Previously in this letter to the church in Ephesus, the apostle Paul has laid out the basics of the Gospel message and in our passage last week we he tells the church that through Christ not only are we saved for eternity but we are also spiritually enlightened now, to live as God would have us live.
Today’s passage takes us from the big picture to the small regarding how Jesus Christ’s body is to live. We will look at the lure of substances and their influence and one of the fundamental relationships in the church community: Marriage.
Last Week: Ephesians 5:15
15 So pay close attention to how you conduct your daily life, don’t live like you’re without divine wisdom, but rather as one who is spiritually enlightened.
- Live based on the Spiritual Wisdom God Has given through Christ
- The rest of the letter is specifics of this general idea
16 Make the most of today’s opportunities. This world is corrupt, 17 so don’t ignore what you can clearly perceive The Lord’s will to be.
- Use the time you have to do God’s will: TODAY!
- Each ‘Prisoner’ of Christ is should be a tool for God to fight corruption
- Figure out what HE would have you do and get going at it!
18 For example; don’t use wine to get intoxicated, that habit is a corrupt influence. Instead, make it a habit to be under the influence of God’s Spirit.
- Not just wine this can be applied to any intoxicating substance
- The language is clear that the condemnation is on ‘Getting Drunk’
- You can have too much to drink and then you can habitually get drunk
- This is about seeking alternate reality, altered state of mind
- Wine only way then, now: drugs, gambling, pornography, video games
- Combined problem of inebriation & being under something’s influence
- Instead of non reality, WE place ourselves under the influence of H.S.
19 Together, passionately sharing sacred songs of honest praise, raising voices and instruments to The Lord. 20 Giving thanks to Our Father God, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, in all circumstances and for all things.
- This is what it looks like when you are constantly ‘In The Spirit’
- Unity, passion, honesty, collaboration & use of gifts: How the church should be!
- The more we let the Spirit of God influence our lives the more thankful we get
21 Subordinate yourselves to each other out of devotion to Christ.
- When you are ‘spiritually enlightened’ this makes sense
- The next 23 verses are devoted to specific examples of this command
- WHAT: all must ‘Respectfully Defer’ to each other in The Local Body
- WHY: Jesus Christ: because of what He’s done for you & done to you
- HOW: Specific relational attitudes, values, norms and behaviors
- All of it flows from a relationship with Christ (you need it to live this way)
22 Wives, respect your husband’s headship out of reverence to the Lord. 23 Because the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church, each one the protector of that body. 24 Again, as The Church is subordinate to Christ, so wives are to husbands in all respects.
- Often translated ‘Submit’. Current societal definition has changed
- It is not oppression / slavery / dominance (different words)
- The role God has designed for women in this relationship after the fall
- Pronounced in Gen. 3 …’Your husband will have dominion over you.’
- Dominion is ‘Benevolent Headship’
- Headship is not about equality it is about roles
25 Husbands, generously love you wife like Christ loves the church; sacrificing himself for her holiness, 26 purifying her through the cleansing power of His will. 27 Personally consecrating those He sets apart to holiness, purified and flawless without any kind of blemish.
- The basis of a husband’s ‘Benevolent Headship’ is Christ
- What Christ does for each of His ‘Called Out Ones’ (The Church)
- Sacrifices Himself to make the other Holy
- Relationally & Personally He makes us pure of sins eternal consequences
- And He is purifying us and setting us apart as HIS PERFECT POSSESSION
- Husbands are called to model this goal; the betterment of their wife
28 Likewise husbands are to lavish love upon their own wife like they do their own body. Those who abundantly love their wife truly love themselves. 29 Accordingly, no one detests their own body, instead it is sustained and cherished. 30 Since we are parts of Christ’s body He sustains and cherishes us, The Church.
- The emphasis is on the priority of the of love from husband to wife, automatic!
- Loving as naturally as we feed, rest, nurture and protect ourselves as JOB #1
31 As a picture of this relationship a man leaves His Father and Mother and cleaves closely to his wife, the two even become one person. 32 This relates to the profound mystery which I am declaring, that of Christ and The Church.
- Biblical marriage is a picture of Christ and His Church
- ‘Leave & Cleave’ is about total commitment
- God’s ideal for marriage: one man & one woman become one flesh
33 This is important for the whole community: Husbands, love your wives as you love yourselves. Wives, respect your husbands.
- The entire body is to be united in this view of marriage
- Supporting it as a high priority cultural value
- The basic need of every woman is to be loved
- The basic need of every man is to be respected
Christ’s Enlightened Church cannot afford to ignore God’s revealed will, we are here to check corruption.
There is temptation to seek ‘AlteredStates’…be repentant about your mistakes and don’t let any THING own you.
When we let the Holy Spirit own us we worship communally from the heart, by The Spirit, to The Father in The Name of Christ: ‘Trinitarian Worship’!
When we let The Holy Spirit own us we subordinate ourselves to each other because of what Christ has done for us, expressing our honest adoration.
Biblically married wives are to live the willingly subordinate to their husbands headship, placing themselves under the ‘Spiritual Protection of their husbands as Christ protects His Body.
Biblically married husbands are to practice benevolent headship of their wife. Sacrificially loving their wives as if they were themselves, like Christ loves His Body.
Biblical marriage is a meant to display the two God given roles of a man and a woman complementing each other. It is to be an earthly example of way Christ and His church relate to each other. As Christ’s Bride we get to have Him love us and we respect His benevolent headship.
What has God revealed to you about His will that you are ignoring?
How can you intentionally practice subordinating yourself to others in this church body?
As a married person how do you need to grow in fulfilling your God given marriage role?
As an unmarried person how can you support and defend Biblical Marriage in this church body?