EPHESIANS CHAPTER SIX

OBSERVATIONS

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand in accordance with the framework in which it was written: a framework which is defined by the normative rules of language, context and logic - rules which do not impose undue, unintended meanings to the text , and which largely limit the observer to the content offered by Paul's epistle to the Ephesians and his other writings. In order for any passage from elsewhere to be considered, it must have a relationship with the context at hand, such as a Scriptural quotation or a specific cross reference in the passage at hand by the author. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

 Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

Note that information on manuscript evidence is from "THE NEW TESTAMENT TEXT AND TRANSLATION COMMENTARY," by Philip W. Comfort, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, Carol Stream, IL.

****** EXCERPTS FROM EPHESIANS CHAPTERS 5 AND 1 *****

.............OR MOVE TO FIRST VERSE OF CHAPTER SIX

[(Eph 5:22-33) Commentary on Eph 5:22-33]:

(Eph 5:22 NKJV) "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

(Eph 5:23 NASB) For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.

(Eph 5:24 NASB) But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

(Eph 5:25 NASB) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

(Eph 5:26 NKJV) that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

(Eph 5:27 NASB) that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless,

(Eph 5:28 NASB) So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;

(Eph 5:29 NKJV) For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church,

(Eph 5:30 NASB) because we are members of His body.

(Eph 5:31 NKJV) For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. [Gen 2:24]

(Eph 5:32 NKJV) This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

(Eph 5:33 NASB) Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband."

Author and apostle Paul provided instructions to believers beginning with Eph 5:18a which stipulates "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation" - speaking for the subject of what not to do; and instead, according to Eph 5:18b "be filled [in the sense of allowing oneself to be controlled by the promptings of] the Spirit" [the indwelling Holy Spirit of God within the human spirit]; which examples author Paul provided such as in Eph 5:19, "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; and in Eph 5:20, "giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" and in Eph 5:21, "submitting to one another in the fear of God."

The phrase in Eph 5:21 rendered, "submitting to one another in the fear of God," is followed by Eph 5:22 which the latter reads, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord," which indicates that just as believers are to be submitting to one another in the fear of God;" it follows that wives are to submit to their own husbands in the same way and for a comparable reason as they are to submit to one another in the fear of God.

Whereupon Eph 5:23 offers the explanation for the previous verse which the former reads, "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body," in the sense that the position of the husband being head of the wife is representative of Christ being the Head of the church to Whom the wife is to submit, He [Christ] Himself being the Savior of that body - the husband representing Christ in the family household.

This is further explained by Eph 5:24, which reads, "But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be [subject, cf Eph 5:21] to their husbands in everything.

On the other hand, Eph 5:25 moves to the obligation of the husband: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her," in the sense of a self-sacrificial / agape love of husbands for their wives which is referred to in Eph 5:25b-26, "just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her - gave up His life as a propitiation / sacrifice for her [the church's] sins, and not only for her sins but for the sins of the whole word, (ref 1 Jn 2:2), "that He might sanctify / set apart her and cleanse her with the washing of water [the Holy Spirit, (cf Ez 36:24-27) ] by the word [the Word of God - which by virtue of a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, i.e., in the gospel, therein contained comes forgiveness / the washing away of sins unto the reception of eternal life].

[Compare Titus 3:5]:

(Titus 3:5 NASB) "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit."

And Eph 5:26 leads right into Eph 5:27 which the latter states, "that He [Christ] might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless," as a result of what is stipulated in Eph 5:25b-26.

b) [Compare Eph 1:4]:

****** EXCERPT FROM EPHESIANS CHAPTER ONE ******

(Eph 1:4) AUTHOR AND APOSTLE PAUL PRAISES / BLESSES THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ON BEHALF OF ALL THE SAINTS FOR HAVING BESTOWED EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES UPON THE SAINTS - THE ONES BELIEVING IN CHRIST JESUS, FOR HE CHOSE US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, TO BE HOLY AND BLAMELESS IN HIS SIGHT IN LOVE

(Eph 1:3 NASB) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who [did bless] us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Eph 1:4 HCSB) for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight [in love]," =

(Eph 1:4) Author And Apostle Paul Praises / Blesses The God And Father Of Our Lord Jesus Christ On Behalf Of All The Saints For Having Bestowed Every Spiritual Blessing In The Heavenly Places Upon The Saints - The Ones Believing In Christ Jesus, For He Chose Us In Him Before The Foundation Of The World, To Be Holy And Blameless In His Sight In Love

(Eph 1:3 NASB) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who [did bless] us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Eph 1:4 HCSB) for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight [in love] =

Paul continues the long sentence of Eph 1:3-14:

Verse 3 reads

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who [did bless] us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

[then verse 4 provides the first blessing]:

for He [God] chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight [in love].

