In Sincerity

Ephesians 6:21-24 But that you also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that you might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. To the Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus. 

‘Tychicus’ was probably an Ephesian. Acts 20:4; Col. 4:7; 2Tim. 4:12; Tit. 3:12.

‘Comfort your hearts’ – we are comforted by God’s merciful kindness according to His Word (Ps. 119:76).

‘Peace be to the brethren’ – Christ left us His peace, not the kind the world gives (John 14:27), that was His dying legacy. Permit the peace of God to garrison or keep your heart and mind through Jesus Christ (Php. 4:7).

‘Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.’ God’s grace has always been conditional as we see in this verse, for it is stated that it is for those who love Jesus Christ in sincerity, that’s why believers can fall from grace and be removed from Christ (Gal. 1:6-8; 2:21; 3:1-5; 4:8-11, 19; 5:4, 19-21; 6:1-8).

‘Sincerity’ [Greek: aphtharsia] incorruption (1Cor. 15:42); immortality (Rom. 2:7).

‘Written from Rome’ – Written from Rome in 64 A.D. and sent by Tychicus along with Colossians and Philemon. It is the most impersonal of Paul’s epistles.

Praying Always

Ephesians 6:18-20 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 

‘Praying always’ – praying must also be classed as part of the armour because it is an additional and very important part of the fight against spiritual powers of evil (Jas. 4:7; 1Pet. 5:8-9).

We have liberty in prayer [Greek: parrhesia] freedom of speech; liberty of access to God. Christians can have absolute confidence of access to God because all sins which separated us from Him are removed (Isa. 59:1-2). In the Old Testament days, men were not permitted to approach God. Even the mountain on which God gave the law was not to be touched by man or beast. Only the high priest was permitted in the holy of holies once a year, and even then, he could not approach God without proper atonement. Now we all have free and daily access to God by the blood of Jesus (Heb. 10:19-23; Eph. 2:18). We are invited to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain help in time of need (Heb. 4:14-16). As long as we hold fast to his liberty of access to God, we are His house (Heb. 3:6). If sin is in life we do not and cannot have this liberty of access. God will not hear our prayers (1Jn. 3:20-23; 5:14-15).

‘Supplication’ [Greek: deesis] and entreating; continued strong and incessant pleadings until the prayer is answered (Lk. 18:1-8). Translated “request” (Php. 1:4); “supplication” (Acts 1:14; Eph. 6:18; Php. 4:6; 1Tim. 2:1; 5:5); and “prayer” 12 times.

‘Watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ Without this, prayer and Christian armour will be ineffectual (Mark 13:33; Lk. 21:36; Heb. 13:17).

‘Perseverance’ [Greek: proskarteresis] to adhere firmly to (Acts 2:42, 46; 6:4; 8:13; 10:7; Rom. 12:12; 13:6; Col. 4:2; Mark 3:9). Be close in pursuit of; always intent upon your object in prayer (Rom. 12:12).

‘Ambassador’ [Greek: presbeuo] an emperor’s legate. Such was held in respect in all civilized countries, but here the ambassador of the King of Heaven is in chains!

Above All

Ephesians 6:16-17 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

‘Shield of faith’ – to have faith is to have unconditional trust in God’s promises and abilities. Our faith can then act as a shield that quenches all fiery darts – attacks from the enemy.

‘Fiery Darts’ [Greek: belos] darts or any missile was thrown, like the javelin, spear, arrow, or stone from a sling. The fiery darts perhaps refer to the combustible arrowheads that set fire to the fortifications, ships, houses, and even the shields of the enemy made of wood and leather. To quench these fiery darts shields were covered with metal. As applied to Christian warfare they refer to evil thoughts, lusts, passions, and temptations of various kinds that demonic forces use against us in our minds through our thoughts (1Cor. 10:13-14; 2Cor. 10:4-6; Jas. 1:13-15; Rom. 6:12; 1Jn. 2:15-17).

