TRUTH: Two Roads for Fathers in Rearing Children

March 28, 2018

God’s knowledge, wisdom and insight are so vast that I can hardly relate. For over a week now, I have been contemplating the role of a father in the life of his child. My wife tells me that I am an all or nothing type of guy. While that is one thing that she loved about me, it also has been a snare for her at times. In some respects, she is right because I am either all in or not, black or white, close to you are far away from you. Life is better defined and simpler for me when I stay out of the middle in favor for either side of the pendulum. TRUTH: Two Roads for Fathers in Rearing Children.

Similarly, God said, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!” (Revelation 3:15) God desires for us to be all for Him or against Him. My desire is to be for Him, but honestly, with the sinful nature, I agree with Paul who said, “So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” (Romans 7TRUTH: Two Roads for Fathers in Rearing Children.

This notion of two roads or paths surfaces for fathers in the rearing of their children as Paul speaks to the Ephesians.

Ephesians 6:4

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (NASB)

Fathers, do not exasperate your children;instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (NIV)

And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. (NKJV)

TRUTH: Two Roads for Fathers in Rearing Children are either hot or cold for God. As Paul instructs fathers, there are two paths or roads that surface – provoking them to anger or pronouncing training and instruction of the Lord. The portion about provoking them to anger really hit me hard, so hard that I had to let it ruminate in my spirit before writing. I had to take a look at myself. Like with many areas of my life, I prefer to reside in the extremes, but I tend to pitch a tent in the middle. God has no room for that. More importantly, my kids suffer from be being neither hot or cold. For years, I taught Sunday School and Children’s Church at my church. That was before my children were born and after. I even had lessons for my kids when there was a lull at my church for kids. I engage them in reading the Word, memorizing the Word and have tried teaching them the inductive bible study method. While I have not been as consistent each Sunday morning in Sunday School, I have engaged them the past four years in daily devotions most days.

On the other hand, I have provoked them to anger by being overly critical. One’s strength can certainly become a weakness. In that light, my penchant for being able to identify what is a challenge, area to work on or weakness has been over developed as it relates to child rearing. I find myself more patient, kind, honoring, less angry, forgetting wrongs and more protecting, trusting, hoping and persevering with my students at school than my children at home. Simply, that is how love is defined in 1 Corinthians 13. God, through people who have traveled this road before me, has encouraged me to change my ways in mid stream. God cares deeply for children and me and me as a father.

Just this week, God challenged me to be more motivating to my kids. Find a positive and accentuate it. God challenged me to find ways to stimulate or spur them on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). Deflate or stimulate, those are the two roads for me as a father. I must choose to encourage my children and not discourage them. That is the TRUTH: Two Roads for Fathers in Rearing Children 

 

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TRUTH: Revisited – Be Imitators of God

March 27, 2018

From Rich Little, Tina Fey, Jim Carey, Frank Caliendo, Kate McKinnon, Aries Spears, Shafaat Ali, and the like, many have busted a gut until their ribs have shown after laughing at their impersonations. An impersonator is a person who pretends to be another. The line of impersonators above engage in that area as a means of entertainment, so people can have a good laugh, and the impersonators can make money.

Rather than being entertained, God calls for the TRUTH: Revisited – Be Imitators of God. An imitator retains his/her personhood while seeking to adopt characteristics or attributes of the one being imitated. In Ephesians 5, Paul tells us to be imitators of God or to follow God’s example.

  • Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; (NASB)
  • Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. (NKJV)
  • Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children (NIV)

Regardless of the version of text, we, who profess to be believers or followers of Jesus, are called to imitate or follow Christ’s example. God is incomprehensible, so we cannot fully know Him; however, what we learn about Him through the written Word of God and the living Word of God is vast. If we consider the list of attributes in Philippians 4:8 that Paul tells us to think on whatever is true, noble, right/just, pure, lovely, good repute/admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. We would have a chore trying to imitate those things. TRUTH: Revisited – Be Imitators of God.