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who did bless "us" = saints, believing ones in Christ Jesus, (v. 1), with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (v. 3). For He chose "us" before the foundation / before the creation of the world to be in Him with a view to "our" eternal destiny of being holy - set apart to be His possession and to be in "our" experience of being holy and without blame, i.e., to be without sin in His sight. And all of this was decreed to be done out of God's agapE / godly love for us. The phrase rendered "in Him" as well as the words "in Christ" in verse 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who [did bless] us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ," indicate that all of God's blessings are decreed before the creation of the world to come to those whom He chose to be "in Christ," literally "in the sphere of Christ," i.e., to belong to Him.

Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ in view in Eph 1:3 will be bestowed because of the election of God: through the work of God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ which He decreed will come to pass.

[Compare Eph 1:11]:

(Eph 1:11 NKJV) "In Him also we have obtained an [eternal] inheritance, [having been] predestined according to the purpose of Him Who [is working] all things according to the counsel of His will."

These blessings will not occur because of anything believers do, might become or might persevere in. For God Himself has taken the initiative to provide salvation to them - before the creation of the world. It is His choosing - His election - based upon His grace, not upon man's merit, (cf. Eph 2:8-9). And the purpose of God's election is so that those whom He has chosen should be "holy and blameless in His sight" evidently to be transformed by God into holy and blameless creatures when they receive their promised eternal inheritance, (Eph 1:7-14). This is the God side of our salvation - God's choosing individuals, before the creation of the world, to be in Christ: "to be holy and blameless in His sight in love" - out of His agapE love for them. On the human side which is not immediately in view in this passage, (but will be in view in chapter 2), all individuals may and must exercise a moment of faith alone in Christ alone of their own free will to be saved unto eternal life and that alone, which will evidently corroborate in perfect agreement with God's election before the creation of the world: those whom God has chosen will all choose to believe in His Son; and those whom God has not chosen will all not choose to believe in His Son, albeit they will be given every opportunity to do so because God's Son has provided atonement for the sins of the whole world, (1 Jn 2:2), not just those whom He chose.

Furthermore, Eph 1:4 stipulates that God chose people so that they would "be holy and blameless in His sight in love," - out of His agapE love for them. And it will evidently be through His work, not the saint's when they will experience the final stage of their redemption, (Eph 1:7-14). The words rendered "in love" at the end of verse 4 are taken to modify what came before in verse 4 as opposed to characterizing what comes later in the next verse.

****** END OF EXCERPTS FROM EPHESIANS CHAPTERS FIVE AND ONE ******

[(Eph 5:22-33) Commentary on Eph 5:22-33 (cont.)]:

Then Eph 5:28-33 summarizes the relationship between husbands and wives as God intended for this relationship is to emulate the agape self-sacrificial love relationship that the Lord has with His body, the church. Just as the church is the extension of Jesus Christ, so the wife is an extension of her husband. Furthermore, Scripture states, "So husbands ought also to agape love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord nourishes and cherishes the church. For we believers, whether faithful or not, are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. [Gen 2:24]. This is a great mystery, but I [author and apostle Paul] speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to agape love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband."

I) [Eph 6:1-24]:

(Eph 6:1 NASB) "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

(Eph 6:2 NASB) 'Honor your father and mother' (which is the first commandment with a promise),

(Eph 6:3 NASB) 'that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.'

(Eph 6:4 NASB) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

(Eph 6:5 NASB) Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ.

(Eph 6:6 NASB) not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

(Eph 6:7 NASB) with good will render service, as to the the Lord, and not to men,

(Eph 6:8 NASB) knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free,

(Eph 6:9 HCSB) And masters, treat your slaves the same way, without threatening them, because you know that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him.

(Eph 6:10 NASB) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

(Eph 6:11 NASB) Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

(Eph 6:12 NASB) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

(Eph 6:13 NASB) Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.'

