Ephesians 6:1-17

Verse 1-3, Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. {2} Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; {3} That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

I. A child is to obey his parents when he is under their roof, and are to continue to honor them all the days of his life.

A. The duties of the child.

1. Ecclesiastes 12:1, Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

2. Proverbs 1:8, My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.

3. Proverbs 6:20, My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother.

4. Proverbs 7:1, My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

5. Psalms 34:11, Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

6. Proverbs 23:22, Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

7. Leviticus 19:3, Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I [am] the LORD your God.

B. The blessing upon the child.

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

2. Col. 3:20 - Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

C. The curse upon the child.

1. Proverbs 10:1, The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son [is] the heaviness of his mother.

2. Proverbs 20:11, Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work [be] pure, and whether [it be] right.

3. Mark 7:10, For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

4. Matthew 15:4, For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

5. Proverbs 30:17, The eye [that] mocketh at [his] father, and despiseth to obey [his] mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

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

I. Provoke not your children to wrath means two things.

A. Dad is to give Christian doctrines to his children in such a way that they won't rebel.

1. He is to have a proper attitude about these doctrines.

2. His right attitude will show up in his life, and in the way he talks to his children.

3. We must be careful to remember that Dad must present the truth to his children regardless of their attitude toward those doctrines, or their acceptance of those doctrines.

4. If children are going to get mad it isn't the responsibility of dad to make sure he doesn't.

5. If it were so, the child would hold this command over the dad, making him do whatever the child wished.

B. It also means for dads not to provoke their children to the wrath of God!

1. It is far better for the children to be mad at their dad than for God to be angry at them.

2. Sometimes children get mad at those in authority because they don't understand why things are the way they are.

3. The dad is to so instruct their children in God's ways so they will understand why the wrath of God comes, and why the blessings of God comes.

C. Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

1. Notice this is the dad's responsibility.

2. Today, this responsibility has been given to the mother, while dad doesn't know what the children are doing: worse, it seems he doesn't even care.

3. Some mothers have helped this process along by not sharing with their husbands what the children tell them.

4. Not only does this made the dad feel he is not a part of the family, the children grow up not understanding that dad is a human being with feelings for them.

D. This is just another reason why so many women are rebelling against their husbands.

1. They have the total responsibility of the family, while dad has none.

2. The husbands and fathers don't seem to be a part of the family, therefore both wives, and children rebel at his authority.

E. When you find a community, or a family, where the dad doesn't shoulder his responsibility as a dad, you will find many other problems which have no solutions.

1. Every child has a need for a father's love, companionship, discipline, and direction.

2. No other person can provide that for a child.

3. When he doesn't have that fatherly direction, there is a vacuum in the heart of a child which society cannot fill, no matter what they do.

4. It may be possible for another man to fill that place if the father has died.

Verse 5-8, 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; {6} Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; {7} With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: {8} Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

I. The relationship of servants to masters.

A. This verse is not written to lost people.

1. Prov. 21:4 - The plowing of the wicked is sin.

2. Everything a lost person does is a sin.

3. They can do nothing at all to please God because they are sinners.

B. The original meaning.

1. A servant (slave) was to be in obedience to their masters because they were in obedience to God.

2. The whole purpose of their living was to please their masters because in pleasing their masters, they were pleasing God.

C. The modern counterpart.

1. Every employee is to work for their employer because they are fulfilling an obligation to God.

2. Not with eyeservice.

a. Not with just the outward appearance, such as is pleasing to men.

b. Work with your heart, which is pleasing to God.

D. Don't work just when the boss is looking.

1. I knew a man one time who did this.

2. The other employees knew it and didn't like it, but the boss didn't know.

3. His work was an abomination to the other employees, but the employer thought he was great.

4. The other employees got to the place where they didn't want to work with him, because they had to do the bulk of the work, while he sat down.

5. This just caused more and more problems.

E. Understand what the reward is.

1. A service rendered to an employer, which is done from the heart in true obedience to God, will be rewarded as a work having been done to God.

