Ephesians 6:1 is a great example of the way God designed our world to flow. Obeying authority: children obey their parents (some parents give that authority over to teachers, police and so on), the wife is under the authority of the husband, the husband is under the authority of God. Although this is not a popular train of thought in today’s society, it is how God intended us to live.
What changes God’s design is sin. Adam and Eve sinned, they thought they could go against God’s instructions. And through the ages, as we read Scripture, we see people committing the same sin, thinking they know better than God. And so, it is the same today. Sin which was once hidden is now in the open, being flaunted as if there are no consequences.
Verse 1 calls the child to action whereas verse 2 has us checking our attitude, what is the motive behind our behavior? Obeying your father and mother is a principle from Scripture and should be followed to this day. (see Pro 1:8; 3:1; 4:1-4; 7:1-3; 10:1; 17:21; 19:13-26; and 28:24)
As long as we are on this earth, we will battle temptation regularly but God has given us exactly what we need to win this battle. We put it on, just like a coat, as in verses 10 through 17. We receive instructions to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” As we read this passage on a regular basis, we obey His Word as it becomes a part of us. God has given us the full armor of God so that we may stand firm against the evil that goes on around us. We will wrestle not against the person, but it is a spiritual battle and with that we must know the Word and fall on our knees in prayer.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (v. 13) It is only through obedience to God that we desire to do His will. Here He tells us to “take up the whole armor of God” and we are further directed to “put it on”. Why? Because since Adam’s sin, every day has been a temptation of doing evil—until the Lord’s return. We stand against the evil that is all around us.
At every turn, satan tries to take us down but we are told to stand, a firm position, in our spiritual battle against evil. In James 4:7 we are told “therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” How can we resist evil unless we take a stand? We literally must remember that there are only two stances to take, we are either for the Lord or for satan. Plain and simple.
We have Divine support which allows us to stand firm. God is our strength which gives us peace that can only come from Him! The first verse I ever memorized as a new believer was Psalm 27: 1, “The LORD is my light and salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” That is powerful!
We must have continual trust in God’s Word. It strengthens our faith. Such truth is the foundation for strong faith, which then helps us to obey. Our strength is in Christ Alone. The shield of faith, in verse 16, is our weapon of choice.
“The helmet of salvation” protects our head. One of the key ways satan attacks us is through our thoughts. We can start to question God, we can doubt the Word of God, we can become so discouraged that we turn away or worse yet, we want to end our lives. All of this is part of the evil one’s plan to destroy as many as he can.
And finally, we are to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,” (v 18). Another reason to read the Bible daily, continually year in and year out is so our prayers will be supported by God’s Word. We start praying them from our heart.
Heavenly Father, may this study of Ephesians help us to grow ever more obedient to Your Word. May we be able to help others, bringing comfort to the hurting and strength to those who are weak. Oh Lord God, use each of us mightily as we read your Word daily and put it into practice. Thank you Lord, that you are rich in mercy and that You reveal in Your Word exactly what you expect from each of us. You are mighty O Lord, Maker of heaven and earth! Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen
Ephesians is an exciting book! I hope you have been blessed as much as I have these past few weeks and that you are drawn to reading the Word daily. I look forward to your comments as we look to a new year.
Many of you know that I have read through the Bible, from front to back, for many years. This year, 2020, I tried something a bit different. I read one chapter a day from the New Testament and wrote what God was impressing upon my heart to learn in a journal. And I listened to the Old Testament each morning as I prepared breakfast for everyone. As 2021 opens in less than two weeks, I will read one chapter in the Old Testament and journal and listen to the New Testament. Just changing things up a bit helps me to see a new perspective and I can apply that to another area of my life. I praise God for each of you who have stuck with my blog and sent encouraging notes.
The days might become more difficult soon but praise God that He deemed us worthy to withstand each day for His glory! It is only through His strength that we can carry on. Merry Christmas my friends!