Ephesians 6:1-9: Commands to Children, Fathers, Slaves and Masters

As we enter the last chapter of Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church we are now blessed to find out God commands to Children, Fathers, Servants and Masters.

Previously Paul wrote about expectations upon all Christians, then addressed husbands and wives. Now the apostle focuses on children reminding them of the commandment by which children are to honor their parents. “12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” which is the first commandment with a promise 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3)

Paul instructs children to “obey their parents in the Lord” which involves things acceptable to God. Obedience is relative to ways of the Lord. Children are not to obey parents involves in ways forbidden by God.

Next comes commands to fathers where Paul instructs them to refrain from provoking their children to resentment through abusive, dishonorable behavior. More importantly the apostle calls on fathers to raise their children according to the word and ways of the Lord.

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

In this verse Paul uses the Greek word “paideia” which implicates disciplinary action. The bring up children in the faith fathers are to use punishment wisely.

Paul then writes about slaves instructing them to obey their masters with the same reverence as to that of God. The slaves here were prisoners of war and their children.

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.” (Ephesians 6:5-6)

Inviting slaves to obey and honor their masters just as they do Christ Paul calls on slaves to do God’s will with sincerity, from their hearts. While Christianity did not abolish slavery it certainly made it possible for slaves to find fulfillment in their situation.

7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.” (Ephesians 6:7-8)

Verses to abide by for most of people today, Christians are commanded to honor God in everything we do. No matter what it is as long as it is done to honor and please God it will be rewarded.

Paul finally addresses masters calling on them to treat their slaves with respect, as God does onto His servants.

9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.” (Ephesians 6:9)

Roman law of the time allowed masters to mistreat slaves however God did not, neither should masters who chose the narrow path, that which leads to heaven through Jesus Christ. Paul made certain to remind masters they were under the authority of a master of their own, God almighty who is all seeing and omnipresent.

What are we to learn from the verses herein? That no matter if we are children, parents, slaves or masters, all Christians are to revere the Lord and treat each other with respect.

I invite you to use this message in your everyday life, embracing Paul’s instructions to the Ephesians. I pray you will allow this message to impact one or many relationships as you continue to walk in Christ’ footsteps. Let’s pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through trials,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Fill our hearts Lord with humility, gentleness and your love,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

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