‘The wicked’ – This no doubt refers to satan who is captain of all other wicked ones and who uses his emissaries – or demonic forces against us (Matt. 13:19, 38; 1Jn. 2:13-14; 3:12; 5:18). The term is also used for other wicked persons (Isa. 11:4; 2Thess. 2:8; 2Pet. 2:7; 2Pet. 3:17).

‘Helmet of salvation’ – protecting our minds or taking our thoughts captive (2Cor. 10:3-6) is necessary to renew our minds (Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 4:23) to enter into God’s salvation process. We cannot think whatever we want or let random thoughts run amok in our minds (Php. 4:8; Col. 3:2).

‘The sword of the Spirit’ – the word of God (Ps. 119) which we must use (Lk. 4:4, 8, 10,12) to stand against all lies that the enemy will bring in against the truth (John 8:44; 10:10).

‘Word’ [Greek: rhema] the essential living Word of God (John 1:1, 14; 1Jn. 1:1; 5:7; Rev. 19:13); the embodiment and expression of all wisdom and prudence (Eph. 1:8; 1Cor. 1:30; Col. 2:3). The Spirit always acts in harmony with the written Word of God (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-11). It should be quoted in times of temptation and it will cut in pieces the snares of the enemy.

Stand Therefore

Ephesians 6:14-15 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace 

‘Having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. The sevenfold Christian armour: Loins girded about with truth. The breastplate of righteousness (6:14). Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (6:15). The shield of faith (6:16). The helmet of salvation. The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (6:17). Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit (6:18).

‘Loins girt about with truth’ – to be girdled with the truth around the loins (John 14:7) will always help us to keep our balance – when no lie can up-end our beliefs. The truth will always refer to Christ which is the Truth (gospel) and He alone can set us free (John 8:32).

‘Breastplate of righteousness’ – also called the breastplate of faith and love (1Thes. 5:8). Righteousness is the state one should be in to automatically be covered in God’s breastplate; to be righteous is to be in right standing or to be without sin (Rom. 6; 1Jn. 3).  

‘Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace’ – to be a doer of God’s Word (Jas. 1:22-26) is to walk according to that which set an example for others as we have received from Christ (1Pet. 2:21-23). The gospel will bring either God’s peace (John 14:27; Php. 4:6) or it will bring division (Mat. 10:34-39) as it reveals the intentions of the heart (Matt. 10:12-15; Heb. 4:12). Those who reject it will be rejected (Lk. 12:9).

‘Preparation’ [Greek: hetoimasia] being prepared; readiness. It is the gospel of making peace with God and of readiness to meet Him.

To Stand

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 

‘Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day.’ Because you have such enemies (6:12), be clothed with the armour of God. It will make you invulnerable and victorious if you choose to stay in this state of awareness.

‘Whole armour’ Two kinds of armour:

[1] Defensive armour for protection: (1) The helmet [Greek: perikephalaia] for the head, of various forms embossed with the company emblem; (2) The girdle [Greek: zoma] for the loins to brace the armour tight against the body, and support daggers, swords and other weapons; (3) The breastplate [Greek: thorax] in two parts – one to cover the breast and the other to cover the back to protect the vital organs of the body. It extended down to the legs; (4) Greaves [Greek: knemides] to cover the shins. A kind of solea was often used to protect the feet from rocks, thorns, etc.; (5) The shield [Greek: thureos] to protect the body from blows and cuts.

[2] Offensive armour for conquest: The sword [Greek: machaira] to destroy the enemy and bring his surrender. Besides the sword, other weapons of offence were used – the spear, lance, battle-axe, club, bow and arrows, and sling

‘Having done all to stand’ – A military phrase; having conquered all, stand, ready to do battle again (6:11).

Put On

Ephesians 6:11-12 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

‘Put on the whole armour of God’ – God equipped us for battle so that we can be in right standing and ready for warfare at all times.

‘Armour’ [Greek: panoplia] full armour of a heavily armed soldier, described in Ephesians 6:13-17.

‘That you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.’ Three great blessings of the armour of God: The ability to stand against all enemies (6:11-14). The ability to withstand all attacks (6:13). The ability to quench every fiery dart of satan (6:16). We, therefore, have no excuse to fall to his plans, wiles and attacks.