2. When an employee works like this, every day can be a day of service to God.

II. Work is a part of the curse of God upon mankind.

A. Gen. 3:17-19.

1. In the Garden of Eden, all food was provided by God.

2. Adam didn't have to sweat to obtain that food.

3. Earning a living wasn't a struggle.

B. Earning a living becomes a struggle under the curse of sin.

1. Thorns and thistles and plenty of weeds shall come from the ground, along with the good fruit.

2. The strength of man will be severely limited because he will now sweat as he works in God's creation.

3. Nothing will be free, but everything will be full of work.

4. You must work until death because that is the way God determined it to be.

C. Submitting yourself to God's commands is submitting yourself to the curse of God.

1. Rom. 8:28, God put the curse upon us for our good.

2. When we submit ourselves to the curse, we are submitting ourselves to the desires of God.

3. When we spend our days working we will be too tired to get into a lot of sin.

D. The curse of work has turned out to be a real blessing to the saved.

1. A person must work to provide for things necessary to this life.

2. When people work hard, they get tired, and must rest.

3. They are too tired to run around and get into a lot of sin.

4. When a person is working, their minds are occupied with something other than evil.

E. Death is another curse from God that has turned out to be a thing of victory.

1. People die because they are a sinner.

2. For the saved person, death ends all the suffering and sorrows of this life.

3. They leave this wicked world, and go to heaven to be with God.

4. During eternity, all the saved with return to the new heaven and new earth, where God will wipe away all their tears, and be with them eternally.

Verse 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.

I. The same principles that apply to the employee also apply to the employer.

II. Forbearing threatening.

A. Threatening people does not make for a very healthy working environment.

1. God doesn't threaten us.

2. He does tell us the consequences of our actions, whether those consequences are good or bad.

3. An employers must do the same thing.

4. This is not a threat, it is a fact!

B. These are good managerial principles for any company to follow.

III. Your master is in heaven.

A. The employer is not the final authority, God is.

1. The employers is responsible to God for the way he runs his company and the way he treats his employees.

2. Some might believe the employer do what they want, but God is the ultimate judge of all.

3. James 5:1-6 - A warning to all who have gotten riches by failing to take care of employees like they should.

B. It is interesting to note that the master of the employer is not on the earth.

1. It is not unions.

2. It is not lending institutions.

3. It is not employees.

4. It is God in heaven.

Instructions On Living The Christian Life

Verse 10-18

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

Our strength doesn't come from ourselves, but from the Lord, from the power of His might that He gives to us.

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

Put on - This is a deliberate act.

This is done to protect ourselves because we know what the battle is about.

Wear the right kind of clothes for the right kind of job so the body will be protected.

Verse 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.

I. Wrestle not.

A. The wrestling match is compared to the Christian's struggle against evil.

B. This verse confirms verse 11.

1. We stand against the wiles of Satan.

2. Our battle is not against any person.

3. For a Christian to strike out against another human is wrong.

4. We are to fight the disease, not symptoms.

C. Flesh and blood - Christians have no quarrel against any human being.

II. Our battle is against.

A. Principalities.

1. The beginning, origin, the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader

2. That by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause.

3. the first place, principality, rule, magistracy

4. Our battle is with Satan, the beginning of sin and the one most active in causing sin to continue.

B. Powers - authority, right, liberty, jurisdiction, strength.

1. Power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; leave or permission

2. Physical and mental power; the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises

3. Everybody ought to do what God commands, because He is the total sovereign of the universe.

4. We disagree with the philosophy that everybody should do what they want to do.

C. Rulers of the darkness of this world.

1. Ruler, lord of the world, prince of this age: the devil and demons are called this.

2. darkness.

a. Of night darkness; of darkened eyesight or blindness

b. Metaphor of ignorance respecting divine things and human duties, and the accompanying ungodliness and immorality, together with their consequent misery; persons in whom darkness becomes visible and holds sway

D. Spiritual wickedness in high places

1. Spiritual.

  1. relating to the human spirit, or rational soul, as part of the man which is akin to God and serves as his instrument or organ; that which possesses the nature of the rational soul.

    belonging to a spirit, or a being higher than man but inferior to God

2. Wickedness.

a depravity, iniquity, wickedness, malice, evil purposes and desires

3. High - heavenly, celestial, in heaven, high.

a. existing in heaven, things that take place in heaven.

b. the heavenly regions, i.e. heaven itself, the abode of God and angels, the lower heavens or the heavens of the clouds

c. the heavenly temple or sanctuary

d. of heavenly origin or nature

Verse 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.

