1-4: Children are called to obey their parents and to honor them. Parents are to bring them up in the Lord. That is, it is the parent’s job to teach their kids about Jesus and his Word.
5: Paul is not condoning the system of slavery here (and we must remember slavery and servant hood was much different that slavery in American history). However, slaves were an important part of the family, which is why Paul includes them in this passage.
5-8: For us today, we should read this passage with employers, our government, and others in mind. This is how Christians should live and conduct themselves toward those in authority over them.
9: In this time period, many masters held the power of life or death over their slaves. Masters, as well as those today with authority over others in different capacities, should treat those under them with dignity and respect. For before God, there is no partiality between any of us. He views us all the same.
Question: It is not primarily your church’s job to teach your kids the Bible and the Gospel, it is yours. Your church should simply supplement and help you in that process. What are things you can do to bring your children up in the Lord?
Question: In your workplaces, places you volunteer, or in various things you may be involved in, what does it look like for you to practically serve those over you well? How does doing this demonstrate you are a servant of Christ (v. 6)?
Question: If you have people “under” you (children, employees, volunteers, etc.) what does it look like to lead well?
10-12: Believers are to be strong in the Lord, for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. That is, spiritual warfare is real, and the Devil is a real enemy.
13-18: Paul uses the analogy of armor to encourage believers to withstand the temptations and evils of this world.
Question: Many Christians seem to forget that Satan is not presented as an imaginary figure in the Bible, but a real one. Therefore, spiritual warfare does exist. Often this is experienced when you try to honor God with your life or pursue God honoring things. Has there been a time where you think you encountered this?
Question: Why do you think Paul uses warfare as a description for the Christian life?
Question: The first three chapters of Ephesians speak to the greatness of God and of Christ. The last three focus more on what the Christian life should look like in response to all Christ has done. Has there been anything in this book that has stood out to you are affected you the most?