Ephesians 6

Ephesians 6

Children and Parents

6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Bondservants and Masters

Bondservants,1 obey your earthly masters2 with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master3 and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Final Greetings

21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brothers,4 and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

Footnotes

[1] 6:5 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; also verse 6; likewise for bondservant in verse 8

[2] 6:5 Or your masters according to the flesh

[3] 6:9 Greek Lord

[4] 6:23 Or brothers and sisters

(ESV)

Saturday Study

Saturday Study

Ephesians 1-5 (5-18-19)

Grab your Bible, and let’s go deeper into Ephesians 4.

Ephesians 4:17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do …

We are instructed to no longer walk as the Gentiles but instead be conformed to Christ.

Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Do not conform to the world. Conform to Christ.

Conformity: to act in accordance or harmony with the standards, attitudes, and practices of another group or person.

So, the question is, “Who are you conforming to in your life? Whose standards, attitudes, and practices do you live by?” We are called to conform to Jesus, to be known for Jesus, and to look more and more like Jesus.

Romans 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

We are called to not conform to the world—not look like the world—but instead be set apart.

1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers

Why are we to be set apart?

  1. Worship

James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

“Religion” here means worshipful discipline. James is telling us to live a life of holy discipline as we are refined in the Holy Spirit to be pure and undefiled before God.

  1. Witness

God has purposefully set us up in His power to live among the dead and preach life.

John 17:15-18 “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”

“Sanctify them in the truth.” This is why we must hold fast to the word of God.

Back to Ephesians 4. Paul goes on to clarify the difference between holiness and worldliness.

Ephesians 4:17-19 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

It says “in the futility of their minds.” Futility means “void of a useful aim or goal”. This is the same understanding we are given in Romans 1:18-25 and in Ephesians 2:1-3 about those who are in sin and apart from God.

Ephesians 4:19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

This is worldliness! Worldliness is a lifestyle of vice instead of virtue.

A List of Vices from Mark 7:21-22, Rom. 1:24-31, Rom. 13:13 Gal. 5:19-21, 1 Cor 6:9-10, Col 3:5-9, 1 Tim 1:9-10, and Rev 21:8:

  • evil thoughts
  • sexual immorality
  • theft
  • murder
  • adultery
  • coveting
  • wickedness
  • deceit
  • sensuality
  • envy
  • slander
  • pride
  • foolishness
  • idleness
  • practicing homosexuality
  • malice
  • strife
  • gossip
  • hatred of God
  • haughty
  • disobedient to parents
  • ruthless
  • orgies
  • drunkenness
  • quarreling
  • jealousy
  • sorcery
  • enmity
  • fits of anger
  • rivalries
  • dissension
  • division
  • obscene talk

Worldliness is whatever makes sin look normal and righteousness look strange.

Those who live a worldly life live for self instead of God.

1 John 2:15… If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

James 4:4 … whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

We live in a culture right now that is preaching a false gospel of tolerance for sin that promotes a misapplication of grace. The truth is God did not send His Son to die for sinners so that they could go on sinning and justify worldliness in the name of grace.

Romans 6:1 (NIV) What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

There is a dangerous practice and belief in modern-day Christian circles, which is that if you believe in grace, you will never talk about obedience and holy living. It is a commonly misplaced view among evangelical Christians that if you are gospel-centered, you don’t need to talk about the commands of God that call for obedience and holy living. We are often so focused on all that God has done (His decrees) that we omit the study and practice of what God has called us to do (His commands). In our laziness we are quick to give up the painful walk through God’s refining fire and just rest on our fire insurance.

Hear me loud and clear: The gospel doesn’t say, “Obey so that you can be accepted.” It says, “You are accepted so that you can obey.”

God has saved us by His grace from eternal hell so that we can practice eternal holiness. He has saved us to set us apart. We read this on Monday in Ephesians 1:4: “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him …”

What is holiness? Holiness means separation. It is a spatial term. When something is holy, it is set apart. God is holy in that He is set apart. He is separate and distinct, not ordinary or common. “… I am God and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22).

I love Kevin DeYoung’s words in his book The Hole in our Holiness (I highly recommend this book.) DeYoung explains that the topic of holiness and sanctification occur more than 700 times in the holy Scriptures, and “You can’t make sense of the Bible without understanding that God is holy and that this holy God is intent on making a holy people to live with him forever in a holy heaven.”

In our salvation we are set apart, no longer common or profane, and referred to in the New Testament as saints and no longer as sinners. This is commonly referred to as definitive sanctification. However, we are also to be set apart in a continual way as God refines us in His fire of progressive sanctification.

Being set apart is not just “rule keeping.”

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

It is this and more. The Pharisees kept the rules “religiously” but missed true sanctified holiness that is the result of God refining their hearts and lives. So, holiness is not just external modifications; it is change at our core.

