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Ephesians Introduction

In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul is writing to one of his favorite churches. He began to preach the gospel here on the way from Corinth to Jerusalem near the end of his second missionary journey. He left his friends Priscilla and Aquila here [Acts 18:19]. On his third missionary journey, he returned here and truly established the church [Acts 19] and remained there three years.

Ephesus was the most important Greek and later Roman town in Asia Minor and the center for the worship of the goddess Diana/Artemis [Acts 19:27-35]. The economy of the region was tied to the idol worship cult, and Paul’s early troubles resulted from his displacing of the Artemis cult. 

Paul sent various of his disciples, including Timothy [1 Timothy 1:3] and Tychicus [Ephesians 6:21] as leaders to bring his instructions and/or lead the church.  Later, John the Apostle and writer of the fourth Gospel, resided in Ephesus and led the church.  After a time of banishment to the island of Patmos, John returned to Ephesus for the last years of his life and died there.  Ephesus was the first of the churches in Asia mentioned in Revelation [Revelation 2:1-7].

In Paul’s teaching to Ephesus, he developed the full exposition of the mysteries of what is contained in salvation. These words apply to us today. He describes how God has always had a plan for making us holy, but here he describes better than anywhere else what we have to do to cooperate in walking in the holiness before God that he has provided us when we believed in him.

Ephesians Introductionsi

Paul left Ephesus to return to Jerusalem [Acts 19:21], where he became imprisoned in Caesarea and later was taken to Rome. He apparently wrote many of his pastoral letters, including Ephesians, during his imprisonment in Rome. Paul apparently intended the letter called Ephesians to be read at all the churches he had established [Ephesians 1:1]. Unlike his other letters, he does not address specific individuals.

Ephesians Guide to the Transcommentary

Ephesians Guide to the Transcommentary

This is a little bit more than a translation and a bit less than a full commentary.  It serves a similar function to the Amplified Bible, though that work’s purpose was to provide a complete sense of the meaning of the words used by the writers of scripture.  This work has a somewhat different purpose:

  • To convey as close as possible the actual meaning of the sentences as they would have been understood at the time they were originally spoken or written.  To accomplish this for twenty-first century Americans, dynamic equivalent words and sayings have been used at a sentence level.  An attempt has been made to preserve intended wordplay and irony from the original author.

  • We have attempted to clarify ideas, references, and thought sequences that would have been clear to first century audiences but are not clear to modern audiences because of differences in culture, customs, language, or degree of familiarity with Old Testament scriptures and Messianic prophecies.  The phrasing of the translation itself aims at that clarity, but we have also added words, phrases, and sentences to the narrative for improved understanding.  All such additions are in brackets [].  This allows the reader to have the explanatory additions when reading but also insulate these additions from the translated scripture – indeed, with a little effort they can be skipped entirely when reading aloud.

  • Color codes for different types of additional material are intended to further aid understanding:

- Green is used for words added to descriptive narrative because they are implied or as commentary to explain the context.

References to scriptures are shown in gold.

  • As in many translations and editions, we have added headings in bold to help understand when a new theme is introduced by the author.

  • The author frequently refers to "Christ" or to "Jesus Christ".  We have employed the words “the Anointed One” rather than "Christ", since that is the meaning of “Christ”.  We wanted to avoid the sense of "Christ" as Jesus’ surname, yet still recognize it as a well-known title.

  • We have also added study questions at the end of each chapter to help you think more thoroughly about the meaning and application of the author’s writing.

We will have succeeded in this translation if you the reader find that you can read this work of scripture with greater comprehension and enjoyment than ever before. Please let us know if you find the various supplementary materials helpful. or too distracting, or if you have any other suggestions about how to improve this approach to translation.

Richard Tittle,

Ephesians Chapter 1

Ephesians Chapter 1

Greeting to the Ephesian church

From Paul, sent as a witness for the Anointed One, Jesus, by the plan and purpose of God, to the believers in Ephesus and to the faithful followers [everywhere} of the Anointed One, Jesus. May you receive blessings from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.

