:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ephesians Chapter 6

vs. 1-3 Children

- Children are given 2 commands here. To obey, and to honor their parents.

- These are two very different things.

- footnote- “There is a difference between obeying and honoring. To obey means to do as one is told; to honor means to respect and love. Children are not commanded to disobey God in obeying their parents. Adult children are not asked to be subservient to domineering parents. Children are to obey while under their parents' care, but the responsibility to honor parents is for life.”

- Colossians 3:20
- Matthew 15:3-9
- Exodus 21:15-17

- Obedience is not a necessary requirement by law... but it says that we are to be obedient because we belong to the Lord and because it is the right thing to do.

- I really had to think about this one. Because... what about parents who are abusive? Or parents who aren't saved?

- When my parents were youth leaders at our former church, we used to have all these boys about my brother's age come to the house to spend the weekend. Most of them... it was a weekend the parents could dump them off somewhere... for others... they just came because we lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere and they could make as much noise as they wanted... and nobody complained... ha ha.

- But the parents allowed them to go to youth meetings if they were here... So from the time most of them were about 3rd grade, until high school... anywhere from 3 to 14 or 15 would show up just about every weekend... whether we were having a youth meeting at the church or not...

- They got a lot of teaching. Saw God work in even the little things... like... lost sunglasses on a 100 acre farm (borrowed from an older brother without permission... fear much?) that were found soon after they stopped to pray about it.

- All this to tell you a story... This one particular family... the boys loved coming... And all of them at one point or another made the commitment to follow God.

- But... the parents weren't Christians... they tried for a while... but quickly fell away again...

- Their dad took them to bars (while still in middle school...) Tried to get them to try alcohol, cigarettes... anything he could think of... Their aunt and uncle (who they had to stay with quite frequently for a while...) found it funny to make them stay up late watching horror movies... and then masquerade in the middle of the night to try and scare them.

- When the eldest was struggling with smoking after high school... he came back for a visit. And he said... you know, it was fine while we were here... but when we left... they were pushing stuff on you every time you turned around... and a weekend away in the long run... didn't really do as much as we needed...

- At this point in time... none of the brothers have a relationship with God. Partly because they were so strongly discouraged by their own family.

- When a child accepts Christ, but the parents don't... it's hard. Persecution always comes regardless of who you are or what your station in life is... and a lot of the time... it's from those closest to us...

- Matthew 10:21-39

- When my mom first got saved, her mom was constantly picking her apart. “Well if THAT is what a Christian is, I don't want any part of it.” (Eventually both her parents got saved... but it was a hard road sometimes getting to that point...) The most important thing to learn from this was that her mom didn't remember or even believe she would be capable of saying such things. This is a confirmation that we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers in high places. Satan can use every nonbeliever to come against us in our walk with God. He almost always uses those closest to us. So we need to remember not to allow ourselves to become bitter or hurt because they don't realize what they are doing. Satan is using them to discourage you.

- As a child, regardless, we are to honor our parents. Respect. Love. But as Christ would. Not because it's easy. If you are dealing with an unsaved parent, it's easy to get discouraged, or to be angry with them, or to hate them for some of the things they do or say...

- And I know that sounds like the hardest thing in the world... but parent or not, we are called to show Christ to the world.

- If you have ANY difficult person in your life, pray that God will help you see them as the lost person they are in HIS eyes.

- My mom had this boss... and he was MEAN. He cussed everything that moved, yelled all the time and would laugh at her for her faith. And one day God convicted her because she was really starting to nurse some resentment and anger for this man. And so, long story short, she finally prayed that God would show her how HE saw this man. And when he walked in the door later that day, she almost cried. Because instead of seeing the mean, foul-mouthed, persecutor, she saw a broken, bleeding man, desperately in need of God.

- Which is what every unsaved person is... parent or not...

- If you are being persecuted in any way, pray for them. If you can honestly and sincerely sit down and pray about the needs of someone else, it's hard to hate them.

- A lady from our church used to tell a story about her dad when she was a teenager. When she first got saved, he told her he'd beat her if she went to church... but she went anyway. And when she got home, he beat her. But her response shocked him. (and me... no matter how many times I hear it...) She said, “Thank the Lord! I was able to take a beating for HIM!”

- Wow... To be so in love with God and so ready for anything (and as a baby Christian!) Not to get angry at her circumstance, not to get angry with her dad, but to turn and thank God out of an overflowing heart that she was able to do something in return for Christ's sacrifice. Blows my mind. (and her dad never did try and stop her from going to church again after that... : )

- Point in all this... God still comes first. If parents come against you, you HONOR (respect and love) but if their orders to obey conflict with God? You don't follow through.

