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Ephesians Chapter 6

Memory verses for this week: 1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 

Introduction:    In Chapter 5, we studied how the relationship that God directs for a man to have with his wife is directly like the relationship that Jesus has with His church.   We know that one day the church will be the bride of Christ.  The man is to look to Christ for leadership, and the woman is to honor the man as the head of the family.    We finish our study this week on Ephesians as we cover Chapter 6 and discuss the armour of God. 

I.  Christ and the Christian Home 

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

Ephesians 6:2  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)  6:3  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.  

We studied last week how a wife and husband should treat one another.  This week, we find that God gives directions to children also.   And these directions extend beyond our young years.  Even as grow older, we are commanded to obey our parent and the honor our father and mother.   It says we are to obey our parents in the Lord for this is right.   Nothing brings greater happiness to parents than to have children that are obedient.  And like we like to see obedience, God desires that we obey him as his children. 

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.  5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 

As parents, we should demand obedience from our children.  If parents did a better job of discipline in the home, we would have a far better society.   

Verse 2 was the first commandment given that included a promise.  It says if we obey our parents that it will be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

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

This was the fifth of the ten commandments. 

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

Not only are children given instruction, but parents are commanded to properly take care of their children.  Verse 3 says to not provoke your children to wrath.   We are to rather love the children, and to raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  When my youngest child, Heather, graduated from high school, I told some of the parents there that I knew that if I died at this point in my life, my three children had been raised with the knowledge of right and wrong and could take care of themselves.  That is the best we can do for our children.  If we had millions of dollars in the bank, and we left it to them, the money could be gone in a few weeks.  But a child raised up on God’s Word, knowing the commandments and knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, this child has his feet on the solid rock.   I look back and wish I had not done certain things in my life.  But I’ll never regret spending the last 25 years in church each week that my children might be prepared to deal with the battles that the world will put in their path.  If you are a parent of a young child, let me encourage you to keep that child in church and in Sunday School every week.   When we are faithful to do what God tells us to do, I promise you that God will do His part.  Most parents are very concerned with their child’s education, but they don’t think much about their spiritual education.   That truly is MORE important than the worldly learning.  Schools and colleges can teach you to make a living, church and the word of God can teach you how to live.


Title:   Barnes Notes on the New Testament

Author:   Barnes, Albert  

And ye fathers—A command addressed particularly to “fathers,” because they are at the head of the family, and its government is especially committed to them.  The object of the apostle here is, to show parents that their commands should be  such that they can be easily obeyed, or such as are entirely reasonable and proper. If children are required to “obey,” it is but reasonable that the commands of the parent should be such that they can be obeyed, or such that the child shall not be discouraged in his attempt to obey.


II.  How Servants are to Treat Their Masters 

Ephesians 6:5  Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

Ephesians 6:6  Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Ephesians 6:7  With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Ephesians 6:8  Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.  

The servant is to be obedient to his master.    During Paul’s day, there were many people who worked as slaves, and this no doubt had reference to them.  This could also be related to employees and employers.  We should be the best employee we can when we are at work.    I never enjoyed those long cotton rows when I was a teenager back on our farm in Knox County, but looking back, I know that my dad taught me how to work.  That has helped me as an adult.  When I arrive at work, I know I am coming to be at work.   If we want to be successful and have a good job, we need to be a hard worker and help to make the company profitable.   When they are profitable, it makes every one’s job more secure.    

1 Tim 6:1  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.

1 Tim 6:2  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 Tim 6:3  If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

1 Tim 6:4  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

1 Tim 6:5  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

1 Tim 6:6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.

1 Tim 6:7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

1 Tim 6:8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 

The employer has a responsibility to be a good boss and to treat his employees fairly.   That is not always the way things are.   God warns us how things will be in the last days. 

James 5:1  Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

James 5:2  Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

James 5:3  Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

James 5:4  Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

James 5:5  Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

James 5:6  Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.


2 Tim 3:1  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 Tim 3:2  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

2 Tim 3:3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,


III.  How Masters are to Treat Their Servants 

Ephesians 6:9  And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. 

The employer needs to realize that he has a master in heaven and that there is no respect of persons with him.   Everyone is judged on his actions, not on who we are or how important or prestigious we might be.     

J. Vernon McGee said this about employee/employer relationships. 

Servants (lit., slaves) are to be obedient to masters according to the flesh, meaning the masters down here on earth. Servants are not to serve with eyeservice—with one eye on the clock or working only when the boss is looking. They are not to serve as “men-pleasers.” In other words, they are not to butter up the boss. Service is to be done as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the soul.

There is a responsibility put upon a believer who is a laborer and also a responsibility put upon one who is a capitalist or an employer. This is the employer-employee relationship. In Paul’s day it was an even sharper division than it is now—it was really master and slave. Remember that this entire section began in chapter 5, verse 21, which says, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” That sounds all right for Sunday, for the church service, but what about Monday morning when we go to work? Christian workers working for Christian owners of the factory will not need a labor boss to go to the capitalist and tell him what to do. I know of several businesses run by dedicated Christians. They have chapel service on company time, and they pay their workers while they are attending chapel. They are prosperous—God has blessed them.  [i] 

IV.  The Warfare of the Spirit-Filled Believer  

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

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

The warrior that is to be strong has to understand that our strength comes from the Lord.  In our human bodies, we have very limited power.  But when we look to God and walk in the Spirit, we can be very effective in the battle that is raging about us.   Verse 11 says that we are to put on the “Whole armour of God”.   And when we do, we will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  Is the Devil devious?   I wouldn’t doubt if the word devious was derived from Devil.  He knows our weaknesses and knows how to attack us on every front.   Why he even thought he knew how to trick Christ.  He used the word of God to try and trip up the Lord.   But partial truths or pieces of scripture could not fool Jesus Christ. 