Greetings to the Ephesian church
The amazing plan of God to bless and mature all believers "in Him"

The amazing plan of God to bless and mature all believers “in Him”

How wonderful is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! [He is better than you think because he has done a lot more for you than you realize!] Our Father has provided us with every spiritual benefit in the heavenly places in the Anointed One! [When we believed in Jesus as savior (the one who died in our place) and chose him as our Lord (the one we would follow), we entered an exclusive club (“in Him”) with many benefits. Jesus has full access to the things of heaven, but since we are in Him, so do we.] Just as he chose us in Him [Jesus] before the foundation of the world so that we would be pure and spotless before him.

5 His plan was to adopt us as his children through Jesus the Anointed One. [In the ancient world, people were adopted to share in the inheritance and in running the family business. Our trusting Jesus is what gave us entrance into God’s family. We are Jesus’ brothers and we get the same inheritance and authority as Him.] And to God’s great pleasure, his plan has unfolded just as he purposed.

6 Praise God for his wonderful kindness for accepting us in his Beloved Son. [The benefits are extraordinary.] For in him we have been delivered from destruction through the price of his blood, and we have received forgiveness of our sins out of the riches of his kindness, which he has poured out for us in such abundance, because of his wisdom and understanding of our need. [Our own effort would never have perfected us.]

9 [Further,] God has revealed to us his hidden goal, [another aspect of his amazing plan] he was delighted to carry out 10 at the appointed time, that he would gather together as one, in the Anointed One, both those in heaven [the angels and believers who have died] and those on earth [who have faith] in him. [All who choose to call Him Lord are already united in Him but we won’t see the full gathering of all who are in Him until the Final Day.]

11-12 [It was] in Him, [that] we, who were among the first who believed [in Jesus] gained our inheritance [of eternal life] when we fulfilled [by believing in Jesus] the preestablished process of him who works everything according to his own purpose, to the praise of God’s glory.

13 [It was also in Him that] you [who are reading this] came to believe when you heard the message of truth, the good news of your deliverance. 14 Once you believed, God gave you his Holy Spirit as a mark of his ownership and approval, which is also a down payment on our inheritance, when all who have been purchased will have our deliverance completed, to the praise of his glory. [Great as our benefits are on earth through the Holy Spirit, whom we received when we believed, we will gain the full measure of our inheritance in eternity, including our resurrection body. The language Paul is using describes how a person who had been a slave would feel when purchased by a kind owner and then set free.]

Prayer to recognize the love, authority, and power available to us believers in Jesus

15 This is why, ever since I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the believers, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you and remembering you in my prayers. [I am so excited that God has not left you out in any way from all of his blessings.] 17 I have been praying that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Wonders, would impart to your spirits wisdom and revelation to recognize him [in fullness].

Prayer to recognize thelove, authority, and poer available to us believers in Jesus

18 I pray that light would shine on the eyes of your heart so that you might see the destiny in God's calling of you, the amazing riches he has provided for those committed to him, 19 and the incredible greatness of his power in us believers. This is the same power he used 20 when he raised the Anointed One from the dead and seated him at his own right hand in heaven, 21 ranking far above every angelic prince, authority, power, and lord, and any other title that is named, either in this age or the one to come. [And the authority he has is ours as well.] 22 And God put all things under his feet and has made him head of all things for the sake of the church, 23which is his body, that completes him who completes all things. [He has chosen to use us, who are in Him, to do all that He has authority and desire to do.]

Discussion questions

1. How could God choose in Him before the world was created? What qualified for adoption and inheritance? (vs 1-8).

Ephesians Chapter 1 discussion questions

2. What is it that we do that sets in motion God’s plan and inheritance for us? (v 11)

3. If God has given us the same power and authority as Jesus, why do we act hampered in using that power and authority? What should we be capable of doing? (vs 15-22)

Ephesians Chapter 2

Ephesians Chapter 2

All the free gifts provided “in the Anointed One”

You once were spiritually dead from walking your own way and disobeying God's laws. [God has designed the world and his children to walk in trust and obedience and love.  When we ignore his instructions and plan, then like Adam and Eve we spiritually die.] In those days you followed the pattern of the world, under the influence of the spirit who dictates the spiritual atmosphere and who affects all who have given themselves over to disobedience. In fact, every one of us used to be like that, following our natural desires, carrying out whatever our bodies and minds wanted. And so we were deserving of God's punishment just like everyone else.

