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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Ephesians 6

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-4

Submission in Parenting - Ephesians 6:1-4 teaches about the role of submission in parenting. Both the children and the parents are commanded to follow their respective roles in order for this relationship to prosper. The promise given in Ephesians 6:1-4 of a long life to obedient children is placed within the context of the theme of Ephesians , which theme is God's eternal plan for mankind. Thus, a child can begin preparing himself to fulfil God's plan for his own life by first learning to obey his parents.

The first understanding and knowledge of God that a child will experience will be seen in the life of his parents. A child's obedience to his parents is his first steps in hearing and obeying the voice of God. A child's obedience will be determined by the amount of honour and respect that he holds for his parents. This honour is based upon his fear and reverence for them. Therefore, fear and reverence of his parents must be instilled within a child during his early years if he is to walk in obedience to later forms of authority in his life, and especially obedience to God. If the development of reverence for one's parents is a child's first step in developing reverence for God, then it also becomes the first step in God's eternal plan for each human being. It is obedience to earthly parents that will set them on their journey to learning how to fear God. It is a holy reverence for God that will set them on their journey to fulfilling God's purpose and plan in their lives. Now it become clear how important it is that we live a long life, for without it a person cannot fulfil its individual divine destiny.

Honor and Respect- Tedd Tripp says that a child's submission to parents is two-fold: honor and respect. Submission to parents means that a child must be trained to obey even when he does not want to obey. In order to accomplish this, he says that a parent must train the child to honor his parents, and he must behave himself honourable before the child in order to gain respect. 168] Ephesians 6:1-4 is designed to keep both children and parents in the realm of God's blessings, while disobedience causing someone to stray away from God's protective plan for one's live. Parenting is designed to keep the child within these divine blessings.

168] Ted Tripp, Shepherding a Child's Heart, 2nd ed. (Wapwallopen, PA: Shepherd Press, c 1995, 2005), 131-132.

Discipline with Love- The role of a father in parenting and training up his children is to be careful and not discourage them from eagerly pursuing this divine calling. A father must break the self-will of a child without breaking his spirit and zeal to follow the Lord's plan for his life. Unskilled parents often attempt to instil obedience in their children by discipline carried out through rage and anger. This is the single greatest hindrance to a child fulfilling his calling in life. He must not discipline them in anger, but rather by principles. His rod must be tempered with love.

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Ephesians 6:1 — "Children, obey your parents in the Lord" - Comments - A child will treat God no differently than he will treat his own parents. God instituted the family, and placed parents over children as a child's first experience in submission to divine authority. Thus, Keith Johnson says, "In parenthood God's divinity is joined to man's humanness." 169]

169] Keith Johnson, "Sermon," Calvary Cathedral International, Fort Worth, Texas.

Ephesians 6:1 — "for this is right" - Comments - In other words, this is the right way for a child to start his/her spiritual journey in order to fulfil God's divine plan for their lives. In addition, this is how a child walks upright before the Lord. Also, Arthur Patzia notes that this is the right because it is a "universal obligation," a moral law that reaches beyond the Church and governs all of humanity. 170]

170] Arthur G. Patzia, Ephesians ,, Colossians ,, Philemon , in Understanding the Bible Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011), 277-278.

Ephesians 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)

Ephesians 6:3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Ephesians 6:2-3Comments - In Ephesians 6:2-3 Paul quotes the fifth of the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16. Paul says this is the first commandment with a promise. In fact, it is the only one of the Ten Commandments that gives a promise, so that we have to look further into the Pentateuch to find additional promises.

Exodus 20:12, "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."

Deuteronomy 5:16, "Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."

Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4 — "but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" - Comments - We see Paul doing this in the book of Hebrews , if we assume that he was the author. In the epistle of Hebrews , he teaches them about the present-day priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ and about our access to the throne of grace. Then he weaves within this teaching a series of warnings, or admonitions, to the saints for them to persevere to the end. In Ephesians Paul also teaches them, and then warns them on a number of occasions in this epistle.

Illustration- While working in the pre-school department at Southcliff Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas while a seminary student in 1981-2, I noticed that Joshua , the child of Rick and Linda Gail Shepherd, the associate pastor over the prayer ministry, was very mature for his young age. This is because he had been nurtured in the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4Comments - In Ephesians 6:4 Paul warns fathers not to be out of balance in raising children. It must be a balance of love and discipline. If there is little love and lots of discipline, then children become angry and embittered against their parents, and against God and society. Paul speaks to fathers rather than mothers in this passage of Scripture simply because a father has the leadership position, which by nature exerts more influence within the family than a mother. Good leadership is achieved by having a positive impact on its sphere of influence, and in this case, the family.


Verses 5-9

Submission at Work- The passage of Ephesians 6:5-9 addresses the relationship of slave and master. We may apply it today to employee-employer. Paul deals with this social relationship within the context of the theme of Ephesians , which is God's eternal plan for mankind. Slave ownership was an important part of the economic structure of the Roman society. Without it, the Empire would not be able to finance its infrastructure. Yet our Christian ethics tell us that it is morally wrong. Paul's epistles of Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 3:22 to Colossians 4:1 and the short epistle of Philemon serve to answer this question within its historical setting.

Submission in Slavery in the Ancient World- Slavery was a big part of the fabric of Roman society. There were an estimated sixty million slaves serving their masters in the Roman Empire, which had an estimated population of one hundred and twenty million people. Thus, half of the population was bound in slavery. The cruel Roman government enforced this bondage because the success of its economy was dependent upon the sweat of slave labour. Thus, Paul had to be careful not to appear as if he was calling for a revolution of emancipation of slavery. He would have quickly been thrown in prison. Yet, his Jewish background found him against it. His understand of the Gospel led him to the understanding that slavery was not God's will for mankind. Thus, every time Paul addresses this issue, he does it with carefulness by drawing attention to the spiritual laws of freedom in Christ and servanthood to one another.

1 Corinthians 7:21, "Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather."

Colossians 3:22, "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:"

1 Timothy 6:1-2, "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort."

1 Peter 2:18, "Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward."

In order to understand the wisdom that the Lord gave Paul in dealing with the issue of slavery, it is helpful to look back upon a similar incident in the missionary efforts of Alexander Mackay and his team as they made their way to the East African country of Uganda to evangelize the natives. Upon arriving on the east coast of Africa, the team initially chased slave caravans and successfully set free a number of slaves. However, they quickly found themselves in ill favor with many native people around them. When an Arab slave-dealer named Songoro ran to find refuge with two team members of Mackay, the local king sent a troop of natives and killed the entire group, the slave-dealer and the two white missionaries. Mackay learned a difficult lesson about engaging himself in the private affairs of the local people, particularly when it involved slave trade. 171] Although Wilberforce had led the British Parliament in condemning slavery in the West a few decades earlier, 172] and the Civil War in the U.S. freed American slaves, it was not Mackay's role to change this primitive African society by force, but rather by conversion to Christ so that the people would change their society willingly, which is exactly what took place in the decades ahead in East Africa. If fact, Mackay changed his approach by asking the king of Uganda to do away with slavery in his territory, which did not work immediately.

171] C. T. Wilson, Alexander Mackay: Missionary Hero of Uganda (London: The Sunday School Union, 1893), 29, 31-32.

172] Samuel Wilberforce, Life of William Wilberforce (London: John Murray, 1868).

Illustration- Having lived in Africa for a number of years, I have seen how Paul is addressing the same attitudes that show up when rich international immigrants rule over local poor Africans. The local African employees, who are paid very little, have much less regard for completing a full day's work than do employees in a competitive, organized developed country. I have watched such employees simply sit around and talk while the boss is away and jump to work when he comes to inspect. They do not strive for excellence because there is no incentive for reaching such achievements. Therefore, Paul is telling these slaves in his day to work as if they are serving the Lord by being obedient and doing a good job for their masters.

