Well-Prepared Christians (1)

LeRoy Koopman

READ : Ephesians 6:13-14   When I was a child, my Sunday school lessons sometimes included pictures of a fully-armed Roman soldier, with various parts of his equipment labeled according to Ephesians 6. To this day I remember the hardware, but—unfortunately—not the spiritual defenses they represented. So today and tomorrow we’re going to think in spiritual terms rather than in military ones. To be strong as Christians we need to know the truth (v. 14a). There are many areas of …

The Christian Struggle

LeRoy Koopman

READ : Ephesians 6:10-12   Sometimes the Christian life is quiet and pastoral, one in which God leads us beside the still waters and restores our soul (Ps. 23:2). At other times God sends us on a fatiguing foot race (Heb. 12:1), and at still other times God leads us into a dangerous battle. It is this battle which we will study for the next few days. One of the important first principles of fighting battles is to fight the …

Obedient Slaves and Decent Masters

LeRoy Koopman

READ : Ephesians 6:5-9   This passage upsets some folks. They suggest that Paul should have initiated a “free the slaves” movement in the Roman empire, calling Christians to destroy the unjust and inhuman institution of slavery. Eventually that did happen. Down through the years Christians have often been on the leading edge of social reform, and rightly so. Nor can we today separate our private lives from our lives as citizens. But we also have to be realistic. It …

Obedient Children and Pleasant Dads

LeRoy Koopman

READ : Ephesians 6:1-4   Children, why should you obey your parents? Because they are usually right? Because they will punish you if you don’t or reward you if you do? All of the above are probably true, but Paul gives one simple (some would say “simplistic”) reason: “for this is right” (v. 1). Some things are right because they are right. And they are right because God says they are right. No amount of educational, psychological, or sociological theorizing …

Some Lessons in Love

LeRoy Koopman

READ : Ephesians 5:25-33   It would seem that Paul’s advice to husbands is clear-cut: “Husbands, love your wives” (v. 25). But wait a minute. First Paul said that husbands and wives should “be subject to one another” (v. 21). So there are really two commands here for every husband: be subject to your wife (v. 21) and love your wife (v. 25). Let’s consider some of the implications of that second command. Paul uses two rather remarkable images to …

That Troublesome “Obey”

LeRoy Koopman

READ : Ephesians 5:21-24   If I hadn’t committed myself to writing this month’s meditations on the entire letter to the Ephesians, I’d skip these verses. No matter what I say about them, I’ll make somebody angry. So I’ll just go ahead and make somebody angry. There are two extremes, it seems to me, in interpreting the “wives, be subject” verse. One temptation is for men to use it as an unholy whip to demand subjection on the part of …