All the free gifts provided “in the Anointed One”

4 But God, who is rich in kindness, out of the abundance of the great love with which he has loved us, even when we were spiritually dead because of our disobedience, made us alive along with the Anointed One [when we accepted Him as our stand-in]. It is God's gift that you have been rescued and restored. And he has raised us up together with him and made us to sit with him in the place of honor and rulership in heaven by our union with the Anointed One, Jesus. [In spite of our past, our belief in Jesus has not only made us free and spiritually alive, but we actually help rule what happens on the earth by our abiding with Jesus, who has authority over all things.] He did all this so that in the ages that come [in our life after this life] he might show us an even greater abundance of his favor toward us because of the Anointed One, Jesus.

For indeed by God's generosity we have been rescued and restored, based on our belief in him. And even that faith is not from ourselves. It is the gift of God, not something that we produced ourselves, so that any of us could boast about it. 10 [In fact,] we are his carefully crafted product, created by God in the Anointed One, Jesus, to perform good works, which fulfill God’s plan for us. [Once we believed in Jesus, we were delivered from sin, walked in freedom, and with his life animating us, are able to carry out his assignments and do the good he wants to do.]

No second-class citizens among believers

11 Remember that you who were born as non-Jews were called “the uncircumcised” by the Jews who called themselves “circumcised” because of an action done to the flesh by human hands. 12 At that time you were separate from the Anointed One, outsiders to the community of Israel, and therefore not included in the promises God made to his people. You had no basis for hope in your world, since you were without God.

No second-class citizens among believers

13 But now, in the Anointed One, Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near to God and us through the blood of the Anointed One. 14 For He himself is the peace between us, having made both Jews and non-Jews into one 15 by dissolving the wall, the opposition between us, by the sacrifice of his body. By releasing us from the Law, with its commandments and corresponding regulations, he made the two of us [Jew and non-Jew] in him into one new man, thus bringing peace. 16 And at the same time he brought us both into harmony with God through the cross of the Anointed One, eliminating the division between us and him.

17 The Anointed One came and brought the good news of peace to you who were far off as well as to those who were near to him. 18 For through him we both have access through one Spirit to the Father. 19 Therefore, you are no longer foreigners or temporary residents, but you have become fellow citizens with God's people in the household of God.

20 And you are also added to the building on the foundation provided by the apostles and prophets with the Anointed One, Jesus, himself the chief cornerstone. 21 In him every separate structure is fitted together and grows into a holy temple dedicated to the Lord. 22 It is in him that you are also being built together with all the others into a place where God dwells through the Holy Spirit. [This is a radical understanding, since the Jews’ understanding was that they were God’s chosen ones, for whom the Anointed One came. But God provided that any who believed became an equal citizen with every right and privilege of a son of God.]

Discussion questions

1. Can I remember what it was like to be following the pattern of the world? Do I believe that my behavior was orchestrated by a spirit that was against God? Have I been rescued and restored as a follower of Jesus? Am I used for good works? [vs 1-10]

Ephesians Chapter 2 discussion questions

2. Is there any difference between Jew and non-Jew in the kingdom? What does it mean that we are “one new man”? If the dividing wall between Jew and non-Jew has been removed, then why is there so much hostility between Jews and Christians in the world [vs 11-19).

3. How is the church built up according to Paul? What is the role of apostles and prophets? How do we all fit together? [vs 20-22]

Ephesians Chapter 3

Ephesians Chapter 3

Disclosing the oneness of Jews and non-Jews in the Body of Christ

Because of my understanding of all of this I have become a prisoner for the sake of you non-Jews in the service of the Anointed One, Jesus. [Paul wrote this letter when under house arrest in Rome, a prisoner awaiting trial. See Acts 21-28.] Perhaps you already understand that God has given me this assignment towards you as a gift and also revealed to me what had been hidden as I have already briefly described.