For the impersonators, they are well known for how well they sound/look like the original. Likewise, Jesus says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35). In Matthew 22, we learn what attribute should have the greatest priority in terms of where to start imitating God Almighty. When asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus says, ““‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”” TRUTH: Revisited – Be Imitators of God.

1 Corinthians 13 gives us a more exhaustive list of how love should look in our lives on a daily basis.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away…13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Now, Paul conveys the truth and priority about love just as Jesus did. Perhaps the greatest description of love is that love is not a feeling but a commitment to give at the giver’s expense for the benefit of the recipient. “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

What are we willing to give God? God requires us to give all of ourselves just as He gave all of Himself for our redemption and justification. If we cannot bring ourselves to give all, let’s start with love. Can we be patient with someone today? How about being kind to the person who has bad intentions for you. Try holding back your envy, boasting or pride today. Pick someone to respond today where you are not self-seeking in response to their needs or request. Here’s a novel idea – don’t get so angry at people today especially those who love you most. I could go on, but I think you see the benefit and cause to pursue the TRUTH: Revisited – Be Imitators of God.

TRUTH: Power Over You and Your Circumstances

March 26, 2018

As I work with students, I often tell them about the myriad of things that we do not control in our lives. We don’t control eye color, height, financial plight of parents, genetic matters such as hair loss, coronary disease, teeth shape, mental health and the like. I share with students that there is very little that we control in live; however, we are completely in control of how we respond to life matters or circumstances of life. TRUTH: Power Over You and Your Circumstances

For me, power over myself and my circumstances is what God, through Christ Jesus, offers me. The person who claims to be a follower of Christ came to Him to have life and life more abundantly. That very thought dominated my mind this morning. It lead me to reflect on a special verse to my family and me. Ephesians 3:20-21

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (NIV)

20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (NASB)

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (NKJV)

Talk or words like that tend to excite because we are thinking about what God can do for us that appeases our personal desires. While God can do anything to meet any of our desires, that is not His purpose in communicating that to the Ephesians through Paul. God was and is communicating that He can do more than we can ask or imagine that relates to all of the things discussed here

16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Those things seem impossible to me, but Paul says not only are they possible but God can do those things in degree or measures that are far above what we ask, think or imagine.

  • You can ask for every good thing you have ever experienced – God can do above that.·
  • You can think of or imagine things beyond your experience – God can do above that.·
  • You can imagine good things that are beyond your ability to name – God can do above that.

Paul was in prison when he wrote those things to the Ephesians. I am not sure that Paul was aware that I would read his writing one day, but the mere fact that I have and am writing about it is evidence that God can “do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” Why? “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” God’s goal is to bring glory to Himself. He will do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think in order to bring glory to Himself. That is why God wants us to know the TRUTH: Power Over You and Your Circumstances

What are facing now that seems insurmountable? As Micheal Jackson would say, what is “too high to get over, too low to get under, stuck in the middle, and the pain is thunder.” What is thundering in your life now? God can “do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” Whatever we may ask, or think to ask, still God is still able to do more, abundantly more, exceedingly abundantly more. God is all sufficient and mighty in power to do beyond what we asking, think or imagine. In God, there is an inexhaustible fulness of grace and mercy for us who believe. Join me in asking God to make us a willing and usable vessel for Him to demonstrate His power through His body, the church. TRUTH: Power Over You and Your Circumstances

TRUTH: Children Obey Your Parents in the Lord

March 21, 2018

Most people are aware of the OBEY clothing brand. The brand is well known for incorporating politically and socially provocative propaganda into the designs of their clothing and its founder describes this as manufacturing dissent. The OBEY Clothing  company was founded in 2001 by street artist and illustrator Shepard Fairey as an extension to his work in activism. To dissent is to disagree with or to reject a position, ideology or doctrine. Innately, we have no problem dissenting. We are naturally rebellious which is why Paul tells us the TRUTH: Children Obey Your Parents in the Lord 

Part of our problem is that we fail to recognize who God really is. We tend to think that we have the right to choose to do what we want to do. We tend to think that our lives are our own; therefore, we can do what we want to do. In Ephesians 6, Paul reiterates one of the 10 Commandments – “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Paul says,

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.””