In this same African culture, I have seen how easily the foreign bosses become irritated with their simply-minded poor employees and shout at them. These bosses carry an attitude of superiority that dictates their attitudes towards their employees. I am sure that this same attitude was predominating in the slave owners of their day, looking at their slaves as ignorant and inferior to them in many aspects. Therefore, Paul attempts to show them the bigger picture of how these Christian slave owners are now "brothers in Christ" with their slaves. He tells them to hold back their threats to them and realize that that they are serving the same Master who does not see one as inferior to the other. Thus, a servant and a master can fulfill God's plan in their individual lives and reap many heavenly rewards if they will simply honor one another in this difficult social relationship. For the slave, he serves the Lord by serving his master. For the master, he honors the Lord by honoring his servants.

Ephesians 6:6Comments - How do you give hope to a slave, or today, to a person bound in a lifestyle of intense poverty in a developing nation? You give them hope from God"s perspective. Paul told them that their eternal rewards were based on their serving attitude, not based on their lowly earthly status. I have told poor people in Africa to serve the Lord by being faithful in the humble jobs that they have and God will exalt them with eternal rewards ( Colossians 3:24).

Colossians 3:24, "Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."

Ephesians 6:8Comments - Ephesians 6:8 offers a clear verse on the divine principle of sowing and reaping in the Christian life as well as in the life of the unbeliever since the phrase "any man" can refer to a lost or a saved person. This divine principle works in any person"s life.

Illustration - Joseph was sold into Egyptian slavery by his brothers in the book of Genesis. He served as a slave as unto the Lord and was exalted in the kingdom of Egypt in order to fulfil God's divine plan of redemption for the nation of Israel. David and the three Hebrew children were taken in to Babylonian bondage and God exalted them because of their outstanding character.


Verses 10-13

The Authority of the Believer- Ephesians 6:10-13 reveals to us that the Christian has divine power and authority in his struggle against the powers of darkness. We read in Ephesians 6:12, "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." It is necessary for us read this passage of Scripture in light of the previous passages in this great epistle. God would not call us into battle without first equipping us and giving us the ability to win our battles.

The Kingdom of Satan- Ephesians 6:12 lists the hierarchy of demonic powers that have been defeated by Christ Jesus at His resurrection and led captive ( Ephesians 4:8). These demonic powers that were made subject to Christ are now subject to us through His glorious name, the name of Jesus. We have authority over the Devil, and the basis of our authority is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because we have been given authority over the Devil through Jesus Christ, Paul can rightfully say in Ephesians 6:10-11, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." These verses reveal that we must equip ourselves by choosing to put on the entire armour of God. Thus, this equipping is a choice that we must make. This is why Paul follows this verse by saying, "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand," ( Ephesians 6:13). Thus, we cannot win our battles against the kingdom of Satan unless we choose to be equipped. When we are not properly equipped, we may lose a few battles. However, this was not God's will. This is why we see bad things happening to good people, even to children of God.

Victory is for Every Believer- Another insight that Ephesians 6:10-13 reveals is that victory over the Devil is for every believer. It is not for just a few "spiritual" Christians. In fact, the least person in the Kingdom of God has more power that the Devil. God has called all of His children into victory in every area of their lives.

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Ephesians 6:10 — "Finally, my brethren" - Comments- In other words, Paul brings his teaching to a conclusion. The final passage will serve as a summary of his previous teachings. The final stage of this journey is to fulfil God's plan for your life.

Ephesians 6:10 — "be strong in the Lord" - Word Study on "be strong" - Strong says the Greek word "be strong" ( ἐνδυναμόω) (G 1743) means, "to empower." BDAG says it means, "to strengthen," and in the passive voice, "to become strong."

Comments - The word ἐνδυναμόω refers to the inner strength and boldness that we feel as children of God. We know that God is all-powerful, but we must not forget that Satan has limited power on this earth, which he uses to control and destroy men ( John 4:4).

1 John 4:4, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."

Comments- Be strong, or "be strengthened," in the Lord. The verb is passive, meaning that our source of strength is from the Lord.

Ephesians 6:10 — "and in the power of his might" - Comments - The two phrases in Ephesians 6:10 "be strong in the Lord," and "in the power of his might," are parallel with each other in that they say essentially the same thing, such as parallelism in Hebrew poetry. The second phrase restates the first phrase and gives more clarity or depth to its meaning.

Ephesians 6:10Comments - Ephesians 6:10 reflects the secondary theme of Ephesians , which is the believer's role in God's plan of redemption for mankind. The first three chapters of Ephesians teaches us how God the Father has planned all things and equipped the Church with all spiritual blessings necessary to fulfill the Father's divine plan of redemption ( Ephesians 1:3). The role of the Church is revealed in the last three chapters by exhorting the Church to be strong in the Lord so that it can carry out the Father's will upon the earth ( Ephesians 6:10).

Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:"

Ephesians 6:10, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."

How do we build up our strength in the Lord? We are empowered in the Lord by putting on the armour of God, as explained in the following verses, so that we can wield the sword of the Spirit and pray in tongues ( 1 Corinthians 14:4, Jude 1:20), which is referred to in Ephesians 6:17-18.

1 Corinthians 14:4, "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church."

Jude 1:20, "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,"

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead and created all things beyond our comprehending ( Ephesians 3:20) is available for us. Note that it is His strength, and not our own fleshly power or wisdom.

Ephesians 3:20, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,"

There is a difference in using our strength and ability verses walking in God"s anointing. For example, Abraham was full of faith ( Romans 4:20), and Samson was full of the Holy Ghost ( Judges 13-16).

Romans 4:20, "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;"

According to 1 Timothy 1:12, Paul was faithful many years before he began his missionary journeys with God's power operating in his life through signs and wonders.

1 Timothy 1:12 "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that we counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry."

However, if we are not careful, we walk as strong Christians, yet fall back into the deception of thinking that we can overcome any temptation because we begin to trust in our own strength. This deception can cause us to be come careless and less dependent upon our Heavenly Father; for what we feel is really not our own strength, but that of the Holy Spirit within us. Note these words from Frances J. Roberts:

"My people, heed My words; yea, walk not carelessly; neither lay out thine own paths on which to travel. Ye cannot know what lieth in the distance, nor what adversity ye may encounter tomorrow. So walk closely with Me, that ye may be able to draw quickly upon My aid. Ye need Me; and no matter how well-developed is thy faith nor how mature is thy growth in grace, never think for a moment that ye need My support any less. Nay, but the truth is that ye need it even more. For I shelter the new-born from many a trial and testing such as I permit to confront those who are growing up in spiritual stature. Yea, verily, ye cannot grow unless I do bring into your lives these proving and testing experiences. So hold thee more firmly to My hand as ye journey on in thy Christian walk. Trust not in thine own increasing strength; for verily, it is not thy strength but rather My strength within thee that ye feel. Ye are as vunerable to the treachery of the enemy and as frail as ever; but thy knowledge of Me has deepened, and because of this thy trust in Me should come easier." 174]

174] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 17.

Another way to say this is that we should not receive and use His grace in vain, as stated in 2 Corinthians 6:1, "We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain."

Illustration- A man can have the anointing to serve God, but not the faithfulness to serve him, and thus loose this anointing. Kenneth Hagin tells story of several ministers he saw anointed to lay hands on the sick, and to heal them by the power of the Holy Spirit. Some time later, one minister came to Hagin sick because he could not get well. Why? Hagin said that his gift of healing was for ministering to people, but healing for himself was going to have to come from his own faith. 175]

175] Kenneth Hagin, Understanding the Anointing (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1983, 1994), 132-3.

Scripture References- Note similar verses on being strong in the Lord:

Acts 6:5, "And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philippians , and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:"

Acts 6:8, "And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people."

Acts 9:22, "But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ."

Acts 11:24, "For he was a good Prayer of Manasseh , and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord."

Romans 4:20, "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;"

Ephesians 1:19, "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,"

Ephesians 3:16, "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;"

Colossians 1:11, "Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;"

Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

1 Timothy 1:12 "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that we counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry."