Disclosing the oneness of Jews and non-Jews in the Body of Christ

4 When you read what I have written, you will understand the knowledge I have concerning the [previously] hidden things of the Anointed One. In earlier times this mystery was not made known to mankind, but now has been revealed to God's consecrated apostles and prophets through the Spirit - namely, that through believing the Good News, the non-Jews would become co-heirs with the Jews, members of the same body, and partakers together of all that God promises in the Anointed One. [Peter was the first of the apostles to experience this (Acts 10) and then Paul (Acts 13:46-48).]

7 And I was made a servant to proclaim that Good News through the spiritual gift that God has given me and which he energizes through his power. This favor was given to me, who am by far the least of all the believers, that I would bring to the non-Jews the good news of the riches of the Anointed One, which extend beyond our understanding.

It was given to me also to enlighten everyone concerning the workings of God's secret plan, which since the creation of the world had been hidden in himself, who created all things. 10 Indeed, it is intended that now the church would demonstrate to the angelic rulers and authorities in the heavens [both the heavenly rulers and demonic rulers] what is the multifaceted wisdom of God. 11 It was God's plan since the beginning of time to bring this about through the Anointed One, Jesus, our Lord.

Prayer for the full revelation of God's love and power

12 Through the Anointed One we have the boldness and great confidence to come into God's presence - indeed, we rely on the same trust that the Anointed One himself has. 13 Because of all this, please do not be discouraged because of my sufferings on your behalf - instead, they should honor you.

Prayer for the full revelation of God's love and power

14 With the same confidence [that Jesus had], I bow my knees in prayer before the Father, 15 who gives his name and character to the whole family of believers, those already in heaven and those on the earth. 16 I am asking that, out of his glorious riches, he would strengthen your inner being with power through the Spirit 17 and that the Anointed One himself would live in your hearts through your faith, and that you will be both rooted and firmly established in love.

18 And that you and all of God's people would be able to explore the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and come to know the love of the Anointed One, which extends beyond all knowledge, and so be filled completely with all that God has. 20 And because he is able to do for us so far beyond our ability to ask or even imagine, by means of his power working in us, 21 may he receive great glory in the church and in the Anointed One, Jesus, throughout all generations and all time. Amen.

Discussion questions

1. What was the proof that non-Jews and Jews were on the same footing as followers of Jesus? Why does Paul believe that it is his job to bring this truth to the world? [vs 1-11]

Ephesians Chapter 3 discussion questions

2. Want do you think of Paul’s prayer for all of God’s people? [vs 12-21]

Ephesians Chapter 4

Ephesians Chapter 4

How the body of believers is to live with one another

I challenge you, therefore, to live up to the standard of the calling to which God has called you, always humble, gentle, and patient, and giving room to each other because of your love. Do your best to cooperate with the unity provided by the Spirit by maintaining the bond of peace with one another.

How the body of believers is to live with one another

4 There is but one body of believers to which we all belong, and one Spirit, just as there is one common expectation based on our calling [that we will live with Jesus in heaven and reign with him on the earth]. We follow one Lord, one faith, and have all received the same baptism [since we are baptized into Jesus and into his worldwide Church]There is one God and Father of all of us, who is over all, and through all, and in all.

The value of the five-fold gifts for equipping all the believers

But every one of us is given a gift in some measure out of what the Anointed One has given. [Jesus, the Anointed One, was the perfect example of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. Each of us has been given a gift mix and degrees of gifting of what is called “the five-fold equipping gifts”.] That's why it is said, “When He rose up to the highest place as a conqueror, he led many captives and he gave out gifts to mankind in celebration.” [This quote is from Psalm 68:18, which is used here as a Messianic prophecy.] Now, when it says he ascended, isn't it the case that he first descended to the depths of the earth [, the place of departed souls][This appears to be a reference to Jesus proclaiming his victory in his spirit after his crucifixion to those imprisoned in the place of the dead, as referenced in 1 Peter 4:19.] 10 And he who descended then also ascended to the place far above the highest heavens, so that he might fill all things, from the lowest to the highest.

