May 16, 2005
All Christians are in a spiritual war, and the battlefields are not in distant lands; they are in our own homes and workplaces. How do we emerge victorious? As Derek Prime explains, we must rely on the strength that comes through union with Christ, and also upon the armor and weapons God provides for us. Our enemy, the devil, is cunning. Only through God’s grace and our daily action and diligence can we stand against his schemes.
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3“that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
5Bondservants,1 obey your earthly masters2 with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant3 or is free. 9Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master4 and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore 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. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18praying 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, 19and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
21So 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. 22I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.
23Peace be to the brothers,5 and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.