2 Timothy 2:1, "Thou therefore, my Song of Solomon , be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:11"Put on the whole armor of God" - Comments - The analogy of putting the armour of God reflects back on Paul's exhortation in Ephesians 4:1 to Ephesians 6:9. We are to put on the whole armour of God as a panoply, or protective covering by walking the worthy walk to which we have been called, engaging with God in His divine plan of redemption. Note that the armour belongs to God; His truth, His righteousness, His gospel, His faith, His salvation, and His Word. However, it is given by grace, freely, to us.

The armor refers to the many different ways that we can protect ourselves against Satan, since he comes in so many different ways to attack. Although God supplies us with this divine armor, we have to make the effort to put it on just like we go to the closet each morning and put on our clothes. Note a similar verse that shows us that it is an act of our will.

Colossians 3:14, "And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness."

We may have access to this armor, but unless we put it on, we can be overcome by the tricks and warfare of Satan.

The phrase "whole armor" means that we can put only part of the armor on if we so choose. We put on the entire armor by sanctifying our entire lives; spirit, soul and body.

Illustration- In the 1960's science fiction television series "Star Trek," the Spaceship Enterprise could put up a force shield at any time, protecting it from enemy lasers and other efforts to destroy it.

Ephesians 6:11 — "that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" - Word Study on "wiles" - Strong says the Greek word ( μεθοδεία) (G 3180) literally means, "travelling over," and comes to mean, "travesty (trickery)." He says it is a compound of μετά (G 3326) denoting accompaniment or association, and ὁδεύω (3593), which means, "to travel." BDAG says it means, "scheming, craftiness." Webster says the English word "wiles" means, "trickish, deceitful." The Greek word μεθοδεία is used two times in the New Testament ( Ephesians 4:14; Ephesians 6:11).

Ephesians 4:14, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"

Comments - The first part of Ephesians 6:11 tells us "to put on the whole armour of God." The second part of this verse tells us why we need His armour, which is because we have a battle to fight. We are fighting a spiritual battle that we cannot fight in the flesh, in our own wisdom and strength. The phrase "be able to stand" alludes to the ancient battle field in which hand to hand combat was common. This meant that the victor was left standing, while the defeated lay on the ground. Only the victor remained standing in these ancient battles.

The devil and his demons have been tricking humans since Adam and Eve. They know your background, your strong holds in the past, your weaknesses, etc.

Genesis 3:1, "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

John 10:10, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

The only weapon that the Devil can use to capture men is his trickery and deceit. Through this he gains power over men who then walk in darkness. This deceit was the tool used by Satan to deceive man in the Garden of Eden.

We know that the devil is not always defeated in Christian lives, because the armour is not always put on by believers. This is why we still see problems in the lives of believers. The apostle Peter gives a similar command in 1 Peter 5:8 :

1 Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

Satan has no ability to carry out his wicked acts unless he works with trickery and deceit. This is why Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:11 that our battle is to stand against the tricks of Satan. To understand why he uses this word "wiles" we can imagine a demon roaming about the earth looking for someone to deceive. This demon is a spirit, and has no physical body. Therefore, by himself he is powerless; for he cannot do a thing except roam about. Thus, he finds a person and plants lying thoughts into his mind. If this person yields to those deceitful thoughts, then the demon is able to exert his influence to carry out his wicked will upon earth. A demon can even deceive a person into allowing him entrance into his body, thus, becoming demon possessed. There are various degrees of possess, by which a demon can actually take full control of a person's voice and behaviour. Now, a demon's sphere of influence and control has greatly increased. He can now use that person often to accomplish many wicked acts of sin. However, when a person comes to the knowledge of the truth and is saved, delivered and set free from demonic possession and the bondages of sin, Satan looses his ability to kill, steal and destroy upon this earth. Thus, Satan looses ground and seeks others to control as he fights to regain his strongholds upon the earth. This is why Paul tells us that the first piece of armour we are to put on is to gird the loins of our minds with the truth of God's Word, so that we do not fall into the wiles of the devil.

Illustration- One morning I watched an ant crawl down a window screen. Suddenly a spider ten times his size rushed out and latched onto the ant. The ant managed to get loose and walk away. The spider attacked again, but the ant managed to get out of his clutches again and carried on, unscathed. This ant was ready and armored for the sudden attack of the enemy.

Ephesians 6:12 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.

Ephesians 6:12"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood" - Comments - Several modern English versions paraphrase the phrase "flesh and blood" to read, "human (beings)." The CEV reads, "humans." The GNB reads, "human beings." Romans 12:19-21 teaches us to give place to wrath, and let God being justice. This way we can love your enemies and give no place to the devil.

Romans 12:19-21, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

Our battles are not in the flesh and blood, or natural realm, but in the spiritual realm. Paul understood this battle in his ministry to the churches when he referred to demonic hindrances in his ministry:

Romans 1:13, "Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles."

Romans 15:22, "For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you."

Galatians 5:7, "Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?"

1 Thessalonians 2:18, "Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us."

2 Thessalonians 2:9, "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,"

1 Timothy 5:15, "For some are already turned aside after Satan."

Paul knew that the Judaizers were messengers of Satan who were sent to persecute him and to corrupt the gospel message

2 Corinthians 12:7, "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the Revelation , there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure."

Illustration- In September 1988, my brother, Steve, and I were moving into Brown Trail Apartments. While unloading boxes, we heard a lady give a shrill scream. Steve and I ran down the street to find the source of this terrifying scream. As we approached on home, I saw an older man standing over a bloody young Prayer of Manasseh , who had just been thrown through a glass door. The young man had taken this man"s daughter out on a Friday night date, and did not bring her home until Sunday.

I ran up to the man"s face and rebuked the devil. As this bloody young man crawled to safety, I stood my ground with an angry man. When he stepped towards me, I took authority over the devil. I knew who was behind this violence. My brother yelled to the neighbors who were watching to call the police. The ambulance and police arrived soon and began to manage the situation, as Steve and I went back to our moving.

Ephesians 6:12"against spiritual wickedness in high places" - Comments - Demon spirits and Satan dwell in heaven, or heavenly places. In Job 1:6; Job 2:1, Satan presents himself before the Lord on two occasions.

Job 1:6, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them."

Job 2:1, "Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD."

In Revelation 12:8-9, when Satan was overcome by Michael and his angels, there was no longer a place found in heaven for them, implying that for Satan that was a place in heaven for them before the battle. Here, Satan, who accused the brethren before God day and night, was cast out of heaven.

Revelation 12:8-9, "And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

Ephesians 6:12Comments (1) - Ephesians 6:12 lists the hierarchy of demonic powers that have been defeated by Christ Jesus at His resurrection and led captive ( Ephesians 4:8). The Lord said to Kenneth Hagin, "There are four divisions: (1) principalities, (2) powers, (3) rulers of the darkness of this world, (4) and wicked spirits in high places or in the heavenlies. The highest spirits with which you have to deal are the rulers of the darkness of this world." 176] These demonic powers that were made subject to Christ are now subject to us through His glorious name, the name of Jesus. We have authority over the Devil, and the basis of our authority is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

176] Kenneth Hagin, I Believe In Visions (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1984, 1986), 73.

We have an illustration of the hierarchy of the demonic realm in the book of Daniel:

Daniel 10:13, "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia."

Illustration- In Acts 16:16-18, Paul was speaking to the demon spirit in the damsel, and not to the damsel herself.

Acts 16:16-18, "And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour."

Ephesians 6:12Comments (2) - In the millennial reign, the devil will be locked up, and peace will be on earth for one thousand years. The Lord must have allowed Paul to see into spirit realm and glimpse this cosmic struggle of spiritual beings.

Ephesians 6:12Comments (3) - God's revelations to Paul must have revealed some spiritual insight into this struggle of sin ( Romans 8:38-39).

