5th Commandment Promise to the Church

5th commandment promiseIn Eph 6:1-3, the commands to obey and honor parents are threefold: They are of the Natural Law; they are of God’s Law; and they are of Grace.

1.) Christianity upholds nature, not the fallen nature, but God’s original creation and the order to things inside His design. In the natural way of things, children are in subjection to their parents, and are to obey and honor them.

2.) Christianity upholds law and order. We are no longer under the Mosaic Law, but the commands and mandates of God, specifically those reiterated in the NT from the Old, plus the Mystery Doctrines for the Church, uphold His righteousness and justice inside His Plan.

3.) Christianity is based on our relationship with Christ, being “in the Lord.” Our obedience to Him demonstrates that relationship. Therefore, obeying and honoring your parents “in the Lord” is a demonstration of the Grace Plan of God for the Church Age. Grace raises the commandment to the highest level; therefore, (comma) we are to obey our parents, to honor them, and to respect them in order to please our Lord and Savior, Eph 5:10, who is looking down upon us. When you do, you are showing the world and angels the Grace Plan of God, who are amazed that He, the Son, has ever been able to make such people of us, that we can live according to the commandments of God in a sinful world such as this. In addition, obedience to Christ’s Word is proof that you are like Him by the Grace of God, for you are doing what He Himself did when He was here in this sinful, evil world, Luke 2:51.

Vs. 3, The Promise.


Here we have two promises of blessing, the first is quoted from Deut 5:16 and the second paraphrased from both Ex 20:12 and Deut 5:16.

Deut 5:16, “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.”

Ex 20:12, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”

Originally, these promises were given to the children of Israel during the Jewish dispensation regarding the Promised Land He gave them, where it meant the following: ‘If you want to go on living in this land of promise to which I am leading you to, observe this commandment. If you want to have a time of blessedness and happiness in that land, if you want to go on living there under My blessing, observe these commandments, especially this one.’

But in our verse, these blessings are generalized because God is dealing with both Jew and Gentile Christians of the Church Age.

Here we have a HINA of Results clause, “so that” with the Subjunctive Mood that begins this verse in the Greek and is supplied to both parts of it. It is used once in the Greek but translated twice in the English. This verse has two promises of blessing:

  • It may be well with you,” from Deut 5:16, this is an idiom that means, “that you may prosper.” It is the Adverb EU, “well, good, etc.,” with the Personal Pronoun SU in the Dative of indirect object, 2nd Person, Singular, “with you” speaking of each individual child that obeys and honors their parents. Then we have in the Greek GINOMAI in the Aorist, Middle, Subjunctive, for “to be, to come into being, to be made, become, etc.” We translate this, “may be.”

The Constative Aorist views the entirety of the action of blessing in the life of the obedient child.

The Middle Deponent Voice speaks to the child’s actions honoring his parents that, as a result has a blessing back to the child.

The Subjunctive Mood is part of this HINA Clause to show potential of the action of being blessed, as a result of honoring and obeying your parents. Therefore, this is a promise of prosperity.

Prosperity comes in many different ways. Most just think in terms of materialism. But prosperity can mean different things to different people, and God knows what prosperity is to you. Cf. Psa 112:1-9. It can include:

  1. Wealth, given by God when you have capacity from Doctrine in your soul to truly handle and appreciate it.
  2. A shower for those not able to bath regularly.
  3. Food, after starving for days.
  4. Rain for your crops, and a great harvest of the crops.
  5. An abundance of friends, unity of the body of Christ, family members, etc. (People).
  6. Success on the job when you line up with the Authority, Policy, and Goals (System).
  7. Inner stability, the result of grace that comes from appropriation and utilization of God’s grace, having peace of mind (Thought).
  8. Tranquility of mind after a long hard day at work or home with the children.
  9. Peace of mind during adversity or conflict (Disaster), etc.
  10. Being blessed inside one or more Divine Institutions, (volition, marriage, family, or nationalism), as a result of honoring those Divine Institutions.

Psa 112:1-2, “Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in His commandments. 2His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed.”

Mat 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

Then we have the Coordinating Conjunction KAI, “and,” to link the second promise of blessing.

  • You may live long on the earth,” taken from both Ex 20:12 and Deut 5:16, this is made up from the Future, Middle Deponent, Indicative, in the 2nd Person Singular of EIMI, “to be or is,” that continues the HINA Subjunctive clause. We can translate this, “you may be.”

The Future Tense is Gnomic for a statement of fact that speaks to the time after the child begins to honor his parents, whether that time has already begun or is yet to begin in the future. We could say, when they reach adulthood themselves.

