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Ephesians 6:1-4


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Ok, I'm finally in the last chapter of Ephesians. I know it's taken me forever and I apologize for that. If it wasn't for the fact that I started doing this online, to be quite honest with you, I probably woulda never finished it, so in a round about way, it has been a special blessing to me.


I'm in the middle of trying to get a large garden planted, so I'm going to try to finish Ephesians up as soon as I can so I don't hafta be worrying about trying to get this done lol.


Heavenly Father,


Thank You so much for the work that You have been doing in so many of us through this study. Your word really is alive and I know it has had a powerful impact on my life, causing me to realize how blessed we are to even have the Bible.


Bless this study today, let the words You want said, be said, and always always always let it glorify You.



1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.


Henry comments, "In this chapter, I. The apostle proceeds in the exhortation to relative duties which he began in the former, particularly he insists on the duties of children and parents, and of servants and masters, ver. 1-9. II. He exhorts and directs Christians how to behave themselves in the spiritual warfare with the enemies of their souls; and to the exercise of several Christian graces, which he proposes to them as so many pieces of spiritual armour, to preserve and defend them in the conflict, ver. 10-18. III. We have here the conclusion of the epistle, in which he takes his leave of them, recommending himself to the prayers of the believing Ephesians, and praying for them, ver. 19-24.


Here we have further directions concerning relative duties, in which the apostle is very particular.


I. The duty of children to their parents. Come, you children, hearken to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord. The great duty of children is to obey their parents (v. 1), parents being the instruments of their being, God and nature having given them an authority to command, in subserviency to God; and, if children will be obedient to their pious parents, they will be in a fair way to be pious as they are. That obedience which God demands from their children, in their behalf, includes an inward reverence, as well as the outward expressions and acts. Obey in the Lord. Some take this as a limitation, and understand it thus: "as far as is consistent with your duty to God." We must not disobey our heavenly Father in obedience to earthly parents; for our obligation to God is prior and superior to all others. I take it rather as a reason: "Children, obey your parents; for the Lord has commanded it: obey them therefore for the Lord's sake, and with an eye to him." Or it may be a particular specification of the general duty: "Obey your parents, especially in those things which relate to the Lord. Your parents teach you good manners, and therein you must obey them. They teach you what is for your health, and in this you must obey them: but the chief things in which you are to do it are the things pertaining to the Lord." Religious parents charge their children to keep the ways of the Lord, Gen. xviii. 19. They command them to be found in the way of their duty towards God, and to take heed of those sins most incident to their age; in these things especially they must see that they be obedient. There is a general reason given: For this is right, there is a natural equity in it, God has enjoined it, and it highly becomes Christians. It is the order of nature that parents command and children obey."


Clark states, "Children, obey your parents] This is a duty with which God will never dispense; he commands it, and one might think that gratitude, from a sense of the highest obligations, would most strongly enforce the command.


In the Lord] This clause is wanting in several reputable MSS., and in same versions. In the Lord may mean, on account of the commandment of the Lord; or, as far as the parents commands are according to the will and word of God. For surely no child is called to obey any parent if he give unreasonable or unscriptural commands."


I agree with Clarke when he says, "as far as the parents commands are according to the will and word of God. For surely no child is called to obey any parent if he give unreasonable or unscriptural commands"...I do not believe that God would want me, or any child, to obey a parent that is out of line with God's will and in grave error...that could lead to some very dangerous areas.


Calvin writes, "Children, obey. Why does the apostle use the word obey instead of honor, which has a greater extent of meaning? It is because Obedience is the evidence of that honor which children owe to their parents, and is therefore more earnestly enforced. It is likewise more difficult; for the human mind recoils from the idea of subjection, and with difficulty allows itself to be placed under the control of another. Experience shews how rare this virtue is; for do we find one among a thousand that is obedient to his parents? By a figure of speech, a part is here put for the whole, but it is the most important part, and is necessarily accompanied by all the others.


In the Lord. Besides the law of nature, which is acknowledged by all nations, the obedience of children is enforced by the authority of God. Hence it follows, that parents are to be obeyed, so far only as is consistent with piety to God, which comes first in order. If the command of God is the rule by which the submission of children is to be regulated, it would be foolish to suppose that the performance of this duty could lead away from God himself.


For this is right. This is added in order to restrain the fierceness which, we have already said, appears to be natural to almost all men. He proves it to be right, because God has commanded it; for we are not at liberty to dispute, or call in question, the appointment of him whose will is the unerring rule of goodness and righteousness. That honor should be represented as including obedience is not surprising; for mere ceremony is of no value in the sight of God. The precept, honor thy father and mother, comprehends all the duties by which the sincere affection and respect of children to their parents can be expressed."