- Doesn't mean you can get out of mowing the yard just because your dad's not saved... but if your dad wants you to go somewhere or do something that you know isn't right or is sin... then don't do it...

- But HONOR still has to happen. BECAUSE this is the first commandment with a promise. IF you honor your parents, then things will go well for you and you'll have a long life. (This refers back to the idea of the time that age brings wisdom and elders are highly respected... so if you respect and love your parents... God will allow you to grow old enough to gain that same respect and love from others.)

- Exodus 20:12
- Deuteronomy 5:16

vs. 4- Parents

- The parents also are given a command. Just because your children were commanded to obey, does not give you the right to be mean about it...

- It says not to provoke your children to anger... in other words...

- footnote- “The purpose of parental discipline is to help children grow, not to exasperate and provoke them to anger or discouragement. Parenting is not easy—it takes lots of patience to raise children in a loving, Christ-honoring manner. But frustration and anger should not be causes for discipline. Instead, parents should act in love, treating their children as Jesus treats the people He loves. This is vital to children's development and to their understanding of what Christ is like.”

-Colossians 3:21
- Hebrews 12:5-13

- We've all seen the parent who's “just had enough of this!” They wait until they can't take anymore before they discipline their child. So that when they do finally discipline... it's in anger, and it's usually more extreme than it would have needed to be previously...

- Meanwhile, the child knows he can push the boundaries pretty far. And eventually... as the child grows, he'll figure out just HOW far he can go. This sets the stage for the development of a devious and spoiled child. Because usually, after the overly angry outburst, the parent feels guilty about having gone off like they did, and they in effect bribe the child. Either with a moment of overwhelming affection, or with material things.

- There is a generation of kids growing up who have learned to work the system. They are spoiled rotten. They get pretty much anything they want, how they want it, when they want it. (I had a second grader last year get an iphone touch for EASTER! Not even a big occasion like a birthday or something... and really?... an iphone? She's 8...)

- Proverbs 10:1

- Kids TELL their parents what they're gonna do. They don't ask permission, they don't wait for approval... They just go and do.

- Paul instructs that we are to bring up our children with discipline and instruction.

- Discipline? Yep...

- Every child is different. What worked for one, may not necessarily work with the other...

- When my brother and I were little, if I got a spanking... most of the time, my general response was to ... to turn and in my most defiant 3 feet stance say “that didn't hurt!”... and.... I'd get it again... duh...

- My brother on the other hand, all you had to do was find out that he did something wrong, and he was hiding in the smallest place he could find crying and begging for mercy...

- Guess who got more spankings... lol

- For Noah, it was enough punishment for him to know you were disappointed. For rebellious me, sometimes it took a little more. Lol That may seem a little unfair, or a little disproportionate, but really... there was no point in overdoing something that didn't need done and in my case... that little streak of defiance had to be broken then or when I got to my teenage rebellion years... can you imagine?

- We were still disciplined and kept in check. If you don't teach a child when they're young... as they get older... it'll be really hard to discipline them...

- But the one thing that I loved about my parents... well maybe not then, but now I can appreciate it... is that we were never disciplined in anger. They never waited to boil over. They never took rage out on us. Were they upset? Yeah sometimes. You would be too if a little kid was in your face throwing a kicking screaming fit. But we were always disciplined out of love.

- In fact, one time, my dad asked me if I knew he loved me. And I said well yeah! And he said, well how do you know I love you. And I said... well... because you whip my butt! LOL

- Spare the rod, spoil the child. (doesn't say break the rod... by the way...)

- If a child is spoiled, they expect anything they want to be given to them. They become selfish, greedy, vain, extravagant, and expensive in their tastes.... even when they can't afford it.

- None of those are what a parent wants their child to grow up to be. The entire point of parenting is to prepare your child to be a functional adult capable of survival in this society and world. I like this little saying, “Prepare the child for the road not the road for the child.”

- I had an education professor once whose philosophy of discipline was to never raise your voice and always sit down and talk rationally with the child... whether in the classroom or at home... (After working with some of my totally irrational violent children... I REALLY don't agree with this... not that I did then either...)

- Maybe when a child gets to be about 10 or 12, this would work better... But at 3 or 5 a child does not comprehend your rationalizations. Nor to they understand why something is wrong if it benefited them. And unless you give them a solid reason why they DON'T want to do it (punishment if they do...), they're going to do it again. A child does not think in rights and wrongs. A child thinks in goods and bads... was this good for me? Does this cake taste good? Yup! That means I should eat ALL of it... Do the carrots taste bad? Yup! Ok no more of those for me... more cake! YUM!

