An Ordered Life #11
Lesson 11. An Ordered Life Paul adds an ordered life as another response from those who receive God's blessings of salvation.
Intro - Review Man’s obligations in response to God’s offer of spiritual blessings:
Obligations of the church in response to God’s offer
A. Unity B. Righteous Lifestyle
Life beyond Reproach
An Ordered Life
An ordered life includes:
A. Ordered Family
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
v22 - The example of submission is Jesus
v23 - The order of the family is given just like the order of the Church
v24 - Submission is not about inferiority or being lesser than. Submission is about order. Because order is the precursor to Peace/ Harmony/ Shalom.
- 5:22-6:4 When there is submission, it creates harmony between what is seen and what is not seen in the spiritual world.
Confusion of roles within marriage is a major cause of conflict and divorce.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
This brings us to husbands. Again, Paul mentions only one thing about them but it describes the attitude towards their wives that will set the "tone" for the entire relationship. Love your wives!
Greek words for the English word - Love
Love has many expressions and words that describe it.
In the Greek language, which is the original language of the New Testament, there are various Greek words that are translated into the English word "love." For example, the Greek word
"eros" refers to love in a sensual way; sexual love, the love of art and music are described by this word. The Greek word
"phileos," on the other hand, describes the non-sexual love that two friends might share, or the emotion that drives philanthropic giving. Another Greek word,
"storgos" describes the love that exists between family members. Now these three types of love exist in most marriages and describe how relationships evolve.
However, the word that Paul uses to describe the love that a man must have for his wife is the Greek word
"agapao," a word that describes the type of love that is sacrificial in nature, and in the next verses he gives Jesus as the example of this kind of sacrificial love.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Again, Christ is the example. As the head of the church, He loves and cares for the body in all patience, tenderness and necessary sacrifice. That is why the church happily submits to Jesus.
Jesus’ Love Included:
His death to save the church
His teachings to guarantee her life
His care to draw her near to him
Jesus' love for his bride, the church, included:
His death to save her,
His teachings to guarantee her life, and
His care to completely purify her and give her an irrevocable position next to Him in heaven.
Vs. 25a Vs. 25b-27 Eph 5:28-30
28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.
Every husband has a degree of sensuality, friendliness and sense of belonging in a family, but for his attitude to be raised to a spiritual level, there needs to exist a readiness to love his wife in a sacrificial way.
This is what Christ demands of husbands in a marriage. Why? Because in the marriage the two become one, and when a man loves his wife he is loving himself.
Questions Before Marriage
Is she willing to submit to me?
Am I willing to lead?
Am I willing to sacrifice for her?
This is what young men should look for and consider before they marry:
is the girl ready to submit to him in marriage?
Is he prepared to provide leadership?
Is he able to sacrifice himself for her?
Provide for her and family, place her needs before his own, and able to treat her as a special gift from God, give her honor and respect?
Or, does he only want her because she will satisfy his needs (especially sexually),
take care of his home (spoil him), and replace his mother?
If men knew how to be the head of their wives as Christ is the head of the church – women would happily submit themselves to their leadership.
If men knew how to be the head of their wives as Christ is head of the church, women would happily submit themselves to their leadership.
31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Paul summarizes God's plan for orderliness in marriage.
The original plan requires that the couple stop relying on their parents and begin relying on each other.
It also demands that the marriage be contracted as one man and one woman faithfully married to one another for life.
This model for marriage is heavenly in nature because it reflects the union that Christ has with His church.
Within that relationship the basic attitudes are:
the wife submits to her husband in all things, and
the husband loves his wife with a sacrificial love as he loves himself.
Vs. 31 Vs. 32 Vs. 33 Paul now speaks to children about the ordered life.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Paul has spoken to wives and husbands, and now addresses the third part in the family unit: the children. Order in a family requires that the mothers and fathers maintain certain attitudes and rules, and that children obey these rules. Again, Paul doesn't give all the details about the children's role and obligations, just the basic one found in the Old Testament. This is a variation of the commandment in Exodus 20:12
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
Children are to obey their parents (because of the Lord and according to the Lord). The obedience to parents is limited to those things that the Lord would require. In Exodus the promise is that those who do obey would have a long life in the Promised Land. Paul revises this promise so that it will include Gentiles.
Paul then adds an exhortation to fathers in the way they bring up their children. The command for children to obey is tempered with an appeal to fathers not to use their authority in such a way as to provoke their children to become angry or discouraged. Children have feelings and to provoke them to helpless anger is wrong. Instead, Paul says that fathers should raise their children according to the discipline and teachings of Christ.
In those days the father had the power of life and death over their young ones, and the children had no rights. Paul urges fathers to actually direct the upbringing of their children according to the practice and teaching of Jesus, and not according to the social customs of the time or their personal whims. The same holds true for today where the cardinal sin of fathers is not harshness or cruelty, but neglect and a poor example. So Paul concludes his instructions for an orderly family by stating that the duty of children is to obey parents, and that of fathers is to lead in the raising of children.
This is contrary to the pattern we too often see in today's society where the wife and mother becomes a type of matriarch, and dominates both her husband and children contrary to God's will.
Vs. 6:1-3 Vs. 6:4
An Ordered Life Includes:
An ordered family
An orderly society
As I mentioned before, the fourth requirement of righteousness is ordered living and Paul breaks this into two main components: ordered families and ordered society. A righteous man or woman will strive to pattern his/her family according to the order that Christ provides in His word. That same person will also strive to pattern his position in society according to the will of Christ as well. In these few verses, Paul will explain the responsibility of the two main positions within the society of that era: masters and slaves. He will show that regardless of one's position in society (master/slave), a righteous person conducts himself in the order that Christ has given. Eph 6:5-8
5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free.
1. Slaves - vs. 5-8 Again, Paul does not give all the details concerning the life and work of a slave. There were various classes of slaves in that society, and each had their own degree of responsibility. The key ingredient Paul urged them to cultivate was "sincere obedience." This required them to obey with the knowledge that their masters were masters of only their bodies, not their souls.
He instructs them to obey with respect and with the same enthusiasm that they would obey Christ. They were not to act as hypocrites towards their masters by feigning outward submissiveness while despising them in their hearts. Paul says that they should obey with sincere good will knowing that serving in this way fulfills the will of God in this matter, and that God will reward both slave and master in the end.
Paul doesn't promote or defend slavery (I Corinthians 7:21), he simply gives those in that position the way to live so as to please the Lord, and in doing so demonstrate their righteousness, even as slaves. In the end, history demonstrates that the rise and practice of Christianity, and not open rebellion, did away with slavery in most countries.
9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
2. Masters - vs. 9
Paul finishes with a word to masters. There were Christians who owned slaves in those days (i.e. Philemon). This was the structure of that society. A "household" included family and slaves as part of one unit. To the masters Paul gives one reminder and that is that everyone (slave or master) has the same "Master" in heaven who will judge all. A judge who will not be favorable to one or the other. All will be judged according to the same standard and righteousness according to God's word. If this is so, then they should stop using coercion and violence to motivate their slaves. Again, an attitude of fairness and respect carried over to today's employees. The unsaid idea is that they should use what the Master uses to motivate us: kindness, teaching, encouragement, generosity and not just authority.
Obligations of the church in response to God’s offer
Life Beyond Reproach
An Ordered Life
Summary An ordered life before God requires:
Order in one’s Family
Order in Society