(Eph 6:14 NASB) Stand firm therefore, 'Having girded your loins with truth' [Isa 11:5] and 'Having put on the breastplate of righteousness, [Isa 59:17]

(Eph 6:15 NASB) and having shod 'Your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; [Isa 52:7]

(Eph 6:16 YLT) above all, having taken up the shield of the faith, in which [you] shall be able all the fiery darts of the evil one to quench,

(Eph 6:17 NASB) And take [=put one] 'The helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the [rhema] word of God.

(Eph 6:18 NKJV)  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints -

(Eph 6:19 NASB) and praying on my [Paul's] behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,

(Eph 6:20 NASB) for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

(Eph 6:21 NASB) But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you.

(Eph 6:22 NASB) I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts.

(Eph 6:23 NASB) Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Eph 6:24 NASB) Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love."

A) [(Eph 6:1-9]:

1) [(Eph 6:1) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 6:1]:

TR, WH, NU, P46, Sinaiticus, A, D(1), I(vid), 0285, 33, 1739, Maj, syr, cop have "obey your parents in the Lord"

B, D*, F, G, it(b), Marcion HAVE "obey your parents"

The phrase rendered "in the Lord" is not present in several witnesses. It could be argued that it was added to conform this verse to Col 3:20, a parallel text. But in Colossians the phrase is joined with the statement, "for this is well pleasing in the Lord." Thus, we would imagine that an insertion of the phrase "in the Lord" would have been added to the next clause in this verse: "for this is right in the Lord." Consequently, it seems that the phrase is part of the original text - as is affirmed by superior attestation.

Marcion probably omitted "in the Lord" because he objected to an OT injunction being linked with a christological motivation (Lincoln 1990, 395). His omission may have influenced textual transmission thereafter. Or scribes may have thought it too ambiguous to leave it in the text, inasmuch as "in the Lord" can modify the action of children's obedience (i.e., the Lord motivates their obedience) or "in the Lord" can modify the parebts (i.e., the Lord motivates their obedience) or "in the Lord" can modify the parents (i.e., children should obey Christian parents). Of course, the latter interpretation leaves open the question: Can children disobey parents who are not Christians? From parallel expressions i 5:22 and 6:5, it seems that Paul meant "in the Lord" to indicate that children should obey their parents because of their (the children's) devotion to Jesus Christ the Lord.

2) [(Eph 6:9) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 6:9]:

(Eph 6:9 HCSB) And masters, treat your slaves the same way, without threatening them, because you know that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him."

WH, NU, P46, Sinaiticus, A, B, D, F, G have "knowing that both their master and yours in heaven"

TR, Maj have "knowing that also your own master is in heaven"

The WH, NU reading has superior documentation. The change in the majority of later manuscripots (and TR) was probably influenced by Col 4:1, a parallel verse.

3) (Eph 6:1-9) Commentary On Eph 6:1-9]:

(Eph 6:1 NASB) "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 

(Eph 6:2 NASB) 'Honor your father and mother' (which is the first commandment with a promise),

(Eph 6:3 NASB) 'that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.'

(Eph 6:4 NASB) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

(Eph 6:5 NASB) Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ.

(Eph 6:6 NASB) not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

(Eph 6:7 NASB) with good will render service, as to the the Lord, and not to men,

(Eph 6:8 NASB) knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free,

(Eph 6:9 HCSB) And masters, treat your slaves the same way, without threatening them, because you know that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him."

Eph 5:22-33 portray Jesus Christ and His body, the church via a description of the godly relationship between husbands and wives in the sense of their godly responsibility of how husbands and wives are to act before one another before God and how their godly behavior represents Christ and His church; whereupon author and apostle Paul wrote of the godly responsibility of how children and their parents, slaves and their masters are to act toward one another before God, evidently portraying through their proposed godly behavior toward one another the relationship that Christ has with body - His church:

Whereupon in Eph 6:1-3 Paul commands children to obey their parents in the Lord in the sense of in a godly manner knowing that they are always before an ever present God Who is their Father in heaven, "for this is right," in the sense that this is the righteous thing to do. So the phrase rendered "in the Lord" does not mfean that children are to obey parents only if their parents are believers; but as the Lord would have them obey whether believers or not. Note that Colossians 3:20 quoted below is a parallel verse. It clearly denotes that a child's obedience to his parents is pleasing in the Lord's sight:

a) [Compare Col 3:20]:

(Col 3:20 NASB) "Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord."