God, along with Paul, recognizes that man is naturally inclined to dishonor and disobey. We have to be encouraged and taught to obey. In the text, the Greek word for obey is hypakouō (hüp-ä-kü’-ō). It means to not only listen but to submit to a command; to follow a command. Dictionary.com defines obey as to comply with or follow the commands, restrictions, wishes  or instructions of .. Simply, it is to do what you have been asked or told to do. God knows that if we don’t honor and obey our parents on earth there is little chance that we will honor and obey Him. TRUTH: Children Obey Your Parents in the Lord 

Why are children to obey? First, as an act of obedience to God, children are called to obey their parents. This means that God expects children to obey their parents out of honor and reverence for Him. It is the same expectation that He has for the husband and wife that Paul unveiled in Ephesians 5:21-33. In reverence to God, both are to submit to God. In reverence to God, children are to submit to their parents. The second reason Paul gives for the TRUTH: Children Obey Your Parents in the Lord is that it is right for children to obey their parents. God establishes this order. If He says it is right, then it is right. Furthermore, he expounds upon the first command is accompanied with a promise – “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

God introduces the concept of conditional promises to reinforce what God said in Deuteronomy when He said, “See, I am setting before you today a blessing(A) and a curse(B)” This is a concept that God unveiled with Adam in Genesis 2:15-17. We always have a choice to choose to obey or disobey. That is choosing life or death. If we follow God, our Father, we choose life. If we disobey, our Father, we choose death. This is what Paul is getting to in the text. Parents have the responsibility to teach their children the Word of God and to obey God’s Word. Children have the responsibility to learn and to obey God’s Word. TRUTH: Children Obey Your Parents in the Lord 

 

 

TRUTH: Two United, One Body

March 14, 2018

In this portion of Ephesians 5, Paul, like Jesus, used analogies to teach biblical or spiritual TRUTHs. Here, there are analogies of the husband with Christ the head of the church which is paralleled as the wife. Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones wrote his thoughts he believed God led him in formulating his insights about marriage and the church. Adam and Eve were the first man and woman. Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones wrote “Woman was made at the beginning as the result of an operation which God performed upon man. How does the church come into being? As the result of an operation which God performed on the Second Man, His only begotten, beloved Son on Calvary’s hill. A deep sleep fell upon Adam. A deep sleep fell upon the Son of God, He gave up the ghost, He expired, and there in that operation the church was taken out. As the woman was taken out of Adam, so the church is taken out of Christ. The woman was taken out of the side of Adam; and it is from the Lord’s bleeding, wounded side that the church comes.” TRUTH: Two United, One Body

Ephesians 5

30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Just as the man and woman are to become one flesh so is Christ and the church are to become one. In John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” Now, Paul is revealing that analogy about marriage and the church. In John 17:11 and John 17:22, Jesus asks for the believers (church) protection and gives them glory, so “that they may be one as we are one—” Being one in Spirit is the goal for the body of Christ i.e. the church with God as well as the husband and wife.TRUTH: Two United, One Body

Why? Jesus reveals that too in John 17:23 –  “I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”TRUTH: Two United, One Body

Ephesians 1:9-10he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
Ephesians 4:3 -Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:13 – until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

We see oneness or unity woven throughout the scriptures. God’s intent, whether married to a man or woman or to Him, is for mankind to be united in Him with God. He wants to us to be one with one another and one with Him. TRUTH: Two United, One Body

TRUTH: How to be Holy and Blameless

March 13, 2018

What does it mean to be holy and blameless. In the strictest biblical sense, holy means to be separated and sacred; devoted to God. ultimately, it is to be godlike. Blameless means to be without blemish; as a sacrifice without spot or blemish; morally: without blemish, faultless, unblameable. I am not sure about you, but I am far from that. That is a serious limit from my perspective.

