HOUSE of WISDOM
17 July 2013
Ephesians - Part 8 (Relationships)
This part of the study pertains to relationships and covers parts of chapter
5 and 6. Our way of thinking is always manifest by what we do - especially
how we act in relationships with close family, friends and strangers. You might
say, it is where the rubber meets the road - or, the proof of what you profess
to believe. The things described in the Bible are to be applied primarily inward.
However, the outward at times closely resembles the inward.
Verses 21-23: 21. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
22. Wives, submit (G5293) yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the
Lord. 23. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the
head of the church: and he is the Savior of the body. A husband and wife
are used as an allegory of the Christ and the church. The principles described
in the next few verses apply to both, to marriage and to our being spiritually
wed to Christ. So, a wife being subject to her husband is likened to members
of the body being subject to Christ, and individuals being subject to what
they believe. What is the Biblical concept of submission? How does this apply
in our everyday life? What does submit or not submit mean?
Biblical submission IS NOT one
person controlling another. It is not a wife being ordered around like a
slave to every whim of her husband, nor any person
treating another as they must do their bidding. That is the way the flesh operates.
Look at verse 22 again: a key phase regarding the wife’s submission to
her husband is, as unto the Lord. Does the Lord force submission? Or, is our
submission by our own choice?
Psalms 106:39-42: 39. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went
a whoring with their own inventions. 40. Therefore was the wrath of the Lord
kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
41. And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them
ruled over them. 42. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought
into subjection (H3665) under their hand.
The same Hebrew word for forced subjection is used also for voluntary subjection.
The word kana (H3665) is a primitive root with a primary meaning of to bend
the knee. In a negative context the word would indicate bring into subjection,
subdue, humble; and in a positive way to bend the knee would be to show humility,
obedience, a voluntary attitude of giving in. In the example above, Israel
became disobedient to the ways of the Lord, so when He backed away, the result
was their enemies oppressed and subjected them to their ways. On a personal
level, the main enemy is our corrupted way of thinking, which brings spiritual
bondage. Therefore, every relationship must be personal AND as unto the Lord
in order to work. There is always two sides in any relationship, and depending
on the parties, different ideas may apply. While there is more said about husbands
and wives, each entity is similar, as all submission is to be as unto the Lord.
Wife: For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head
of the church... (Eph 5:23). 1 Corinthians 11:3: But I would have you know,
that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man;
and the head of Christ is God. The last verse outlines gospel order ordained
by God, which in His wisdom, is for the benefit of all mankind. This idea comes
from the root of the Greek word hypotasso (G5293), which is derived from two
words meaning to arrange under in an orderly manner. Jesus is our example of
submission. Can you see how that false teachings about the Father and Son indirectly
destroy gospel order in the family? As spiritual marriage to Christ is the
strength of individuals and couples, the marriage institution is the strength
of a nation. When families become spiritually dysfunctional, the whole nation
The problem today is making gospel order work in a sinful environment. This
requires every individual to do their part in having a proper relationship
with Christ - i.e. Christ should be first. It requires a knowledge of how the
change of one’s thinking to a more spiritual level is reflected by a
humble spirit . When this is done, husbands and wives are better able to work
out together, decisions concerning finances, children, etc. and to cope with
problems that come up from time to time. Personal and family prayer also, is
an important part of the process.
Ephesians 5:24: Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the
wives be to their own husbands in every thing. If the church is subject, then
everyone in the church is subject to Christ in everything. ...and the wife
see that she reverence her husband (Eph 5:33). What does it mean for a wife
to reverence her husband? It is to show a deep respect and honor toward him.
Colossians 3:18: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is
fit in the Lord.
Husband: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and
gave himself for it (Eph 5:25). This is a clear and strong statement for husbands,
as Christ gave His life for the church. Ephesians 5:28-29: 28. So ought men
to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.
29. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it,
even as the Lord the church: How a man treats and cares for his own body is
a metaphor of how he should treat his wife. As Christ is gracious toward the
church, so should a husband be to his wife. Colossians 3:19: Husbands, love
your wives, and be not bitter against them. Ultimately, Christ is likened to
a husband/bridegroom and saints as wife/bride. Revelation 19:7-8: 7. Let us
be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is
come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8. And to her was granted that
she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is
the righteousness of saints. Any and all submission begins in the heart.
Children: Ephesians 6:1-3: 1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for
this is right. 2. Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment
with promise;) 3. That it may be well with thee, and thou may live long on
the earth. Colossians 3:20: Children, obey your parents in all things: for
this is well pleasing unto the Lord. As a youngster, I was taught to speak
and act respectfully to my elders, parents or not. How many children today
are taught to say “yes sir” or “yes ma’am?” Are
they being taught to stand when an elder enters the room, especially the young
men when a lady enters?
Verse three is a partial quote of the fifth commandment , but somewhat vague.
Here is the last part quoted from the O.T.: ...that thy days may be long upon
the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee (Ex 20:12). The last phrase in
the N.T. should read and thou may live long on the land - meaning only the
arable, or inhabitable land. In Paul’s letter, he tells the children
to obey their biological parents, but the fifth commandment stresses obedience
(submission) to your spiritual parents. While “longer life” may
be a secondary benefit, the primary promise is that we may live long in the “promise
land,” a type of the mind of Christ. Our heavenly Father births us spiritually
through His Son with the word of truth. (Cf Jam 1:17-18; Jn 1:1 the word; Jn
14:6 the truth).
Fathers: Ehpesians 6:4: And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath:
but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The most important
aspect of raising children is to teach them about God. Proverbs 22:6: Train
up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart
from it. This principle worked in my life, and I have seen it work in the lives
of others. The most important part of training a young person is to live what
you want them to learn. Be loving, caring, patient and kind, even with discipline.
Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged (Col
Elders/Aged: Titus 2:2, 6-8: 2. That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate,
sound in faith, in [love], in patience.... 6. Young men likewise exhort to
be sober minded. 7. In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works:
in doctrine showing incorruptness, gravity (seriousness), sincerity, 8. Sound
speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may
be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
Titus 2:3-5: 3. The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes
holiness, not false accusers (G1228), not given to much wine, teachers of good
things; 4. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands,
to love their children, 5. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient
to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Note: G1228
= diabolos translated devil 35/38 times.
Grandparents have certain wisdom because of their experience in life and learning
from their mistakes. They can be very instrumental in teaching the young and
having a positive influence on them. Again it comes down to living a life as
it is in the Lord.
Servants/Masters: In modern times these terms relate more to employers/employees
and to government leadership. Ephesians 6:5-9: 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; 6. Not with eye service, as men
pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7. With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8. Knowing
that whatsoever good thing any man does, the same shall he receive of the Lord,
whether he be bond or free. 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. Note - according to the flesh, not the
1 Peter 2:11-17: 11. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims,
abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12. having your conversation
(conduct) honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as
evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God
in the day of visitation. 13. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for
the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14. Or unto governors,
as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for
the praise of them that do well. 15. For so is the will of God, that with well
doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16. As free, and
not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of
God. 17. Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. Again,
this is according to the flesh and not in spiritual things. What if an ordinance
goes against the conscience of a servant of Christ?
Three men, friends of Daniel, refused to obey the ordinance of the King of
Babylon. They were prepared to give their lives to remain obedient to God:
Daniel 3:16-18: 16. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the
king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17.
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery
furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18. But if not,
be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship
the golden image which thou hast set up. They were faithful in spiritual things.
Seek the Lord and let your conscience be you guide.
This was not meant to be an in-depth study of these topics, and may generate
more questions than answers for you. What ever the situation, what ever the
questions, seek the Lord for answers and listen to the still small voice. Ephesians
6:10: Finally, my brethren, be strong (empowered) in the Lord, and in the power
(strength) of his might (ability). As we learn to deal with the inward man,
and become transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2), our strength
in the Lord will grow. So will our positive influence on others and our spiritual
subjection. We receive and plant seeds, and in the end, it is God who gets
the increase. Amen.
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