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John Brown :: Ephesians 5:18-24

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A. For the last few week in our study of Ephesians, we have been looking at what the behavior of a Christian should be.

1. Last week we stopped at the end of Chapter 5 verse 20, where the Apostle Paul has just told the Ephesian Christians (in brief), about the relationship they should have with the Holy Spirit.

2. The rest of Chapter 5 and at least the first 9 verses are based upon that relationship with the Holy Spirit, so we will begin our study tonight by recapping verses 18-20 of Chapter 5.


A. Ephe 5:18-20 (NKJV) And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1. As we said last week, it is never proper for a Christian to get drunk!

a) And as we also said last week, that poses a problem for the Christian who allows themselves the liberty of drinking.

(1) They have to determine where to "draw the line".

(2) In other words, at what point do you cross over the line to where you become intoxicated?

2. Paul says that it is much more productive to sing songs and hymns about and to the Lord as a thanksgiving for His goodness in our lives!

3. And then the Apostle give us the key to Godly submission.

B. Ephe 5:21 (NKJV) submitting to one another in the fear of God.

1. Please notice that 18 through 21 is all one big, long verse!

a) In other words, a Christian's behavior should always be predicated upon respect (fear) for the Lord!

b) And out of respect for the Lord, we will respect His Godly order of doing things!

2. In life, there is always someone in authority over us, and often, there is someone whom we are in authority over. God's "chain-of-command" if you will.

a) That is not an accident, it is part of His plan!

b) Matt 8:5-10 (NKJV) Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented." 7 And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him." 8 The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 "For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this [one], `Go,' and he goes; and to another, `Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, `Do this,' and he does [it]." 10 When Jesus heard [it], He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!

(1) Jesus was impressed with this man's faith and ability to understand submission!

(2) He knew that Jesus was there to do the Father's will, not His own, and he also knew that because of Jesus' authority, all He had to do was speak and it would be carried out!

(3) This is the heart the Lord wants us to develop.

(a) He want us to have the faith to know that HE is ultimately in charge.

(b) Perhaps this "submission" thing would be easier to understand put a different way.

(i) Roma 12:3-4 (NKJV) For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think [of] [himself] more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,

(ii) Phil 2:3-8 (NKJV) [Let] nothing [be] [done] through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, [and] coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to [the] [point] [of] death, even the death of the cross.

(iii) Christians are supposed to be "others" oriented, not "self" seeking!

3. Now, even with the mutual loving submission that Christians should for each other, we still have to factor in God's "order" of doing things.

a) Everything in the universe is in "hupatasso" = submission!

b) When it gets out of order we call them "natural disasters."

c) The same thing occurs in an individual's life, in a family, or even in a church when God's order is ignored.

d) That is why Paul goes to great lengths to help us understand that order.

(1) He has dealt with it first as individuals in verse 21. Now he deals with this order between husbands and wives.

(a) In Chapter 6 he will discuss this order in regards to parents and children, and also, employers and employees!

Marriage is like taking an airplane to Florida for a relaxing vacation in January, and when you get off the plane you find that you are in the Swiss Alps. There's cold and snow instead of swimming and sunshine. Well, after you buy winter clothes, learn how to ski, and talk a foreign language, you can have just as good a vacation in the Swiss Alps as you could have had in Florida. It is just as big a surprise when you get off the honeymoon plane and find that everything is far different than what you expected!!

C. Ephe 5:22 (NKJV) Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

1. Two things I would like to point out here:

a) Wives are asked to give their husbands the same loving submission that they do the Lord!

(1) Actually "because" of the Lord.

(2) Trusting in the Lord even more than they do their husbands.

(3) Like the Romans Centurion, having enough faith to know that the Lord has given him that position for His reason!

b) The second thing I would like to point out here is that Paul says, submit to your own husbands!

(1) Often, wives have no problem submitting to "husbands" in the work environment, but have a very difficult time doing the same thing at home!

(2) I think this verse gives us a hint that the Lord considers it more important at home!

(a) Especially in the context of our study regarding Christian Behavior.

(b) Now Paul goes on to explain to wives, why this is right.

D. Ephe 5:23 (NKJV) For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

1. I think pastors throughout the world have had women leave the church when they teach on these verses.

a) Today's "modern, liberated woman" (even many Christian women), doesn't like the idea of her husband having any kind of authority over her at all.

(1) Yet, as I have said, many of those same women will willingly submit to a male boss or co-worker without issue!

(2) I think the problem is a basic understanding of the husband's role and the term the husband is head of the wife.

(a) This Greek word 2776 kephale {kef-al-ay'} has several meanings:

(i) In relationship to the body, it is the center of life and awareness.

(ii) Metaphorically speaking it is used for anything supreme, chief, prominent

(a) In other words it is used for people when they are considered to be a master or lord: Which is exactly the relationship Paul is talking about here!

(b) And it is also used when speaking of Christ, as the Lord of the husband and of the Church

(c) When it is used to speak of things, it means the corner stone

(3) Perhaps it is not a misunderstanding of what this means at all that makes it hard for most wives to do what Paul asks.

(a) Maybe it is because they do understand and just can't see their husbands in the same light the Lord does!

(i) For the men, I want to point out as Paul has that Jesus' role also included Savior of the body!

(a) We will get into how that needs to be carried out in your role to your wife also a little later.

(ii) Let's go on.

E. Ephe 5:24 (NKJV) Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in everything.

1. In other words, in God's order, where her husband is concerned, Jesus is in authority over him.

a) Meaning, he will have to answer to the Lord for his stewardship of his family and his treatment of you!

b) The word "everything" means that a wife should develop the Godly discipline of trusting the Lord to work through her husband in every area.

(1) Please understand, this does not cancel out all the other scriptures regarding sin!

(2) If a husband is asking his wife to sin, the Lord does not require submission!!

(3) Next week we will deal with the expected godly behavior of a Christian husband.

Ephesians 5:1-18 ← Prior Section
Ephesians 5:25-33 Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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