Oh my. What Calvin says here, "the human mind recoils from the idea of subjection, and with difficulty allows itself to be placed under the control of another." describes me to a "T".




Well, the good news is that as I trust my Heavenly Father more and more, the desire in my heart grows, wanting to obey and yield to Him.


2. Honor thy father and mother, (which is the first commandment with promise,)


Clarke states, "honour thy father] See the notes on Exod. xx. 12, &c., where this subject, together with the promises and threatenings connected with it, is particularly considered, and the reasons of the duty laid down at large."


Henry writes, "Though this may seem a hard saying, yet it is duty, and it must be done by such as would please God and approve themselves to him. For the proof of this the apostle quotes the law of the fifth commandment, which Christ was so far from designing to abrogate and repeal that he came to confirm it, as appears by his vindicating it, Matt. xv. 4, &c. Honour thy father and mother (v. 2), which honour implies reverence, obedience, and relief and maintenance, if these be needed."


Calvin shares, "Which is the first commandment with promise. The promises annexed to the commandments are intended to excite our hopes, and to impart a greater cheerfulness to our obedience; and therefore Paul uses this as a kind of seasoning to render the submission, which he enjoins on children, more pleasant and agreeable. He does not merely say, that God has offered a reward to him who obeys his father and mother, but that such an offer is peculiar to this commandment. If each of the commandments had its own promises, there would have been no ground for the commendation bestowed in the present instance. But this is the first commandment, Paul tells us, which God has been pleased, as it were, to seal by a remarkable promise. There is some difficulty here; for the second commandment likewise contains a promise,


“I am the Lord thy God, who shew mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”

(Exodus 20:5,6.)


But this is universal, applying indiscriminately to the whole law, and cannot be said to be annexed to that commandment. Paul’s assertion still holds true, that no other commandment but that which enjoins the obedience due by children to their parents is distinguished by a promise."


3. That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.


Clarke has no commentary on this verse.


Henry writes, "The apostle adds, which is the first commandment with promise. Some little difficulty arises from this, which we should not overlook, because some who plead for the lawfulness of images bring this as a proof that we are not bound by the second commandment. But there is no manner of force in the argument. The second commandment has not a particular promise; but only a general declaration or assertion, which relates to the whole law of God's keeping mercy for thousands. And then by this is not meant the first commandment of the decalogue that has a promise, for there is no other after it that has, and therefore it would be improper to say it is the first; but the meaning may be this: "This is a prime or chief commandment, and it has a promise; it is the first commandment in the second table, and it has a promise." The promise is, That it may be well with thee, &c., v. 3. Observe, Whereas the promise in the commandment has reference to the land of Canaan, the apostle hereby shows that this and other promises which we have in the Old Testament relating to the land of Canaan are to be understood more generally. That you may not think that the Jews only, to whom God gave the land of Canaan, were bound by the fifth commandment, he here gives it a further sense, That it may be well with thee, &c. Outward prosperity and long life are blessings promised to those who keep this commandment. This is the way to have it well with us, and obedient children are often rewarded with outward prosperity. Not indeed that it is always so; there are instances of such children who meet with much affliction in this life: but ordinarily obedience is thus rewarded, and, where it is not, it is made up with something better. Observe, 1. The gospel has its temporal promises, as well as spiritual ones. 2. Although the authority of God be sufficient to engage us in our duty, yet we are allowed to have respect to the promised reward: and, 3. Though it contains some temporal advantage, even this may be considered as a motive and encouragement to our obedience.


Calvin writes, "That it may be well with thee. The promise is — a long life; from which we are led to understand that the present life is not to be overlooked among the gifts of God. On this and other kindred subjects I must refer my reader to the Institutes of the Christian Religion; satisfying myself at present with saying, in a few words, that the reward promised to the obedience of children is highly appropriate. Those who shew kindness to their parents from whom they derived life, are assured by God, that in this life it will be well with them.


And that thou mayest live long on the earth. Moses expressly mentions the land of Canaan,


“that thy days may be long upon the land which

the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12.)


Beyond this the Jews could not conceive of any life more happy or desirable. But as the same divine blessing is extended to the whole world, Paul has properly left out the mention of a place, the peculiar distinction of which lasted only till the coming of Christ."


4. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.


Clarke comments, "Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath] Avoid all severity; this will hurt your own souls, and do them no good; on the contrary, if punished with severity or cruelty, they will be only hardened and made desperate in their sins. Cruel parents generally have bad children.


He who corrects his children according to God and reason will feel every blow on his own heart more sensibly than his child feels it on his body.


Parents are called to correct; not to punish, their children. Those who punish them do it from a principle of revenge; those who correct them do it from a principle of affectionate concern.


