Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, May 29th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Tired of seeing ads while studying? Now you can enjoy an "Ads Free" version of the site for as little as 10¢ a day and support a great cause!
Click here to learn more!

Bible Commentaries
Ephesians 6

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verse 1


Children. “Obey even your unbelieving parents in everything compatible with your duty to the Lord. It is your Christian duty to do this, because of your reverence for Christ.”

Verse 2


Honor. “It is your duty to obey; honor is the attitude that motivates you to obey.” The quotation is Deuteronomy 5:16.


So that. “God added this promise to the commandment. To honor your parents still brings a blessing!” Disobedience to parents grows out of failing to honor them, and Paul sees this as one sign of being estranged from God (Romans 1:30 :2 Timothy 3:2).

Verse 4


Parents. “Do not make your children bitter and hostile by your harsh and unreasonable treatment of them! (See Colossians 3:21) Be gentle in your punishment and teach them in love, because of your reverence for Christ!”

Verse 5


Slaves. “Since the Good News does not cancel the social structure which you are part of, I tell you who are slaves to obey your human masters, with fear and trembling rather than with pride and arrogance! And do it with a sincere heart, motivated by love and your reverence for Christ!” Compare 1 Corinthians 7:21-22 and notes.

Verse 6


Do this. “The point of your obedience to your human masters, is not just to make them think you are a good servant; but you are to do this because of your reverence for Christ!” See Colossians 3:22.

Verse 7


Cheerfully. “You must not misunderstand your freedom in Christ! You must view yourselves, not as slaves to men, but as servants of Christ! You must not be rebellious, but serve cheerfully, because in serving them faithfully, you are serving Him!” Christian love causes us to relate with others through our reverence for Christ.

Verse 8


Remember. “Remember what the Good News teaches you! Whether you are rewarded in this world for your good work or not, the Lord will reward every man (Revelation 22:12)! Whether slave or free, your attitude should be based on this fact!”

Verse 9


Masters. “Like parents, masters have obligations as well as rights. Let your reverence for Christ guide you in your behavior toward your slaves. Remember that all of you have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and that your Master will judge both you and your slaves by the same standard!” See Introduction to Philemon.

Verse 10


Build up your strength. “Finally, to show you how important it is for you to pay close attention to the ethical life style you follow, I show you this picture of what we are actually doing!”

Verse 11


Put on all the armor. Paul uses the symbolism of a Roman soldier getting ready to go into battle. Armor protects against the weapons of the enemy. The Devil’s evil tricks. This shows that the battle is actually religious/moral (since the two cannot be separated).

Verse 12


For we are not. Paul shows us another of God’s secrets. The evil angels fight against men and continually try to tempt them into sin! “Our real battle is not against the idolatrous rulers and other evil men of this present age (we want to bring them to Christ and save them). Our real battle is against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world!” Compare Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4 and notes. These facts which Paul gives us, take the day-to-day struggle to live holy lives out of the realm of make-believe! It is a life-and-death struggle with supernatural forces who are the agents of the one Devil!!! Compare introductory note to Revelation 13:1.

Verse 13


So take up! “God has given you defensive armor against the wicked spiritual powers, but you must put it on!!! Then when the evil day of temptation comes, you will be able to resist the attack of these evil powers, and when they have done their worst to destroy you, you will still hold your ground!!!”

Verse 14


So stand ready. Being able to stand ready involves the soldier’s own act of preparation. “The spiritual soldier who still holds his ground, must again stand ready to face another such crucial battle, should it come! I show you what you must do before you take your stand.” Truth for a belt. The soldier’s belt anchored and held together other parts of his armor. Since the word of God is the sword, truth here probably means frankness and sincerity (2 Corinthians 1:12). Righteousness. A breastplate protected the chest area from injury. Righteousness is integrity in personal conduct, This is vital to Christian life (Romans 6:13).

Verse 15


And the readiness. This means: (1) active preparation; (2) preparedness. [This can be translated as the NIV has done, but Johnson, MacKnight, et. al., understand it as the TEV has done.] It is the readiness to announce that forms the shoes. This includes such things as: courage, self-discipline, endurance, and a kind and gentle spirit. The peace of God’s finished work in Christ is made real in the church now, and will in the future include all the universe (Colossians 1:20).

Verse 16


Faith as a shield. Johnson says: “The Roman oblong shield, four and a half feet long, covered the whole body and was a protection in itself.” Faith is: the firm belief of the teachings and promises of the Good News, which actively holds firmly to these things. Burning arrows. This is a literal translation. These were used in much the same way as a fire-bomb. Since our faith is based on God’s act in Christ, a historical action EXTRINSIC to ourself, we have the Christian confidence which will extinguish the burning arrows of doubt, fear, defeatism, etc. Compare 1 John 3:19-21.

Verse 17


Salvation. MacKnight understands this to protect the Christian from the fear of death. Word of God. This is the sword that the Spirit gives the Christian to use to defeat the forces of evil. The Spirit conquers through the individual Christian. See also Hebrews 4:12 and note.

Verse 18


Do all this. “As soldiers identify each other by means of pass-words, let your identification as soldiers of Christ be your prayer in Jesus’ name! Be sure to ask for God’s help as you face the battles of the day! As the Spirit leads. Compare Romans 8:26; Ephesians 2:22; Jude 1:20; Galatians 4:6 and notes. For this reason. Because we are fighting against wicked spiritual forces. For all God’s people. Only when we constantly pray for others in this way, can we pray for ourselves!

Verse 19


Also for me. Paul often asks this. The context shows he, even in prison, may have the wisdom and the boldness to speak the secret of the gospel in an effective way. Compare Luke 21:12-13; 2 Timothy 4:17.

Verse 20


For the sake of this gospel. Johnson says: “As an ambassador is sent to a foreign court to declare the will of the king, so he, though in chains, was Christ’s ambassador sent to Rome to declare the will of his King.”

Verse 21


Tychicus. He probably delivered this Letter, and could give them a report on Paul’s condition. Tychicus was a native of the Province of Asia (Acts 20:4), possibly of Ephesus itself. He was a close associate to Paul, and it is probable that he went to Jerusalem with him, as Trophimus did (Acts 21:29), as a “delegate of the church.”

Verse 22


That is why. “I am sending this faithful brother to you to tell you about my condition, and to give you comfort and strength!”

Verses 23-24


May God. “I give you my benediction and blessing, to the church at Ephesus and to all the others who read this!” This Letter was certainly intended for all the churches in Asia.

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Ephesians 6". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/ephesians-6.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
Ads FreeProfile