking the shield of faith" (analabontes ton thureon tes pisteos) "Taking up the shield of faith," or the shield "which is faith" to block or shut out or turn away the enemies’ arrows and darts; for without it men cannot please God, be saved, Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:11-12; Hebrews 11:1-39. This faith-shield was the instrument of Divine provision by which the roster of the faithful stood.

3) "Wherewith ye shall be able" (en ho dunesethe) "By means of which ye shall be able" or enabled, empowered against special assault of the enemy, Judges 1:3.

4) "To quench" (sbesai) "To quench," To suppress the fearsome means, blows, or instruments from the evil one, Proverbs 25:18. Sometimes ancient warriors poisoned tips of arrows or set the pitch-coated wooden arrow with fire then shot it into his victim. Faith in God is the shield that protects God’s warrior from enemy torture to the soul.

5) "All the fiery darts of the wicked" (panta ta bele tou ponerou ta pepuromena) "All the poison darts of the wicked one," "the one having been equipped with fire," the Devil himself. Satan’s attacks on the life and soul of man are here described as with "fire-tipped" arrows or darts, to kill and destroy, 1 John 5:4. Faith is the antidote, protection that gives victory.

Verse 17

1) "And take the helmet of salvation" (kai ten perikephalaian tou soteriou deksasthe) "And the helmet of salvation (deliverance) take or receive ye, in your own behalf," for your own need. The helmet is salvation with security against eternal death, John 5:24. The helmet is for the head and must be put on before one can be a warrior (Christian warrior), before the right hand takes up the sword, Isaiah 59:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

2) "And the sword of the Spirit" (kai ton machairan tou pneumatos) ’ And the sword (sharp warfare instrument) of the Spirit" The sword is supplied by the Spirit, inspired and true from the beginning, 2 Peter 1:21; Psalms 119:160.

3) "Which is the word of God" (ho estin hrema theou) “Which is (exists in) the Word of God," Hebrews 4:12. It is said to be sharp with soul-cutting power.

"WORD OF GOD VALUED"

How highly do we value the Word of God? There is a man living in a suburb of Kansas City who lost both hands in an explosion while blasting stone. His face was much torn. Although surgeons did all they could for him his eyesight was utterly destroyed. He was young in the faith; the Bible was his delight, and his distress at being no longer able to read it was great. Hearing of a lady in England who read the Braille type with her lips, some friends ordered for him parts of the Bible in the Moon-raised type, and he could hardly wait till they arrived. What a disappointment then it was to find that the explosion had destroyed the nerves of his lips, and there was no sense of touch there! He wept over the Book, stooped to kiss it farewell and happened to touch it with his tongue. His teacher was recalled, and he quickly learned to read the characters by running his tongue along them. Recently he said, "I have read the whole Bible through four times, and many of the books of the Bible over and over again." That man values and loves God’s Word.

-Chairette

D) The Warrior’s Ready Resource

Verse 18

1) "Praying always in the Spirit" (proseuchomsnoi en panti kairo en pneumati) "Continually praying in every season (in every condition or circumstance of time) in (the) Spirit," or sincerity, Luke 18:1. As one stands in warfare, ready for combat, to be an effective stand, though girded with proper armor, one must be instant in prayer, constant, honest, earnest Spiritual prayer, Colossians 4:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18; Acts 1:14; Acts 2:42; Acts 6:4.

2) "With all prayer and supplication" (dia pases proseuches kai deescos) "By means of all prayer and petition." Here, variety and earnestness in every element of prayer is emphasized, such as: (1) confession, (2) request for pardon, (3) thanksgiving, (4) praise, (5) petition for others, and (6) petition for personal needs, Romans 12:12.

3) "And watching thereunto" (kai eis auto agrupnountes) "And with reference to prayer (also) watching," watchfulness, readiness, with a view to never neglect prayer, either in preparation for or in time of engagement in the Christian warfare. One is never to be drowsy or listless while standing as a sentry guard. He must be alert, attentive, awake, vigilant in intercession, never give up, Mark 13:33.

4) "With all perseverance and supplication" (en pase proskarteresei kai deesei) "In all perseverance and petition," or in every kind of perseverance and supplication for others, Luke 21:36.

5) "For all saints" (peri panton ton hagion) "Concerning or relating to all the saints," the church as the housekeeper of God, administrator of His worship and work on earth. Only when we pray for others of the brotherhood may we pray for ourselves, 1 Timothy 2:1-8.

Verse 19

1) "And for me" (kai huper emou) "And (pray) on behalf of me," Peter and John prayed for boldness and strength from God to witness and work in spite of their enemies, Acts 4:29-31. The strength they requested, they received.

2) "That utterance may be given unto me" (hina moi dothe logos), ’in order that (speech liberty) may be given to me." Paul, the mighty apostle to the Gentiles, requested that they bombard heaven’s throne on his behalf. He knew that the "effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much," James 5:16.

3) "That I may open my mouth boldly" (en anoiksei tou stomatos mou) "In opening my mouth," (en paressia) "In boldness or with liberty". True saints must learn to approach the intercessory throne of heaven, as invited, with boldness and assurance, Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 John 2:1-2; Hebrews 7:25.

4) "To make known the mystery of the gospel" (gnorisai to musterion tou evangelliou) "To make clear or comprehensible the mystery of the good news," (1) of salvation, in the sense of redemption from hell; (2) service for the Lord in the church; and (3) an heirsetting for honor and service with Him in the coming kingdom ages --- the Millennium and the Heaven of Heaven ages, matters hidden from the world in former ages, Ephesians 3:2-6; Ephesians 3:9-10.

