Setting the example Jesus left for us to follow
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Children and Parents, Bondservants and Masters, The Whole Armor of God, A Gracious Greeting
Our Weekly Bible Study begins with us reading the assigned scripture ahead of time and preparing our hearts for study and discussion. When we meet (virtually or in person) we first read the scripture as a group, and then take turns sharing and discussing what impacted us the most, and our general interpretation of what we read.
Making Notes as we go through Bible Study is always encouraged, as it helps to increase our understanding of what we have read, and also allows us to become more comfortable and familiar with the Bible.
To make participation easier and more memorable for our younger children, we will include a link to Storybook Bible images of the readings whenever these are available.
This week’s virtual Bible Study focused on Ephesians 6, the final chapter in our study on the Book of Ephesians. After praying and reading through the chapters, we discussed the verses at length, and shared our personal views on what we had read.
The first three chapters of Ephesians dealt with the wealth of the Believer. Paul showed us in detail what God has done for us- we have been given all the information we need in order to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. Chapters 4 and 5 and the first part of chapter 6 deal with the manner in which we should walk. The last part of chapter 6 deals with Spiritual warfare.
Verse 1: Every single one of us is accountable, and as such, Paul reminds children to obey their parents in the Lord. If you cannot obey a simple command from a parent, it is unlikely that you will be able to “obey in the Lord”. Many children are injured because of disobedience. Children do not have to be taught to be disobedient, but they do have to be taught to be obedient.
Verses 2-3: We are told to honor our father and mother. Regardless of the mistakes they made, or how wrong they may be at times, or how they may have treated us, we must honor them regardless. Vengeance is not ours; our job is simply to honor them and to leave all the rest to the Lord. Paul states that this is the first commandment with promise, meaning that it is the first commandment in which the Lord promises that in return for following it we will be rewarded by having things go well with us. (Paul is referring here to Deuteronomy 5:16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you).
Verse 4: Fathers can provoke their children in many ways. Proper parenting, training and discipling of a child is essential in order to produce a respectful, Godly adult. Many of the world’s problems are caused by improper parenting and lack of proper nurturing. (Also Ref. Colossians 3:21)
Verse 5: Paul addresses the need for Bondservants to be obedient to their masters (a bondservant often started out as a slave, but then remained on with his master after serving his time in slavery). This obedience, Paul states, must come with fear, trembling and sincerity, as unto the Lord.
Verse 6: Our actions must not just be for the purpose of impressing or satisfying others, but must be from our hearts, as unto the Lord. We do this because we know that our Father in Heaven is our true master, and our future rewards will all come from Him.
Verse 8: Paul reminds us that we reap what we sow- Whatever good anyone does from the heart will be repaid to them by the Lord.
Verse 9: Paul goes on to mention the obligation that masters (employers) have to those who work for them.
Verse 10: It will take the grace of God, the strength of God and the Spirit of God in our own lives for us to be obedient, to honor our parents, and to do the right thing unto others. We cannot do it on our own.
Verse 11: Paul warns us to put on the whole armour of God so we can withstand the wiles of the devil.
Verses 12-13: We are wrestling not against flesh and blood, but against “principalities, powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”. The cast out angels are in heavenly places, and they therefore can deceive us by performing as angels of light when they are in fact angels of darkness. We must therefore have the full armour of God on, or we will not be able to withstand attacks of this magnitude.
Verses 14-15: Truth is hard to come by these days; lies are all around us, and if we do not have the Spirit of God working in us we will easily be deceived, and view lies as truth. The only way to know truth is to study the Word and know it. We must also put on the breastplate of righteousness, which means we must engage in behaviours that are right, and remain in obedience at all times. The gospel of peace ensures that we will live peacefully rather than being contentious and quarrelsome in nature.
Verse 16 : The shield of faith requires us to be circumspect in order to use it correctly. Our faith must be in tact to believe the Word of God despite the tactics that Satan may use. This will allow us to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. As a believer, there will be fiery darts and we must be ready for these.
Verse 17: The helmet of salvation will ensure that our minds are protected by the hope that we have in the Lord. The sword of the Spirit cuts out everything that does not belong in your life, and illuminates the darkness that you could not have seen on your own. It is a discerner.
Verse 18: Paul reminds us of the importance of praying always in the Spirit. The Spirit beckons us to prayer; this can be done anywhere, at any time and does not have to be audible or visible. Prayer can be, and often is, whispered silently within our hearts. We must be watchful to this end, Paul warns us, and must be praying not just for ourselves, and those we know and love, but also for all the saints.
Verse 19: Praying for the saints is necessary as they are often attacked spiritually by the dark forces as they preach the Gospel and pray for others. As Paul experienced, these forces seek to silence all those who preach the Word.
Verse 21: It is in prayer that the Spirit will reveal to us how others are doing, and for whom we need to pray.
Verse 24: Paul wishes that grace may be upon all those who love Jesus in sincerity. This tells us that sadly, there are many who do not love Jesus in this manner.
As you read through this week’s Bible passage, ask yourself:
What are MY thoughts on what I am reading?
How can I apply this to MY life?
Children’s Images courtesy of www.lambsongs.co.nz.
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