SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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Theme: The church is a soldier; the soldier's relationships; the soldier's enemy; the soldier's protection; the soldier's example . . . Paul was a good soldier of Christ; benediction
In the preceding chapter the church was elected as the bride of Christ. Here in this chapter the church is to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
In Ephesus there was the great temple of Diana, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. That temple stood for all that was pagan and heathen; it was grossly immoral. It was time for the believers in Ephesus to recognize that they had an enemy. But, not only did the Christians in Ephesus have an enemy, we too have an enemy today. Our enemy is not the worship at the temple of Diana. I think ours is much worse than that. Wicked immorality proudly prances around in the name of Christianity! My dear friend, wicked immorality is NOT Christian! Abortion, adultery, fornication, depravity, filthiness, homosexuality, lasciviousness, lewdness, lustful, uncleanness . . . NONE of these are to be tolerated by TRUE Christians! They totally oppose Christian graces!
Gal. 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (KJV)
Col.3:5-11 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. (KJV)
Rev. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (KJV)
Rev. 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (KJV) . . . Without = outside the TRUE church.
The preparation of a soldier must begin in the home when he is a child . . . not in the church or in the Sunday school but at home. Every child who does not get that first lesson is severely handicapped. One of the biggest problems of our young people today, is that they are not properly trained in the home. Proper training means discipline. Kids are NOT being disciplined in the home today.
The Duties of Children and Parents (Ephesians 6:1-4)
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (KJV)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord . . . with promptness and inward respect, as well as in the outward act. Obedience vs disobedience: (Mat.21:28-31). In the Lord . . . meaning parents who are TRUE Christians should be obeyed . . . because it is agreeable to the Lord’s will (Eph.5:21; Acts 5:29). Obey your parents: (Pro.23:22; Col.3:20).
For this is right . . . or just by the law of God.
Ephesians 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (KJV)
Honour thy father and mother . . . (Ex.20:12; Mat.15:4).
Which is the first commandment with promise . . . this is the first commandment with a Promise attached to it. The Promise was, that their days should be long in the land which the Lord their God would give them. It is not to be thought that observing the four first commandments would not come with a blessing, but that no specific blessing is promised. It does not refer to the obedience to God in general, but it is a precise assurance that they who honor their parents shall have a certain blessing as the result of that obedience.
Ephesians 6:3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. (KJV)
That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth . . . this Promise is still being fulfilled to believers, either in the thing itself here promised, or in a better way, God's giving them eternal life.
The Ten Commandments are not the standard for Christian living . . . BUT . . . that does NOT mean you can break them. A child in the home is to honor father and mother, and as we grow older, we are to continue to honor them by the life that we live.
All the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament with the exception of the commandment concerning the Sabbath day. Christians “Sabbath” day is Sunday, not Saturday. Honoring your father and mother carries with it a promise of long life to those who keep it, and that promise is repeated here by Paul. It is the first commandment with promise. The other commandments promised something if they were not kept, but they did not promise anything if they were kept.
I think our Commandments for today are: Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)
See end of chapter for comment on Ten Commandments.
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (KJV)
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath . . . by unreasonable severity, gloominess or unrighteous commands.
But bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord . . . nurture is encouraging and correcting them as the word shows (Heb.12:6-8). Admonition means instruction in their duty as well as correction to drive them to it. Of the Lord . . . the Lord Jesus Christ; so they are taught to be acquainted with Him.
Ephesians 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; (KJV)
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters . . . these servants were most often slaves. Christian liberty does not take away civil subjection. The servants were to obey, whether their masters were good or bad (1 Pet.2:18). In today’s world, this applies to employees.
According to the flesh . . . this is intended to limit the obligation to obedience. The meaning is, the masters had control over the body, the flesh. They could command the service which the body could render; but they had no power over the spirit. The soul acknowledged God alone as its Lord, and to the Lord alone they were to be subject in a higher sense than to their earthly masters.
With fear and trembling . . . with reverence and fear of offending them, and being punished by them (Rom.13:4), or with humility (Ps.2:11; 1 Cor.2:3; 2 Cor.7:15; Phil.2:12; Rom.11:20).
In singleness of your heart . . . with sincerity, and without deceitfulness.
As unto Christ . . . it is He who has commanded this obedience, and whom you should obey in yielding it to your masters.
Ephesians 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; (KJV)
Not with eyeservice . . . not just in the master’s presence, when they are watching you, like unfaithful and hypocritical servants do, without checking conscience in any part of their work.
If you accept wages from an employer, you must give him a full day’s work. (Acts 9:4-5).
As men-pleasers . . . this is persons who make it their only business to please their masters, right or wrong, and grovel themselves with them (teacher’s pets).
