Ephesians 4-6

Sunday Evening Bible Study

September 17, 2000


One way that the book of Ephesians has been broken up was done by Watchman Nee, a Chinese theologian (not to be confused with the “Witness Lee” of the cult known as the Local Church).  Watchman Nee broke the book into three sections:  Sit, Walk, Stand.

He pulled his idea from how we are “seated” in the heaven with Christ (2:6), then how we are to “walk” with Christ (4:1), and finally to “stand” (6:11) against the enemy.

There’s a type of progression in this as well.  First we need to learn to receive the blessings that Jesus has for us as we are “seated” with Him.  Then we learn to “walk” with Him, walking in a way that’s pleasing.  Then finally we learn to “stand” in battle against what the enemy tries to defeat us with.

Ephesians 4

:1  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

worthyaxios – suitably, worthily, in a manner worthy of

vocationklesis – a calling, calling to

What follows is a description of what it means to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, in a manner that is suitable for a Christian.

:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

lowlinesstapeinophrosune – the having a humble opinion of one’s self; a deep sense of one’s (moral) littleness; modesty, humility, lowliness of mind

meeknesspraotes – gentleness, mildness, meekness

longsufferingmakrothumia – patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance; patience, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs

forbearinganechomai – to hold up; to hold one’s self erect and firm; to sustain, to bear, to endure

:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

endeavouringspoudazo – to hasten, make haste; to exert one’s self, endeavour, give diligence

bondsundesmos – that which binds together, a band, bond; of ligaments by which the members of the human body are united together; that which is bound together, a bundle

:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

We can get confused when someone comes to our door and starts to talk about Jesus.  If there is only one Jesus, then can’t they be okay?

The problem is that there are other “Jesus’” out there.  But only one is correct.

(2 Cor 11:4 NASB)  For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

This is a quote from:

(Psa 68:18 KJV)  Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

led captivity captive – before Christ’s resurrection, every person that died went to a place called Sheol.  There were two compartments in Sheol, Paradise and Hades.  Paradise was a place of rest and comfort for the faithful, Hades was (and is) a place of torment for the wicked.  When Jesus died, He went to Sheol and took the faithful with Him to heaven.  They were the “captives” that He took with Him. 

The sequence of events is:  Jesus died and rose from the dead, and as He ascended He took with Him the saints in Paradise, and afterwards gave “gifts” to mankind.

:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

Peter writes,

(1 Pet 3:18-19 KJV)  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: {19} By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Here are some of the “gifts” that Jesus has given to mankind.

apostlesapostolos – a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders; specifically applied to the twelve apostles of Christ; in a broader sense applied to other eminent Christian teachers; of Barnabas; of Timothy and Silvanus

In a way, those who are sent out onto the mission field are a type of “apostle” today.  But in a sense, there are no “apostles” today on the order of the “twelve”.  They were special because they were the main witnesses to the resurrection.  I get concerned when people want to take on this title for themselves.  It usually means that they want to be able to speak and not be questioned.

Paul seemed to hint that an apostle was able to display “signs”, miracles:

(2 Cor 12:11-12 KJV)  I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. {12} Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

prophetsprophetes – in Greek writings, an interpreter of oracles or of other hidden things; one who, moved by the Spirit of God and hence his organ or spokesman, solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially concerning future events, and in particular such as relate to the cause and kingdom of God and to human salvation

A prophet is simply one who speaks for God, a person who has the gift of prophecy.  Again, I’m a little cautious about a person who wants to claim this title for themselves. 

evangelistseuaggelistes – a bringer of good tidings, an evangelist; the name given to the NT heralds of salvation through Christ who are not apostles

Ac 21:8  And the next [day] we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was [one] of the seven; and abode with him.

pastors and teachers – describing a single ministry, we might call it “pastor-teachers”

poimen – a herdsman, esp. a shepherd; the presiding officer, manager, director, of any assembly: so of Christ the Head of the church; of the overseers of the Christian assemblies

A shepherd guides, feeds, and cares for the flock.

didaskalos – a teacher; in the NT one who teaches concerning the things of God, and the duties of man

These are the ministries in the church that God has set up to help the church grow and mature.