The value of the five-fold gifts for equipping all the believers

11 And some [of his people] he assigned to be apostles [who are sent out to bring the message of the resurrection through signs and wonders], some prophets [declaring through inspiration what God is saying and doing], some evangelists [who announce the good news of the Anointed One to those who have not heard], and some pastors and teachers [who care for and instruct the believers]. 12 All of these were given to perfectly prepare God's people for the work of ministry and to build up the body of the Anointed One 13 until we all arrive together at a unity of faith and understanding of the Son of God, together becoming one fully grown man, reaching to the full height of the Anointed One. [We are all to use our degree of five-fold gifting, but some in particular walk in these gifts to a large degree. But their purpose is less to do the work of ministry than to equip the body to do the ministry themselves.]

14 Then we will stop being little children, tossed back and forth and carried away with every wind of new teaching by deceitful men, who are just waiting to catch people with their harmful scams. 15 Instead, if we are faithful to the truth and remain in love, we will grow up and mature in every way into the Anointed One, who is our head. 16 In him the whole body fits together and combines the strength provided by every joint. As each part effectively works as it was designed, the whole body grows up into a structure built together in love.

Actions of the Spirit to replace acts of the flesh

17 Therefore, I say to you out of my experience in the Lord - stop living like unbelievers live, 18 with their minds unable to grasp the truth, their ability to understand veiled, excluded from experiencing the life of God because of their lack of knowledge, all of which results from the hardness of their hearts. 19 They no longer feel any shame, having given themselves over to unrestrained immorality, fulfilling their lust with all sorts of impurity.

Actions of the Spirit to replace acts of the flesh

20 But these are not things you learned from the life of the Anointed One, 21 if in fact you have listened to and been taught by the Anointed One, for the truth is found in the Anointed One. [If you are not walking in freedom,] 22 renounce your old self and former behavior which are corrupted by sinful desires which lead you astray. 23 Let your thoughts be transformed through the Spirit, 24 and put on your new self which is created in God's image with righteousness and with true holiness.

25 Therefore, we must stop lying to one another, but always speak the truth to our neighbor, since we are members together of the same body. 26 If you are angry, don't let it turn to sin - deal with it before the end of the day. 27 Don't give the devil any opportunity to bring accusation against you.

28 Whoever was formerly a thief must steal no longer. Instead, let him work hard, using his hands for good, so that he may possess enough to give to others who have need. 29 Don't let any unwholesome words out of your mouth, but instead speak only that which builds up and which blesses those listening. 30 Let the measure of everything you do be whether it would cause grief to God's Holy Spirit, whom you possess as the mark of God's ownership until the day when he fulfills his redemption of you.

31 Let all resentment, outrage, vengeful thoughts, shouts of anger, and cursing be completely removed from you, along with all desire to strike back at others. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, compassionate and forgiving each other, just as God, because of the Anointed One, has forgiven you.

Discussion questions

1. If there is only one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, then why are there so many churches today? And why are they in disagreement? What could make a difference toward maintaining unity? [vs 1-6]

Ephesians Chapter 4 discussion questions

2. What does the scripture say is the value and purpose of apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors? Can you think of people who are in each of those roles? Do you think all members of the church are in these five roles? [vs 7-16]

3. What’ the difference between acts of the flesh and acts of the Spirit? What are some behaviors in your flesh you would like to see changed? [vs 17-32]

Ephesians Chapter 5

Ephesians Chapter 5

Walk following God not your flesh

As well-loved children, follow in the footsteps of God your father and walk in sacrificial love, since the Anointed One loved us and voluntarily gave his life for us, an offering and sacrifice, a sweet fragrance to God. [Walking in sacrificial love means giving up a self-indulgent life and devoting your life to walking closer to God and building up one another.]