But as the servants of Christ . . . as those that are the servants of Christ, who seek to please Him.
Doing the will of God . . . barely obeying your masters as their will, but doing God's will. TRUE believers are in the state of bondage, and it is the will of God that you should act wisely in it.
Ephesians 6:7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: (KJV)
With good will doing service . . . not grudgingly or as of constraint, but freely and cheerfully.
As to the Lord, and not to men . . . not only considering men your masters, but Christ as your Great Master. Anything done for the worst of masters, and in the hardest things, is service done to Christ, when out of love to Him servants bear their masters' folly or cruelty. (Mat.5:10-12).
With good will . . . we should not consider our service to Jesus as a cross, and neither should we bear that service as a burden; but joyfully take it as coming from the order of God's providence, and a thing that is pleasing to Him.
Ephesians 6:8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. (KJV)
Whatsoever good thing any man doeth . . . as the servant of Christ Jesus and as to the Lord.
The same shall he receive of the Lord . . . although your masters should fail to give you the due reward of your loyalty and labor, yet, because you have done your work as unto the Lord, He will make sure to give you the proper payment.
Whether he be bond or free . . . bond is a slave, bought with money, free is a person who has hired himself of his own free accord. Our Master, Christ Jesus, does not consider those differences of men at the present, nor will He on Judgment Day (1 Cor.7:22; 12:13; Gal.3:28; Col.3:11). Thank You Jesus!
Ephesians 6:9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. (KJV)
And, ye masters, do the same things unto them . . . do your duty properly and equally to servants (Col.4:1). Act in the same affectionate, conscientious manner towards your slaves and servants, as they do towards you.
Forbearing threatening . . . if they should transgress at any time, lean more to mercy rather than justice; and when you must punish, let it be as light and as moderate as possible . . . with revenge having NO part in the discipline, for revenge is of the devil, NOT of God.
Knowing that your Master also is in heaven . . . a TRUE Christian here on Earth is a TRUE Christian in Heaven! As here on Earth, when masters deal with their servants, so too shall God deal with them. NO one is to think that because a servant’s condition on Earth is inferior to you, the master, that God considers them to be less worthy of His regard than you are.
Neither is there respect of persons with him . . . God is just, as well as powerful, and will NOT spare those who are masters, nor will He punish anyone because they are servants (Acts 10:34; Gal.2:6; Col.3:25). There is NO respect of persons with Almighty God. Before the holy and blessed God, ALL people are alike before Him, men, women, slaves, the poor and the rich.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (KJV)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might . . . strengthen yourselves; be courageous, and be constant in the practice of your duty against the devil and all his attacks. Be strong in the Lord . . . our strength lies not in ourselves, but in the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil.4:13; 2 Tim.2:1). And in the power of his might . . . His mighty power (Eph.1:19). Even though our own strength is total weakness, Christ's power is mighty, and He can transfer enough to you for any obstacle you face, IF you have faith in Him to do so.
Paul is talking about spiritual wickedness in this Passage, about that which is of the devil. You CANNOT overcome the devil with your own strength. It is impossible! Be strong in the Lord . . . JESUS is the only place you and I can get power.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (KJV)
Put on the whole armour of God . . . Paul is telling us that we need to be furnished with every grace that God has available. He says that NO part of us should be exposed to our enemies. Armour of God . . . not carnal, but spiritual, and given by God (verses 11 & 13; Rom.13:12; 2 Cor.6:7; 10:3-4; 1 Thes.5:8).
That ye may be able to stand . . . either to fight, or to overcome. He that loses the victory is said to fall; he that gains it, to stand (Ps.89:43).
Against the wiles of the devil . . . the devil uses skills and trickery, as well as force and violence, and for that reason, if any part of your spiritual armor is lacking, he will attack you where he finds you weakest.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (KJV)
We wrestle not against flesh and blood . . . men consist of flesh and blood (Mat.16:17; Gal.1:16).
But against principalities, against powers . . . spiritual powers, demons, devils, evil angels (Col.2:15; Eph.1:21).
Against the rulers of the darkness of this world . . . those who rule in the darkness or in the air, where and when God permits them to be for the punishment of men (Eph.2:2). These spiritual foes also rule in the dark minds of men. The devil is called the god of this world (2 Cor.4:4), and the prince of it (Jn.14:30). The darkness of this world here seems to be opposite of children of light (Eph.5:8).
Against spiritual wickedness . . . this is evil wicked spirits, definitely spiritual wickednesses, wickednesses of the highest kind; implying the intenseness of wickedness in those angelical beings, which are so much the more wicked.
In high places . . . meaning heavenly, taking heaven for the whole expanse, or spreading out of the air, between the earth and the stars, the air being the place from where the devils attack us (Eph.2:2).
