Bible Reading Day 278
Day 278: October 5 (Ephesians 6)
Paul concludes his practical instructions in the first 9 verses of Chapter 6. Following advice to husbands and wives, he adds wisdom for children and parents, as well as for slaves and masters (the equivalent of today’s workforce and management).
In all cases the common standard is that we should treat each other in the way that Jesus treats us, and we would treat Jesus.
Then Paul goes on to address us all. Knowing that Christianity is counter-cultural, and that we are therefore in a battle with this world, Paul gives practical wisdom for every Christian to follow. God has given us armor. It has parallels to the Roman armor that the soldiers guarding Paul probably wore. The belt of truth holds all the pieces together – without truth we are vulnerable to the enemy picking us apart. The breastplate of righteousness protects the heart and other vital organs as the soldier advances (no protection for those running away)! The peace that the good news brings makes us ready to march into battle, or walk with persistence. Then the protection increases – the shield of faith is big enough for us to shelter behind, especially if we link arms with others into a “testudo” or turtle shell formation. The head (the mind and the thought life) is protected by the helmet of salvation, and the only weapon is the Word of God.
The activity undertaken as a soldier wearing this armor is prayer. Not prayer from our souls, focused on the troubles of this world, or rooted in human wisdom or need; but prayer in the Spirit which is the result of the Holy Spirit filling us. That is the prayer that changes believers, whatever circumstances they face.
And so, with some final greetings, Paul concludes his great epistle. From house arrest Paul wrote several letters; we will turn to his next (to the church in Philippi) tomorrow. But this stands as his other towering epistle beside the extensive letter to the Romans. I hope you have felt that power as we have read the epistle together. As we reach the conclusion, why not take time today to pray in the Spirit?
Have a great day!