Limitations are real. There are many poignant moments in life that require something of us that we cannot demonstrate or exemplify. We are limited by some physical, mental, financial, relational or moral deficit. In regards to God’s mandate about holiness, He says in Leviticus 11:44, “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.”

How can finite, sinful man be holy? This seems to be one of those poignant moments in life that requires something of us that we are not able to exemplify or live up to. Why would God require something of us that seems unattainable? He would not! Let me help us see the the TRUTH: How to be Holy and Blameless.

Ephesians 5

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

As Paul is sharing how men should love their wives, he also reveals the TRUTH: How to be Holy and Blameless. The implication in the text is that mankind has surrendered his/her will unto God through Christ for the Greatest Exchange. God says give me your life and filth and I will give you a new life and cleanliness. In Leviticus 10:3 God says, “‘Among those who approach me I will be proved holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.’” We can only approach God through Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16). 

If you do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior, you really cannot approach God (Ephesians 2:18). Why? Because to approach God, you need to be holy. That is why He says, “be holy, because I am holy.”” A.W. Pink wrote “Because God is holy we should desire to be conformed to Him. His command is, “Be ye holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). We are not bidden to be omnipotent or omniscient as God is, but we are to be holy, and that “in all manner of deportment” (1 Pet. 1:15)… Then as God alone is the Source and Fount of holiness, let us earnestly seek holiness from Him; let our daily prayer be that He may “sanctify us wholly; and our whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23) TRUTH: How to be Holy and Blameless.

If you are complacent in your sin and do not want to be disturbed in your enjoyment of it, you are not concerned with being holy. You are not concerned with God.  We are to strive for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). We are to walk by the Spirit and not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). We are to love the Lord because He first loved us (1 John 4:19) and love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). That is the TRUTH: How to be Holy and Blameless.

As it was in the past as we see in Exodus 31:13, it is God who who makes you holy. TRUTH: How to be Holy and Blameless.

TRUTH: He Who Loves His Wife Loves Himself

March 9, 2018

God regularly uses our natural bent to serve self for our good. For example, God gives us choices. He wants us to choose to do the right thing because we desire to do good, but the Word says, “there is no one who does good, not even one.” As a consequence, an appeal to do good is often made to our natural inclination to look out for ourselves (Deuteronomy 11:26-28Luke 11:20-28). As Paul began teaching us about the new life and the new self, he made sure that we understood that we need to leave looking out for self alone. Self, as a follower of Christ, could not be our primary motivation for our actions.

While that is true, TRUTH: He Who Loves His Wife Loves Himself continues God’s use of are bent toward self to help us see the interconnectedness between a man and his wife. God equates doing for one’s wife as doing for one’s self.

Ephesians 5

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.

The ultimate good that God is after is not for a man to love his wife but for a man’s love to reflect the love of God for His body, His church. It is in that sacrifice that Christ’s example is duplicated and illuminated resulting in the glory to God being replicated. There are both spiritual and natural benefits to loving one’s wife. The former explains it succinctly. The latter says that there is a god-ordained process that surfaces as a man sacrifices for his wife’s good in Christ that it will result in the man’s good. It will be a perpetual cycle of love where both satisfy that portion of the heart that God allows human love to promote godly love. The rest of the heart belongs solely to Him. TRUTH: He Who Loves His Wife Loves Himself

In the life of males, the natural says do what you can to get this woman to love you with all her heart even if you don’t mean it. God says love this woman with all your heart by sacrificing for her, and because of your expense, she will love and respect you in exchange deeper than we could ever imagine. As I previously stated in TRUTH: Husbands Love Your Wives – Sacrifice!, I have failed miserably to love my wife consistently as Paul espouses here, but I can truly say that when I have, God draws on those reserves akin to the phrase a gift that keeps on giving. That small sample size reveals the TRUTH: He Who Loves His Wife Loves Himself.

