21 Tychicus, my dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will make everything known to you, so that you too may know about my circumstances, how I am doing. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.
23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
14 Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace, 16 and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). 18 With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and petitions for all the saints. 19 Pray for me also, that I may be given the right words when I begin to speak – that I may confidently make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak.
Exhortations for Spiritual Warfare
10 Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand.
- Of the categories of people mentioned, which one were you in?
- Consistently choosing the clearly right choice, or
- Knowing the clearly right choice on Sunday morning, but choosing the clearly wrong alternative in a certain setting, or
- Honestly having a tough time preferring the clearly right choice
- When (in your day/week/year/life) is it the most difficult to choose the ‘call of the Church’ over the ‘standard of the world’?
- Does the exhortation to ‘wake up and rise from the dead’ feel more like another obligation that you need to do in your spiritual life OR an invitation to reconciliation/redemption/restoration/resurrection? Explain.
- With where God has you, what is the ‘right thing’ you need to choose this week?
Live in Love
5 Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children 2 and live in love, just as Christ also loved us andgave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. 3 But among you there must not be either sexual immorality, impurity of any kind, or greed, as these are not fitting for the saints. 4 Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting – all of which are out of character – but ratherthanksgiving. 5 For you can be confident of this one thing: that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy(such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Live in the Light
6 Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be sharers with them, 8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you arelight in the Lord. Live like children of light – 9 for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth – 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For the things they do in secret are shameful even to mention. 13 But all things being exposed by the light are made visible. 14 For everything made visible is light, and for this reasonit says:
“Awake, O sleeper!
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you!”
15 Therefore consider carefully how you live – not as unwise but as wise, 16 taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise by understandingwhat the Lord’s will is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
5 Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ, 6 not like those who do their work only when someone is watching – as people-pleasers – but as slaves of Christ doing the will of God from the heart. 7 Obey with enthusiasm, as though serving the Lord and not people, 8 because you know that each person, whether slave or free, if he does something good, this will be rewarded by the Lord.
9 Masters, treat your slaves the same way, giving up the use of threats, because you know that both you and they have the same master in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment accompanied by a promise, namely, 3 “that it will go well with you and that you will live a long time on the earth.”
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but raise them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Exhortations to Households
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, 23 because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church (he himself being the savior of the body). 24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her 26 to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word, 27 so that he may present the church to himself as glorious – not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one has ever hated his own body, but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great – but I am actually speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.