Walk following God not your flesh

3 Let it be that sexual immorality, impurity, and self-indulgence may never be heard of among you, for this is not fitting for those seeking holiness. Nor is it fitting to engage in obscene or foolish or suggestive talk, but instead focus on your thankfulness to God for what you have received, for you know that no one sexually immoral, or impure, or self-indulgent will inherit anything from the kingdom of the Anointed One and of God, for such a person is an idolater. [Similar statements are made in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Galatians 5:19-21Romans 8 explains how becoming a follower of Jesus allows us to live as the Spirit leads instead of following the flesh. Once a believer, a person is never condemned for a single sin, but if their life remains devoted to sin, this may be an indication they have never become a follower of Jesus, and therefore have not been saved from destruction.  Instead of worshipping Jesus, that person is an idolater, worshipping created things.]

6 Don't be taken in by empty arguments justifying such behavior, for this is exactly what leads to God's anger towards those who decide to resist him. So don't even associate with those [who unrepentantly continue in sin]. Once you were darkness itself, but now you are light, so walk as children of the light, for the fruit of the light is goodness, righteousness, and truth. 10 [As you do these things,] you will see how much it pleases God.

11 Have no involvement with [anyone else's] unfruitful works of darkness but rather condemn them. 12 It is really too shameful even to speak about these secret acts, 13 but by condemning you will bring these things into the light. 14 In fact, by exposing these things, you become a light! That's why it is said, “Awake, sleeper, and rise from the dead, and the Anointed One will bring you light.” [It is not known what the author is quoting here.  It may have been an early Christian song.]

15 Be careful that you walk the straight and narrow, showing that you are wise rather than foolish, 16 not wasting your time [on things of questionable value], especially since these are evil days [and it is easy to be distracted or tempted]. 17 You can avoid being stupid just by understanding God’s will [in every situation]18 [For instance,] don't overindulge in wine, which leads to recklessness, but instead keep on becoming completely filled with the Spirit.  

19 Inspire one another by speaking psalms and hymns and songs in the spirit, singing and praising the Lord in your hearts, 20 always expressing thanks for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father, 21 and deferring to one another in honor of the Anointed One [who instructs us to serve one another].

Husbands and wives like the Anointed One and his church

22 Wives [, defer] to your husbands, as you would to the Lord. 23 For the husband is to be leader of the wife, in the same way that Anointed One is leader of the church [the assembled body of all believers], since in fact he is the rescuer and protector of the body. 24 Therefore, in the same way the church submits itself in obedience to the Anointed One, wives should submit themselves in obedience to their husbands in everything. [This doesn’t mean that wives don’t speak up or take responsibility, only that in God’s plan the husband takes overall leadership responsibility. This works best when both husband and wife are submitted to God, and both perform their roles in sacrificial love. Likewise, the church should bring all things before the Anointed One and submit to his revealed will.]

Husbands and wives like the Anointed One and his church

25 Husbands, love your wives sacrificially, just as the Anointed One loves the Church, having surrendered his life completely for her, 26 to make her holy and completely clean through washing her [both through baptism and] in revelation. [God’s preestablished plan (Ephesians 1:4) was to initiate people into him through their belief in Jesus the Anointed One, cleansing and unifying them through baptism, and guiding them into a holy life through the revealed word.] 27 His purpose was to present to himself for marriage a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or anything to detract, but completely pure and holy. 

28 In the same way [as the Anointed One loving the church], husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. [A husband is responsible for washing his wife through their study of God’s word together.] Anyone who loves his wife is showing love to himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own flesh but watches over it and cares for it. That's exactly the way the Anointed One takes care of the church, 30 for in fact we are his body.

31 For the same reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and become joined together with his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery I am talking about, especially as applied to the Anointed One and the church. 33 But with regards to you in particular, every husband should love his wife as himself, and wives treat your husbands with reverence. [This mutual submission with different roles helps a husband and wife live out their unity in marriage. In the same way, the Anointed One and his church have different roles and live out their unity. The Anointed One has sacrificed himself, but now leads and cleanses his bride. His bride, the church, reveres and submits to the revealed plan of her husband, Jesus the Anointed One.]