Holiness is the opposite of worldliness

A List of Virtues from Romans 12:9-21, 1 Cor 13:4-7, Gal 5:22-23, Col 3:12-15, and 2 Peter 1:5-7:

  • honorable
  • hopeful
  • hospitable
  • empathetic
  • doer of good
  • kind
  • enduring
  • humble
  • truthful
  • loving
  • joyful
  • peaceable
  • patient
  • kind
  • faithful
  • gentle
  • self-controlled
  • compassionate
  • forgiving
  • harmonious
  • thankful
  • knowledgeable
  • steadfast
  • godly
  • affectionate

DeYoung says later, “You can think of holiness, to employ a metaphor, as the sanctification of your body. The mind is filled with the knowledge of God and fixed on what is good. The eyes turn away from sensuality and shudder at the sight of evil. The mouth tells the truth and refuses to gossip, slander, or speak what is coarse or obscene. The spirit is earnest, steadfast, and gentle. The heart is full of joy instead of hopelessness, patience instead of irritability, kindness instead of anger, humility instead of pride, and thankfulness instead of envy. The sexual organs are pure, being reserved for the privacy of marriage between one man and one woman. The feet move toward the lowly and away from senseless conflict, divisions, and wild parties. The hands are quick to help those in need and ready to fold in prayer. This is the anatomy of holiness.”

Back to our text in Ephesians.

Ephesians 4:20-21 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus

Let’s start at the end here. The truth is in Jesus—there is no new life apart from Christ. You are lost in lies. Only in Christ are you illuminated with truth that is unto new life. This is the only way one can begin to be set apart. Without discernment, there is no separation. Without separation, there is no holiness.

So, what do we see here? You have “learned Christ.” This is His way of saying that you are saved. You have heard about him. You were saved because you were given ears to hear and eyes to see. You heard! Those saved by Christ are no longer like those who are “darkened in their understanding,” according to Ephesians 4:18. You are taught in Him. In Christ you are discipled, trained, taught, and refined.

He is establishing here, for those of you who are saved in Christ, that you are not like the world any longer; you have heard, been taught, and learned about Jesus. He is yours, and you are His!

Reading further:

Ephesians 4:22-24 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

“Put off” and “put on” are action phrases. We are instructed to “practice” righteousness—to obey God’s law, to put off the old self (fight indwelling sin), and to put on the new self (grow in holiness). This is a problematic area in the modern church because Christians have become guilty of lofty notions about how to change the world but often are slowest in our willingness to plead that God would deeply change us.

Soldiers, we must get this! Holiness is not an option for believers; it is the very thing God has saved us to do.

Matthew 5:16 “… let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Words that are set apart for holiness

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

My question for you, personally, today is, “Is God redeeming your speech?” This is not an area in which we get to be lazy. The writer of Proverbs says the tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). “The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them” (Proverbs 12:6).

Do you understand the power of your words? Are you using words to build people up or to destroy them? Are they filled with bitterness or blessing; complaining or compliments; lust or love; victory or defeat?

We need to understand that as God grows us, He is going to refine our language. You could have 30 years of your dad having trained you to talk like a sailor, but your heavenly Father is able to supernaturally train your language to be holy and honoring.

I want our club to help each other be accountable to this area of our sanctification. Let’s be willing to lovingly remind each other and help each other grow a new dialogue that glorifies God. Let’s not be ashamed to repent when we let slip a dishonoring word.

Emotions that are set apart for holiness

Ephesians 4:26-27 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

There is a righteous anger modeled in the Scriptures that is a God-given emotion. This anger is troubled at things that don’t glorify God. This is what we are taught here: be angry without sin. In other words, there is a righteous anger that is not taken to the point of consuming our hearts.

Our identity must remain in Christ and not in our circumstances. When we are over-affected by our circumstances, we open the door for the devil to lay claim to our emotions. Do others see a sanctification in your emotional state? More peace and joy despite hard times?

In my opinion, this is one of the greatest ways our testimony shines.

Actions that are set apart for holiness

Ephesians 4:28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

I love this verse because it is purely and simply a testimony of a transformed life. This is what God is doing in us after salvation.

The thief on the cross was saved and not given the opportunity to be sanctified and to redeem his old ways with new, holy ways that honor God. But you and I are given that opportunity, so we need to be willing to challenge the things we are currently doing—our actions (the things we do with our lives, our bodies, and our time). For many, this might mean changing the hobbies you have or even changing what you do for a living. But also, it might mean the simpler things of daily life like what we choose to enjoy for entertainment.

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Brothers and sisters, we need to be attentive to these things. This is not something we can casually or flippantly go about doing. We must understand that we are set apart for holiness. I am praying for you in this.

Don’t go at this alone. Get together and dig in. Be accountable, be humble, submit your life to the word daily, repent, and most of all trust in Jesus every day.

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Joshua Kirstine

Disciples Church

Ephesians 5

Ephesians 5

Walk in Love

5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,


  “Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
  and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives and Husbands

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.1 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Footnotes

[1] 5:27 Or holy and blameless

(ESV)

Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4

Unity in the Body of Christ

4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,


  “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”1

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?2 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds3 and teachers,4 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,5 to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

The New Life

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,6 which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Footnotes

[1] 4:8 The Greek word anthropoi can refer to both men and women

[2] 4:9 Or the lower parts of the earth?

[3] 4:11 Or pastors

[4] 4:11 Or the shepherd-teachers

[5] 4:13 Greek to a full-grown man

[6] 4:22 Greek man; also verse 24

(ESV)

Ephesians 3

Ephesians 3

The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed

3:1 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is1 that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in2 God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family3 in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Footnotes

[1] 3:6 The words This mystery is are inferred from verse 4

[2] 3:9 Or by

[3] 3:15 Or from whom all fatherhood; the Greek word patria in verse 15 is closely related to the word for Father in verse 14

(ESV)