Ephesians 6Obey your parents; it is to be understood here, as in chap Eph 5:24, that the obedience enjoined extends to all things not contrary to Christ's commands; for the addition, in the Lord, that is, obey as those who are in the Lord, and make his will the law of their being, excludes obedience to those commands which are contrary to Christ's word. With promise; with a promise annexed, namely, that of long life and great blessings. Ex 20:12. The gospel inculcates perfect fidelity in the discharge of all the relative duties of life; and children who are kind, respectful, and obedient to parents, take the way to become blessings to themselves, their parents, the church of God, and the world. Provoke not your children; give them no just occasion to be angry or to feel as if they were injured. As the highest good of children in this life and the life to come requires them, in all things right, to obey their parents, it is the duty of parents to take the course which is best suited to secure this, and lead their children also to obey their Father in heaven. In order to this, they must obey him themselves, daily seek his guidance and blessings, instruct their children to do his will, and present to them the motives which he has revealed. They must also accustom their children, from their earliest years, promptly to submit their wills to the will of their parents, so that it shall, by habit, become easy and pleasant. Masters according to the flesh; persons to whom you justly owe service, or who by human laws have power to force you to serve them. Obey their commands whenever you can do it without disobeying the commands of your Master in heaven.With fear and trembling; reverentially, and with that fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom, and which shall make you anxious to please him.As unto Christ; for the purpose of honoring him and promoting his cause. Not with eye-service; not outwardly merely, while men are looking on, or for the purpose of pleasing them--not a constrained external service, but from the heart, out of regard to God. With good will; kind and cheerful readiness. The same shall he receive; the servant shall be rewarded by God for obeying him, as certainly and abundantly as if he were not a servant. Servants are bound to be servants of Christ, and from love to him to obey, in things not wicked, their earthly masters; and to do it for the purpose of pleasing him: showing the excellence of his religion, and promoting its influence in the world. For doing this, they will receive from him a gracious and glorious reward. Do the same things; be governed by the same supreme regard to God which is inculcated on servants, and manifest the same kind, benevolent, and cheerful readiness to please God in your conduct towards them, which they are required to manifest in their conduct towards you.Forbearing threatening; avoiding it, and seeking to win them to the love and service of God. They are your brethren, children of the same heavenly Father, redeemed by the same almighty Saviour, and you must stand with them before the same impartial Judge.Neither is there respect of persons with him; you will not be favored because you are masters., nor they less favored because they are servants. Your more elevated position increases your responsibility, and if you do not possess and manifest the spirit of Christ, will increase your condemnation. Masters are bound to be servants of Christ, doing his will from the heart, and manifesting towards their servants his spirit; doing to them in all things as, under a change of circumstances, they ought to wish their servants to do to them; knowing that Christ requires this, and that they are both to stand before him in judgment, and to receive for eternity, not according to their outward condition, but according to their character and conduct. Be strong in the Lord; as those who are united by faith to the Lord Jesus, and depend on him for strength and all needed aid to perform every duty, bear every trial, and conquer every foe.In the power of his might; in the power possessed by you, which his might furnishes. Although all our strength in the Christian life comes from God, it is still our duty to have strength, because it is our duty to look to God for it in faith and humility, and when we so look, we always receive it. Armor of God; that which he has provided in and through Jesus Christ, and furnishes by his word, Spirit, and providence.Wiles; devices, stratagems to deceive and destroy. We wrestle not against flesh and blood; weak men like ourselves. Our great contest is not with men, but with various orders of evil spirits, styled principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness.The rulers of the darkness of this world; those evil spirits who rule this world in and through the spiritual darkness that prevails in it.Spiritual wickedness; or, spiritual powers of wickedness, armies of evil spirits.In high places; in the regions of the air. See note to chap Eph 2:2. The whole armor of God; literally the panoply of God; namely, the complete armor which he has provided for you in the gospel of his Son.The evil day; when tempted to sin, assailed by enemies, and beset with trials.Having done all; having gone through with the whole conflict. Having your loins girt about with truth; having for the girdle of your loins truth in word and deed. The allusion is to the military girdle, which was worn about the loins for strength, and not for mere ornament.The breastplate of righteousness; the "righteousness and holiness of truth," chap Eph 4:24, which is wrought in the soul by God's Spirit. Your feet shod; the reference is to the military shoes of warriors.The preparation of the gospel of peace; the inward preparation of mind which the gospel of peace gives. For by shedding abroad in the soul "the peace of God which passeth all understanding," the gospel furnishes it with courage, zeal, and alacrity for every duty. Fiery darts; in allusion to the darts fitted with burning substances that were used by the ancients.The wicked; the wicked one, the devil. He means the fiery temptations inward and outward by which Satan seeks to destroy us, and which can be quenched only by faith. The helmet of salvation; in 1Th 5:8, he says, "for a helmet, the hope of salvation."The sword of the Spirit; the sword which the Spirit furnishes. The apostle would have us stand firm in the faith and practice of the gospel, and ever ready to propagate and promote it; relying with implicit confidence on Christ, and expecting the fulfilment of his declarations; acquainted with the Scriptures, and using them for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness; habitually and fervently praying, in secret, in the family, and in public, not only for yourselves but for all Christians, and especially for ministers of Christ; that without fear of man they may preach the whole gospel in its just application to all their hearers. None will stand firm under the banner of Christ, and fight perseveringly and successfully with Satan and his allies, but those who rely on Christ for strength, and clothe themselves with the armor which he has provided. But taking the Bible for their guide, and habitually seeking the presence of the Holy Spirit, under a Leader who never was and never will be overcome, they may go triumphantly from conquering to conquer. Tychicus; by whom Paul sent this epistle from Rome to Ephesus. Comfort your hearts; by hearing of the goodness of God to Paul, the success of the gospel, and the readiness of God to aid and bless all who put their trust in him.
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