The enemy whom the Christian is to fight is NOT flesh and blood. The enemy is spiritual, and the warfare is spiritual. That is why we need spiritual power. It is well to remember that the flesh of the believer is not what fights the enemy. The believer is to consider the flesh dead and to yield to God. The way of victory over the flesh is outlined in Romans 6. Fighting the old nature will lead to defeat, and Paul records such an experience in Romans 7. It is only God's armor that can withstand the strategy and onslaught of Satan who has all kinds of spiritual weapons. That is why it is so important for the Christian soldier to recognize that he does not fight an enemy who is flesh and blood.
Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (KJV)
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God . . . because we have such enemies to contend with, we must take unto you the whole armor of God (spiritual armor); which armor if you put on and use, shall be unassailable.
That ye may be able to withstand in the evil day . . . that ye may not only stand fast in the liberty with which Christ has made you free, but also unsettle all your spiritual foes; and maintain your ground against them, never putting off your armor, but standing always ready prepared to repel any new attack. By evil day we may understand any time of trouble, affliction and serious temptation. You may be able to withstand means to successfully resist.
And having done all, to stand . . . and having conquered all, stand firm in your faith.
God's armor is already made; all we have to do is to put it on. Paul's use of this image was easily grasped by the Ephesians, whose fairy-tale heroes were given armor by their gods.
Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (KJV)
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness . . . having your loins girt about with truth (2 Cor.1:12; 1 Tim.1:5,18; 3:9). The belt of truth holds the rest of the armor together. This girding was also a sign of alertness and readiness (Ex.12:11; Isa.5:27; 11:5; Lk.12:35). And having on the breastplate of righteousness (Isa.59:17; 1 The.5:8). Our most significant defense is the proof that we have been made right with God, and that this righteousness has been wrought in us by the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (KJV)
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace . . . feet shod with a special sandal or military shoe was worn by the soldier that protected his feet without slowing him down. Preparation . . . readiness. Of the gospel of peace (Lk.1:79; Rom.10:15). It is fitting that Gospel preaching is typified by the feet because in Greek the word for "gospel" was used in ancient times in connection with a runner (or messenger) returning from the battle site with news of victory. (Isa.52:7; Rom.10:15).
Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (KJV)
Above all, taking the shield of faith . . . the shield is very important and must always be carried. This symbol is taken from the Roman shield, which was a large oblong or oval, approximately four feet high by two feet wide.
Wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked . . . the ancient fire-dart was an arrow made of cane with a flammable head that was lighted and used to set fire to wood, tents, etc. of the wicked. Faith in Jesus conquers Satan's temptations to wrath, lust, despair, vengeance (1 Pet.5:9). Faith in Jesus overcomes sin and evil in the world (1 Jn.5:4), and will also overcome Satan, the ruler of this world (1 Jn.5:18).
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (KJV)
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God . . . a grace given by Christ, that we must put it on (1 Thes.5:8). The helmet represents a certain hope, with no chance of disappointment (Rom.5:5). The helmet is added to the shield of faith (Rom.5:1), to protect the head of the soldier. The head is the most fragile and the most important part of the body. The sword of the Spirit . . . is the only offensive weapon mentioned, and refers to "the Spirit," not "the sword." The Spirit is the word of God (see comments on Jn.6:63). http://www.godcannotlie.org/john_commentary_ch6.html
God's word, as Spirit, is our only offensive weapon. The way that Jesus used of God's Word in His temptation (Mat.4:4,7,10), should be a guide to the way we use it against Satan. Since there is no armor indicated for the back, we are never to turn our backs on our enemy. Our only safety lies in continually resisting the attack (Mat.4:11; Jam.4:7).
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (KJV)
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints . . . praying, this joins with the previous verse, for taking the helmet (Word of God) should always be accompanied by prayer. Supplication is appeals, petitions, pleas, requests. Praying always means "in every season," and means that we should pray at every opportunity (Col.4:2). Paul referring to Jesus’ words. Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (KJV)
It is the Spirit in us (Jn.14:16; Rom.8:9) who prays and enables us to pray (Rom.8:15,26; Gal.4:6; Jude 1:20). There are times when prayer overtakes the need for sleep (Eph.5:14; Ps.88;13; Mat.26:41), as when Anna kept a continuous watch in the Temple (Lk.2:37).
Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, (KJV)
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel . . . as Paul now comes to the conclusion of this Letter, he asks for prayer for himself. He was a prisoner in Rome, and he suffered from a thorn in the flesh (2 Cor.12:7), but he does NOT ask for prayer that these physical handicaps be removed, just that he might proclaim boldly the mystery of the Gospel (Eph.3:2-6). The Gospel is a mystery that was not revealed in the Old Testament as it is now. The New Testament clearly reveals that Christ died for the sins of the world (1 Jn.2:2), was buried, rose again on the third day. This is the Gospel and the message Paul was preaching.
