Friday, August 1, 2014

Ephesians Part 4 5:15 - 6:24

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Paul is continuing his instruction on 'walking worthy of the calling' (4:1), now focusing on human interactions...honoring God in all relationships.  He gives instruction on how

-- Believers should relate to each other (5:15 - 21)
-- Wives should relate to their husbands (5:22 - 24, 33b)
-- Husbands should relate to their wives (5:25 - 33a)
-- Children should relate to their parents (6:1 - 3)
-- Fathers (parents) should relate to their children (6:4)
-- Bondservants should relate to their masters (6: 5 - 8)
-- Masters should relate to their servants (6:9)

On the whole, the concept is to respect, honor, esteem, be self sacrificing, regardless of the relationship; remembering that how we treat others is a representation of Christ himself...both of how He would treat others, and how we would serve Him.  Folks get hung up on the language and the roles, but Paul is not writing law, here, he's entreating folks to be Christlike and we would do well to remember that Christ gave up everything on our should we insist on our own rights here?

But Paul is not finished...there is one other aspect in which we walk worthy of the calling, and that is as a soldier in battle.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might (6:10)

Paul reminds his readers of something else that we all do well to remember...our enemy is not a person.  We do not fight people...but the spirits that control them, or the spirits that tempt each of us.
Take up the armor of God, Paul writes, listing it as:

The Belt of Truth...holds everything together
Breastplate of righteousness...pure actions guarding a pure heart
Gospel of Peace ...guides your steps
Shield of Faith...protects from the arrows of the enemy; a weapon that can only be effective from a distance
Helmet of Salvation...protects from a fatal blow
Sword of the Spirit, the word of God...our weapon, which is effective in close quarters

Prayer is the ongoing preparation and readiness.

Do this, Paul says, and you will be able to stand your ground.

Now Paul has told them all that he felt on his heart to tell them.  He assured them they were co-heirs with Israel, instructed them on living as believers ought to live, and gave them encouragement for battles that were coming.  Now, he bids them farewell, asking them to pray for him, that he will declare the word of God boldly; he is sending the letter to them via Tychicus, who will tell them more about what is going on with Paul when he sees them.

He blesses them with love and peace and faith, these folks who have been dear to him.

It's not a bad way to end the class at all.

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