Vol. 16 No 35 – August 27, 2017
Conclusion to the Believers Walk, vs. 1-9.
The Warfare of Believers, vs. 10-24,
A) The Believer’s Walk in Unity; God’s Plan for Faithful Living in the Church to Build the Church, Eph 4:1-16.
B) The Believer’s Walk in Righteousness; God’s Pattern and Principles for Members of the Church and His Standards for Faithfulness in the Church, Eph 4:17-32.
C) The Believer’s Walk in Love; The conclusion of God’s Pattern and Principles for Members of the Church and His Standards for Faithfulness in the Church, Eph 5:1-17.
D) The Believer’s Walk in the World; God’s Standards for Authority and Submission in the Church, Eph 5:18-6:9.
1.) As to One’s Self and the Church, Be Filled with God’s Spirit, Eph 5:18-21.
2.) As to One’s Home, Eph 5:22-6:4.
a) Husbands and Wives, Eph 5:22-33.
b) Parents and Children, Eph 6:1-4.
3.) As to One’s Profession:
a) Employers and Employees, Eph 6:5-9.
E) The Believer’s Walk in Warfare; God’s Provision for His Children’s Spiritual Battles, Eph 6:10-20.
1.) The Exhortation to Arms, The Believer’s Warfare, Eph 6:10-13.
a) The Warrior’s Power, Eph 6:10.
b) The Warrior’s Armor, Eph 6:11.
c) The Warrior’s Foes, Eph 6:12.
d) The Warrior’s Resource, The Explanation of Our Armor, Eph 6:13–17.
2.) God’s Appeal for Prayer in the Church, Eph 6:18-20.
F) Conclusion; Benediction, Eph 6:21-24.
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D) 2. b., Parents and Children, Eph 6:1-4.
After dealing with the husband-wife relationship inside of marriage, Divine Institution #2, Paul goes on to consider the relationship between parents and children; the second “household code,” Divine Institution #3, “Family.” Here he has the Christian family in mind: it is assumed that both partners together with their offspring recognize Jesus Christ as Lord, vs. 1, 4, yet this being part of the Divine Establishment principles, it can be applied to both believing and unbelieving families. For believing families, the Spirit-filled life, Eph 5:8, is necessary for having a good parent-child relationship.
Warren Wiersbe noted, “After watching a television presentation about rebellious youth, a husband said to his wife, “What a mess! Where did our generation go wrong?” The wife calmly answered, “We had children.”
It seems no matter where we look in modern society, we see antagonism, division, and rebellion. Husbands and wives are divorcing each other; children are rebelling against their parents; and employers and employees are seeking for new ways to avoid strikes and keep the machinery of industry running productively. We have tried education, legislation, and every other approach, but nothing seems to work. Paul’s solution to the antagonisms in the home and in society was regeneration—a new heart from God and a new submission to Christ and to one another. God’s great program is to “gather together in one all things in Christ” (Eph. 1:10). Paul indicated that this spiritual harmony begins in the lives of Christians who are submitted to the lordship of Christ.”
[Warren Wiersbe, Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Rich (Ephesians)].
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Eph 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
Here we have the second household code, parents being in authority over their children, and children being obedient to their parents. This mandate is not new for the believer. It is stated in Prov 1:8; 6:20; 23:22, as well as being one of the Ten Commandments, Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16, as quoted in vs. 2-3. It is also found in the parallel verse of Col 3:20.
Prov 1:8, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”
Prov 6:20, “My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother.”
Prov 23:22, “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”
Col 3:20, “Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.”
“Children” is the Vocative of Address, Neuter, Plural of HO TEKNON, where the Definite Article is used like the Attic Greek use for a Pronoun, so it should read, “You children.” TEKNON comes from the root Verb TIKTO that means, “to bring forth or bear children.” TEKNON literally means, “a child,” (male or female, son or daughter), and connotes the child-parent relationship.
