Ephesians Session 9-
A community living in harmony. 

Please click here to listen to the audio of Pete & Liz Douglas teaching from Ephesians chapter five.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ 

Eph 5:21

EPHESIANS 5: vv21-33
EPHESIANS 5 V22 – Submit yourselves to your own husband as you do to the Lord.
The important part, for me at least, in this verse is the last 6 words in that sentence. 
AS YOU DO TO THE LORD
This section gives us a picture of how submission should work for both husbands and wives, but also of how we as a Christian Community should function.
We have the example given by Christ as he lived here on earth.
  1. God the Father is the head                           Christ is the Head                        
  2. Jesus is the bridegroom of the church           Husbands are to take their example 
    loves and cares for us                                 from Christ and love their wives.
  3. The Church, the Bride of Christ,                    Wives submit to their husbands
  4. submits to Jesus                                         as they do to the Lord.
                                                                                                                   
This is an important lesson for us all in learning to live as a community of God’s people. Its a guide as to how we can live in harmony one with another. A WORKING out of love one for another.
 
A significant point to make at this time is that the Word does not say

“HUSBANDS GET YOUR WIVES TO SUBMIT TO YOU”


Just as Jesus never forces us to do His will but gently guides and instructs us in the way we should go neither does the husband order the wife in a harsh unloving or selfish manner. The Husband is the head of the household, just as Jesus is head of the church. There is no discussion just a statement of fact.
 
Yes we as wives are to submit to our husbands. That submission does not mean to become a doormat, it simply means putting him first, as we would the rest of the church community as we work out our love for one another. It means to honour and respect him. It does not mean getting involved with what has almost become a national pastime of ridiculing your husband at every ‘girlie’ get together. 
 
This harmony is not just for husband and wives but I believe it is something that the whole church needs to embrace – as in verse 21 – Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
As we acknowledge Christ in one another we will learn to love each other more, submitting to one another, and to live in harmony as a community – loving and caring for one another, deferring to one another, and in this way show Christ to the world.
 
Mutual submission does not, however mean that there is no authority in the church or home, Christ is still Head of the church and the husband is still the head of the wife. Nor does it mean being a doormat or compromising on matters of truth or biblical principle.
The apostle Paul, who wrote this passage, is the same man who publicly confronted none other than the apostle Peter about his hypocrisy (Gal 2:11-14). Being submissive does not mean being weak.
 

MUTUAL SUBMISSION DOES MEAN:

 
We need to adopt a servant attitude and lifestyle. We are to follow the example of Jesus, who, being Lord and Master, equal with God, laid aside his rights, took a towel and did the job of the most lowly household servant, washing the disciples feet. He told his disciples – If I have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.  In this serving Jesus did not abandon his God given authority, HE Still Is Lord, but rather here he shows the need for us to get our focus off ourselves and onto what God wants, serving others for His sake.
 
It means being at rest.
 A submissive person is not striving for their rights, demanding equal treatment. When you submit you have given up that fight, you have said “OK God, I am trusting you to meet my need. In implementing that trust we no longer have anything to prove.
 
Growing in Godly character qualities.
It means not being cantankerous, pushy, self-willed and difficult to get along with. Ephesians 4:2 tells us “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love”. Our lives are to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. Both those in authority and those under authority are to be marked by the fruit of the Spirit. In that way we are no longer self-serving but Christ serving.
 
There is an ordained order for the church and home in which male and female are to reflect God’s image.  Jesus sets us a good example of this in John 5:30 when he says “For I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” We see here that although equal with God Jesus yields himself to the will of God.
As a church, if we wish to live in harmony as God has ordained we need to focus more and more on God’s will and less and less on our own. In that way we can please God and demonstrate his love to the world around us.  
 
Pete and Liz Douglas, 27/07/2015