- Sometimes, you have to shake their world up a little bit. Otherwise, it won't make an impression worth remembering the lesson. If you just tell your child that carrots are good and cake is bad... but then let them eat the cake anyway... they're not going to remember what you said... they're going to remember what you DID.

- And notice what it says after the discipline. It says “and instruction that comes from the Lord”.

- If the discipline comes without a lesson in right and wrong the way God sees it... you're just a mean parent in their eyes. “won't let me have cake... even when I know it's good! You're just mean cause you won't give me what's good.” (especially if you keep eating the cake!) But if the child sees that it's not just you who sees it this way... that puts a whole new light on things.

- “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6.

- Proverbs 29:15, 17, 18

vs. 5-9

- Slaves and Masters.... in today's world, we like to think that this concept is outdated. Slaves? Not since like ... the 1800's right? Well... it still exists unfortunately... even in the US... legal or not... But I'm going to apply this to something a little more applicable to us as we are...

- Colossians 3:22-25

- Your Boss. What? I get paid for my job! Well... yeah... but the concepts still apply...

- Obey with reverence and fear. They are still in authority over you whether you like it or not. They have the ability to terminate your job at any given point in time.... So what if they're unsaved and mean and horrid? Still your boss.

- Serve as sincerely as you would if it were Christ. What?! Think of it like this.... If Christ were the boss, wouldn't you want to perform well? Receive praise for a job well done? Wouldn't you try to go beyond your job description?

- Well, in your job... do it well. We're supposed to do all things as unto God. Don't give only half your effort. Don't give your time begrudgingly. Don't see work as drudgery. Instead, see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to be a missionary right where you are.

- And if people see you walk into your job grumbling and complaining and only doing half of what you're supposed to do... or could do... And then you try and tell them about the Love and Joy of God? Where's YOURS!?

- Let God invade your workplace with you at the front line.

- Try to please... even when they're not watching. Because a double life one place, can lead to a double life in another area... Practice makes perfect. Be sincere in all things.

- Technically, we're not working for the boss... we're slaves to Christ first and foremost. Our attitudes and our production in the workplace belong to Christ just like everything else... and just like everything else... they are also a reflection of Him in us...

- So work with enthusiasm. As though you were working for God... not man.

- Titus 2:9-10

- I have a bus driver friend named Danny. He is one of the most bubbly people I know. He drives the bus for the severely handicapped kids... and there's some rough ones... Ones that... almost every teacher in the entire school has problems with or major run ins with.

- But Danny never quits on these kids. A lot of these kids hear nothing but negatives from everybody around them. “You have to change this, be this, do that, don't do that, you'll always be violent, you'll always be angry, there's nothing we can do with you, why are you like this?” And even if every kid on that bus is having the worst day ever... I think Danny would still be smiling in the middle of it all... Because God is on that bus. Danny takes Jesus on that bus with him every morning and sees Jesus in every face in that rear view mirror. And the kids know it. They respond to that genuine love that flows from Danny. And some of the kids that aren't even allowed in regular classes anymore for one thing or another... Danny has never had problems with... That bus is one of the calmest the aides have to ride on... lol

- And then Paul says to remember that the Lord will reward each of us for the good we do, whether slave or free.

- Boss's. Treat your employees in the same way. Don't threaten them. Don't hold their job over their head. Don't treat them like dogs. Don't push the boundaries. It's kind of like the command to parents... don't provoke them to anger.

- Because you both have the same Master in heaven. There's always someone higher than you. And God, has no favorites. Your status, does not impress Him...

- Colossians 4:1
- Proverbs 29:19, 21
- Job 31:13-15

vs. 10-18

I'm going to do this section by the parts of the armor. I found a few sites that detailed out the uses of the Roman armor. (listed at the bottom- there are a few quotes, but I didn't mark them because there was more than one site... but they're listed at the bottom.) Paul was in prison at this time, and the assumption is that God used the guards to inspire this description of our spiritual armor. The Romans were one of, if not THE, most powerful armies of this time. They were efficient in battle, well trained, and lethal. So I will first describe the Roman armor and then it's applicability to our Spiritual warfare.

The full armor of God... is not just something to wear. It is something to protect us in every aspect of who we are in Christ. It is something to help us ward off the enemy's attacks. And it is something to help us defeat the ever present enemy. Each piece has a purpose and a proper use. If you do not wear it, you cannot use it. If it is not put on with prayer and used correctly without pride or distrust of our fellow soldiers or of our leader, then we will grow weary and faint in the midst of the battle... Our armor will be too weak to withstand the blows of the enemy. Be strong in the Lord! And in HIS mighty power...

