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  • To recap the last two entries on this letter,the author's intent was two-fold: 1) to warn the Jews of Ephesus to not be separate from their converted brethren, but to welcome them as equal heirs in the salvation and inheritance of Christ, and 2) to describe to the newly converted Christians the behaviors of disciples and to warn them against going back to their old ways.

    In the last two chapters, Paul concluded his argument about separation and began to speak about the way Christians should live their lives. Here, he continues with a description of the Christian life.

    So be the witnesses you ought to be for all men, followers of God. Walk in love, dear children, the way Jesus walked, and offer yourselves as he did, a sweet sacrifice on the altar of God.

    Avoid lewd and unseemly behavior; do not envy or gossip or prattle on foolishly. Be gentle and kind, so that your witness is seen as a testimony to God.

    Those who live by the flesh, following after lusts and greed, defiling themselves with filth, will never see the streets of the kingdom of God.

    Never think you are better than anyone else; when you fill yourself with false pride you deny the gift of Christ's blood and become one of the unsaved. Never forget you were once as they were, unsaved and living under the penalty of death and damnation. Be humble to all men.

    You were once unbelievers, walking through your lives like men on as starless, moonless night. But now you are walking in the bright sun of a summer's day, for the light of the Spirit is the pure light of goodness and righteousness and truth. Show all men the witness of that light, which is the witness of God's mercy and grace.

    Stay away from those who continue to sin and refuse the salvation of the Spirit, those who take their pleasure in the lusts of the flesh and all sorts of mischief. Do not condone their actions, for their sins will be revealed by the light.

    This is why the prophets wrote: “You were asleep and unaware, but now you are awake and the truth is revealed to you in the Messiah”. Walk as the children of God, thinking carefully on all you say and do, for at any moment our Lord may return and we will be held accountable for our witness. Therefore, think before you act. Show others by your example the Holy Spirit guides your life.

    Don't be drunk with wine, but instead be filled with the Holy Spirit. Spend your days meditating on the Psalms, sing them to yourself as you go about your daily work and let the love of God lift your hearts. Be kind and merciful to one another, and be the example for those around you.

    Wives, be good wives to your husbands; for as Christ is the head of the church, so husbands are the head of the family. Show them the respect they deserve and encourage them to be strong, holy men, examples for their family and for the community.

    Husbands, love and cherish your wives, just as Christ loves and cherishes the church. Treat them with respect and dignity as fellow servants in the redemption and grace of our Lord. Love them as you love your own body, and they will be the coworker you both desire and need.

    Children, respect and obey your parents, just as the commandment says. I was no accident that God made “Honor your father and your mother” the first commandment of promise. When you honor and respect them, you will understand what it is to be whole, and you will live a long and fruitful life.

    Fathers, treat your children with respect and dignity, correcting them in love and affection as you would treat any soul redeemed by our Lord. Show them the love of Jesus, and they will grow in that same understanding of the redeemer.

    Servants, be good servants to your masters. Be loyal and honest and show respect, so you are a witness to your heavenly master, honoring the Lord by your actions.

    If you have servants, treat them as family and care for them as you would your own children. Then your household will stand as a living witness to the love and mercy of our Lord.

    Finally, my beloved children, stand strong in the power and might of the Lord Almighty. Our enemies are not flesh and blood, but spiritual corruption; the lure of sin, the deceit of the tempter, Satan, who seeks to destroy our souls and all our Lord has created.

    Don the full armor of God every morning when you pray. For it is this armor that will protect you from the wiles and craftiness of the enemy.

    Put on the vest of truth, and upon it strap on the chest plate of redemption. Step into the sandals of knowledge of the word of the Lord. Place the shield of faith in your left hand, the shield you have forged by that knowledge. Wear on your head the helmet of salvation, and in your right hand carry the sword of the word of God as your weapon against evil.

    Pray without ceasing, praising the Lord for his mercy and grace, and asking the Spirit for guidance and understanding. Pray for the souls of the lost, for the safety and success of the apostles, and for the wisdom to be strong in the face of the enemy.

    Please pray for me as well, that the words I speak will give you confidence and that my ministry will continue to bear fruit for the Lord. Even while I am a prisoner of Caesar, let me speak boldly about the good news of salvation and bring souls to the Spirit.

    To let you know what is happening with me and those who are here with me, I am sending Tychicus, a beloved brother and a faithful minister to you. Receive him as you would me, and he will bring the word of my current condition to you.

    Peace be with you all, and love with faith from God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with you all who love the Lord. Amen.

    Written from Rome to the Ephesians by Tychicus.

    This is how a Christian ought to live.

    As I mentioned in the last entry, there is some question as to whether or not Paul actually wrote this letter. Some believe it was written by an imitator who was attempting to guide people and reinforce the lessons Paul had taught when he was in Ephesus. As stated in the last sentence, it was actually penned by Tychicus, but the question is whether or not it was at the instruction of Paul or on his own.

    Be that as it may, it was included in the New Testament because it shares a common voice with the other books. The guiding hand of the Spirit is evident in the language and the style of the texts. On faith, we accept the endurance of the Scriptures, both new and old, as the inspired word of God, and I have no intention of trying to convince you of this. It is for you to decide.

    To further place these two chapters in context, Paul is reminding the newly converted pagans that in order to live a Christian life, they cannot return to their old ways. Apparently, when left to their own devices, people back then as haphazard and unfocused as people continue to be in this time.

    His analogy of donning spiritual armor is intended not only as a mnemonic device for the new Christians, but also as a reminder to the Jews who realized the fulfillment of prophesy in the coming of the Messiah. When Paul reminds them they are to support their faith with knowledge, he is specifically referring to the temptations of Christ in the wilderness, how three times he was tempted by Satan, and all three times he responded with quotes from the scriptures, which defeated Satan.

    Another interesting point is Paul's references to roles and responsibilities within the Christian family. While wives are first told to honor their husband's roles as the head of the household, husbands are immediately advised to honor and respect their wives. So the meaning here is that they are equal partners in the marriage, not one subservient to the other.

    But regardless of the author, the message of the letter is clear. As Christians we are to be the witness to God with our lives, not with our words. We are to live lives that are a statement in themselves, lives of charity, civility, and harmony with others.

    Good letter, don't you think?

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