Mat 4:1  Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  Mat 4:2  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.  Mat 4:3  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.   Mat 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.   Mat 4:5  Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,  Mat 4:6  And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Mat 4:7  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.  Mat 4:8  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;   Mat 4:9  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.   Mat 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.  Mat 4:11  Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. 


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 6:13  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 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  

The bible is quite clear that we are in an intense battle with Satan.  A lot of people are so deceived that they don’t know they been blinded by his trickery.  But it is a daily battle for the mind.   We have to realize who we are battling, and take every tool God can give us to repel Satan.  It says in verse 12 that our battle is against spiritual wickedness in high places.   There truly are rulers of darkness in this evil world, and we need to go forth with open eyes and be equipped with all the armour God can provide us.   It says to take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand in the evil day.    What are some of those pieces of armour?   It says to have our loins girt about with truth, and to have on the breastplate of righteousness.    What is truth?  God’s Word is truth.  We need to know the Word of God.  And that comes by intensive reading and studying.  We need to not only read the word, but apply it unto wisdom.   If we want the breastplate of Righteousness, we must know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and stand in His strength. 

The Believers Study Bible had this to say about the battle we face: 

6:11 In the Christian’s warfare against “the wiles of the devil,” he is to arm himself with spiritual armor in the same way that the Roman soldier (perhaps one was chained to Paul at the moment of writing) was customarily equipped for his physical warfare. The term “wiles” is the Greek methodeias, from which comes the word “method.” Thus, the Christian is to arm himself against the “methods” of the devil (diabolou, Gk., lit. “the one who casts through”).


6:14 The phrase “having girded” (perizoµgsamenoi, Gk.) refers to the way a soldier or laborer in the first-century world would draw his long, loose-fitting undergarment up between his knees and tuck it into his belt so that he might run or work unhindered by the garment, which might otherwise cause him to stumble or be hurt. Living an honest, transparent life according to the truth plays a similar role in the Christian’s walk and service.  [ii] 

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

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

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

I think that Paul day after day while he was in prison would look out at that Roman soldier, and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he was able to write to us how we as Christians should use all the special armour of God to fight our battle.  Our feet are to be covered with the gospel of peace.  Have you shared the gospel with others this past week?   Or has Satan filled your life with so many things that you don’t have time for God?   If he can’t weight us down with sin, he will sure make us so busy that we fail to read our bible and do those things that are most important.   It says to put on the helmet of salvation.    We need to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and then take up that sword of the Spirit, which is clearly the Word of God.   Is it powerful?  Can it cut through the mind and the issues of the heart?   God’s Word is ultimately powerful. 

Heb 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. 

Prayer is perhaps the most under utilized weapon that the child of God has at his or her disposal.  We are to be constantly in prayer.  The bible says to pray without ceasing.     Verse 18 says to pray ALWAYS with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.   That means to be serious in our praying and stay after it.   We as Christians need to stand in faith, in the word, and certainly stand in prayer. 

V.   Paul’s Request For Himself 

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

Paul’s chief concern was that the gospel might be preached.   He asks that they pray that he might speak boldly, and as he ought to speak.   Any man, who is called of God, has a burning desire to put forth the gospel.  And I believe every Christian who truly knows the Lord desires to tell others about the salvation God gives so freely.   But a man of God almost has a burning need to preach. 

Jeremiah decided one time that he was just going to stop preaching.  But he found it was not so easy. 

Jer 20:7  O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.

Jer 20:8  For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.

Jer 20:9  Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. 

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 6:23  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. 

Paul was very concerned about the churches and his brethren.   Here in a lonesome jail cell where there was no love or warmth, Paul desires that he could find peace, love and faith for the brethren.  What a testimony for a man imprisoned who was only concerned for others, and for the cause of Jesus Christ. 

King James Version Study Bible had this to say about Paul’s brother Tychicus. 

6:21 Tychicus appears on five occasions in the New Testament, and in each he serves as a messenger for or representative of Paul. He is first mentioned as a delegate from his church in Asia Minor. He is bearing its offering, accompanied by Paul and others (Acts 20:4), to the impoverished Jews of Jerusalem (Rom. 15:26; 2 Cor. 8:19). Tychicus may have been won to the Lord, or at least made contact with Paul, during the apostle’s three-year mission in Ephesus. At the end of that third journey of Paul Tychicus traveled with him to Jerusalem. He remained with Paul after his imprisonment. When Paul wrote his epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, Tychicus carried them back to his native Asia Minor (v. 21; Col. 4:7). More importantly, Paul sent Tychicus first to relieve Titus in overseeing the churches on Crete (Titus 3:12), and later to replace Timothy at Ephesus (2 Tim. 4:12) in order that the latter might minister to Paul during his second Roman imprisonment (2 Tim. 4:9, 21). (First Reference, Acts 20:4.) [iii]


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[ii]W.A. Criswell, Believer’s study Bible [computer file], electronic ed. , Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1991 by the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies.

[iii]Thomas Nelson, Inc., King James Version Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1988  by Liberty University.