I. The whole armor of God.

A. This is not the armor of flesh.

1. Not like the "Waco Cult", because we are not a cult, but a church.

2. We believe in the imminent return of the lord, not the imminent destruction of the world.

3. We do not believe in "survivalists", those "religious zealots", who depend on concrete bunkers and are "armed to the teeth" to survive when governments crumble.

B. The armor of God is spiritual and is described in verses 14-18.

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

I. Stand therefore.

A. God doesn't expect us to walk, or run, trot, or jog ahead.

  1. Don’t be running around like a chicken with your head cut off.

  2. Activity doesn’t mean you are following God’s will.

  3. Psalms 46:10 - Be still and know that I am God.

B. God doesn't expect us to sit down, or lay down.

C. We are to stand up on our own two feet, ready to do whatever God calls us to do.

II. Loins girt about with truth.

A. Truth is the Word of God.

B. John 18:38 - Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?"

1. It is a shame that some people in authority do not know what the truth is.

2. They might have the opinion of a lot of "authorities", but if they don't have the answers from the Bible, they don't have the truth.

III. The breastplate of righteousness.

A. This is a personal righteousness that is given by Jesus Christ.

B. It is not a personal righteousness because of the "goodness of the believer".

1. Rev. 19:8 - The fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.

2. This righteousness is given to them because of the righteousness of God.

Verse 15, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

I. We must be prepared.

  1. Every person must know what the gospel of peace is before they can declare it to anybody.

  2. It is good to have teachers and pastors who teach the truth of God’s Word.

  3. All their teachings won’t do you any good if you don’t know what they are talking about.

  4. If you don’t personally study your own Bible, you’ll never learn anything.

B. It takes personal time in the Word of God.

1. It is not enough to hear somebody else and follow that person.

  1. It is enough to learn for yourself what God’s Word says, so you personally know it.

  2. The gospel of peace is not the peace of this world.

  3. It is the peace that comes from Christ when the gospel message is accepted and God is trusted.

  4. John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

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

I. The shield of faith.

A. This is nothing else but believing the promises of God.

1. A lot of people don't have any faith because they don't know any promises of God.

2. II Peter 1:4 - God has given us exceeding great and precious promises that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature of God.

B. Faith is believing what God will do before He does it!

1. You don't have to see He is doing anything.

2. Just believe what He said.

II. The fiery darts of the wicked.

A. Satan is out to destroy God's people.

B. The only thing that can save them is the shield of faith.

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

I. The helmet of salvation.

A. We must know we are saved before we will be able to do anything else.

1. There are those who believe you can't know you are saved.

2. I feel sorry for those folks, because they can never be really settled in their love and service for God.

3. They are always uneasy because they are afraid they will do something and God will "throw out their salvation."

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

I. Praying always.

A. If there was every anything lacking in "Christians" today, it is prayer.

1. Luke 18:1-8 - The story of the stern judge who answered the request of the widow woman because she troubled him. Jesus asked, "When the son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"

2. I Thess. 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.

3. Luke 11:1-13 - When God's disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, he explained the importance of praying, knowing that they have no other place to turn.

4. Faithful men who continually prayed.

a. Daniel was cast into the lion's den because he wouldn't stop praying, but God kept the lions from eating him.

b. David prayed three times a day, and received much strength from God.

II. Watching.

A. Watch for the good things of God.

1. These are the things you will try to achieve.

B. Watch out for the fiery darts of the wicked.

C. There is never a time to stop doing what you ought to do.

D. Things to watch for.

1. Matt. 26:41 - Jesus commanded Peter, James, and John to watch and pray so they wouldn't enter into temptation.

2. Acts 20:31 - Paul warned the elders of Ephesus to watch because Satan was going to send false teachers among them.

3. I Cor. 10:12 - If you think you are standing, take heed because you may be about to fall.

4. I Cor. 16:13 - Watch, and stand fast in the faith, quit like men.

5. Col. 4:2 - Continue in prayer and watch with thanksgiving.

6. I Peter 5:8 - Watch because Satan, as a roaring lion, is seeking whom he may devour.