Saturday 27 October 2012

Bible Book:

"Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ." (vv. 23, 24)

Ephesians 6:1-24 Saturday 27 October 2012


This is the final section of the Letter to the Ephesians,containing advice for children, parents, slaves and masters.

The instruction to children about how to behave is from the TenCommandments. These are from the Old Testament (see Deuteronomy 5:16) and were given to God'speople as they journeyed away from slavery in Egypt. In today'spassage, it is followed by advice to fathers - it is generalencouragement for children and parents to treat each otherproperly.

For many readers in our contemporary society, the section aboutslaves and masters is more problematic. If we live in a culturewhere the idea of slavery is abhorrent then unsurprisingly thissection will not read easily. But the writer was addressing thesituation of that time, and within that culture the advice may seemappropriate.

All in all it is a tough call to be a follower of Jesus Christ,and to live just as he expects. There has been a suggestion thatthe writer was in prison and was looking at the soldier on guard.The military uniform becomes something designed not for normalwarfare, but to be the necessary clothing to provide protectionagainst everything that threatens life in the Spirit (verses13-17). So, the belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet and swordare all employed in holding fast against all the evil in theworld.

And finally, the ultimate weapon is prayer (verse 18) - for theindividual Christian and for the writer of this letter. The letterends personally: after all it is a letter to those fellowChristians who are struggling to understand what it means to followJesus in the society in which they were living. The letter can be achallenge to Christians in the 21st century too!

To Ponder

  • How do you think that the advice to children and fathers mightbe helpful today?
  • What sort of armour might you need if you want to be a followerof Jesus?
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