According to Col 3:20 above, Paul wrote that children are to obey their parents in everything. Obedience to parents who are implied to be believers to whom the letter to the Colossians is sent to, (Col 1:1), pleases the Lord. This does not suggest that obeying one's parents merits salvation for a child. Rather, obedience reflects God's design for order in the home. As Paul wrote elsewhere, "It is right" (dikaion, "just" or "proper") for children to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1).

It is interesting that Paul addresses children directly. Their presence in the congregations where the letter is to be read is implied. Hence they are part of the congregation having parents that are implied by Paul to be believers as well, (Eph 1:1).

Note that God has appointed a child's parents to represent Him relative to teaching them His Righteous behavior in order for a child to live out his appointed years. For it is implied in Eph 6:2-4, quoted above, that parents have the responsibility to teach their children God's Righteousness. And when the godly command is obeyed by the children, such godly behavior portrays the relationship that Christ has with His church. Furthermore, Paul continues in Eph 6:2-3 as follows: children are to "honor [their] father and mother" (which is the first commandment with a promise [as follows]: 'that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth,' which implies that obedience indeed has its rewards, not the least of which is longevity.

Likewise, in Eph 6:4, Paul commanded Fathers not to provoke their children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, corroborating that parents - especially believers to whom Paul's letter is addressed are to be representatives of God in raising their children bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord; with a view to exemplifying the relationship that Christ has with His body, the church.

And then in Eph 6:5-8, which reads, "(Eph 6:5 NASB) Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ.  (Eph 6:6 NASB) not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.  (Eph 6:7 NASB) with good will render service, as to the the Lord, and not to men, (Eph 6:8 NASB) knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free;" author Paul is commanding slaves to be obedient to those who are their masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of their hearts, as to Christ; and not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God. (Eph 6:9 HCSB) And masters, treat your slaves the same way, without threatening them, because you know that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him."

Note that in Eph 6:5-9 Paul is addressing slaves and masters whom he implies are members of the congregation, i.e., believers. Hence the Christian slave has a heavenly Lord to Whom he owes supreme allegiance, as does the master. Because of this overriding relationship the slave is enabled to bear the burden of his servitude with equanimity. For he is a slave only according to the flesh - and not spiritually nor for all eternity. In reality, he is the Lord's freeman. Respect (phobos) and fear (tromos) are not to be confused with craven servility but represent "a keen sense of one's shortcomings with a consequent anxiety not to fall into any mistake." The masters who it is implied are believers are commanded to treat their slaves without threatening them because both of them are slaves to Jesus Christ and obligated to express agape / self-sacrificial love for one another.

B) [Eph 6:10-18]:

1) [(Eph 6:12a) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 6:12a]:

(Eph 6:12 NASB) "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."

The TR, WH, NU, Sinaiticus, A, D(2), I, Maj, syr(h), cop, Clement, Origen have "our battle."

P46, B, D*, F, G, Psi, it, syr(p) have "your battle".

Since the rest of this pericope (6:12-20) is in the second person plural, it could be argued that the reading with "our" is the more difficult reading and therefore original. However, Christian scribes had a habit of turning memorable statements (such as this one - "(y)our battle is not against flesh and blood") into inclusive mottos which all Christians could own.

2) [(Eph 6:12b) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 6:12b]:

(Eph 6:12 NASB) "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."

WH, NU, p46, Sinaiticus*, A, B, D*, F, G, 33, 1739*, syr(p), cop, Origen have "world powers of this darkness"

TR, Sinaiticus(2), D(2), pSI, 1739(mg), Maj, syr(h**) have "world powers of the darkness of this age"

The WH, NU reading has excellent documentation, both early and diverse. The change in later manuscripts is an expansion probably motivated by 2:2, which identifies the satanic ruler of this world as the one who rules this age. Furthermore, it may have been added to help readers concretize the abstract expression "this darkness."

3) [(Eph 6:10-18) Commentary]:

(Eph 6:10 NASB) "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

(Eph 6:11 NASB) Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

(Eph 6:12 NASB) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

(Eph 6:13 NASB) Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.'

(Eph 6:14 NASB) Stand firm therefore, 'Having girded your loins with truth' and 'Having put on the breastplate of righteousness,'

(Eph 6:15 NASB) and having shod 'Your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; [Isa 52:7]

(Eph 6:16 YLT) above all, having taken up the shield of the faith, in which [you] shall be able all the fiery darts of the evil one to quench,

(Eph 6:17 NASB) And take [=put one] 'The helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the [rhema] word of God.