Romans 8:38-39, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Also, note:

Ephesians 1:21, "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:"

Colossians 1:16, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:"

Ephesians 6:11-12Comments- The Word "against" - Someone once said, "We need to be constantly reminded that prayer is to God, for Prayer of Manasseh , and against the devil. We must know that any prayer to God is against Satan. This ‘against' factor must not be forgotten or else we will have war without an enemy. In Ephesians 6, the key word in the engagement that we face is ‘against'. In prayer, the entrenchment of the enemy must be a primary target!" (Author unknown)

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Ephesians 6:13"that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day" - Comments- While Paul exhorts the Ephesians to "withstand" the devil, James and Peter use the word, "resist." Note:

James 4:7, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

1 Peter 5:9, "Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world."

The opposite of resist is to "give place to," as in Ephesians 4:27, "Neither give place to the devil."

"in the evil day" - The "evil day" refers to the period of time when the devil comes against you, when sickness, poor finances or desperate needs strike your life. An illustration of an evil day is found in the life of Job , chapters 1,2. These chapters show us how the devil comes in the evil day.

This says that there will be times in our life, just as in Jesus' life, when we will have to overcome temptations by the devil. However, too often, when the evil day comes, Christians find themselves overcome because they have not prepared themselves properly. They were not ready because they had too many worldly things to do.

Ephesians 6:13"and having done all, to stand" - Comments- This phrase in Ephesians 6:13 is saying, "having overcome, conquered, and prepared yourself, make yourself ready." Song of Solomon , the verse can read, "to be able to resist in the evil day (the day of battle) and after having conquered all things, to stand."

This means that even though you resist Satan and win in a struggle, he will not immediately give up, but will continue to come against you in other crafty ways. We see an illustration of this in Jesus" temptation in the wilderness ( Matthew 4:3-11).

Once you have resisted the devil, he can come back another time, that Isaiah , he may leave for a season, but has the potential to return. Note:

Luke 4:13, "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season."

God"s will is that we stand. This means that we continue to overcome and conquer the temptations of the evil one. God wants us to be triumphant in that evil day.

What is it that these believers have to do in order to stand against the wiles of Satan? First, they were to renew their minds by putting on Christ ( Ephesians 4:2-32). In light of their divine authority in Christ, God's children are to submit themselves to one another in all of their social relationships, for this is the way that we can walk in authority and victory in our own lives ( Ephesians 4:2). It is this attitude of submission that will bring unity in the body of Christ ( Ephesians 4:3-16). Paul then tells them how to develop this character in their lives, which was not there before their conversion. They are to renew to their minds and chose to put on the new man ( Ephesians 4:17-32). Secondly, they were to learn how to be led by the Spirit ( Ephesians 5:1-17). Thirdly, they were to yield their bodies in a submissive role to the Holy Spirit and in society ( Ephesians 5:21 to Ephesians 6:9). These saints were to submit themselves to one another in every type of social relationship. This is accomplished by walking in the fear of the Lord, whose servants are we.

Once a person can maintain this walk in the Lord that Paul discusses in Ephesians 4:1 to Ephesians 6:9, he will be able to war a spiritual warfare and walk in victory for himself ( Ephesians 6:10-18) and for others, such as Paul ( Ephesians 6:11-22). It is important to note that a person cannot fight the good fight of faith and do spiritual warfare successfully until he has become obedient to the principles that Paul teaches in the previous chapters.

Ephesians 6:13Comments- In the battle, we are to fear God, not the enemy ( Matthew 10:28). He raised us up from the dead and gave life to mortal bodies ( Romans 8:11).

Matthew 10:28, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Romans 8:11, "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."


Verses 10-20

Spiritual Warfare- The passage in Ephesians 6:10-20 is about a believer's spiritual warfare in the Kingdom of Heaven. It serves as a natural climax to Paul's teachings and exhortations found within this epistle concerning the believer's role in fulfilling God the Father's plan of redemption. The thematic scheme of Ephesians reveals that those who obeyed Paul's teachings in the previous chapters found themselves spiritually mature enough to engage in such warfare. It is important to note that the city of Ephesus, being the worship centre of the Greek goddess Diana, was a demonic stronghold in this part of the world. The only way to overcome such an obstacle was through spiritual warfare. Paul set the example of such warfare by confronting witchcraft ( Acts 19:10) and God wrought signs and miracles by his hands in this city ( Acts 19:11); he had "fought with beasts at Ephesus" ( 1 Corinthians 15:32); and he had overcome many temptations from the Jews in Asia ( Acts 20:19).

Acts 19:19, "Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver."

Acts 19:11, "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul."

1 Corinthians 15:32, "If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die."

Acts 20:19, "Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:"

Once a person can maintain this walk in the Lord that Paul discusses in Ephesians 4:1 to Ephesians 6:9, he will be able to war a spiritual warfare and walk in victory for himself ( Ephesians 6:10-18) and for others, such as Paul ( Ephesians 6:19-22) and his co-workers. It is important to note that a person cannot fight the good fight of faith and do spiritual warfare successfully until he has become obedient to the principles that Paul teaches in the previous chapters. Joyce Meyer said, "You cannot exercise authority over the devil and act like the devil at the same time." 173] Thus, the armor described in Ephesians 6:10-17 is a symbolic way of summarizing the character development that Paul discusses in Ephesians 4:1 to Ephesians 6:9.

173] Joyce Meyer, Enjoying Everyday Life (Fenton, Missouri: Joyce Meyer Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program, 2March 2004.

Thus, Paul takes the believers on a spiritual journey within this epistle in order to prepare them for such. He had earlier referred to the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry in this epistle ( Ephesians 4:12). Thus, Paul now draws for us in Ephesians 6:10-18 a symbolic picture of a saint who is fully equipped in the form of a soldier with his full armour on.

This passage in Ephesians 6:10-20 on spiritual, heavenly warfare can easily been linked to the opening passage of this epistle. Paul tells the church at Ephesus that God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Thus, we are also blessed in that we can war against spiritual forces from our position in Christ. The theme of this passage is for the saints of God to be active and not passive in spiritual warfare, as we see that Jesus is our example. When Jesus put on His armour, as it is prophesied in the book of Isaiah , He went to battle and fought against the enemy ( Isaiah 59:17-18).

Isaiah 59:17-18, "For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence."

Ephesians 6:10-13 discusses our authority as believers to stand against the tricks of the enemy. This is followed by Ephesians 6:11-17, which discusses our armour in spiritual warfare. The armor described in Ephesians 6:14-17 is symbolic of the character development found with the previous section that emphasizes man's role in fulfilling his high calling ( Ephesians 4:1 to Ephesians 6:9).

Joining the Army- We must first submit ourselves under the leadership of the Church that Jesus Christ has established, as discussed in Ephesians 4:1-16. There in the environment of the local Church, we begin to grow as babes in Christ. We must first fall into rank and file and become involved in our church. Unless we are involved in the ministry of helps, we are not in rank and file. Rather, we are wandering on the out skirts of the marching army and are not benefiting the church. However, when we join the church, we put ourselves in a position to grow in the Lord and to be used by Him.

Renewing the Mind ( Ephesians 4:17-32) - We grow first by girding up the loins of our minds with the belt of truth ( Ephesians 6:14 a) by renewing our minds according to Ephesians 4:17-32. When our minds become renewed, we open our hearts to the washing of water by the Word of God ( Ephesians 5:26).

Purifying the Heart ( Ephesians 5:1-20) - We find this process of purifying our hearts and staying filled with the Holy Spirit discussed in Ephesians 5:1-20. It is the breastplate that protects our heart ( Ephesians 6:14 b).

Directing our Body ( Ephesians 5:21 to Ephesians 6:9) - Once we have renewed our minds and purified our hearts, we are then able to submit our bodies to God's will for our lives and walk in submission in our relationship to others ( Ephesians 5:21 to Ephesians 6:9). This walk of peace is described in Ephesians 6:15 as shodding our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. This means that we are ready to be at peace with every man. The emphasis here is on the walking out of the Gospel with one's fellow man rather than the proclamation of the Gospel. In other words, it is the walk more than the talk that is emphasized. It emphasizes the brethren endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, which is accomplished by submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord.

As we walk with a renewed mind, with a pure heart and with our bodies in submission and at peace with others, we enter into the true walk of faith in Christ Jesus where nothing is able to defeat us. We are now able to fight the battles of war.

