J.B. Phillips New Testament
Children and parents: servants and masters
6 1-3 Children, the right thing for you to do is to obey your parents as those whom God has set over you. The first commandment to contain a promise was: ‘Honour your father and your mother, that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth’.
4 Fathers, don’t over-correct your children or make it difficult for them to obey the commandment. Bring them up with Christian teaching in Christian discipline.
5-8 Slaves, obey your human masters sincerely with a proper sense of respect and responsibility, as service rendered to Christ himself; not with the idea of currying favour with men, but as the servants of Christ conscientiously doing what you believe to be the will of God for you. You may be sure that God will reward a man for good work, irrespectively of whether the man be slave or free.
9 And as for you employers, be as conscientious and responsible towards those who serve you as you expect them to be towards you, neither misusing the power over others that has been put in your hands, nor forgetting that you are responsible yourselves to a heavenly employer who makes no distinction between master and man.
Be forewarned and forearmed in your spiritual conflict
10-18 In conclusion be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armour so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organisations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armour of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground. Take your stand then with truth as your belt, righteousness your breastplate, the Gospel of peace firmly on your feet, salvation as your helmet and in your hand the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Above all be sure you take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile the enemy hurls at you. Pray at all times with every kind of spiritual prayer, keeping alert and persistent as you pray for all Christ’s men and women.
19-20 And pray for me, too, that I may be able to speak freely here to make known the secret of that Gospel for which I am, so to speak, an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may speak out about it as my plain and obvious duty.
21-22 Tychicus, beloved brother and faithful minister, will tell you personally what I am doing and how I am getting on. I am sending him to you bringing this letter for that purpose, so that you will know exactly how we are and may take fresh heart:
23 Peace be to all Christian brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
24 Grace be with all those who sincerely love our Lord Jesus Christ.