It contemplates the individual as one who is parented, one who has been born to another and is a more general designation for offspring than HUIOS that is used for “son,” or PAIDION that means, “small child,” with reference to age or descent, or NEPIOS that means, “child, infant, minor, etc.”
TEKNON can also mean in other contexts, “descendants or posterity,” and sometimes, “the student or disciple.” Many times in John’s writings the diminutive TEKNION is used for, “little children,” which is an affectionate form of address that can also be applied to students or disciples, as by Jesus, John 13:33, and Paul, Gal 4:19. But here TEKNON is addressing the children of the local assemblies in the early Church.
We have noted this word in Eph 2:3, speaking to believers’ former lives as “children of wrath,” and in Eph 5:1, 8, as now being children of God. But here, and in Eph 6:4, it refers to the young people of the congregation.
In addressing the children first, Paul is placing the responsibility squarely on them. Because they have volitional responsibility, just as the wives do, they must make the decision to follow this command from God. No one can do it for them.
It also emphasizes that it does not matter, per se, as to whether they have good parents or bad parents. That is not an issue here. The issue is to follow God’s Word, regardless of the type of parents they have or the situation they are in. That is why Paul did not tell the parents to admonish the children with this command; he admonished them directly.
Children were present in the assemblies when this letter was read. The question is, “Did they understand all that Paul wrote?” Well, do you understand everything when it is first taught?
Christian families attended the public worship together, and no doubt the parents, especially the fathers, explained the Word to the children when they were at home by instructing them further and/or answering their questions. Nevertheless, Paul addresses the children of the local assemblies directly and gives them a command, which they must learn and apply; a command that comes directly from the Old Testament and Ten Commandments, and therefore it comes directly from God.
Principles of the Old Testament (OT) regarding Children.
- Children are shown as important in the Old Testament. They perpetuate the family, the tribe, and the nation, Deut 25:6; Ruth 4:11.
- Consequently, Israelites regarded childbearing as a duty, Gen 1:28, the more the better.
Gen 1:28, “God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it’ …”
- It was a great blessing to see one’s descendants of various generations, Gen 50:23; Prov 17:6.
Prov 17:6, “Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of sons is their fathers.”
- The ordinances, commandments, teachings, and rituals of the Law became part of the psychological makeup of children at a very early age, Deut 4:8-9; 6:7; 32:46. For example, Timothy knew the Holy Scriptures from his early childhood, 2 Tim 3:15, in his case, by the teaching of his mother and grandmother.
- Both the father and mother shared in the rearing and educating of the child, Prov 1:8; 6:20; cf. 2 Tim 1:5; 3:15. As long as the child was an infant, the mother cared for it, and daughters were under her supervision until they were married. The rearing and educating of boys was the father’s responsibility from the time the child was five. Those families who could afford it left the education of the child in the hands of special tutors, 2 Kings 10:1; 1 Chron 27:32; cf. Gal 4:1f. Most education took place in the home; schools appeared on the scene relatively late, around 1000 BC according the Talmud. By the time of Jesus, they were fairly common.
- Children or offspring were integral to God’s covenant with Abraham, Gen 12:2, 7; 13:16, (like dust); 22:17, (like the stars and sand of the seashore). At the giving of the covenant, Gen 17:5, Abraham’s original name, Abram, was changed to Abraham, which means the “father of many,” and “exalted father.”
- God “blessed” people with children as children are a gift from God, Psa 127:3, a reward, an expression of His delight, and a blessing of the covenant, Psa 113:9; 128:3-4; cf. Eccl 6:3.
- It is the child’s responsibility to learn and apply what they are taught, Prov 6:20-21; 23:22.
- Children were totally under the authority and control of their parents. Respect and obedience were mandates, Ex 20:12; Lev 19:3. Perpetual disobedience against one’s parents resulted in severe punishment, Deut 21:18-21; 27:16.
Lev 19:3, “Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father, and you shall keep My sabbaths; I am the LORD your God.”
