Christ and Our Relationships

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Getting close to the end of Ephesians.
Paul has moved from the theological instruction of what it means to be a Christian, where we learned about
God has had a plan for our salvation since the formation of the world
Spiritually dead because of our trespasses and sins
God made atonement for sins, forgiving our sins through the death of Jesus on the cross
We are now saints, children of God who will inherit an eternal Kingdom
All because of the wonderful work of Jesus on a Cross, and we receive this amazing gift (not the right word) through faith
Paul then moved toward the life of a Christian
That we have this new life, not just a changed life, but a supernatural born again life, because of our faith in Jesus Christ
And We are to live out or walk this new life through imitating our heavenly Father
Walk in Love
Walk in Light
Walk in Wisdom
And so far we have seen some practical examples of what this looks like but now Paul addresses the Christian life in one most basic environments: Relationships
God is a relational god and he made us to also be in relationships. God is in relationship with Himself (Father, Son, HS) and he chose to be in relationship with us when he created us in his image and likeness.
Everyone is in a relationship wether they now it or not.
Illustration: I’m not talking about a DTR moment, where lets define this relationship are we dating or not. I have a friend from college who once took out a girl a couple of times in his mind as a friend, before he knew it she had made it facebook official that they were in a relationship. Fast forward two years and they were married!
Everyone is in a relationship either as a child, a parent, an employee, or employer
And Relationships reveal a lot about a person:
compassionate or harsh
patient or quick
selfish or selfless
You can’t tell if someone is a good friend from their report card. A runners time in a race doesn’t say if they have a good relationship with their parents.
So it makes since that Paul would address what a Christian life looks like in relationships, because so much of who we truly are is tied into our relationships.
And He does so with a simple word, Submit
Key Verse:
Ephesians 5:21 ESV
submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Christian relationships are defined by submitting to one another, out of respect for Christ.

This does not mean that:
submission makes a person inferior to the person whom they are submitting to
submission makes a person superior to someone else
submission makes people unequal
Galatians 3:28 ESV
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:
We are all equal in our nature in Christ. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t play different roles or have different responsibilities.
Jesus evened learned to play the role of submission
Jesus was God himself in nature and thus equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit, still he submitted to the will of the Father.
Submission has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority, but with the roles and responsibilities we have in our lives.
So let’s look at three PRIMARY relationships and how the Christian life plays out through submission out of respect for Christ.

Marriage, 5:22-32

The husband submits to his wife by leading her like Christ leads the church.

Eph 5:
Ephesians 5:25 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
Care and Provision
Spiritual Leadership
Self-sacrifical Love
Care and Provision
1 Timothy 5:8 ESV
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Spiritual leadership
Studies show that if a child is first to get saved, then 3.5% chance of the rest of the household will fill; mother 17%, father 93%
IMB: Women Applicants outnumber men 7 to 1!
Self-sacrificial love
This is how Christian marriage is so different from the world. The worldly husband thinks. “I’m going to get a wife and she is going to care for me, she is going to make me dinner, rub my head, wash my dirty clothes, while I hangout with the guys. She is going to love me because i’m awesome. And if she doesn’t think I’m awesome then, I will find someone who does think I’m awesome and will love me in those ways.
The Christian husband says no: I will submit to you by leading you through care and provision, having your spiritual wellbeing as a primary concern, and sacrificing myself for you.
Application: You might be thinking, I’m a teenager, I’m not close to getting married. That is true, but your preparation to become the man God desires you to be starts now not later.
Question: What are some ways Christian marriage is different from non-Christian marriages

Wives reflect Jesus in how they submit to that leadership

Ephesians 5:24 ESV
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Eph 5:
“submit to your husbands in everything”
What does that mean?
It doesn’t mean:
man is dominant over his wife
women are to submit to all men
women cannot lead
women do not have a voice
What it does mean:
Kathy Keller “It means that in matters of disagreement I yield to Tim the deciding vote. I get a vote, he gets a vote; he gets the deciding vote.”
Move to NYC. He felt yes, she no. They had to make a decision. He conceded: “Ok if you don’t want to go, we won’t go.” Kathy: “Oh no you don’t… you’re not putting this on me. You have to make it and bear the responsibility.”
“Spiritual leadership means the husband has the burden of responsibility”
Application: Guys you want to take a girl on a date don’t wait until you get in the car and ask, “what do you want to eat?” Instead find out what food she likes, where she likes to go, and take her out. Lead her. If its not good, apologize and course correct.
Spiritual leadership means he has the burden of responsibility
“Marriage, is not first and foremost about making you happy in a perfect spouse, but making you holy by teaching you to love like Jesus.”