It was given to the disciples, as an organized witnessing assembly, the body of Christ, called the "kingdom of heaven," by Matthew, to know and understand the mysteries of God hidden from other ages, Matthew 13:11. It was that Jews and Gentiles might worship in the one body (church body) equally having access to offices of service and admission to worship privileges of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, Romans 1:16; Ephesians 5:15-16; Galatians 3:28.

Verse 20

1) "For which" (huper hou) "On behalf of which" (mystery of the good news, as I have already described it.)

2) "I am an ambassador in bonds" (presbeuo en halusei) "I am an ambassador in chains, or a chain-bound one in prison restraint" In service to the Lord, Paul spoke of himself as: (1) an apostle, Ephesians 1:1; (2) a prisoner, Ephesians 3:1; (3) a minister, Ephesians 3:7; and (4) an ambassador, even while in chains, here and in 2 Corinthians 5:20; Romans 1:15; Romans 11:13; Galatians 2:9. At this writing Paul was in handcuffs.

3) "That therein I may speak boldly" (hina en auto parresiasomai) "in order that (even) in prison-bond, or shackled, I may speak out boldly or with liberty of the Spirit," Acts 4:29-31. Paul desired Divine liberty or freedom of boldness in speech, a liberty or boldness that he might receive from the Lord through the prayers of others, 1 Thessalonians 2:2; Hebrews 4:16.

4) "As I ought to speak" (hos dei me lalesai) "As it becomes me to keep on speaking," to speak without timidity, fear, or as a cowed person, 1 Timothy 4:15; Ephesians 4:15; Acts 4:20.

Verse 21

1) "But that ye also may know my affairs" (hina de eidete kai’ humeis ta kat eme) "Yet in order that you all have a conception of all things about me." The "also" indicates there are others, other churches interested in Paul’s affairs or circumstances, Philippians 1:22; Colossians 4:7.

2) "And how I do" (ti prasso) "Even what I am doing, practicing, or the behavior of me," "how I fare," in the reflexive sense.

3) "Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord” (Tuchikos ho agapetos adelphos kai pistos diakonos em kurio) "Tychicus, the beloved and faithful brother, even a servant or minister of common things in the Lord," Colossians 4:7-9; Acts 20:4; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12

This Tychicus was charged with delivering this letter of Ephesians to the church at Ephesus and perhaps to pass it or copies of it to churches and missions in Laeodicea, Colosse, and Crete. He was faithful in the sense of trustworthy, Matthew 24:45.

4) "Shall make known to you all things" (panta gnorisei humin) "Shall apprise you of all things," (relating to my imprisonment), Colossians 4:10-17,

Tychicus, a companion missionary and fellow helper of Paul, was a servant in material and spiritual matters, a trustee steward of God, and worker with Paul, 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; Colossians 1:7.

Verse 22

1) "Whom I have sent" (hon epempsa) "Whom I have sent, with his consent, willingness, or readiness." Tychicus here is identified as having been sent to the Colossians as well as to the Ephesians and for the specific purpose of exchanging information of or pertaining to the churches and brethren, Colossians 4:7-9.

2) "Unto you for the same purpose" (pros humas eis auto touto) "To you all for this very or specific purpose.

3) "That ye might know our affairs" (hina gnote ta peri hemon) "I order that you all might know about the things concerning us," concerning Paul, Tychicus, and Luke, Paul’s physician, and other Christians of the church in Rome, their experiences, testimonies, and needs.

4) "And that he might comfort your hearts" (kai parakalese tas kardias hemon) "And in order that he might comfort your hearts." What a gesture!! What a spirit!! Even in prison Paul was interested in the comfort, hope, assurance, and welfare of the Ephesian brethren, a continent away, See 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 2 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 7:13.

Verse 23

1) "Peace be to the brethren" (eirene tois adelphois) "Let peace be to or toward the brethren" of the church at Ephesus and throughout Asia. This is a closing benediction of peace and love to and for the church brethren addressed at Ephesus and wherever the letter was carried.

2) "And love with faith" (kai agape meta pisteos) "And love with faith or fidelity." Let it be to you, 1 Corinthians 16:24. This love accompanies faith that works for good, Galatians 5:6. For faith that avails "works by love."

3) "From God the Father" (apo theou patros) "From the Father (even) God;" 2 Corinthians 1:3.

4) "And the Lord Jesus Christ" (kai kuriou iesou christou) “As well as (the) Lord Jesus Christ," the connection of the first and second persons of the Godhead indicates a joint-bestowal of spiritual blessings, 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Verse 24

1) "Grace be with all them that love" (he charis meta panton ton agaponton) "May grace or unmerited favor be with all those continually loving," "progressively loving," or "preserving in love," John 13:34-35; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Peter 3:18; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5. The "all them that love" Christ in an incorruptible manner of life seems to be an all-embracing prayer desire of God’s goodness to be upon one and all then, there, and thereafter who should love the Lord in an affinity of church fellowship and service as soldiers of the Lord, Ephesians 3:21.

2) "Our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity" (ton kurion hemon iesou christou en aphtharsia) "The Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility;" That is, those living the way they profess. Paul did not pray God’s unmerited favors upon church members of Ephesus and Asia Minor who live corruptible, immoral, and unethical lives. To have done so would have ignored the principle of blessings for goodness and obedience and chastisement for wrong, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; Hebrews 12:5-11.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ephesians 6". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ephesians-6.html. 1985.