The Stance of Faith From a Pure Heart - The result of a pure heart is the ability to take up the shield of faith. This is described in Ephesians 6:16 as the shield of faith, because this shield is designed to protect the entire body. This is true faith in God and his Word. When Satan's lies and terrible circumstances come upon us, only those who have learned to trust God and lean upon His Word will stand. Many people yield and run to and fro, seeking man's help, or even compromising God's Word for some relief. Satan wants to get man down, sick, in bondage, poor, etc, so that he can cause enough distress to cause that man to give up trying to serve God. Faith is what leads us into a decision of perseverance, which is the next piece of armor called the helmet of salvation.

The Stance of Perseverance from a Renewed the Mind- We then put on the helmet of salvation ( Ephesians 6:17 a), which is the result of a renewed mind. Paul calls this helmet the hope of our salvation in 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

1 Thessalonians 5:8, "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."

This refers to the perseverance of the saints since our eternal hope gives us the strength to endure. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ endured the Cross and despised the same because of hope of a joyous glorification at the right hand of the Father was set before Him ( Hebrews 12:2).

Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."

The Stance of Declaring God's Word by Directing our Bodies- In this position of steadfastness and determination to persevere, we are then ready to take the two-edged sword, which is the Word of God upon our lips ( Ephesians 6:17 b). It is the Word of God spoken in faith that tears down the strongholds of Satan in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Our tongue is like the rudder of a ship, directing the course of our lives.

Praying in the Spirit While Developing in All of the Above- Finally, the Scriptures tell us to pray in the Spirit while we are sanctifying and developing our minds, our spirits and our bodies for this spiritual warfare ( Ephesians 6:18).

Once a person puts on the entire armor of God and is able to weld the sword of the Spirit to pray in tongues, he becomes a mighty warrior in the kingdom of God. One of the first lessons that such a prayer warrior learns is to pray for those spiritual leaders that God has placed over him ( Ephesians 6:19-20). This teaching carries us into the theme of Paul's epistle to the Philippians , in which Paul teaches them that their prayerful and financial support towards helping him fulfill God's calling will ensure that their calling would also be fulfilled ( Philippians 1:6). He promised his partners that God would supply every one of their needs according to His riches in glory ( Philippians 4:19).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Authority of the Believer — Ephesians 6:10-13

2. The Armour of God — Ephesians 6:14-18

3. Warfare in Intercession — Ephesians 6:19-20

Spiritual Warfare: A List of Verbs- A list of verbs used in Ephesians 6:10-18 :

1. Be strengthened ( Ephesians 6:10)

2. Put on ( Ephesians 6:11)

3. Able to stand ( Ephesians 6:11)

4. Take up ( Ephesians 6:13)

5. Having done all, stand ( Ephesians 6:13)

6. Gird about ( Ephesians 6:14)

7. Put on ( Ephesians 6:14)

8. Bind under ( Ephesians 6:15)

9. Take up ( Ephesians 6:16)

10. Able to quench ( Ephesians 6:16)

11. Take ( Ephesians 6:17)

12. Praying ( Ephesians 6:18)

13. Keeping alert ( Ephesians 6:18)


Verses 14-18

The Armour of God - Ephesians 6:14-18 gives us a list of the armour of God necessary to walk in victory in our lives. The armor of God is watchfulness (belt of truth), right standing with God (breastplate of righteousness), readiness (feet shod), soberness, faith, and the Word of God.

Jesus obviously used all of this armour in His earthly walk as He resisted the devil. The world of religion has tried to use weapons of this world, at times, to fight Satan. An example of this would be the holy crusades of the tenth and the eleventh centuries from Europe to the Middle East and Jerusalem. However, this is a spiritual battle. These pieces of armor are figurative of our Christian walk of faith.

The Armour of God Has No Backside- Notice that there is no armour to protect the backside. We must not turn back, lest we become vulnerable and be defeated. Note these words by Frances J. Roberts.

"O yes, My people, this is a hand to hand combat. Ye shall stand against the foe face to face. Ye shall not turn in retreat lest ye be slain; for there is no armour to protect the back. The coward shall perish." 177]

177] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 50.

Rick Joyner makes this same comment in his book The Final Quest.

"It was then that I noticed the mighty warriors had no armor on their backsides. They were totally exposed and vulnerable to what was about to hit them. Wisdom then remarked, ‘You have taught that there was no armor for the backside, which meant that you were vulnerable if you ran from the enemy. However, you never saw how advancing price also makes you vulnerable.'" 178]

178] Rick Joyner, The Final Quest (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1977), 53.

The Roman Soldier or the Gladiator- The figurative picture Paul uses in Ephesians 6:14-18 has traditionally been understood as an image of a Roman soldier, perhaps a soldier standing near Paul during his Roman imprisonment while he wrote this epistle. However, this figurative language of a believer armouring himself may be closer to a Roman gladiator than a soldier. Recent excavations of the ancient ruins of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus have uncovered what is believed to be a gladiator graveyard, containing about sixty skeletons of men. A close examination of these bones has confirmed that many of these men had received or died from wounds inflicted by Roman gladiator weapons, which were different than those used by soldiers. At least one grave stone was in honour of a famous gladiator named Euxeinus. This gravestone alone with forensic studies gives strong evidence to Roman gladiators. 179] The fact that this graveyard was situated near the entrance to the Temple of Artemis suggests the high esteem held by the Ephesians to this bloody sport. It would have been a better image of spiritual warfare to use than the image of a Roman soldier, whom the Ephesians had never seen in battle.

179] Monika Kupper and Huw Jones, "Gladiator's Graveyard Discovered," (BBC News, London, 2May 2007) [on-line]; accessed 7 June 2010; available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6614479.stm; Internet.

Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Ephesians 6:14 — "Stand therefore" - Comments- You cannot stand until after you have done the following things listed in Ephesians 6:14 through 18. In order to stand in the evil day we must have the armour of God on listed in Ephesians 6:14-18.

Ephesians 6:14 — "having your loins girt about with truth" (see Ephesians 4:17-32) (Our Mind) - Comments- The armor described in Ephesians 6:10-17 is symbolic of the character development found in Ephesians 4:1 to Ephesians 6:9. The first step in preparing ourselves for spiritual warfare is to gird up the loins of our minds with the belt of truth ( Ephesians 6:14 a) by renewing our minds according to Ephesians 4:17-32. We find other passages in the Scriptures that suggest the symbolism of renewing our minds.

Isaiah 11:5, "And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins."

1 Peter 1:13, "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;"

1. Study God's Word- We must know God's Word (thy word is truth) in order to resist the lies and circumstances of the devil and this world. Become absorbed in God's Word and allow truthfulness to become a virtue, or character, in our daily conduct. This is how Jesus was able to speak to Satan, "It is written" ( Matthew 4), and thus defeat him during the time of temptation.

Satan attacked Eve in the Garden in the area of her understanding of the truth of God's Word. He succeeded by making her doubt God's Word. If Satan can cause us to doubt God's Word, then he can gain access to our minds.

For example, Kenneth Hagin said that when he received his healing, the devil spoke to him and said that he was going to die and even quoted some Scriptures out of context. The Lord gave him Psalm 91:16 to overcome the devil's lies ( John 8:44). 180]

180] Kenneth Hagin, How You Can Be Led By the Spirit of God (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1986, 1997), 81-5.

Psalm 91:16, "With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation."

John 8:44, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

A believer who knows God's Word is able to rightly judge all things.

1 Corinthians 2:15, "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man."

2. Always Be Watching and Ready - The NIV translated the phrase "gird up the loins of your mind" in 1 Peter 1:13 as "prepare your minds for action." The girding of the loins in the Bible mean that someone was getting ready to go on a journey or to accomplish some task. It was no longer a time of leisure. This means that we are to be ready by knowing what the Bible says to us. It means preparedness.

We find this same emphasis in Luke 12:35-40, which says, "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning... watching … ready." The word "watching" means to be looking for someone or something. The word "ready" means to be ready to go when the time comes such as in 2 Timothy 4:2.