Discussion questions

1. Is your church walking as Paul describes here? In what areas is the church most likely to look more like the world? What are the keys to changing that? [vs 1-21]

Ephesians Chapter 5 disussion questions

2. How does Paul see the Anointed One and the church in relation to each other? How then should husband and wife respond to each other? In what way, if you are married, do you fall short? [vs 22-33]

Ephesians Chapter 6

Ephesians Chapter 6

Children and parents

[Continuing my instructions on how you are to defer to one another,] children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment with a promise, “that it will go well with you and that you might live long on the land”.  And parents, don't allow your children to become frustrated and rebellious, but raise them in the discipline and correction of the Lord.

Children and parents
Slaves and masters

Slaves and masters

[In the same way,] slaves, obey your masters, who own your body, but do it without reserve, with great respect, as though you were serving the Anointed One himself. Don't just try to get on their good side but actually serve them as the Anointed One, from your hearts, as God requires. Serve them with enthusiasm as owed to God and not men. You can count on it that anyone who does what is right, whether slave or free, will receive payment from the Lord. And masters, you should act just as carefully towards your servants, avoiding threats, since you know that your own Master is in heaven, and he shows no favoritism between people.

All of our spiritual armor is found in the Anointed One

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his great might, by 11 putting on the complete set of the armor of God, so that you may stand firmly against the deceiving schemes of the devil. 12 For we are wrestling [to gain victory and throw our enemy down], not against a flesh and blood enemy, but rather against angelic princes, against authorities, against world rulers of this present darkness, against spiritual forces of evil intent in heavenly places. 13 You will need every article of God's armor to withstand the evil of the day, so you remain standing at the end.

All of ou spiritual armor is found in the Anointed One

14 Take your stand then [, warrior,] with truth as the belt around your waist [and other weapons attached to it] and righteousness as your breastplate. [Jesus is both our truth and righteousness.  We are protected when we hold to the truth and stand in what we know is his right way.] 15 Put on your feet readiness to share the good news of peace. [When our aim is to share the good news then our mind is always going in the right direction.] 16 In all circumstances, take up faith as your shield so you are able to extinguish the flaming arrows of evil. [It’s our trust in his protection that allows us to withstand lies, fears, and other temptations.] 17 Receive salvation as your helmet and use the word of God as given by the Spirit as your sword. [Our knowledge of our salvation allows us to stand against the hardest attacks against our identity. The prophetic words and revelations that God has given us allow us to go on the offensive against the enemy.]

18 Through everything, pray and ask for what you need, at all times praying in the Spirit. [If we are lacking anything, we can gain it through prayer.  Additionally, we should maintain a current of speaking in tongues throughout the day which brings us a continual connection with the Holy Spirit.] Remain awake [at the end of the day] until you have persisted in praying for all of the believers [for their protection, wellbeing, and victorious living]. 19 Pray also for me [Paul], that I may be given the ability to speak, so that when I open my mouth I will boldly proclaim the mysteries of the good news. 20 Even though I am an ambassador in chains, let me not be lacking in boldness.

Final instructions

Final instructions

21 So that you may know the details of how things are going with me and all the things I am doing, I have sent to you Tychicus, my beloved brother and fellow servant in the Lord. 22 And that's exactly the reason I sent him - to tell you about what we [Paul and his team of supporters such as Timothy, Tychicus, Silas, Luke, Mark, and others] are doing and, as a result, bring comfort to any concerns you had about me.

23 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ grant you peace, and love combined with faith. 24 May God's favor be upon all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

Discussion questions

1. In what ways do you see parents and children not observing Paul’s advice? What are the results? [vs 1-4]

Romans Chapter 6 discussion questions

2. How do you think the instructions given to slaves and masters would apply to employees and bosses in the work world? [vs 5-9]

3. How would you relate each of the articles of the armor of God to your relationship with the Lord? [vs 10-17]

4. Do you think praying for the believers and your leaders would make a difference in your church? [vs 18-24]

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