‘Wiles’ [Greek: methodeias] methods – the different means, plans, and schemes used to deceive, entrap, enslave, and ruin the souls of men. A man’s method of damning his soul.

‘Wrestle’ [Greek: pale] wrestle. It refers to warfare in general between saints and spirit rebels who are against God.

‘Not against flesh and blood’ – we are not in battle with human beings, even though they can be the paws through which the enemy operates, hence one can be a stumbling block to others (Matt. 18:6).

‘Against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ Four kinds of spirit rebels are noted here: Principalities [Greek: archas] chief rulers or beings of the highest rank and order in satan’s kingdom. Powers [Greek: exousias] authorities, those who derive their power from and execute the will of the chief rulers. Rulers of the darkness of this world [Greek: kosmokratoras] world-rulers of the darkness of this age, pertaining to governments. Spiritual wickedness in high places [Greek: pneumatika, tes and ponerias] spiritual wickedness, that of the wicked spirits of satan in the heavenlies (6:12; 1:21; Col. 1:16-18; 2:10).

Be Strong in the Lord

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 

‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ Having laid before you your high calling and the great doctrines of the gospel, I will now show you the enemies that will oppose you and how you can overcome them (6:10-18).

‘Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ Twelve commands for saints: Be strong in the Lord (6:10). Be strong in His power (6:10). Put on the whole armour of God (6:11). Stand (6:13-14). Have your loins girded with truth (6:14). Put on the breastplate of righteousness (6:14). Have your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (6:15). Take the shield of faith (6:16). Take the helmet of salvation (6:17). Take the sword of the Spirit (6:17). Pray in the Spirit (6:18). Be watchful in prayer (6:18).

‘Strong’ [Greek: endunamoo] to acquire strength. Translated “strengthen” (Php. 4:13; 2Tim. 4:17); “enable” (1Tim. 1:12); “be strong” (6:10; Rom. 4:20; 2Tim. 2:1; Heb. 11:34); and “increase in strength” (Acts 9:22).

Husbands

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it 

‘Husbands, love your wives…’ Eight commands are given here for husbands: To be the head of the wife (5:23). To love their wives as Christ loved His body (5:25). To love their wives as their own bodies (5:28, 33). To nourish [Greek: ektrepho] bring up, care for, protect (5:29; 6:4; Rev. 12:6). To cherish [Greek: thalpo] to foster, warm in one’s bosom (5:29; 1Thess. 2:7). To be joined as one flesh (5:30-31). To leave their parents for their wives (5:31). To cleave to their wives (5:31; Matt. 19:5).

Husbands are not to rule their wives, but love, nourish and protect them as the head of the body and must be just as faithful to their wives as they want them to be to them; give them no excuse for sin. They must give their wives honour and use their superior strength in protecting her and as being heirs together of life (1Pet. 3:7).

‘The church, and gave himself for it’ – Sixteen facts: Christ and His body: Christ is head of His body (5:23). Christ is Saviour of us (5:23). Christians must be subject to Christ in all things (5:24). Christ gave Himself for us (5:25). Christ sanctifies us with the washing of the Word (5:26). Christ cleanses us with the washing by the Word (5:26). Christ will receive us to Himself (5:27; John 14:1-3; 1Thess. 4:16; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; Col. 3:4). Christ is making us glorious (5:27; 1Cor. 6:11; 2Cor. 3:18). Christ is making us spotless (5:27). Christ is making us perfect (5:27). Christ is making us holy (5:27). Christ is making us faultless (5:27). Christ nourishes us, cares for us, brings us up, and protects us (5:29). Christ cherishes us, fosters, and warms us in His bosom (5:29). We are part of Christ (5:30-32; 1Cor. 12:12-13, 27). We are one with Christ (5:30-32; 1Cor. 6:17; Rom. 12:4-5).