2 Timothy 4:2, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

The Israelites ate while ready to go out in the Exodus:

Exodus 12:11, "And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD"S passover."

3. Walk With A Pure Conscience - Gird your mind with truthfulness and a conscience free from deceit and falsehood.

Romans 13:13, "Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying."

Acts 23:1, "And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day."

Ephesians 6:14"having on the breastplate of righteousness" (see Ephesians 5:1-17) (Our Spirit) - Comments- The second piece of armor that every child of God is to put on is the breastplate of righteousness. We find a similar phrase in two other passages in Scriptures.

Isaiah 59:17, "For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke."

1 Thessalonians 5:8, "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."

Romans 5:1 tells us that our right standing with God gives us peace and confidence; for in the world a person has not peace of heart.

Romans 5:1, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"

Our right standing with God involves right living, walking in obedience to God's Word, so that we can continue to stand righteous and upright before God.

When our minds become renewed, we open our hearts to the washing of water by the Word of God ( Ephesians 5:26). We find this process of purifying our hearts by walking in the light discussed in Ephesians 5:1-17. It is the breastplate that protects our heart ( Ephesians 6:14 b). A Christian needs to put on the Christian virtue of uprightness in daily conduct. But he can only do this with a mind renewed with the Word of God.

Luke 1:6, "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

Paul calls this a "breastplate of faith and love" in his epistle to the Thessalonians. With a renewed mind, we develop faith in God's Word and learn to walk in love.

1 Thessalonians 5:8, "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."

A child of God has a right to the blessings of God based upon the Word of God. He is just and right to demand his abundant supply from God's throne. He has a right for his needs to be met, for health and peace. He is just in rejecting the lies of Satan. Through God's Word, a Christian can find his justification for taking the position that he has been given the authority to take. Job is an example of a man who walked in righteousness, or in a right standing with God, being perfect and upright before God.

Job 1:1, "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil."

He was a doer of God"s Word.

Romans 2:13, "(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified."

Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Ephesians 6:15"And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace" (see Ephesians 5:18 to Ephesians 6:9) (Our Bodies) - Comments- Once we have renewed our minds and purified our hearts, we are then able to submit our bodies to God's will for our lives and walk in submission in our relationship to others ( Ephesians 5:18 to Ephesians 6:9). This walk is peace is described in Ephesians 6:15 as shodding our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. This means that we are ready to speak words of peace to every man. We are no longer people of strife and division, but of submission and unity. The emphasis here is on the walking out of the Gospel with one's fellow man rather than the proclamation of the Gospel. It is the walk more than the talk. It emphasizes the brethren endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, which is accomplished by submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord.

Regarding the proclamation of the Gospel, you are ready to speak according to God's Word to others, being instant in season, out of season to speak this message ( 2 Timothy 4:2).

2 Timothy 4:2, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

The gospel of peace is the power of God unto salvation. It is this Gospel that breaks down the wall of division between nations and brings peace and unity between brethren. In addition, preaching this gospel sets others free from the bondage of Satan ( Colossians 1:13).

Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

Colossians 1:13, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:"

How is this message shared?

2 Timothy 2:25, "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;"

Paul may have borrowed this figurative language of "having your feet shod with the gospel of peace" from a number of Old Testament verses:

Isaiah 52:7, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"

Nahum 1:15, "Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off."

Romans 10:15, "And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

Ephesians 6:15Comments- One of the defenses against Satan is a Christian who is always witnessing about Jesus. If we confess Jesus before us, Jesus will confess us before the Father in heaven:

Matthew 10:32-33, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."

Mark 8:38, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

Luke 9:26, "For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father"s, and of the holy angels."

Luke 12:8-9, "Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God."

2 Timothy 1:8, "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;"

2 Timothy 2:12, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"

1 John 2:23, "Whosoever denieth the Song of Solomon , the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also."

Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Ephesians 6:16"Above all" - Comments- The Greek literally reads, "in all (of this)," or "the results of doing this is that." In other words, as we renew our minds, purify our hearts, and direct our lifestyle in the will of God, we must learn to exercise our God-given rights in order to go on into more blessings. As we sanctify ourselves before the Lord, we begin to see how God will bless us and put a hedge about us as we live perfect and upright. We find this best illustrated in the life of Job , who had a hedge of divine protection about him ( Job 1:10).

Job 1:10, "Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land."

However, we must go up to a greater level by entering into spiritual warfare. This life is not just about us being blessed. We are to take the Gospel to the nations and tear down demonic strongholds for the Kingdom of God. A good example of someone who is taking the Gospel to forbidden parts of this world is in the life of Irene, the elderly missionary lady who started an orphanage in war-torn, northern Uganda. She was saved and serving the Lord in her native country of Australia. In the 1990's her and her husband sold their home and took what money they had and came to work as missionaries in East Africa. When they arrived in this semi-arid and dusty region, the husband left her alone after marrying a local native. She decided to stay and continue the work. Her testimony is filled with stories of spiritual warfare and aid to thousands of orphans. Irene chose to go to a higher level in her Christian journey. She went "above all" her needs being met, beyond her own sanctification and hedge of protection and entered into spiritual warfare to take nations, as described in Ephesians 6:16-18.

Ephesians 6:16"taking the shield of faith" (Our Heart Takes a Stand) - Comments- As we walk with a renewed mind, a pure heart in submission at peace with others, we enter into the true walk of faith in Christ Jesus where nothing is able to defeat us. This is described in Ephesians 6:16 as the shield of faith, because this shield is designed to protect the entire body. This is true faith in God and his Word. When Satan's lies and terrible circumstances come upon us, only those who have learned to trust God and lean upon His Word will stand. Many people yield and run to and fro, seeking man's help, or even compromising God's Word for some relief. Satan wants to get man down, sick, in bondage, poor, etc, so that he can cause enough distress to cause that man to give up trying to serve God.

Standing on God's Word is a stand of faith, believing God will deliver you out of diverse situations. Even when we ask for wisdom from God, we must believe that as we seek Him, He will show us how to be victorious and not have to lean to the arm of flesh.

James 1:5-6, "If any of you lack Wisdom of Solomon , let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."

Ephesians 6:16 "wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked" - Comments- It is our faith that protects us against the doubt that Satan shoots as us in order to draw us away from God's Word. Faith brings us the victory ( 1 John 5:4).

1 John 5:4, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."

Faith is what leads us into a decision of perseverance, which is the next piece of armor called the helmet of salvation.

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Ephesians 6:17 — "And take the helmet of salvation" (Our Mind Takes a Stand) - Comments- Paul calls this next piece of armor the helmet of salvation ( Ephesians 6:17 a). Paul most likely took this figurative language of the "helmet of salvation" from Isaiah 59:17.

Isaiah 59:17, "For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke."

In 1 Thessalonians 5:8, Paul calls this helmet "the hope of our salvation."

1 Thessalonians 5:8, "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."

After renewing our minds, walking in a right standing with God, learning to live at peace with others and standing upon God's Word in faith despite all circumstances, we then take a position of perseverance. In other words, we are determined to take a stand. Now we can reflect back on Paul's opening statement in this passage where Paul said, "and having done all, to stand."

This hope is not just to enter heaven one day, but it refers to the hope of God's salvation and deliverance now, today, in whatever situation we are in. This is called the perseverance of the saints, since our eternal hope gives us the strength to endure. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ endured the Cross and despised the shame because of hope of a joyous glorification at the right hand of the Father was set before Him ( Hebrews 12:2).

Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."

A man must position his hopes and dreams, not in earthly gain, but in heavenly rewards to come. Because of this, he will learn to endure suffering on this earth in hope of seeing God"s salvation in our lives and in the lives of people around us.

