Teaching Notes EPHESIANS 5 and 6
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Mutual Respect and the Put
on the Full Armor of God
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Chapters 5,6. New Obligations
In these two chapters Paul continues With what he "began in
4:17: their obligation to Live differently.
The fight against sexual impurity. 5:3-14, that is, immorality,
promiscuous sexual indulgence. It was a very common sin in
Paul’s day, in many places it was a part of heathen worship.
Paul warns against it again and again.
See notes on I Cor 7 and I Thes. 4:1-8.
Singing, 5:18-21.-The joyful. praise of Christian meetings is here
put in contrast with the riotous indulgence of noisy drunken
revels, 18,19. Hymn singing is by far the most natura1,-simp1est,
best loved, and by all odds the most spiritually stimulating of all
the exercises of religious meetings.
Husbands and Wives, 5:22-33. If we are Christians, we must
show it in all the relations of life: business, social, and domestic.
The relation between husband and wife is here represented as
being a counterpart of the relation…between Christ and the
Church, 25,32. The exhortation is to mutual love and devotion, and
in no way suggests that a man has a right to make a slave of his
wife. Each is dependent on the other, because of the different
functions that each has in human society. Each, in serving 'the
other, best serves self, 28."‘He that loves his wife loves himself":
husbands, take note.
Parents and Children, 6:1-4. It was one of the Ten Command-
ments that we honor those who gave us life; So doing would
prolong that life. This was the promise of God, and is a fact of
nature. Fathers are cautioned against being too severe with their
children, both here and in Col 3:21. Parental authority was gener-
ally too austere then, as it is now generally too lax. Fathers are
named, because mothers are naturally more lenient. We suspect
that it was easier then for parents to raise children after their
01d mold—than it is now, for they were not exposed to so many
inﬂuences outside the home so early and so continuously as today.
Servants and Masters, 6:5-9. Half the population of Rome, and
a large proportion of the population of the Empire, were slaves.
Many of the Christians were slaves. They are here told that
faithful service to their 'master is a prime requisite of their Chris-
tian faith. It is a remarkable teaching: that, in the performance
of our earthly tasks, however menial, we are always under the
watchful eye of Christ, for His approval or disapproval, as we
may deserve. So are masters in their treatment of Slaves;
Put on the Full Armor of God against
Dark Spiritual Forces
The Christian’s Armor, 6:10-20. The unseen world of the Devil
And his dark angels are everywhere. Our fight (the real fight)
Is against the forces of darkness that are all around us. We must
Put on the full armor of God to fight against the powers of
Darkness that inhabet the unseen realms but affect the world of
The physical. A Christian’s warfare is against more than the natural
temptations of his ﬂesh. There are powers in the unseen world
against which we are powerless except through the aid of Christ.
Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Faith, Salvation, the Word, Prayer,
are weapons that ward off the darts of the unseen enemy."
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Ephesians 5 New International Version (NIV)
5 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Instructions for Christian Households
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:5 Or kingdom of the Messiah and God
Ephesians 5:26 Or having cleansed
Ephesians 5:31 Gen. 2:24
Ephesians 6 New International Version (NIV)
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”[a]
4 Fathers,[b] do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.
23 Peace to the brothers and sisters,[c] and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.[d]
Ephesians 6:3 Deut. 5:16
Ephesians 6:4 Or Parents
Ephesians 6:23 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family.
Ephesians 6:24 Or Grace and immortality to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.
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New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Some content adapted from Halley, Henry H., Bible Handbook, Grayson Publishing, Minneapolis, MN. © 1927 - 1959, 1964
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Hugh C. Wood, Atlanta, Georgia