(Eph 6:18 NKJV) praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints -"

In Eph 6:10, Paul instructs believers to "be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might," in the sense that believers are to depend upon the power of the Lord to get them through each temporal day, as opposed to limiting themselves to their own capacities in order to best face the schemes of the devil, the rulers, powers and the world forces of darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places in the evil day - the context of the next eight verses that follow which stipulate threats to the believer which could defeat / destroy him in this temporal life.

So in Eph 6:11, author Paul wrote that believers are to "Put on the full armor of God so that [they] will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil." Implied is that any of the forces of this world can and will destroy the believer, especially the schemes of the devil.

Then in Eph 6:12, Paul writes of the reason for his alarming statment as follows: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, [i.e., not actually against men / mankind] but against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places," the motivating force behind what causes men to do evil instead of godly good toward one another.

Therefore, Paul writes in Eph 6:13, "take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able [notice "you will be able to resist in the evil day," [which is today in the sense of every day of this temporal life], "and having done everything, to stand firm," implying that believers are not able to stand firm and faithful to and in Christ without applying the full armor of God to "everything" - to every circumstance in his life every moment of every day.

In Eph 6:14-18, Paul further defines and provides the function of each piece of the full armor of God as follows:

(Eph 6:14 NASB) "Stand firm therefore, 'having girded your loins with truth'; and 'having put on the breastplate of righteousness,"

Author and apostle Paul uses the imagery of Roman armor which his first hand readers might very well be familiar with. Roman armor is evidently put on beginning with a belt around the loins  and waist. Paul describes this foundational belt "truth" in the sense of it being the foundation of Christian armor, i.e., the truths of Scripture - the way God would have us think, say and act, beginning with the gospel - all to be discerned from the study of Scripture and acted upon, trusted in, and expressed to others as directed by God - the foundation of every activity by which the believer is to "stand firm against the schemes of the devil."

Second comes the breastplate of Righteousness - not ones own righteousness, but the Righteousness of Jesus Christ which has been credited to the believer at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life, (Ro 3:21-24). The Righteousness of Christ is the standard by which all believers are to aspire to in their actions in this temporal life via the study of the truths of Scripture, the measure of the believer's actions in order to "stand firm against the schemes of the devil."

Whereupon in Eph 6:15, author Paul moves to the feet of the believer as follows: "and having shod 'Your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;' implying that the believer is to use his feet to spread the gospel of peace especially in the sense telling people that those who trust alone in Christ alone for eternal life will have peace with God and eternal life forever, (Ro 3:21-24; 5:1ff).

And Eph 6:16 YLT which reads, "above all, having taken up the shield of the faith, in which [you] shall be able all the fiery darts of the evil one to quench," implying that the fiery darts - the attacks from the devil are quenched simply by trusting in God's promise of protection.

Then Eph 6:17 NKJV reads, "And take [=put one] 'The helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the [rhema] word of God." The Greek word rendered 'take' is an imperative / command as opposed to a participle phrase supporting a command. Hence it parallels the imperative / command rendered "stand firm" in previous verse #14 which is followed by what one must do to stand firm [in the faith]: 'having girded your loins with truth'; 'having put on the breastplate of righteousness;" "having shod 'Your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, having taken up the shield of the faith, in which [you] shall be able all the fiery darts of the evil one to quench." The helmet and sword are the last two pieces a soldier in the Roman army takes up. The helmet of salvation refers to the sure hope of salvation, (cf. 1 Thes 5:8 ; hope defined in Scripture ), which when understood and relied upon offers assurance to the believer of his / her eternal destiny, assuaging his / her fears of eternal consequences if he / she fails to be faithful; giving the believer security and courage to boldly face and fend off the devil's attacks, especially by not succombing to the fear of losing ones salvation because of the devil's persistent haranging suggestions of the fact that God's salvation can never be lost once receive by a simple moment of faith alone in Christ alone, .

Finally, just as a Roman soldier is portrayed by author Paul as having the sword as an offensive weapon; so Paul implies that the believer's offensive weapon is the "the sword given by the Spirit," which he stipulated as "the [rhema] Word of God." The Greek word "rhēma" rendered "Word" (cf. Eph. 5:26; Rom. 10:8, 17; 1 Peter 1:25) refers to the preached Word or a communication to one by the Holy Spirit in th       e minds of believers. Believers need this "sword" to combat the enemy's assault, much as Christ did three times when tempted by the devil (Matt. 4:1-11 ).

