Thursday, October 02, 2008

In the preceding chapter the church was designated as the bride of Christ. Now in this chapter it is to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. I have told you that my humorous friend says this sequence is to be expected—after a couple gets married, the war begins. Therefore, the church should be a good soldier. He was being facetious, of course. In the future the church is to be presented as the bride of Christ. This is the expectation of the church. Today is the period of the engagement and exhibition of the church before the world.

Now this chapter presents another side of the life of a believer. In the world today the church is to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. In Ephesus there stood the great temple of Diana, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It stood for all that was pagan and heathen; it was grossly immoral. It was time for the believers in Ephesus to recognize that they had an enemy. Not only did the Christians in Ephesus have an enemy, but we have an enemy today. Our enemy is not the worship at the temple of Diana. I think we have something infinitely worse than that. We are seeing immorality and heathenism not only in the name of religion but actually in the name of Christianity—when it is not Christian at all!

The first part of the chapter opens with instructions to children, parents, servants, and masters. This may seem foreign to the life of a soldier. However, a soldier’s training does not start in boot camp; it begins when he is a child in the home.

V1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

The first lesson that a soldier must learn is obedience to those in authority. He must follow orders. This basic training is learned in the home. After the soldier has learned to obey, then he is in a position to be promoted to the rank of an officer where he gives commands to others. To know how to give orders depends largely on how the soldier learned to obey. This basic training is found in the home with the parent-child relationship, and then with the master-servant relationship.

V10-11 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

What in the world is Paul talking about? He is talking about spiritual wickedness, about that which is satanic. Notice that he is coming to the end of the epistle and says, “In conclusion be strengthened in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” You cannot overcome the devil in your own strength and your own power.

The enemy whom the Christian is to fight is not flesh and blood. The enemy is spiritual, and the warfare is spiritual. That is why we need spiritual power.

V24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

And Paul ends with “Grace” which is the key word of the epistle. It opened the epistle (Eph. 1:2) and is the subject of the epistle (Eph. 2:7–8). It now concludes the epistle. It is a fitting word because it is God’s grace which saved us and which sustains us today.