- I Thessalonians 5:6-8
- Psalm 27


Roman soldiers wore a linen undergarment under all their armor. The first thing to go on after this was the belt. The belt was the foundation for the rest of the armor. The breastplate was attached to this by leather ties. There were loops on the belt for just about anything: swords, knives, ropes, ration sack, darts, and other loops where various types of loot could be hung in bags if need be. The belt had to be put on straight or everything would be out of place for the soldier and it was more difficult for him to grasp his weapon quickly. The belt was tied in several places to stay in place, so that no matter how the soldier moved about, fell down, climbed hills, etc., the belt was always in place with weapons at the ready.

This is the first thing that we should put on. Truth. Without truth, our armor doesn't hold together. Christ is our foundation. Everything in our life should be based off of this truth. If our truth isn't founded correctly or if it's a little skewed... none of our defenses will be at the ready. Truth stands against the lies and deception of the enemy. To win our spiritual battles, we must be anchored to Christ, our only Truth.

- Psalm 25:5, 43:1-5, 45:3-7, 86:11-13, 119:160-168
- Zechariah 8:16-17
- John 4:21-24, 8:31-32, 14:6-14, 16:12-15, 17:13-19
- II Corinthians 13:8-9
- I John 3:14-24


The breastplate was attached to the belt by leather thongs. This kept it solidly anchored to the belt and body. The breastplate protected the heart and major organs.

Our righteousness is nothing without being based on the truth. We have to protect our hearts. If we don't protect our hearts (and the rest of our vitals...) Satan can and will hit you where it'll do the most damage. If we start depending on our own righteousness, our hearts will be very vulnerable to Satan's attacks. Pride will cause great chinks in the armor.

- Isaiah 11:5, 64:1-7, 42:5-7
- Psalm 145:13-20, 111:2-4
- Proverbs 4:18-19, 21:21
- Jeremiah 23:5-6, 9:23-24,
- Habakkuk 2:4
- Romans 1:16-17, 3:10, 21-31, 4:3-8 ,20-25, 6:19-23, 5:18-21
- Galatians 3:6-14
- Philippians 1:10-11
- Titus 3:3-8
- Matthew 5:20
- II Corinthians 6:6-10


Romans had the best shoes of the time period. They had spikes on the soles that not only made for great traction, but were also used as weapons in battle. They also had an early form of the boot... one of its kind... Without shoes, an army isn't going very far. Your feet will become sore and broken very quickly. Without being able to stand up to fight, your effectiveness will be practically nil.

Our shoes should allow us to stand firm. We should be so planted in the word of God that we are immovable. It will protect us as we walk through every kind of terrain. The preparation of the gospel of peace means that our preparation for battle is the knowledge that the gospel (Christ's life, death, and resurrection) is a message all about Christ bringing peace between us and God. (and because of this, we have peace beyond comprehension...) This reconciliation gives us something tangible to fight for and stand for. We can fight with boldness, courage, and hope, knowing that we have peace through Christ.

- Isaiah 52:7, 40:9
- Philippians 4:7, 9
- Luke 24:44-49
- And... the gospels in general... ha ha.


Roman soldiers carried shields that were large enough to cover the body from the knees to the chin. These were used in groups. A unit of soldiers could stand together, with shields around the outside of their circle, while some in the middle also put their shields up over head. This shielded the entire unit from the arrows of the enemy... and still gave the unit the ability to advance without injury or casualty. So the army, could continue to advance in their purpose despite all the attempts of the enemy.

Faith, is believing without seeing. It is having confidence in something that seems unreal. Faith is standing when no one else seems to be standing next to you. If we use the Roman army as an example and bind together as a church and as a group of believers, we can use our faith to shield us all. We will have more strength in numbers. We can encourage one another, build one another up, and help fend off the arrows of the enemy aimed at our fellow soldiers. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing from the Word of God. Studying God's word will strengthen our faith. We know in Whom we have believed and Who it is that fights beside us. The value of faith lies not in the person exercising it, but in the person whom the faith is in. : )

- Hebrews 12:1-2
- James 2:14-26


Romans had the best helmets of the ancient world. They had a chinstrap to help hold it on, a shelf that covered the back of the neck and shoulders for protection from arrows, a visor or bill was later added to protect from the same as well as to keep the sun out of their eyes more, cheek pieces to guard the face, and a soft leather lining to ensure comfort and a good fit. The enemy most wants to attack the head. This is one of the most vital points of impact. If an enemy can get a good hit in on the head, he can possibly make you dizzy, disoriented, or possibly even blind you. Or if he gets a really good hit in, he may kill you on the first hit... but if not, a good first hit, can lead to a really good second one.