Some refer to this as the “five-fold” ministry.  Again, I’d be a little cautious here.  Usually when a person brings this up, the next thing you’ll here is how their church “has it” and your church “doesn’t”.  You usually won’t hear people talking about this in the same way that you hear Paul talking about our conduct as Christians:

(Eph 4:2 KJV)  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

perfectingkatartismos – complete furnishing, equipping

from – katartizo – to render, i.e. to fit, sound, complete; to mend (what has been broken or rent), to repair

When the saints are “equipped”, then they do the work of the ministry and the church is built up.

This is one of my “life verses”.  It’s my job description.  My job is to equip the saints so that they can go out and do the ministry and so the church is built up.

How does that happen?

Through shepherding and teaching, through loving and teaching.
As Pastor Chuck has said many times, I want my church to be the best loved, best fed church in Fullerton.

:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

perfectteleios – brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness; full grown, adult, of full age, mature

The goal is for the church to grow up, to become more and more like Jesus.

: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;

The church is immature when it is not equipped, when it is not well-taught.

Immaturity is what makes the church vulnerable to bad doctrine.

You’ll see this in churches where a solid emphasis is not placed on the teaching of the Scriptures.  When you hear messages that are just a couple of verses here and a couple of verses there, the church can become vulnerable.

:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:


Growth comes from truth.

If we want to grow up, we need to learn to live in the truth.  We need to speak and receive truth.
If I have a problem, and I’m unaware of my problem, but nobody wants to tell me about it, how am I ever going to deal with the problem?

I know for years I’ve tried to avoid having to tell people the truth, especially when I’m afraid I might hurt their feelings.  I still struggle with this at times.  But I know that if I don’t ever speak up, they might never change.

Truth needs to be in the context of love.

:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

(Eph 4:16 NLT)  Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

We all have a part in the body.  We all have a part in the church.  The church can’t grow and mature like it should when some of the parts don’t want to do their part.

:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

being past feelingapalgeo – to cease to feel pain or grief; to become callous, insensible to pain, apathetic

(Eph 4:19 NLT)  They don't care anymore about right and wrong

lasciviousnessaselgeia – unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence

This is what happens to the unbeliever, they become more and more hardened by their own sin until they don’t care anymore.  This is one reason why statistically a person is more likely to respond to the gospel in their teen years than they are when they are old.  An old person often has calluses that are too tough to penetrate.  But it’s not impossible.

:20 But ye have not so learned Christ;

There is nothing impure about Jesus Christ.  As a Christian, there is no place for impurity.

I’ve read stories about how people can twist and pervert Christianity so that they can excuse their own lusts.

Back in the days of the old PTL scandal, the Baakers had allowed all kinds of impure things to go on.
If you read about the history of Joseph Smith, you’ll see the very same thing.
If you follow the history of Mormon polygamy, it starts off with the men talking about this “patriarchal order of marriage”.  Joseph claims to have received a revelation from God allowing the men to have more than one wife.  Most of the other Mormon leaders converted their wives to the idea of “plural marriage” before attempting to take another wife, but Joseph didn’t tell his wife Emma for some time.  He finally convinced her to accept the idea in the spring of 1843, but she wanted to do the choosing of the other wives.  One of the ways he convinced her was to couch it as a prophecy from the Lord, including a penalty if she didn’t go along with it, “But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law…” (No man knows my history, Fawn M. Brodie, pg.341).  She chose two girls from the four that had been living with them, not knowing that he had already secretly married them two months earlier.  She also didn’t know that they weren’t his second and third wives, they were numbers 23 and 24.  In fact of his fifty or so wives, 13 of them were already married and stayed married to their other husbands. One of his leaders, Parley Pratt, had been told about plural marriage around 1840, but what he didn’t know was that by 1843, Joseph had added Parley’s wife to his harem.  One of married women, Mary Elizabeth Rollins had adored Joseph for a long time, but had married a non-Mormon, Adam Lightner.  Mrs. Lightner reported that Joseph told her he had been commanded to take her for a wife as early as 1834.  “I was then a thousand miles from him,” she wrote.  “He got afraid.  The angel came to him three times, the last time with a drawn sword and threatened his life.”

This is not the way of Jesus Christ.

:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

The “old man” is a term to describe our sin nature, our “flesh”, that part of us that wants to sin and disobey God.

:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Speaking the TRUTH in love is what makes us grow up.

:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Being angry isn’t a sin. 

It becomes sin if you handle anger improperly.