The Middle Deponent once again speaks of the blessings the child receives, as a result of their actions of honoring and obeying their parents.

The Indicative Mood is for the dogmatic reality of receiving this blessing when the child honors his parents.

Here the blessing is “live long,” which is the Nominative Singular of MAKROCHRONIOS, μακροχρόνιος that means, “long-lived,” and is used only here in all the NT. This is a compound Adjective consisting of the two words, MAKROS, “long,” and CHRONOS, “time.” In its use in classical Greek, the Septuagint, and its single occurrence in the NT it means, “long-lived.” This is an idiom for a life of quality and/or quantity – longevity.

Therefore, this tells us that obedience brings blessing. The 5th Commandment has a promise attached to it: “That your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God gives to you.” This promise originally applied to the Jews as they entered Canaan and throughout the Jewish Dispensation, but Paul applied it to believers of the Church. He substituted “earth” for “land” and tells us that the Christian child who honors his parents can expect two blessings. It will be well with him, and he will live long on the earth. This does not mean that everyone who died young dishonored his parents. He was stating a principle; when children obey and honor their parents in the Lord, they will escape a good deal of sin and danger and thus avoid the things that could threaten or shorten their lives. But life is not measured only by quantity of time. It is also measured by quality of experience. God enriches the life of the obedient child no matter how long he may live on the earth. Sin always robs us; obedience always enriches us.

This states a general principle that obedience fosters self-discipline, which in turn brings stability and longevity in one’s life. (Stated conversely, it is improbable that an undisciplined person will live a long life. An Israelite who persistently disobeyed his parents was not privileged to enjoy a long, stable life in the land of Israel. A clear example of this was Eli’s sons Hophni and Phinehas, 1 Sam 4:11.) Though that promise was given to Israel in the OT, the principle still holds true today, but in general, to all believing children of the Church Age.

Parents may be unfair or they may be tyrants, yet the children who are amenable to discipline will have a long (in quality and/or quantity), and prosperous life on this earth. Therefore, this verse is a demonstration of God’s fairness, because no matter how unfair parents could be or may be, God will bless the child who honors and respects his parents. This verse is also saying that it is better to endure hardship in youth and learn discipline so that in your later years you will have God’s blessings and long life. Long life is not always a blessing, but when it is associated with prosperity, long life is a blessing.

This does not exclude other types of suffering in the obedient child’s life from time to time, but his life is characterized by great prosperity. The person who in childhood and adolescence obeys parents and respects the authority of parents, will be happy and well-adjusted in life.

Next, we have the time and place of this blessing, “long life.” It is not speaking of eternity or heaven, but while here, “on the earth,” EPI HO GE.

Because the prospect of longevity is not held out elsewhere in the NT as part of the Christian hope, commentators have tended to spiritualize the application by linking it with eternal life, to a fault. That is not what Paul, nor the Holy Spirit intends here,as “on the earth” literally rules that out. It is not talking about the New Earth of eternity. These promises express the fact that obedience to God’s laws will bring God’s blessings in time. Many commandments were given to Israel. Obedience to these commandments would benefit in many ways, including the matter of enjoying longer life. Although many of the specific commandments given to Israel were not transferred into the NT, the basic philosophy behind them was. Therefore, obedience equals blessings in time for both believing and unbelieving children.

In our verse, the promise omits the clause, “which the Lord your God gives you,” from Ex 20:12, which linked the original promise of God to the child with the land of Canaan. This is not appropriate for the Church. This omission then, has the effect of making the promise more generally applicable to the Church. The promise is now of well-being and long life on the earth for both Jew and Gentile of the Church Age.

So, the child must learn early to obey and honor their father and mother, not only because they are his parents, but because God has commanded him to do so. Disobedience to parents is rebellion against God. The sad situation in homes today is the result of rejecting God’s Word, Rom 1:28-30; 2 Tim 3:1-5, as we have noted above. By the Sin Nature, a child is selfish, and in selfishness, God is not able to provide His blessings. So, the arrogant, disobedient, and dishonoring child will miss out on these core blessings from God.

On the earth,” also reflect the immanency of the PAROUSIA, (the 2nd Coming of our Lord at the Rapture of the Church), as we do not know the day or hour in which it will occur. Even though Paul wrote about it 2000 years ago as if it were immanent, He also wrote about the blessing of a long and prosperous life here on earth. So, long life on earth reflects the PAROUSIA, land of Canaan. This is not appropriate for the Church. This omission then has the effect of making the promise, more generally, in that we should live each day as if the Rapture were to occur that day, and enjoy each and every day our Lord gives to us here on earth to glorify Him right up to the PAROUSIA.

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