A helmet is essential for a soldier's survival. A well-designed helmet will protect you from any angle of attack from the enemy. The enemy wants to attack our salvation. He wants to make us doubt where we're at. Doubt who we're fighting. Wants to make us disoriented. Wants to make us blind to his tricks and blind to the provision of God. If the enemy can get in our heads and make us doubt our Salvation... he has won the battle.

Our helmets should make us more secure in our salvation and should protect our minds from the suggestions from Satan. All the lies that he wants to put in our minds and thoughts he wants to sneak in to weaken our defenses need to be blocked by something... the strength we know we have in our salvation. We should pray for discernment and wisdom in blocking out all thoughts that are not of God.

- Philippians 4:8
- Isaiah 59:17-18, 45:20-25, 51:3-6
- Psalm 62:1-8, 91:14-16
- Lamentations 3:22-33
- Jonah 2:9
- Luke 2:25-35
- Acts 13:46-47
- II Thessalonians 2:13-15
- Titus 2:11-15
- I Peter 1:8-12


The sword Paul is speaking about here is a two-edged sword. The end of this sword around the first century AD changed. They added a triangular point on the end... like the end on a harpoon. It was not only intended to kill, but could also rip the enemy's insides to shreds. It only needed to penetrate the enemy 2 or 3 inches to mortally wound him. Since this sword was two-edged, the soldier didn't have to turn the sword to inflict further damage... he just had to move in the opposite direction. The sword was worn in a scabbard attached to the belt.

The sword is our only offensive weapon. Everything else in the armor is defensive. The sword is the word of God. Nothing can fight against it. Using the Word to fight off the enemy is our most valuable weapon. Satan can't argue with the Word (well... he can... but he won't prevail...). The Word need only penetrate the enemy a little to destroy him. God has given us the authority to use His Word. Just as Jesus quoted scripture to Satan in the wilderness, so we too should use scripture in our own battles. When Satan starts telling you you're not worth it, or you're not strong enough, or you're not loved, or God doesn't care about sin... Go back to the Word... and use that Word to fight Satan into the ground and keep him under your feet... “It subdues and mortifies evil desires and blasphemous thoughts as they rise within; and answers unbelief and error as they assault from without. A single text, well understood, and rightly applied, at once destroys a temptation or an objection, and subdues the most formidable adversary.”- Matthew Henry

- Hebrews 4:12-13
- Romans 8:26-30
- Deuteronomy 8:3
- Psalm 119:9-16, 160-176
- Jeremiah 23:28-29
- Matthew 4:4, 24:35
- John 1:1-5, 17:15-19, 15:7-17
- I Peter 1:23-25

vs. 18-20

I found a commentary by Matthew Henry... and it's good... but some of it's a little wordy, so I'm going to paraphrase some of it... but again, the website is below if you would prefer to go look at his whole thing on your own. (there's more on the armor itself in his commentary too...)

So in conclusion... The Christian armor is meant to be worn. You can't take the armor off until the battle's over. We are not fighting against flesh and blood, or even just against our own sinful nature, but rather, we are warring against a Spiritual realm. We must resolve by God's grace, not to yield to Satan. Resist him and he will flee.

- Philippians 2:14-18

There is no armor for the back. No part of this armor protected the back of the soldier... so if you turn your back on this Christian warfare, there is nothing to defend you.

- Hebrews 10:37-39

Along with all the other parts of the armor, prayer must fasten all the other parts of our Christian armor. Even on our busiest days, we have to find time for prayer. Prayer is a polisher. It keeps the rust from forming on the armor. Keeps it strong. Repairs the chinks. Sees links starting to weaken, and strengthens them.

We must pray not only for ourselves, but also for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our enemies are mighty, and we are weak in our own strength, but our God is the ALMIGHTY God and in HIS power, we will overcome it all.

“A vain heart will be vain in prayer”.- Matthew Henry.

- Philippians 4:6
- Colossians 4:2-6

( Matthew Henry)

vs. 21-24

- Paul just ends with some personal notes. Tychius is bringing the letter to the Ephesians, so Paul is telling them that if need be, he can give them updates on Paul's ministry. He gives a little side note to say that Tychius is a brother and faithful helper in the Lord's work. (good recommendation if you will...)

- Paul has sent him to encourage the Ephesians. (Everybody needs an encouraging word ever now and again... : )

- Proverbs 12:25, 16:24
- I Thessalonians 5:11

- And then Paul gives the final blessing. Peace be with you. And may God give you love with faithfulness. May God's grace be eternally upon those who love Jesus.

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