Deut 27:16, “Cursed is he who dishonors his father or mother. And all the people shall say, ‘Amen’.”
- On the other hand, the Law protected children against abuse and mistreatment by their parents, Num 30:4-5; Deut 21:15-17. And the sacrifice of children is absolutely forbidden, Lev 18:21; 20:1-5.
- The spoiled child is a shame to its parents, Prov 10:5; 17:2; 19:26; 28:17; 29:15, and the foolish child causes his parents grief, bitterness, and destruction, Prov 10:1; 17:25; 19:13. Such children will fall under the discipline of God Himself, Ecc 11:9-10; Isa 30:1.
- The wise child is noted in Prov 10:1, 5; 13:1; 15:20; 28:7; 29:3; Eccl 4:13-14, as one who learns from and applies the teachings and disciplines of his parents and God. He provides them with much joy and happiness.
New Testament (NT) Principles. As in the OT, children are discussed frequently in the NT. TEKNON occurs in the NT about 100 times.
- From the basis of the Fifth Commandment, the NT stresses the responsibility of children to obey their parents, Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:20, cf. Mat 15:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20. Jesus is their model in doing so, both in His early age, Luke 2:51; and at the end of His ministry, John 19:26-27.
- Childhood represents simplicity and innocence demonstrating great faith. An innocent child is cherished by his or her parents, Luke 9:48; Psa 103:13. Humble in heart, Mat 18:4, a child understands things “hidden from the wise,” Luke 10:21. It is in these respects that Jesus deems childlikeness as the essential quality for entering the kingdom of heaven, Mat 18:3; 19:14; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:16.
- Jesus’ love for children is unmistakable; He gave His time, concern, and blessing freely to them, Mark 10:13-16. He defended them, Mark 7:27, and healed them, Mark 9:27. Jesus said the kingdom of heaven belongs to them, Mat 19:13-14.
- Children are numbered with the community, take part in crucial events, Acts 21:5, are present at services, Acts 20:9, 12, and are under instruction, Eph 6:1ff.
- Much of Christian teaching employs the example of children to make its point.
a) As a teacher, Jesus frequently used children to illustrate a point, Mat 18:1f.; 11:16f. Jesus presented a child’s dependency upon others and its humility and vulnerability as an example of qualities for entering the kingdom of God, Mat 18:1f.
b) However, a child’s immaturity, helplessness, and lack of understanding represent obstacles to Christian development and maturity, 1 Cor 3:1f.; 14:20; Eph 4:13f.; Heb 5:11f.
c) The immaturity of childhood, contrasts the maturity of adulthood, in a representation of our present limitations, in contrast to our future perfection, 1 Cor 13:11-12.
- Figuratively, TEKNON is concerned with the children of God, John 1:12; the children of light, Eph 5:8; obedient children, 1 Peter 1:14; and the children of promise, Rom 9:8; Gal 4:28.
- Paul called those he had led to faith his “children,” Gal 4:19; 1 Tim 1:2; Philemon 10. John understood the term in the same way, 1 John 2:1, 28; 4:4; 5:21.
- In a religious sense, it depicts the believer’s relationship to God the Father, John 1:12; 1 John 3:1, and with Christ, Mark 10:24; John 13:33; 21:5.
- In another sense, the term may be used figuratively of the devil’s children, 1 John 3:10; John 8:44; Acts 13:10, or the children of wrath, Eph 2:3.
- One sign of paganism’s effect on the decline of society and a nation, which will be repeated in the falling away of the last days, is disobedience to parents, Rom 1:30; 2 Tim 3:2.
2 Tim 3:2, “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy.”
- Having a child creates an opportunity for parents to participate in God’s creation by helping earthly children to become children of God, Rom 9:8. As such, the focus of the parent/child relationship is on love, honor, and respect, as well as discipline and instruction, Eph 6:1-4.
Prov 15:20, “A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother”
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#’s 17-090 through 17-091
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.
To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!