Paul concludes his teaching how Christians must live Christ-like lives, both in the home (vv. 1-4) and “workplace” (vv. 5-9). The first century master-slave situation was not exactly like pre-Civil War slavery in the US. In Bible times people would become slaves to pay off debt, earn a living, even love! (Deut 15:12-17) Yes, there were also situations where slavery was the result of being conquered in war or being born into it. Regardless of the reason, Christians who were either masters or slaves needed to be Christ-like in their relationships.
Christians have definite responsibilities regarding the Devil’s evil efforts against them (vv. 10-20). Believers must depend on the Lord’s strength and provisions to stand firm against Satan’s schemes so that the church reflects Christ’s character and obeys his commands.
Paul ends by telling them Tychicus, who probably brought the Ephesians this letter, will let them know about his circumstances, and then closes with a prayer and blessing (vv. 21-24).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Every situation, role, and responsibility of a Christian’s life must reflect Christ’s character and obey his commands. As one grows older roles and responsibilities change but being like Christ never changes. Wherever you’re at in life, live like Christ!
- The church is responsible for “Christian order” in church families. The instructions in verses 1-4 were given by Christ’s apostle (cf. 2:20) to a church, not to individual families. Families learn about Christ in and through their church, not separate or cut off from the church. The church—a body of baptized believers who covenant together to learn from and labor for Christ—makes better families, and families make better churches. It should not be an either/or situation, but a both/and!
- The Devil is always on the prowl, deviously scheming to destroy Christ’s church. The church together—every member—must remember this continual spiritual battle and always depend on the Lord Jesus Christ for strength, help, and enablement. The Lord Jesus has given everything needed to successfully resist Satan!