Do you want to love yourself? There are tried and proven books from Cecil Osborne, James Dobson and others. There are blogs like this one. The biggest aid is Jesus Himself and His Word. Love your wife sacrificially and you will love yourself. TRUTH: He Who Loves His Wife Loves Himself

TRUTH: Husbands Love Your Wives – Sacrifice!

March 7, 2018

First, there was TRUTH: Submit to One Another out of Reverence for Christ. Then there was, TRUTH: Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Now, calling all men who are married or who would like to get married. Today is TRUTH: Husbands Love Your Wives – Sacrifice!

It is one thing to quote the bible when it appears that the benefit is all yours, but one’s disposition often changes when the requirement is on you to do something – “For God does not show favoritism. Romans 2:11  From the beginning times up to the 20th century, men have traditionally been the leaders of the families. Culturally, that has been the case regardless of one’s faith or the lack thereof. God never intended men to lead in a domineering fashion. How did God intend for men to lead their wives and families? Like Christ. Let’s read about it and hopefully apply His Word to our lives for change. TRUTH: Husbands Love Your Wives – Sacrifice!

Ephesians 5

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Men, we are called to love our wives. 1 Corinthians 13 has a more detailed list of what love looks like, but if you can commit to the love describe here in Ephesians 5, I PROMISE, your wife will love you like crazy. She will DO ANYTHING for you.

What is the key? How do we make that happen? God, through Paul, states it succinctly. While simple, it is the hardest thing you will ever attempt to do. How do we love our wives? God says, “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” As believers in Jesus Christ men, we should not be surprised at His response. As Christians, we are called to live life just as Christ did. Consequently, Paul draws the parallel or analogy of men being the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church, His bride and body, and the wife is called to submit or subject herself to the man.

In John 14:23 Jesus said, “Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” What is God teaching here? Love calls for SACRIFICE. The example that we are given is Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for His church. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) On earth, wouldn’t you say that your wife should be your best friend; therefore, we should be willing to lay down our lives for her. If she is not, and you call Christ Lord, then, you should be laying down your life for her out of obedience to Him.

When was the last time that you spent an entire month, week, day, hour thinking about how to lay down your desires, wants and YES needs for your wife? WHEN? Men, if we are truthful, we fail mightily in this area. This is why Paul says for women to respect their husbands. It is awfully difficult for a woman, who gives sacrificially much more innately than we do, to respect her husband. When men abdicate the responsibility to lay down his life for his wife, women loose respect for their husbands. The Lord Jesus never failed in His sacrificial giving, I mean loving, of us. To love is to give not to take. We all know John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God equates love with giving. God quantifies love by the value of what He gave – His one and only Son. TRUTH: Husbands Love Your Wives – Sacrifice! 

What is your wife asking you to give her that conveys that you love her greatly? If you have been married a long time, I am sure you know. For me, it is two things: 1. time spent with her talking, 2. the opportunity to have a voice, to be heard. Simple it seems, but like most of you, I struggle at the simple that God has called me to do. Wives, just show this to your husband. No need to issue a challenge or a told you so.

I challenge all of us to ask the LORD GOD to work in us to accomplish this, so He can get the glory.

TRUTH: Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord

March 5, 2018

Several days ago, I submitted the following statements. Let’s face it, people like to do their own thing. Who likes to be told what to do, how to do it and when to do it? None of us. If we were truthful, we would admit that we all are rebels; therefore, we are rebellious. We see proof of our rebellion in the garden and throughout man’s history. Whether from God, from parents, from instituted authorities, we are rebellious. TRUTH: Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord

We have enough trouble dealing or subduing our rebellious nature to follow God. Now wives, you want me to submit or be subject to my husband. I know. It sounds crazy, but we have to remember who is saying this – God, by way of the Holy Spirit through Paul. God has an order. He is asking his followers to follow His way, His commands. Wives, the first thing God said the TRUTH: Submit to One Another out of Reverence for Christ. Let’s see what Paul said in Ephesians 5.

