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The Good Life in Christ (3) Ephesians 5,6

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Principalities And Powers

The Wiles Of The Devil Ephesians 6:11-13




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Ephesians 6

Commands to children and slaves
Children, obey your parents in the Lord. For this is right. 2 Honour your father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), 3 that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.
   4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but nurture them in the training and instruction of the Lord.
   5 Servants, be obedient to those that according to the flesh are your masters, with respect and fear, in singleness of your heart, as if to Christ. 6 Not in the way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 giving service with a good will, as if to the Lord and not to man. 8 Knowing that whatever good thing each one does, the same shall he receive in return from the Lord, whether he be slave or free.
   9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, and stop your threatening; knowing that he who is both their master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

Spiritual armour
   10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle only against flesh and blood, but also against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies. 13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to withstand it; and after you have done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having girded yourself with truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the readiness to announce the gospel of peace; 16 meanwhile taking up the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition, praying at all times in the Spirit; and with this in view, be alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in opening my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. That in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
   21 But so you may also know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, shall make known to you all things; 22 whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our state and that he may comfort your hearts.
   23 Peace be to the believers and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all those that love our Lord Jesus Christ with undying love.


6:4 The Lord is the trainer and instructor of our children; but He chooses to mediate that teaching through the parents.

6:5 Those who feel enslaved by their daily work can do their tasks as if they are doing them as service to Christ- and He will accept this as done to Him. This means that the person who has to work long, hard hours in the workplace most of the week can do as much service to Christ as the person who is ‘free’ to serve Christ in things like preaching, teaching and serving His brethren- if the work done to our human employer is consciously done by us “as to Christ”.

6:11-13 The world is under God’s control, not that of evil beings in heaven (Dan. 4:32). “All power” in heaven and in earth has been given to Jesus (Mt. 28:18) by God (Rev. 3:21; Lk. 22:29), so it cannot also be possessed by wicked beings in literal Heaven. There can be no sinful being in heaven itself (Ps. 5:4,5; Hab. 1:13; Mt. 6:10). Verse 12 may be translated, “For we wrestle not only against flesh and blood...” i.e., we do not only wrestle against individual men, but against organized systems. The church was facing “the evil day” of persecution at the hands of the Romans (1 Pet. 4:12; 5:8,9). “The rulers of this dark world” at the time were the Romans. Note that the wrestling is spiritual wrestling to keep the faith (2 Cor. 10:3-5). The Greek word for “principalities” is translated “magistrate” in Lk. 12:11; human “rule”, in the sense of human government, in 1 Cor. 15:24, and the “power” of the Roman governor in Lk. 20:20. So it does not necessarily have reference to any power or prince in heaven. “Wicked spirituals in high (heavenly) places” doesn’t refer to wicked beings in heaven itself. The exalted position of the true believers in Christ is described as being “in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 2:6). The threat to the church was twofold: from the Roman/Jewish persecution and from the (often Judaist) “false apostles” (2 Cor. 11:13) within. Remember Ephesians was written to the church at Ephesus. Paul had previously warned them about this threat from within in Acts 20:29-30.

6:17 Salvation is our helmet in that if we firmly believe that we really will be saved when Christ returns, then this will guard our thinking [our head].