Ephesians 6 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Ephesians 6)
6:1 Children, 1 obey your parents 2 in the a Lord: 3 for this is right.

(1) He comes to another part of a family, and shows that the duty of the children toward their parents consists in obedience to them. (2) The first argument: because God has so appointed. And upon this it follows also that children are obligated to obey their parents, that they may not swerve from the true worship of God.
(a) For the Lord is author of all fatherhood, and therefore we must yield such obedience as he will have us. (3) The second argument: because this obedience is most just.

6:2 4 Honour thy father and mother; 5 (which is the first commandment with b promise;)

(4) A proof of the first argument. (5) The third argument taken of the profit that ensues from it: because the Lord gave this commandment among all the rest a special blessing.
(b) With a special promise: for otherwise the second commandment has a promise of mercy to a thousand generations, but that promise is general.

6:4 6 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and c admonition of the Lord.

(6) It is the duty of fathers to use their fatherly authority moderately and to God's glory.
(c) Such information and precepts which are taken out of God's book, and are holy and acceptable to him.

6:5 7 Servants, be obedient to them that are [your] masters 8 according to the flesh, with d fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

(7) Now he descends to the third part of a family, that is, to the duty both of the masters and of the servants. And he shows that the duty of servants consists in a hearty love and reverence for their masters. (8) He moderates the sharpness of service, in that they are spiritually free even though they are servants, and yet that spiritual freedom does not take away physical service: insomuch that they cannot be Christ's, unless they serve their masters willingly and faithfully, as much as they may with clear conscience.
(d) With careful reverence: for slavish fear is not allowable, much less in Christian servants.

6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, 9 doing the will of God from the heart;

(9) To cut off occasion of all pretences, he teaches us that it is God's will that some are either born or made servants, and therefore they must respect God's will although their service is ever so hard.

6:7 With good will doing service, as to the e Lord, and not to men:

(e) Being moved with a reverence for God, as though you served God himself.

6:8 10 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether [he be] bond or free.

(10) Although they serve unkind and cruel masters, yet the obedience of servants is no less acceptable to God, than the obedience of those that are free.

6:9 11 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there f respect of persons with him.

(11) It is the duty of masters to use the authority that they have over their servants, modestly and in a holy manner, seeing that they in another respect have a common master who is in heaven, who will judge both the servant and the free.
(f) Either of freedom or bondage.

6:10 12 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

(12) He concludes the other part of this epistle with a grave exhortation, that all are ready and fight constantly, trusting in spiritual weapons, until their enemies are completely put to flight. And first of all he warns us to take up the armour of God, for with it alone may our enemy be dispatched.

6:12 13 For we wrestle not against flesh and g blood, but against h principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

(13) Secondly, he declares that our chiefest and mightiest enemies are invisible, so that we may not think that our chiefest conflict is with men.
(g) Against men, who are of a frail and brittle nature, against whom are set spiritual wiles, a thousand times more mighty than the flesh.
(h) He gives these names to the evil angels, by reason of the effects which they work: not that they are able to do the same in and of themselves, but because God gives them permission.

6:13 14 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the i evil day, and having done all, to stand.

(14) He shows that these enemies are put to flight only with the armour of God, that is, with uprightness of conscience, a godly and holy life, knowledge of the Gospel, faith, and to be short, with the word of God. And that daily earnest prayer must be made for the health of the Church, and especially for the steadfast faithfulness of the true, godly, and valiant ministers of the word.
(i) See (Ephesians 5:16).

6:15 And your feet shod with the k preparation of the gospel of peace;

(k) The preparation of the Gospel may be as it were shoes to you: and it is very fitly called the Gospel of peace, because, seeing we have to go to God through most dangerous ranks of enemies, this may encourage us to go on bravely, in that you know by the doctrine of the Gospel, that we are travelling to God who is at peace with us.

6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the l Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

(l) That holy prayers may proceed from the Holy Spirit.

6:21 15 But that ye 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:

(15) A familiar and very amiable declaration of his state, together with a solemn prayer, with which Paul is accustomed to end his epistles.

6:24 Grace [be] with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ m in sincerity. Amen. «[To [the] Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus.]»

(m) Or to immortality, to life everlasting.