Ephesians 6:17 — "and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Our Mouth Takes a Stand) - Comments- In this position of steadfastness and determination to persevere, we are then ready to take the two-edged sword, which is the Word of God ( Ephesians 6:17 b) and to pray in the Spirit ( Ephesians 6:18) so that we can now effectively tear down the strong holds of Satan. The AmpBible reads, "and the sword the Spirit wields." The Greek reads, "which is the ‘rhema' of God." A "rhema" word is a word that God gives us for the now, a word that is spoken in faith. An illustration of this can be seen in the story of Jesus' temptation by Satan, as Jesus uses the Word of God to stand against the words of Satan. Another example is when Jesus promised His disciples that God would put His Word in their mouths when they stood up to testify:

Matthew 10:19, "But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak."

In ancient battles, a warrior not only fought the enemy with his spear and sword, but also with his shout of faith and in the name of his gods. A clear illustration of this is seen in the battle between David and Goliath, where their confessions and shouts were as effect as their weapons. Goliath came in the name of his gods, while David declared the name of his God, the God of Israel.

It is interesting to note that the offensive weapon that we use in our confession. This is because the tongue is like the rudder of a ship, directing the course of our lives.

A person is able to wield the sword of the Spirit when he knows the Word, (see Ephesians 6:14, loins girded with the belt of truth) waits upon the Lord until the Holy Spirit gives him a "word" for that season, for that situation. Then the person stands upon this Word and confesses that Word of God, a "rhema word." Just knowing the Scriptures and speaking the same Scriptures for every situation is not allowing the Holy Spirit to wield the sword. The phrase in this verse refers to waiting for a Word from God, and letting God give you Scripture to stand on for a particular situation. The AmpBible reads, "And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God."

Note in Revelation 12:11 that our victory is in our testimony:

Revelation 12:11, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."

Therefore, we must not deny Him, or His Word:

2 Timothy 2:12, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"

The concept of the Word of God being like a sword is found in many Scriptures. Here are a few examples:

Isaiah 11:4, "But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked."

Isaiah 49:2, "And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;"

Hosea 6:5, "Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth."

Matthew 4:4, "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

Matthew 4:7, "Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

Matthew 4:10, "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Ephesians 6:18 — "all prayer and supplication in the Spirit"- Comments- We note that the word "all" means that absolutely any prayer need can be done in the Spirit. Song of Solomon , how do we pray for a particular need or an individual in the Spirit? One leading minister named Norvel Hayes teaches how he comes before the Lord and asks the Holy Spirit to pray through him for a need and then he begins to pray in tongues. In other words, he lays out the prayer need before the Lord in English, then he begins to pray in tongues, trusting the Holy Spirit to pray through him for that need. 181]

181] Norvel Hayes, "Sermon," Word of Faith Family Church, Dallas, Texas 1989-9;

Ephesians 6:18 — "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit" (Our Body Takes a Stand) - Comments- The text may easily read, "while praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." In other words, while we are girding our loins, putting on the breastplate, shodding our feet, taking the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, we are to be praying in the Spirit during all of these times. It is by praying in the Spirit that we will be sensitive to the Spirit, who will lead us through such spiritual warfare.

It is important to note that we can pray in tongues effectively as babes in Christ. Thus, we are to pray in tongues while growing up spiritually, but we have to have maturity in the Lord to properly weld the sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith. This is seen in the natural.

Illustration- In December of 1986, the Lord spoke to me one morning and said these words, "You will never walk in victory in your life unless you spend two hours a day praying in tongues." Three days later, I was alone in church praying, when the Lord quickened to me Ephesians 6:18. The phrase in this verse about praying in the Spirit jumped out at me with such clarity that I suddenly understood what the Lord had meant. Praying in tongues is a part of our spiritual warfare, and without it, we will suffer defeat in the hands of the enemy.

I had been struggling for several years as to whether I had ever received tongues or not. As a young pastor of a new charismatic church, I had gone over to a local Assembly of God church and asked the pastor how I could be sure about the experience of speaking in tongues. However, this issue had never been settled with me, until this time when the Lord spoke to me.

I then began to pray for long periods of time in tongues. At first, it did not seem natural. This was because it was supernatural. At first, my mind told me that I was just making up sounds. However, as my spirit man became edified and strengthened, I knew that this was real. After a while, praying in tongues became as natural as speaking in English. Areas of my life began to prosper as a result. I did not face as many hindrances in life. Things seemed to work out easier.

This word from the Lord forever changed my life. I later learned that some of the greatest men of God today, such as Oral Roberts 182] Kenneth Hagin 183] and David Yonggi Cho, 184] credit the success of their ministry to the time they spend each day praying in tongues.

182] Oral Roberts, A Daily Guide to Miracles and Successful Living Through SEED-FAITH (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Pinoak Publications, c 1975, 1976), 252-64.

183] Kenneth Hagin, Plans Purposes and Pursuits (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993), 29. Kenneth Hagin, Bible Prayer Study Course (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1991, 1999), 85.

184] David Yonggi Cho, The Holy Spirit, My Senior Partner: Understanding the Holy Spirit and His Gifts (Lake Mary, Florida: Creation House, 1989).

Why would a soldier put on his armour and not go to war. In the same sense, why would we put on our spiritual armour in Ephesians 6:10-17, then not go to battle. When we pray in tongues, we then enter into spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:18 is what we do after we put on the armour. Without fulfilling Ephesians 6:18, we will win no battles.

Ephesians 6:18"for all saints" - Comments- Paul was faithful to do the same. He would not have asked them to do something that he himself was not endeavouring to do. In every one of his epistles, he either prays for the saints or tells them that he prays for them on a regular basis ( Philippians 1:4).

Philippians 1:4, "Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,"

Ephesians 6:18 — "and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" - Comments- Once we learn to develop our prayer life of praying in the Spirit, the Lord will lead us to pray for others. The emphasis of this passage is on intercessions in the Spirit. How often has the Lord awakened someone from sleep and moved that person into such a time of spiritual intercession. I remember the story told by Paul and Jan Crouch when she was awakened in the night and moved to pray for Arthur Blessitt. She later found out that at that very moment, as he was taking his cross through Central America, a group of military soldiers had arrived at his travel trailer and were taking a position to execute him. These men took Arthur Blessitt out of the trailer and stood him by the door. As they raised their guns, he turned around and grabbed a handful of Bibles to give them, thinking that he was going to die. When he turned around, he found all of the soldiers lying on the ground. The following day news has spread to the neighbouring village that God has visited them that night. 185] This great miracle was brought about through praying with all perseverance and supplication in the Spirit.

185] Arthur Blessitt, interviewed by Matthew Crouch, Behind the Scenes, on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program, 2008.

Ephesians 6:18Comments (1) - Pray for your own needs in spiritual battle and be alert to others needs to lift up in prayer, and remember Paul ( Ephesians 6:19).

Ephesians 6:18Comments (2) - Intercession for the saints is vitally important. We are to be praying in the spirit with every prayer and request we have. With this in mind, we are to be watchful with patience and making supplications in behalf of the saints.

Ephesians 6:18Comments (3) - E. M. Bounds said, "Christian soldiers, fighting the good fight of faith, have access to a place of retreat, to which they continually repair for prayer. ‘Praying always, with all prayer', is a clear statement of the imperative need of much praying and of many kinds of praying, by him who, fighting the good fight of faith, would win out, in the end, over all his foes." 186]

186] Edward M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, c 1929, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 7 June 2010; available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/bounds/necessity.html; Internet, 49.

Ephesians 6:18Comments (4) - If we have time to pray, God has time to listen.

Ephesians 6:18Comments (5) - Without constantly praying in tongues, a Christian cannot defeat Satan ( Ephesians 6:12) in his life of spiritual warfare. The whole armor must be used. You cannot obtain the victory nor maintain it ( Ephesians 6:13) "having done all, to stand," without Ephesians 6:14-18, which involved praying constantly in other tongues.

Obeying Ephesians 6:14-17 protect you and prepare you for praying (verse 18). Ephesians 6:18 is the culmination of walking in Ephesians 6:14-17 in preparing to fight. The fight is spiritual, so prayer is used to fight for yourself and others. Kenneth Hagin says, "The object of taking on the while armor of God is so that we can enter into the prayer life." 187]

187] Kenneth Hagin, The Art of Intercession (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1980, 1984), 118-9.