Abraham Lincoln's secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, was angered by an army officer who accused him of favoritism.  Stanton complained to Lincoln, who suggested that Stanton write the officer a sharp letter. Stanton did, and showed the strongly worded letter to the President. "What are you going to do with it?"  Lincoln inquired.
Surprised, Stanton replied, "Send it."
Lincoln shook his head.  "You don't want to send that letter," he said.  "Put it in the stove.  That's what I do when I have written a letter while I am angry.  It's a good letter and you had a good time writing it and feel better.  Now, burn it, and write another."

Learn to resolve your differences.


Lamesa, Texan Don Nut says he and his wife have been married fifty years.  He says that the secret is that they never went to bed without settling any differences between them.  But Don concedes there have been times when he went ten days without sleep.    -- Associated Press  10-18-90

:27 Neither give place to the devil.

(Eph 4:27 NIV)  and do not give the devil a foothold.

(Eph 4:27 NASB)  and do not give the devil an opportunity.

(Eph 4:27 NLT)  for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.


After reading the story of Adam and Eve a young 5 year old boy was asked what the story told him.
"Not to play with snakes," he replied without hesitation.

:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

I was surprised to find out that some people actually believe that the world owes them a living.  They believe that everyone owes them, and they’re not ashamed to steal from you because they deserve what you have.

The Bible says we are to work so we can be able to help others in need.

:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

corruptsapros – rotten, putrefied; corrupted by one and no longer fit for use, worn out; of poor quality, bad, unfit for use, worthless

communicationlogos – of speech; a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea

:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

grievelupeo – to make sorrowful; to affect with sadness, cause grief, to throw into sorrow; to grieve, offend; to make one uneasy, cause him a scruple

The Holy Spirit is a person, not an impersonal force.  He has feelings.  He can be grieved by our actions and attitudes.

:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

clamourkrauge – a crying, outcry, clamour

evil speakingblasphemia – slander, detraction, speech injurious, to another’s good name; impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty

malicekakia – malignity, malice, ill-will, desire to injure

:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

kindchrestos – fit, fit for use, useful; virtuous, good

tenderheartedeusplagchnos – having strong bowels; compassionate, tender hearted

God is our example.

We should forgive one another because God has forgiven us.

Ephesians 5

:1  Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

followersmimetes – an imitator

:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

fornicationporneia – illicit sexual intercourse; adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.; any kind of sex outside the boundaries of marriage.

:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

filthinessaischrotes – obscenity, filthiness

foolish talkingmorologia – foolish talking (moron + word)

jestingeutrapelia – pleasantry, humour, facetiousness; in a bad sense; scurrility, ribaldry, low jesting

convenientaneko – to have come up to, arrived at, to reach to; to pertain to what is due, duty, as was fitting

I don’t think that this means we can’t tell jokes and that we must all have a sour look on our faces.  It’s just that we need to keep our jokes clean, without using humor to tear people down or make fun of people.

:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

whoremongerpornos – a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire; a male prostitute; a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator

:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

These are the very reasons why God’s wrath will one day come upon the planet.  Take it seriously!

:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

partakerssummetochos – partaking together with one, a joint partaker

:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Jesus said you would know about a person by what kind of fruit or results came out of their life.  A person filled with the Spirit will display goodness, righteousness, and truth.

:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

provingdokimazo – to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals; to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy

(Eph 5:10 NLT)  Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.

:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

fellowshipsugkoinoneo – to become a partaker together with others, or to have fellowship with a thing

reproveelegcho – to convict, refute, confute; generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted; by conviction to bring to the light, to expose; to find fault with, correct

:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

I think that sometimes we can get caught in a trap of being enticed by just hearing about the kinds of sins that occur.  We love hearing all the gossip and rumors that come our way.

I think that sometimes we should just let some things go unsaid.

:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

The picture is that of turning on a light in a dark room.  It reveals what’s been hidden in the dark.

:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

A quote from:

(Isa 26:19 KJV)  Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

(Isa 60:1 KJV)  Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

circumspectlyakribos – exactly, accurately, diligently

:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

(Eph 5:16 NIV)  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

God wants us to know what His will is for us.  His will is …

:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

excess – a waste

be filledpleroo – to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full; to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally; to render full, i.e. to complete; to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim; a command, present tense, to be continually filled

:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

What follows in these verses are grammatically the result of being filled with the Spirit.  If I am filled with the Holy Spirit, these things will happen in my life.

singing – the Holy Spirit puts a song in my heart to the Lord.

:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

A Spirit-filled life is a life of gratitude, learning to say thanks.

:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

submittinghupotasso – to arrange under, to subordinate; to subject, put in subjection; to subject one’s self, obey; to submit to one’s control; to yield to one’s admonition or advice; to obey, be subject; A Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden".


A Spirit-filled life is a life of order

As I’m filled with the Spirit, it will affect my relationships with others, especially in learning how to submit to others.
What follows is a list of types of relationships where Spirit-filled submission will be operating.
Marriage, family, work.

:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Marriage is supposed to be a picture to the world of the relationship between Jesus and His church.  God’s desire is that we paint the picture accurately, showing the orderliness in our relationships.

Wives submitting to husbands is a difficult subject.

I used to think it was difficult because men tended to abuse this and rule over their wives with cruelty.

But I think the problem now is not men abusing their role, but that often women simply don’t want anyone telling them what to do.

I think the result is disorder, confusion, and weak, indecisive men.
I think part of God’s design in having the wife submit involves teaching men to learn to make good decisions.
(1 Pet 3:1-2 NIV)  Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, {2} when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

The issue is not to submit just when you think your husband is right, but even when you know he’s wrong.  Let him make his mistakes.  Let him learn to make better decisions by falling on his face.

This is a step of faith on the wife’s part.  It’s a step of faith because it’s agreeing to try things God’s way and letting your husband decide, even when you don’t think it’s going to work.


Submission is hardest when you don’t agree

That is submission’s real test, when you are asked to do something that you don’t want to do.

:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Husbands, the command to you is not the opposite of “submit”.  Paul doesn’t tell the husbands to “rule” over their wives.  He tells them to love their wives.


Focus on your part.

At times like this a husband and wife can start nudging each other in the ribs, trying to make sure that the other person hears what they’re supposed to do.
God doesn’t want you worrying about the other person, worry about what He wants you to do.
Husbands, don’t get absorbed in the idea that she isn’t submitting.  Just love her.
Wives, don’t focus on thinking about how little you think he loves you, just submit.


Sacrificial love

Husbands are to follow Jesus’ example.  He laid down His life for His bride.
Don’t think of just jumping in front of an assassin’s bullet for your wife.  Sacrificial love means more than just doing the big dying act.  It also includes lots of little things like letting her watch her choice of TV show, taking her to her favorite restaurants, and all these sorts of little things.
It’s not just laying down your life, it’s laying down your rights.

:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,


Wash her with your words.

Jesus washes us with His Word.
We ought to wash our wives with our words.
Build her up.  Remind her that you love her.  Tell her how beautiful she is.
Do your comments towards her tend to be critical of her or praising her?

:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.


Beautifying love.

When a husband loves his wife like this, she will get more beautiful.  She loses the “spots” and “wrinkles”.
I think this is a marvelous thing.  It works. 

:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

If you love your wife, you’re doing yourself a favor.

:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

nourishethektrepho – to nourish up to maturity, to nourish; to nurture, bring up

cherisheththalpo – to warm, keep warm; to cherish with tender love, to foster with tender care

Great words!  This is how a man ought to treat his wife!!

:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Ephesians 6

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

obeyhupakouo – to listen, to harken; of one who on the knock at the door comes to listen who it is, (the duty of a porter); to harken to a command; to obey, be obedient to, submit to

We could translate this, “Children, listen to your parents!”

:2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

honourtimao – to estimate, fix the value; for the value of something belonging to one’s self; to honour, to have in honour, to revere, venerate

Quoted from:

(Deu 5:16 NIV)  "Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

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

The first of the commandments that has a promised blessing, long life.

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

provokeparorgizo – to rouse to wrath, to provoke, exasperate, anger

Just as husbands aren’t supposed to abuse their authority, but are to love their wives, fathers aren’t supposed to abuse their authority by provoking their children to anger.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t discipline our children.

Some ways of exasperating your children:

Improper discipline – too severe of a punishment, not taking time to listen to what they have to say, not following up the discipline with love and encouragement, even too light of a discipline can lead your children to anger when they don’t learn what their boundaries are in life.

Breaking promises – kids should be able to count on their parents.

