Tuesday, December 2. Ephesians 5-6; Philippians 1

At least two matters should not be missed in the last chapter of Ephesians.

First, there is the matter of how to treat slaves.

I know . . . we don’t have slaves. But that is really irrelevant here. The “how we treat one another” lesson actually begins in 5:22. Wives should live with their husbands with the same respect they have toward the Lord. Husbands are to care for their wives with the same commitment as Christ had for the Church. Children are to respect their parents because of their (the children’s) relationship with Christ. Parents are to bring up their children with the same kind of discipline given them (the parents) by the Lord. Slaves should obey their masters with the same respect they give Christ. Masters are to treat their slaves with the same respect Jesus gives masters. In every way, we are called to behave toward others as the Lord behaves. The “how would Jesus respond?” issue is paramount in guiding our lives.

Second is the call to rely on the Lord.

The command of this letter is to “live as children of light”!

But that is a difficult command to follow. We need help. As the letter comes to a close, Paul, in dealing with the Christian’s armor, calls on us to trust in the Lord. Note that we put on the Lord’s armor, not our own. Note also that most of what is mentioned here is defensive in form, not offensive, and the one offensive weapon is not our own, but the word of God.
The Christian life is under attack by powerful dark forces in heavenly realms. We need the protection of God, and that is what the armor of God provides. If we want to make headway against our enemy, let it be with the unity Christ has called us to, the word He has given us, and the protection of His care.