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

The first order is to submit to God. Next, we are called to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Then, wives are addressed and asked to “submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord” Again, we don’t want to subject ourselves to anyone even God, but Paul is continuing to teach the Ephesians how followers of Christ should live. TRUTH: Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

I want to be clear that this passage has been used by man at times to convey dominance. This is not what the passage teaches. It teaches that a we are to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, then for wives to submit to their husbands as they do to the Lord. There are a number of situations that this may surface. First, there is a situation where two people are believers before marriage. They get married and are expected to follow this exhortation. Two people got married and neither of them knew the Lord before marrying. Now, the wife has gotten saved. Save violating His will, God still expects the wife to submit or be subject to her husband. TRUTH: Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

This does not go down good for most people because they have the wrong concept about being subject or submissive. How does God lead or head His church? Has He ever asked you to do something He has not done through Christ? Can you imagine submitting yourself to your child? Can you envision following someone you supervise on your job? Could you muster the strength to submit to one you did not think was worthy for you to subject yourself to? TRUTH: Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Jesus did exactly that. Let’s go to Philippians 2 to remind us.

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded,having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,

Jesus is not asking us to do anything that He has not done. He understood order. In humility and obedience to the Father, He gave up His place in heaven where He was being worshipped, honored and adored as God to win the victory for those who have been called. He became sin that they might become the righteousness of God. It is out of that same mindset and spirit that God says follow the TRUTH: Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Men, Paul told us to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ and to be sacrificial like Jesus, but today is about how wives should engage loving God through their relationship with their husbands. TRUTH: Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

TRUTH: Submit to One Another out of Reverence for Christ

March 2, 2018

During this book of Ephesians, we received some instruction on how to live the new life in Christ. The basis of that instruction is called doctrine, but just like the Word says, “faith without works is useless (dead).

There is only one very short verse that I want to present today. Despite that, it will be the most important lesson you can ever learn. It is the gateway to all that God desires for you. Your response to reveals God’s importance to you as well as your level of commitment to Him. It’s a litmus test if you will. TRUTH: Submit to One Another out of Reverence for Christ

Ephesians 5:21

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (NIV)
“and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” (NASB)
 submitting to one another in the fear of God.” (NKJV)|
“And “fit in with” each other, because of your common reverence for Christ.” (J.B.Phillips)
 Honor Christ by submitting to each other.” (TLB)

A subject is a person who is under the dominion or rule of a sovereign. Jesus is the Sovereign. As an adjective, subject is a person who is under the dominion or rule of a sovereign power. Again, Jehovah, the triune God, is the Sovereign. As a believer in Christ, I purport to be under the dominion or rule of Christ.  TRUTH: Submit to One Another out of Reverence for Christ

God is clear then what He expects of believers – “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (NIV) I like the way the Living Bible expresses it – “ Honor Christ by submitting to each other.” (TLB) It is my job to honor my Lord and Savior. I do that by making myself subject to other believers in efforts to honor Jesus. After all, this is what Jesus did. Let me remind you about the incarnation i.e. Jesus becoming man subjecting Himself, the Creator, to that which He created. Let me remind you that He put off being honored and adored in heaven to be despised, betrayed and crucified on earth. If the Lord Jesus submitted to us out of reverence for the Father, who are we not to submit to one another out of reverence or honor to Christ? Maybe, we are not believers and followers of Christ if we consistently fail to do this.

TRUTH: Submit to One Another out of Reverence for Christ. Who are you making yourself subject to today?