Paul writes in Eph 6:17-18, "(Eph 6:17 NASB) And take [=put one] 'The helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the [rhema] word of God; (Eph 6:18 NKJV) praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." Notice that the word rendered, "praying" in verse 18 is a nominative, present participle which is subordinate to and is part of the fulfillment of key verb in Eph 6:17-18 rendered "take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the [rhema] word of God" which is in the imperative mood - a command which is followed by an example of this in verse 18 of "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." So contrary to those who contend that Eph 6:18 begins a new subject and should be attached to vv. 19-20 to commence a new paragraph and context; Paul's command to "be alert" is consistent with the previous context of what has gone before and effectively completes that context: for prayer is not itself included among the weapons wielded by the Christian combatant as the previous context indicates. The phrase rendered, "at all times" suggests that the believer is to be in constant prayer in preparation for the battle as well as in the engagement itself. But it is in the critical hour of encounter that such support is most required (cf. "the day of evil" in v. 13).

So following his command to "Take 'The helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the [rhema] word of God,' " Paul writes the participle phrase "praying always in the Spirit" as a function of taking the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit," in the sense of praying always in accordance with what Scripture teaches is the way to pray, i.e., in accordance with God the Holy Spirit - with the God of the Bible foremost in your mind as you do pray. And that prayer is to be characterized as with all perserverance and petition for all the saints, in the sense that one must be diligent in prayer for all the saints all the time.

C) [Eph 6:19-20]:

(Eph 6:17 NASB) "And take [=put one] 'The helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the [rhema] word of God.

(Eph 6:18 NKJV) praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints -

(Eph 6:19 NASB) and praying on my [Paul's] behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,

(Eph 6:20 NASB) for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."

1) [(Eph 6:19) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 6:19]:

(Eph 6:19 NASB) "and praying on my [Paul's] behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,"

TR, WH, NU, Sinaiticus, A, D, I, Psi, 0278, 33, 1739, Maj, syr, cop have "the mystery of the gospel"

P46(vid), B, F, G, it(b) have "the mystery"

Scholars... argue for the longer reading on the basis that (1) the alignment of B with Western witnesses such as F, G does not count for much because B has a Western strand in the Pauline Epistles, and (2) had the shorter reading been original, one would expect other additions such as "of Christ" or "of God" (as in Col 2:2); yet there are no other additions except "of the gospel." But both of these arguments could be countered with the simple dictum that the shorter reading is usually more likely original. Furthermore, in Ephesians, scribes (perhaps influenced by Ro 16:25) would be inclined to add "of the gospel" to give it an evangelistic flavor. But it is unlikely that this is exactly what Paul had in mind. His goal was to proclaim the mystery of Christ and his church, the mystery of the newly revealed truth that, in Christ, all believers - whether Jews or Gentiles - are one body withequal share in all of God's blessings and promises (see 3:1-6). This was the mystery Paul wanted to make known to the world. Thus, the wording is referential (see 5:32), and not limited to "the gospel."

Finally, the shorter reading very likely has the support of p46 because the lacuna [= the gap / space] in this manuscript allows for about 99 to 100 letters (the average of 33 letters per line) following "agiOn" in 6:18 to the beginning of "hina" in 6:20, exactly the number of letters in the shorter text. The addition of "tou euaggeliou" would make 113 letters, or 37.6 letters per line, which is too long for the line lengths of p46. Thus, it is fairly certain that p46 had the shorter reading (see Txt of Earliest MSS, 2nd printing, 312). As such, the attestation for the shorter reading is strengthened by the testimony of the earliest extant manuscript. WH brackets "tou euaggeliou" (rendered "of the gospel"), and NLT notes this reading.

2) [(Eph 6:20) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 6:20]:

A few important manuscipts (p46, B, 1739) read "that I may boldly speak it," referring to "the mystery" instead of "that I may be bold in Him") found in other manuscripts.

3) [(Eph 6:19-20) Commentary]:

(Eph 6:17 NASB) "And take [= put on] 'The helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the [rhema] word of God.

(Eph 6:18 NKJV) praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints -

(Eph 6:19 NASB) and [praying, (v. 18)] on my [Paul's] behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,

(Eph 6:20 NASB) for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."