Verse 19-20

Warfare in Intercession - In Ephesians 6:19-20 Paul asks for prayer so that he would be able to do the very thing that he has taught the Ephesians to do in chapters 4-6, which culminates in spiritual warfare by opening his mouth as a two-edged sword. Once a person puts on the entire armor of God and is able to weld the sword of the Spirit to pray in tongues, he becomes a mighty warrior in the kingdom of God. One of the first lessons that such a prayer warrior learns is to pray for those spiritual leaders that God has placed over him. This teaching carries us into the theme of Paul's epistle to the Philippians , in which Paul teaches them that their financial support towards helping Paul fulfill God's calling in his life will ensure that their calling would also be fulfilled. He promised his partners that God would supply every one of their needs according to His riches in glory ( Philippians 4:19).

Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Ephesians 6:19"And for me" - Comments- That Isaiah , with all perseverance and supplication for all saints ( Ephesians 6:18), and pray for me also....

Ephesians 6:19 — "that utterance may be given unto me" - Comments- This is utterance inspired by the Holy Spirit. I remember in 1983, I was pastoring a church in Panama City, Florida. The congregation went out door-to-door evangelizing the neighbourhood. One man opened a door and I began to witness to him. I told him how being a Christian is like running a race. I had been a distance runner in college, so I really used this subject in the conversation. After I gave my presentation, I looked down at his tee-shirt and saw the picture of a runner on the front. He was a runner, and the Lord had given me a testimony that could relate to him too without me being aware of his background. The Lord had given me utterance to open my mouth boldly.

Ephesians 6:19 — "that I may open my mouth boldly" - Comments- Anyone who has ever preached under the anointing of the Holy Ghost knows the boldness that comes with it. Paul is asking the Ephesians to pray for his anointing to increase. This is a prayer for boldness to speak God"s Word. Note:

Acts 4:29, "And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,"

Ephesians 6:19Comments (1) - Andrew Murray says, "Without prayer, the helmet of salvation, and the shield of faith, and the sword of the spirit, which is God's word, have no power. All depends on prayer. God teach us to believe and hold this fast." 188]

188] Andrew Murray, The Prayer Life (Chicago: Moody Press, 1912), 24.

Ephesians 6:19Comments (2) - The disciple is not above his master ( Matthew 10:24-28).

Matthew 10:24-28, "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Paul was not ashamed to preach the Gospel amidst afflictions and persecutions. Neither should we be ashamed.

2 Timothy 1:8, "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;"

Ephesians 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:20Comments- If a believer will follow the path of sanctification laid out in chapters 4-6 of Ephesians , then he will be able to enter into spiritual warfare ( Ephesians 6:10-18) so that he might be able to fulfill his individual calling. God will bring this calling to pass only as one stands behind and begins to pray for and support the leader that God has placed over a believer's life. For example, Paul was over the church at Ephesus and therefore, this group of believers was required to pray for and support this particular leader in order to fulfill their own divine purpose and plan ( Ephesians 6:19-20).


Verses 21-24

Closing Remarks - In Ephesians 6:21-24 Paul gives his closing remarks to the believers in Ephesians. He discusses the travel plans of Tychicus ( Ephesians 6:21-22), then gives a final benediction ( Ephesians 6:23-24). Note that these remarks are less personal than those in many of his other epistles.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Travel Plans of Tychicus — Ephesians 6:21-22

2. Benediction — Ephesians 6:23-24

Ephesians 6:21-22 — The Travel Plans of Tychicus - In Ephesians 6:21-22 Paul discusses the travel plans of Tychicus.

Ephesians 6:21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

Ephesians 6:22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

Ephesians 6:21-22Comments - Paul Discusses The Travel Plans of Tychicus- In Ephesians 6:21-22 Paul discusses the travel plans of Tychicus. This fellowworker of Paul is believed to have delivered this letter to the Ephesians after receiving it from Paul in Roman imprisonment.

Ephesians 6:21-22 is almost a word for word parallel to Colossians 4:7-7. These particular passages serve as the strongest witness to the connection between these two prison epistles. It testifies that Paul wrote them at the same time and sent them by the same messenger.

Ephesians 6:21-22, "But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts."

Colossians 4:7-8, "All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;"

Ephesians 6:23-24 — Benediction - In Ephesians 6:23-24 Paul gives his closing benediction to the believers in Ephesus.

Ephesians 6:23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

Ephesians 6:24"Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ" - Comments- In a similar way that the early apostles were instructed by Jesus to let their peace come upon the home of their host ( Matthew 10:13), so did Paul the apostle open every one of his thirteen New Testament epistles with a blessing of God's peace and grace upon his readers. Matthew 10:13 shows that you can bless a house by speaking God"s peace upon it.

Matthew 10:13, "And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you."

This practice of speaking blessings upon God's children may have its roots in the Priestly blessing of Numbers 6:22-27, where God instructed Moses to have the priests speak a blessing upon the children of Israel. Now Paul closes his epistle to the Ephesians by restating the blessing that he opened his epistle with in Ephesians 1:2.

Ephesians 6:24 "in sincerity" - Word Study on "sincerity" - Strong says the Greek word "sincerity" ( ἀφθαρσία) (G 861) means, "incorruptibility, unending existence," or figuratively, "genuineness." BDAG says this word means, "incorruptibility, immortality."

Comments - Thus, we can take a literal or figurative approach to this phrase. (1) Literal Interpretation- BDAG believes the word ἀφθαρσία keeps its literally meaning in Ephesians 6:24, referring "either to those to love the Lord, and as such are now partakers of the future life, or to the Lord himself, who reigns in immortal glory." Some modern translations attribute this quality of incorruptibility to those who love the Lord Jesus Christ.

ASV, "Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ with a love incorruptible." (or in incorruption)

God'sWord, "His favor is with everyone who has an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ."

NIV, "Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love."

RSV, "Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love undying."

YLT, "The grace with all those loving our Lord Jesus Christ--undecayingly! Amen."

Henry Alford says the phrase "in sincerity" means, "not a fleeting earthly love, but a spiritual and eternal one. And thus only is the word worthy to stand as the crown and climax of this glorious epistle." He refers to 1 Peter 3:4 as an example of a similar use of the word ἀφθαρσία, where Peter contrasts the corruptible silver and gold ( 1 Peter 1:18) with "the incorruptible graces of the renewed man." 189]

189] Henry Alford, The Greek New Testament, vol 3 (London: Rivingtons, 1865), 151.

1 Peter 3:4, "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

1 Peter 1:18, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;"

However, some modern translations attribute this quality of incorruptibility to the Lord Jesus Christ.

DRC, "Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruption. Amen."

Murdock, "Grace be with all them who love our Lord Jesus the Messiah without corruptness. Amen."

NAB, "Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in immortality."

(2) Figurative Interpretation- Others give this phrase a figurative meaning. We meet people today in church, whose love for God does not seem to be genuine because of their conduct. By using the phrase "in sincerity," Paul is making a distinction between those who are sincere, and those who are not true to the faith.

ISV, "May grace be with all who love the Lord Jesus Christ with sincerity!"

Weymouth, "May grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with perfect sincerity."

Ephesians 6:24Comments- In Ephesians 6:24 Paul basically commends the saints at Ephesus into the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ, in much the same way that he did in the book of Acts. We find this statement at the end of all of Paul's epistles.

Acts 14:23, "And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed."

Acts 20:32, "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified."

Ephesians 6:24 — "Amen" - Comments- In the Textus Receptus the word "Amen" is attached to the end of all thirteen of Paul's epistles, as well as to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark , and to the General Epistles of Hebrews , 1,2Peter, 1,2John, and to the book of Revelation. However, because "Amen" is not supported in more ancient manuscripts many scholars believe that this word is a later liturgical addition. For example, these Pauline benedictions could have been used by the early churches with the added "Amen."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Ephesians 6:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/ephesians-6.html. 2013.

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