Since the gospel is understood not by man's power of reason and understanding, but by God's revelation, bold, plain speech is needed. Paul did not depend upon his natural speaking ability, but depended on the Holy Spirit for right words to be given to him. Paul asked for the prayers from his brothers that he might be given the words to speak the mysterious Truth of the Gospel.
Ephesians 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (KJV)
For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak . . . the apostles, as sent by Christ with authority to speak in His Name, and to speak proposing the terms of reconciliation in the Gospel, were His ambassadors. As all TRUE ministers are sent by Christ, and are commissioned by Him to bring the terms of salvation, they too are entitled to the same honorable term. Paul was an ambassador in bonds (chains), but he did not lose his courage. He preached boldly as an ambassador of Christ Jesus. (2 Cor.5:20).
Ephesians 6:21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: (KJV)
But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do . . . Paul wanted the Ephesians and other churches to know of his circumstances, his health, as well as his situation, which was a matter of anxiety to his friends (Acts 28:30-31). How I do . . . could mean how I behave myself.
Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things . . . the apostle informs the Ephesians that he had sent Tychicus to them to relieve their anxiety concerning him, so that they also may know how he was and what he was doing.
Ephesians 6:22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. (KJV)
Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts . . . that ye might not faint at my tribulations (Eph.3:13). It might be a comfort to them to hear that Paul was alright, (setting aside his bonds), and had liberty to preach to those that came to him. Paul was sending Tychicus to them for the precise purpose, of informing them first hand; that they may know his circumstances, and that he may encourage their hearts, by putting them into fresh spiritual contact; telling them how "the same afflictions are being carried to their goal" (1 Pet.5:9), in their brethren in the great City of Rome. For there is no greater "encouragement" that goes deeper and leads higher than news of the grace of God being carried from heart to heart, from Church to Church.
Ephesians 6:23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV)
Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ . . . Paul prays for their continued increase in these graces, which already were begun in them. Peace is the Lord's full gift, the peace of His reconciliation (Rom.5;1), amply enjoyed, and the peace of His inward calm, filling the soul, and the peace of joint accord, blending all souls together, as the Holy Spirit brings them closer to "the Lord of Peace Himself " (2 Thes.3:16), and also closer to each other in Him. And love, the divine gift in all its aspects, poured from the very Being of Him who is Love (1 Jn.4:8); gives us more awareness of His eternal love, more of our returning love to Him, and more joy in one another's spiritual happiness. With faith, which also "is the gift of God" (Eph.2:8). Faith is a direct confidence, dependence and reliance on the Faithful Promiser, who will safeguard us now and for ever more.
Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. (KJV)
Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen . . . Paul prays here for all TRUE believers everywhere. In sincerity . . . IF you love the Lord Jesus sincerely, with a deep, heart-felt feeling, a passion where nothing can draw you away from the love of Christ, you are a TRUE child of God and you are indeed blessed, now and for ever more.
It seems that this Letter was written from Rome to the Ephesians by Tychicus.
Ten Commandments in the OT
Ten Commandments in the NT
1. You shall have no other gods before me. Ex.20:3
1. You shall worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Mat.4:10
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Ex.20:4
2. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” 1 Cor.10:14
3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Ex. 20:7
3. That the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.” 1 Tim.6:1
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labour, and do all your work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Ex.20:8-11
4. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Heb.4:4,9-10
5. Honour your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God giveth you. Ex.20:12
5. Honour your father and your mother. Mat.19:19
6. You shall not kill. Ex.20:13
6. You shall not kill. Rom.13:9
7. You shall not commit adultery. Ex.20:14
7. You shall not commit adultery. Mat.19:18
8. You shall not steal. Ex.20:15
8. You shall not steal. Rom.13:9
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. Ex.20:16
9. You shall not bear false witness. Rom.13:9
10. You shall not covet your neighbour's house, you shall not covet your neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is your neighbour's. Ex.20:17
10. You shall not covet. Rom.7:7
Do all Ten Commandments still stand today, or does the Bible indicate that we can now live in willful and deliberate sin? We are saved by the Grace of God through faith in Christ, BUT, is this a license to continue in sin? NO!!! Absolutely NOT!!! Jesus did NOT die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin or so we could go on living in sin! What is the only source of Truth (God’s Holy Word, the Bible) that we can fully trust, have to say on this very important topic? The above Scriptures should leave NO doubt as to the answers to these questions.
Book of Ephesians
Eph. ch.1 . . Eph. ch.2 . . Eph. ch.3 . . Eph. ch.4 . . Eph. ch.5 . . Eph. ch.6 . . Ephesians Special Comments