Christ is the Head, Saviour, Sanctifier, Purifier, Glorifier, Builder, Nourisher, Cherisher, Unifier, Protector, and the Receiver of all reborn Christians who are prepared to follow His Word and example as stated in 1Peter 2:21-23 (5:23-33). Water is used in a figurative sense of salvation (John 4:14; Isa. 12:3), of the Spirit baptism (John 7:37-39), and cleansing by the Word of God (5:26; John 15:3;). Since men are cleansed and born again by the Word (Jas. 1:18; 1Pet. 1:23), it is clear that being born of water means being born again by the Word of God.

Wives

Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 

‘Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.’ Four commands are given here for wives: Submit to their husbands as to Christ (5:22). Recognize the headship of their husbands (5:23). Be subject to their husbands (5:24). Reverence their husbands (5:33). To submit to one’s husband, not all men, is to allow the husband to become God’s provider for his wife and children as clearly the idea behind a godly marriage. This does not mean wives have to obey husbands in all things as children especially not those things that allow for sin. God did not create the marriage for rulership, but partnership. Wives must reverence their husbands and cannot treat them as children, for then marriage is no longer God-instituted. If the wife will conduct herself chastely, in reverence to her husband and the fear of God, her husband may be won (1Pet. 3:2-3).

‘Every thing’ Everything lawful and right, not in things criminal and wrong. If he is sinful and demands her to leave off the things that save the soul, she is not under obligation to him. Her God and her soul must come first (Matt. 22:37; Luke 14:26-27). Obedience to the husband in all things is based upon him loving his wife, as Christ does His body (5:25, 28, 33).

Giving Thanks Always

Ephesians 5:18-21 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God

‘Drunk’ [Greek: methusko] This again refers to the orgies of Bacchus when men and women would get drunk entering into all kinds of immoral acts. ‘Excess’ [Greek: asotia] debauchery of every kind.

‘Filled with the Spirit’ – This is the privilege of every Christian. It is true that every born-again person receives the Spirit of sonship and has the Holy Spirit in a measure (Rom. 8:9, 14-16), but this is not the kind of filling one may yet receive if he will accept the truth and seek God for the fullness of the Spirit (Matt. 3:11; Luke 11:13; 24:49; John 1:31-34; 7:37-39; 14:12; Acts 1:4-8; 2:38-39; 5:32). Different measures of the Spirit are noted as follows in Scripture: Mosaic portion (Num. 11:17, 25). The mosaic portion is divided into 71 portions (Num. 11:16-17, 25-29). Elijah portion (2Kin. 2:9). Double portion (2Kin. 2:9-10). Elijah portion on John the Baptist (Luke 1:15-17). Earnest of the Spirit (2Cor. 1:22; 5:5; 1Jn. 4:13; Php. 1:19). The Spirit “without measure” (John 3:34; Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1; Luke 4:16-21; Acts 10:38); Spirit baptism or baptismal measure (Matt. 3:11; 20:22-23; Luke 3:16; John 1:31-34; Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-21; 8:15-24; 10:44-48; 11:14-18; 15:7-11; 19:1-7; Gal. 3:14); the fulness of God (Eph. 3:19; Rom. 15:29); the rivers of living water (John 7:37-39); and the full anointing of the Spirit and enduement of power from on high (Luke 24:49; John 14:12-15).

‘In psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.’ The difference between the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs is not fully clear. The psalms no doubt refer to the book of Psalms. Hymns and spiritual songs could include any psalm in the book of Psalms and also others that were commonly known among the people of that day (Matt. 26:30; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Ex. 15:1, 2; Num. 21:17; Deut. 13:1-18; Jdg. 5:12; Son. 1:1; Isa. 5:1; 26:1; 42:10). The reference might also be to spontaneous singing in the Spirit, as in 1Corinthians 14:15-16.

‘Songs’ [Greek: ode] is a song of thanksgiving.

‘Making melody’ [Greek: psallo] to play a stringed instrument with the fingers; to strike a chord; sing to the music of a harp (Rom. 15:9; 1Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Jas. 5:13).

‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God’ – Because of continued blessings from God.

‘In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Through Him alone we can approach God (Mark 16:17; John 14:12-15; 16:23-26; Col. 3:17; 1Tim. 2:4; Heb. 10:19). ‘Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ Let no man be stubborn in his opinion to disturb the peace of other believers