Bring them up, &c.] ektrefete auta en paideia kai nouqesia kuriou? literally, Nourish them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. The mind is to be nourished with wholesome discipline and instruction, as the body is with proper food. paideia, discipline, may refer to all that knowledge which is proper for children, including elementary principles and rules for behaviour, &c. nouqesia, instruction, may imply whatever is necessary to form the mind; to touch, regulate, and purify the passions; and necessarily includes the whole of religion. Both these should be administered in the Lord - according to his will and word, and in reference to his eternal glory. All the important lessons and doctrines being derived from his revelation, therefore they are called the discipline and instruction of the Lord."


It's really sad how some people have perverted the scriptures on raising children...in fact it's heartbreaking.


Henry writes, "The duty of parents: And you fathers, v. 4. Or, you parents, 1. "Do not provoke your children to wrath. Though God has given you power, you must not abuse that power, remembering that your children are, in a particular manner, pieces of yourselves, and therefore ought to be governed with great tenderness and love. Be not impatient with them, use no unreasonable severities and lay no rigid injunctions upon them. When you caution them, when you counsel them, when you reprove them, do it in such a manner as not to provoke them to wrath. In all such cases deal prudently and wisely with them, endeavouring to convince their judgments and to work upon their reason." 2. "Bring them up well, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, in the discipline of proper and of compassionate correction, and in the knowledge of that duty which God requires of them and by which they may become better acquainted with him. Give them a good education." It is the great duty of parents to be careful in the education of their children: "Not only bring them up, as the brutes do, taking care to provide for them; but bring them up in nurture and admonition, in such a manner as is suitable to their reasonable natures. Nay, not only bring them up as men, in nurture and admonition, but as Christians, in the admonition of the Lord. Let them have a religious education. Instruct them to fear sinning; and inform them of, and excite them to, the whole of their duty towards God."


Calvin shares, "And, ye fathers. Parents, on the other hand, are exhorted not to irritate their children by unreasonable severity. This would excite hatred, and would lead them to throw off the yoke altogether. Accordingly, in writing to the Colossians, he adds, “lest they be discouraged.” (Colossians 3:21.) Kind and liberal treatment has rather a tendency to cherish reverence for their parents, and to increase the cheerfulness and activity of their obedience, while a harsh and unkind manner rouses them to obstinacy, and destroys the natural affections. But Paul goes on to say, “let them be fondly cherished;” for the Greek word, (ἐκτρέφετε,) which is translated bring up, unquestionably conveys the idea of gentleness and forbearance. To guard them, however, against the opposite and frequent evil of excessive indulgence, he again draws the rein which he had slackened, and adds, in the instruction and reproof of the Lord. It is not the will of God that parents, in the exercise of kindness, shall spare and corrupt their children. Let their conduct towards their children be at once mild and considerate, so as to guide them in the fear of the Lord, and correct them also when they go astray. That age is so apt to become wanton, that it requires frequent admonition and restraint."


Heavenly Father,


As I studied these particular scriptures this morning, my thoughts and heart was thinking about my own children...about how I have raised them. While I certainly haven't been a perfect parent, and while there certainly is much that I wish I could go back and do different, I just hafta take this moment and thank You and praise You, that inspite of my short comings, my children are absolutely breathtaking in my eyes. No, they are not perfect either, and yes, it's a challenge at times striving to keep them on track, but in their hearts, they are good...they are tender and beautiful in my eyes, which means that they are even moreso in Your eyes.


I then think about my own parents and the heartache I gave them over the years with my independence and rebellion. I don't know why there is such a contrast there between how I was with my parents and how my children are with me. I just thank You though, for all the prayers my parents have prayed over me all these years, and for bring me back 'home' into Your holy presence. I also thank You that my children, for whatever reason, haven't felt the need or the drive, to rebel as strongly as I did. Through it all, I see Your hand of mercy, protection and love over these 2 generations and I can't even begin to put into words how much that means.


On another note, while I was trying to do this study this morning, I kept getting interrupted. It finally got to the point that when the phone rang, I was extremely irritated cause usually I just block out everything while I do these studies. Isn't it like You Father, to let that phone call be an answer to a need I have, that I kinda talked about with You, but hadn't really even asked You to help do anything. All that says to me is that Your eye is constantly over me, and us, that You meet our needs, that I really can rely on and trust You with the smallest detail. What delight You must feel when we genuinely include You into all areas of my life.


I won't bore everyone with a long drawn out prayer like I usually do lol cause I talk to You all day long. I will say however, that I love You so very very much and I ask that You continue to do this work in my life...that You continue to draw me closer to You, that You continue to burn out everything that is not pleasing to You because I love You, You love me, You're my God and I am Your child.


In Jesus Name,

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