Notice that the word rendered, "praying" in verse 19 is actually not stipulated in the text, but it is implied from verse 18 as part of the context. The word rendered "praying" is a nominative, present participle - an example of the fulfillment of the key verb in Eph 6:17-19 rendered "take [meaning put on] the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the [rhema] word of God." So the word rendered "take" [= put on] in Eph 6:18 is a command which is followed by three examples of putting on the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit in verses 19 & 20: (1)"praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, (2) being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints - both in Eph 6:19 and (3) "praying on my [Paul's] behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, that utterance may be given to me [Paul] in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel" in Eph 6:20. Though Paul is "an ambassador in chains" (Eph 6:20), in the sense of literally chained and imprisioned awaiting trial before the Emperor, (cf. Acts 28:16, 20; Eph. 3:1; 4:1; Phil. 1:7, 13-14, 16; Col. 4:3, 18; Phile. 1, 9-10, 13). He declares that he is an "ambassador in chains" that he might make known the mystery of the gospel to those who will be present at his trial. He evidently did not refer to witnessing or preaching the gospel of Christ in general, but requested prayer that he be bold (twice he said fearlessly) and clear regarding the "mystery of the gospel" when he would be on trial before Caesar in Rome (when and if the Jewish accusers would make charges against him). The Romans looked on the Christians as a sect of the Jews, and the Jews considered them as a heretical group. In his trial Paul needed to make clear that Christians are neither a Jewish sect nor a heretical group but a new entity, the church, the body of Christ, composed of Jewish and Gentile believers. This recalls Paul's lengthy discussion of this "mystery of the gospel" in 2:11-3:11. The phrase rendered "open the mouth" is a common phrase for making a public address or a long defense. It suggests solemnity of utterance. The Greek is literally "in the opening of my mouth" pointing to what Paul wanted God to do for him. Paul evidently recognizes his own dependency upon the intercessions of his fellow believers despite his apostolic vocation. He knows that it is only through what God himself supplies that he is enabled to fulfill his role. But he needs to appropriate it continually, as every believer does according to Eph 6:19.

D) [Eph 6:21-24]:

1) [(Eph 6:21) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 6:21]:

The expression rendered "you also may know" has been transposed in some manuscripts (Sinaiticus, A, D, F, G, I, P) with no change in meaning. Other manuscripts (p46, 33 shorten it to "you know."

2) [(Eph 6:24) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 6:24]:

WH, NU, p46, Sinaiticus*, A, V, F, G, 33, 1739* omit "Amen" at end of verse

TR, Sinaiticus(2), D, psi, 1739(c), Maj, it, syr have "Amen" at end of verse

Only three epistles (Romans, Galatians, and Jude) appear to have a genuine "amen" for the last word of the document. In the other epistles it seems apparent that an "amen" was added for liturgical purposes. According to the textual evidence cited above, it is clear that the "amen" at the end of Ephesians is a scribal addition.

3) [(Closing Subscription For Ephesians) Manuscript Evidence For A Subscription For The Epistle To The Ephesians]:

a) No subscription - but placed as an inscription rendered To the Ephesians" in p46

b) No subscription. Appears in 365, 630, 1505, 2464.

c) "To the Ephesians" appears in Sinaiticus, A, B*, D,(F, G), Psi, 33.

d) "To the Ephesians written from Rome" appears in B(1), P

e) "To the Ephesians written from Rome through Tychicus" appears in 0278, 1739, 1881, Maj, TR

It is quite certain that no book of the New Testament originally had a title (inscription) or a subscription. ... This is especially true for the epistles because their original purpose was to be an apostolic letter, not a literary work per se. Thus, all inscriptions and subscriptions are scribal addenda. The simplest form rendered "To the Ephesians" appears in the earliest witnesses: in p46 at the head of the epistle; in Sinaiticus, A, B*, at the end. As is typical, the subscription was expanded to include the place of writing (Rome), and the carrier, Tychicus. The same kind of expansions occurred in the same manuscripts in Colossians.

3) [Commentary On Eph 6:21-24]:

(Eph 6:21 NASB) "But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you.

(Eph 6:22 NASB) I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts.

(Eph 6:23 NASB) Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Eph 6:24 NASB) Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love."

Author Paul closes out his letter with these last four verses quoted above which convey the message that he is sending Tychicus, his beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord to inform believers about Paul's circumstances and how he is doing so that it may comfort their hearts in the sense of encouraging them in the faith. Whereupon Paul prays, "Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. And closes his letter with, "Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love," in the sense of an undying, imperishable, unfading love.