Neglect – I see it in my own kids when I don’t spend enough time with them.

nurturepaideia – the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body; chastisement, chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment)

admonitionnouthesia (the mind + placing upon) – admonition, exhortation

: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;

be obedienthupakouo – to listen, to harken; of one who on the knock at the door comes to listen who it is, (the duty of a porter); to harken to a command; to obey, be obedient to, submit to

singlenesshaplotes – singleness, simplicity, sincerity, mental honesty; the virtue of one who is free from pretence and hypocrisy; not self seeking, openness of heart manifesting itself by generosity


Serve your boss as you would serve Jesus

That’s not an easy thing, especially when your boss isn’t a Christian and isn’t very nice either.
Just as with wives and husbands, we aren’t excused from obeying this just because the boss isn’t a nice person:
(1 Pet 2:18-19 NIV)  Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. {19} For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.
Submission to others is tied to learning submission to God.
Part of growing up in Christ involves learning proper submission.

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

eyeserviceophthalmodouleia – service performed [only] under the master’s eyes; for the master’s eye usually stimulates to greater diligence; his absence, on the other hand, renders sluggish

menpleasersanthropareskos – studying to please man, courting the favour of men

Don’t just work hard when the boss is watching you.  Jesus is watching you all the time.


Work to please Jesus


The movie Chariots of Fire was about the life of Eric Liddell. He had felt the call of God to go to China as a missionary with his sister. At one point in the movie, he told his sister that he was going to delay going to the mission field so that he could continue training for the Olympics. She was upset. He sought to help her to understand by saying, “Jenny, Jenny. I know God created me for his service, but he also made me fast! When I run, I feel God’s pleasure!”

: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.

Jesus will reward you.  Your real paycheck comes from heaven.

: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.

forbearinganiemi – to send back, relax, loosen; to give up, omit, calm; to leave, not to uphold, to let sink

Some of us fall into the category of “masters”.

We might be thinking, “Hey, I get off easy on this!” or, “I don’t have to submit to anyone!”

You have a Master in heaven.  He’s not impressed with you.

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

be strongendunamoo – to be strong, endue with strength, strengthen; to receive strength, be strengthened, increase in strength

Paul winds up the letter with a warning about the warfare that rages around us.


Only in God’s strength.

We are not to be strong in our own selves, but to have our strength come from the Lord.
That means that when you feel like you’re running on empty, it’s okay.  It’s not your strength that counts, it’s God’s strength that counts.

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

whole armourpanoplia – full armour, complete armour; includes shield, sword, lance, helmet, greaves, and breastplate

Don’t just put on a few things, put on the whole outfit.

wilesmethodeia (“methods”) – cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery

If you only put on part of the armor, you’re partly vulnerable, and that’s where the enemy will attack.

: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.

rulers of … this worldkosmokrator – lord of the world, prince of this age; the devil and his demons

We often get confused into thinking that we’re in this life and death struggle with a certain person.  We need to remember that the real enemy is Satan and his demon hordes.

: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.

Spiritual battles require spiritual weapons.

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

girdle / truth – the belt or girdle was what held all the weapons in place.

If you’re not holding everything in your life together with truth, you’re going to be having problems.  You’ve got to be honest with yourself and honest with God.

breastplate of righteousness – This is what protected the heart.  The enemy wants to attack your heart by telling you that you are worthless and sinful.  The problem is that this is true.  We only have righteousness and value with Jesus.  With Jesus in our lives, we can stand up to the condemnation of the enemy.  I think we also ought to consider how learning to live a live of righteousness will protect us from guilt.

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

Get ready to share the gospel.

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

shield of faith

One of the most cruel weapons in Paul’s day was an arrow with flaming tar on it.  It would penetrate a man’s armor and burn him to death.

It’s our trust in the Lord, even when we don’t see Him, that can extinguish the enemy’s darts.  The enemy will paralyze us with lies and fear.  We need to learn to extinguish that fear by trusting the Lord.

(Psa 56:3 KJV)  What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
(Psa 56:11 KJV)  In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
(Isa 12:2 KJV)  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

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

helmet of salvation – this is what protects our head, protects our mind.  I think we need to have assurance of salvation to be protected from the doubts the enemy will throw at us.

sword of the Spirit – God’s Word.  One of our best weapons against the attack of the enemy is the Bible we’re reading right now.

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

Though prayer isn’t listed as part of the armor, it’s one of our most effective weapons.

Praying “in the Spirit” may be a reference to praying in tongues.

(1 Cor 14:15 KJV)  What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

: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,

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

Pray for me as well.  Please.  Pray for me during the service that I would speak as I ought to.

: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:

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

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

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