Our instinct is to go with the flow, but Christians are called to stand against.
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Ephesians 6 (ESV)
obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2 “Honor your father and mother”
(this is the first commandment with a promise),
it may go well with you
and that you may live long in the land.”
do not provoke your children to anger,
but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
obey your earthly masters
with fear and trembling,
with a sincere heart,
as you would Christ,
by the way of eye-service,
but as bondservants of Christ,
doing the will of God from the heart,
7 rendering service with a good will
as to the Lord
and not to man,
8 knowing that whatever good anyone does,
this he will receive back from the Lord,
whether he is a bondservant or is free.
do the same to them,
and stop your threatening,
he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven,
and that there is no partiality with him.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle
against flesh and blood,
against the rulers,
against the authorities,
against the cosmic powers over this present darkness,
against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand firm.
14 Stand therefore,
having fastened on the belt of truth,
and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
as shoes for your feet,
put on the readiness
given by the gospel of peace.
16 In all circumstances
take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
17 and take
the helmet of salvation,
the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God,
at all times
in the Spirit,
with all prayer and supplication.
To that end,
keep alert with all perseverance,
making supplication for all the saints,
19 and also for me,
that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly
to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing,
Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything.
22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose,
that you may know how we are,
and that he may encourage your hearts.
23 Peace be to the brothers,
and love with faith,
God the Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Grace be with all
who love our Lord Jesus Christ
with love incorruptible.
Ephesians 6 Summary
Yesterday chapter 5 began illustrating how it is we are to relate to each other, especially as families. It starts with the concept in v21: everyone must live in submission: wives to husbands, and husbands to Christ. Chapter 6 extends this discussion. Children must submit to their parents, and slaves to their master.
The way chapters 5 and 6 lay out these relationships is elegant and straightforward, and it all makes sense. Yet it's so hard to realize this order in everyday life because we are so prone to view submission in terms of hierarchy.
In other words, when a wife submits to her husband, or a slave to his master, to us it seems like the husbands and masters are superior to the wives and slaves. This causes jealousy and a host of other related problems.
Keep v9 in mind: God has no favoritism. While God has ordained an order to society, he sees all people, whether wives or husbands, slaves or masters, as standing equally in front of him.
Most people have been able to live a very passive Christian life. Most of the people we know are either professing Christians, or at least believe in God and Jesus even if they don't really know what that means.
This reality is fast changing in our society however, and the time to passively sit around as Christians has past. Look how often the final part of chapter 6 refers to standing: take your stand against the devil's schemes (v11); stand your ground (literally antistanai = stand against) and then remain standing (v13); stand firm in the truth (v14).
In order to remain standing, you will need protection from the attacks you will face, and that protection is appropriately referred to as the armor of God: Truth, righteousness, preparation/readiness, shielded by faith and salvation and protected by the sword that is God's Word.
And, of course, by constant prayer.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God of angel armies who gives you His armor to stand against the devil's schemes (v11)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to strengthen you to do His will from your heart (v6)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: