Verses 1, 2 – Children are to obey while under their parents care, but the responsibility to honor parents is to life. If our faith in Christ is real, it will prove itself at home in our relationships with those who know us best.
Verse 3 – When elders are respected, long life is a blessing, not a burden to them.
Verse 4 – The purpose of parents discipline is to help their children grow and learn, not to exasperate and provoke them to anger or discouragement (see Colossians 3:21). Frustration on the parent’s part should not be the cause of harsh discipline. If parents will treat their children the way Christ would, it will give the children an early understanding of what Christ is like. Fathers are to take the lead in this.
Verse 5 – There were millions of slaves at this time in the Roman Empire. Many of the slaves were becoming Christians so the church had to deal with master/slave relationships. Paul’s statement neither condemns nor condones slavery. Instead his statements tell Christian masters and slaves how to live in the same household.
Verses 6-8 – Remember that no matter whom you work for and no matter who works for you the One you ultimately should want to please is your Father in heaven.
Verses 10, 11 – The devil and his fallen angels have all kinds of schemes planed to not just cause a little havoc in the Christians life, but to destroy that life. Paul tells of armor we have to put on. The first and foremost is depending on God’s strength. You are strong when you are involved in a body of believers. You can’t resist his attacks on your own. This power to fight will come from the Holy Spirit.
Verse 12 – These who are not “flesh and blood” are demons over whom Satan has control. We face a very powerful army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we become believers in Christ, these demons become our enemies. They try everything to cause the believer to go back to the life of sin. God is not the tempter! This battle will continue until Christ return. We need supernatural power to defeat Satan, which God has provided by giving us His Holy Spirit within us and His armor to surround us. Keep in mind, Jesus has already defeated him at the cross. If at any time you feel overwhelmed by these attacks, Christ told Peter in Matthew 16:18, “Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail.”
Verse 13 – Believe me, there will come a time when you have done all you can do, but you are to hold your ground. Standing on the faith in Christ and His word will give you victory.
Verse 14-17 – Look what God has given us to fight with. These are our weapons you must have to fight the schemes of the devil. We are to be dressed just as a soldier dresses who is going into battle every day. (1) Gird your waist with truth; Gods word has to be known and believed it is the truth; (2) Breastplate; you are protecting your heart when you cover your chest, not with your righteousness, but now you are the righteousness of God in Christ; you have put on Christ’ righteousness; (3) Peace; you are spreading the gospel of peace everywhere you go; this protects your feet; (4) Shield; we have this shield of faith that can grow; it gets bigger and bigger with each battle. If you don’t quit, with every battle you will face, you will see victory after victory. ; (5) Helmet; I don’t think some realize how important it is to protect their thoughts. Your salvation becomes a protection to your mind when you know who you are in Christ. ; (6) Sword of the Spirit; this word of God is imperative to know if you ever intend to overcome temptations. The more you know the more you believe, the more you believe the more you proclaim out loud. Faith has to be spoken out loud, and then you will see victory. God has given us some awesome weapons at our disposal to be victorious in every situation.
Verse 18 – Each piece of armor is to be put on with prayer. With every situation that arises in our daily life we can get in the habit of praying immediately. You don’t always have to be in a private closet somewhere. For instance; driving by a homeless person standing out somewhere; you may not be able to stop and help, but you can pray for God to send them someone who can help. Praying constantly for the saints is simply praying for those believers and the lost who are in your body or that you know. We are to pray for those around the world also, especially where they are being persecuted for their faith in Christ. When Paul says praying in the Spirit, this will be explained when we get to the Book of Acts. For those of you who do know what this means, I’ll say this; when you don’t know what the person needs or exactly what you need, pray in the spirit, because the Spirit knows all things. The person may be crying over one thing, but they need to come to Christ first and you don’t know it. The Spirit will pray using your mouth what you ought.
Verses 19, 20 – Paul wrote these powerful letters from prison. He was not afraid to open his mouth boldly and proclaim the gospel. Our God can use us in any situation to do His will. Even though we are praying for our circumstance to change, He can use you to accomplish His will right where you are. This accomplishment may or may not have anything to do with your circumstance. This eternal purpose will help us to also get through our difficult time. Because we know God has a purpose in all this.
Verses 21-24 – Tychicus is also mentioned in Acts 20:4, Colossians 4:7, 2 Timothy 4:12, and Titus 3:12. Paul concludes his letter with greetings. He stayed in Ephesus longer than any place in his ministry. For this reason I believe he intended for this letter to circulate broadly, addressing not just this church in Ephesus but other churches of the region also. Most likely Tychicus carried this letter along with the letter to Colossian and a personal letter to Philemon.
My sincere hope is that this Book of Ephesians will help you to understand a little better of what takes place when you become a Christian. Now when we go back to the Book of Exodus and read why the law was important too, you will have a better understanding of the grace that we as believers are under. At this point you have to understand not to put these laws and sacrifices on yourself to follow. When you are saved, God writes His laws on your heart; you will know what to do and not to do. These laws were given to the children of Israel to follow until the One and only perfect sacrifice came, Jesus Christ. He finished, completely the letter of the law at the cross. Now let’s go back to Exodus. You don’t want to miss this. It’s awesome!