Ephesians, Chapter 6
The Wednesday Bible Study Club met on November 13 in the home of Mrs. Sherri Fuller, who hosted the meeting. Mrs. Fuller opened the meeting with prayer.
Mrs. Cheryl O’Quin served as lesson leader focusing on the final Chapter 6 of Ephesians.
Paul ends his letter to the Ephesians with practical advice for a Christian’s daily life. He addresses the responsibilities that children have toward their parents as well as the responsibilities that parents have toward their children.
Knowing the real presence of evil in the world, Paul gives encouragement to Christians to be strong in the Lord. Children are to obey their parents. Children who obey their parents are also obedient to God and obedience to God will bring about a more fulfilling life, though not without trials. A child reared in a Godly home may have a stronger fortitude to deal with life’s troubles and will have the security of knowing he has eternal life.
Parents have a great responsibility to ensure their children are brought up in a home centered on the Lord’s instruction. “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Parents must not discourage children, or be unkind, or over-critical and harsh. Parents should be spiritual examples to their children. At the time this was written, Roman fathers had complete power over their children, even into adulthood. A father could sell his children into slavery, accept or reject a child at birth, and even impose the death penalty, though it was seldom done. Christianity had a positive influence on the status of children, and women, as well.
Christianity also had influence on slaves and masters. Slavery was a reality in the Roman society and economy, as well as in Ancient Egypt and Greece. Roman slavery was not based on race, but included many foreigners, some who had been captured during war, as well as children who had been sold into slavery.
These slaves not only performed manual labor, but also were teachers, accountants, secretaries, and physicians. He recognized that there were Christians who were slaves and he gave them ways to deal with the reality in which they lived. He encouraged them to serve wholeheartedly as the Lord would reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether a person is a slave or free. He urged masters to treat their slaves likewise and not threaten them.
Slave and master alike serve the heavenly Master, and in Him there is no favoritism. This passage is also applicable to all workers, both employees and employers. We should all work as if working for the Lord; we will all stand before God someday, and our earthly standing will not matter.
Paul was in prison at this time and he could study the Roman guard’s armor. He encouraged Christians to be strong in the Lord and tells them to “strengthen yourselves in the Lord.” He tells them to “put on the armor of God.” He relates the pieces of armor to a Christian at battle with worldly and spiritual evils. Paul proceeds to break down the different symbolic pieces of armor and explains the purpose in helping the Christian stand against evil. God’s armor includes faith, truth, righteousness, salvation, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God.
The belt of truth is buckled around us. The Christian must have a strong core. We must have God’s Biblical truths securely around us. Truth is God’s standard, not ours. Truth is the backbone of faith.
The breastplate of righteousness protects our most vital organ: the heart. Righteousness is right living according to God’s expectations. Unrighteous living makes us vulnerable to attack.
A Christian must be prepared and ready to bring the gospel where needed. “Preparation” means a “prepared foundation.” The Gospel makes us sure-footed to be ready with the truth. The enemy is always looking for ways to destroy our peace, but our relationship with God brings us internal peace.
Faith is represented as a shield to extinguish the flaming arrows from the evil one. Satan can fling many arrows at Christians through the doubts and fears in our mind, but the shield of faith can put out the flames and turn them back.
Salvation is the helmet that protects us against discouragement, a weapon Satan uses frequently against Christians, hoping to cause the Christian to give up. Thessalonians 5:8 tells us to put on “the hope of salvation” as a helmet.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God, Paul says in Ephesians 6:17. Likewise, Christians should be just as prepared by studying and reading God’s word and by committing scripture to memory. Thus, we can recall those scriptures to give us the strength and wisdom we need. Jesus used scripture when He was tempted by Satan in the desert.
Paul ends Ephesians with the reminder to pray at all times, on different occasions, and in many different ways. And just as a soldier watches out for the safety of his fellow soldiers, Paul asks us to pray for the saints. We should be concerned about our fellow believers and offer prayer on their behalf. As Paul is bound in chains, he also asks for prayer for himself that he might continue to spread the gospel fiercely.
It is comforting to know we do not have to face life’s battles alone. Through prayer and God’s own armor we can confront each day with peace and confidence.
Mrs. Nikki Murphy conducted the business meeting. Members expressed their prayer concerns. Mrs. Carla Narcomey led the members with intercessory prayer. The meeting was dismissed with the Closing Prayer.