Children and Parents, 6:1-4

Family is a relationship where children learn to obey God by obeying their parents.

Ephesians 6:1–2 ESV
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),
When we are young, our parents represent the authority of God to us. In a way, they stand in for God for a time. We first learn to obey and submit to God by obeying and submitting to them
That means, for you guys, how you submit to the authority of your mom and dad is how you submit to God. LET THAT SIT THERE
The command in not to obey, but to honor your parents
As a child you honor your parents by obeying them
When you get older you honor them in different ways
The point is that we learn to obey at an early age so that we learn to obey God for all of our life.
When you get older and move out of your parents house, hopefully that will not be when you guys are in your late twenties, you will honor your parents by being the men and women that God has designed you to become and by obeying Him.
Some other practical ways you can honor your parents outside of obedience:
Talk to them. Keep them involved in your lives. No parent will turn down being brought more into their child’s life, and the more they know the more relavent they will be.
Ask their opinion. They might not have the right answer for every situation, but remember they were your age too. And even though it may seem like they can’t relate, chances are they have gone through the same or similar situations.
Say “Thanks”

Work, 6:5-9

Ephesians 6:5 ESV
Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,
Eph 6:
Context: Some translations say “slaves” but most don’t because of the western idea of slavery from the 17th-19th century. Paul makes it clear in other places in the Bible the wickedness of the idea of western slavery. What Paul is referring to is much more like an Employee/Employer relationship then a slave and master relationship.
Ephesians 6:5–7 ESV
Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,
Employees are to have
A Cheerful Disposition toward Obedience
A Commitment to Excellence - “not by way of eye-service”
An Attitude of Servanthood
A Cheerful Disposition toward Obedience
Submitting to your boss or for y’all to your teachers is how you show submission to Christ
Your submission is not supposed to be dependent on how nice they are or even if they are fair and good. Paul is saying you are not working for them, but for God
I know you probably have some horrible teachers and you will have some horrible bosses. Its the reality of sin. But know this God shows no partiality. God will repay them one day for actions. So work onto the Lord. He is your real boss. Do your work for him.
A Commitment to Excellence - “not by way of eye-service”
Don’t just do the minimum required to get by, but seek to be a blessing to those you are working for. God has placed you at your job or at your school to be a reflection of his goodness and glory. Represent God by working hard.
An Attitude of Servanthood
We realize that we don’t work for ourselves. Meaning we don’t just work to make money so we don’t have to work later on. Some people call this living for the weekend, OR for y’alls case living for the summer.
God ordained work in the very beginning, and work is a very good thing. We work not for ourselves but for others.


All of our relationships are serving God.
I have heard it said that you can measure the progress of your Christian life by how well you relate to your spouse, your parents, and your employer.
The truest measure of your Christianity is how you are at home
Question: If you based your spiritual progress solely on how well you lived it out at home, how do you think you are doing?
Paul shows us that the quality of our relationships goes back to the quality of our relationship with God
Disruption with God leads to chaos with others
If you are satisfied in Christ, secure in Christ, sure you are chosen in Christ, and feeling significant in Christ, happy in your reward with Christ, you quit putting so much weight on these other relationships.
Many of us can’t be the men and women God wants us to be because there is something wrong with our relationship with Him. and that makes us dissatisfied, selfish with our other relationships, trying to squeeze out of these relationships what we should be getting from God alone.
We have conflict in all these relationships because all These people are Bigger to us than Jesus.
So maybe you need to turn your attention first HERE. Good news: when you get this (vertical) right, he’ll take over in these (horizontal)
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