Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lesson 11: Ephesians 5:21 – 6:9 “Divine Rules for Human Relationships”

Lesson 11: Ephesians 5:21 – 6:9 “Divine Rules for Human Relationships”
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Before I made Christ LORD of all of my life, SUBMIT was not my favorite word. In my earlier year of reading the bible Paul seemed chauvinistic. “Submit to your husband!” made me dislike Paul. That was before Community Bible Study. Ladies, if you are fervent in preparing your lessons, I promise, you will gain so much knowledge. And when you submit to the Holy Spirit, He will give you discernment and wisdom. If we look at submission as an expression of love for Christ, we can sweeten the word a bit.

If you are approaching a grocery line and someone arrives at the same time, when you courteously allow them to go first you have performed a submissive act.

A fast food restaurant in Belmont now has two lines for ordering. The cars must merge to pay. When you surrender to the other car, allowing them to go first you are also submitting.

The town of Cramerton has two railroad underpasses so narrow they only allow one car to pass through at a time. Every day there is a chance to submit.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Submission is not that hard—it’s simply a matter of being humble and gracious.

1 Peter 2:12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
“Divine Rules for Human Relationships”
·        Submission to our Spouse
·        Submission in the Family
·        Submission in the World
Most of us don’t have such a hard time with the earlier examples of submission. But when Paul tells 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands. Wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Taken out of context women of this decade may get their back up! Let’s read what’s in between those verses.
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.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Paul is not defending abusive relationships. He is not demeaning women or inferring that we are not equal in God’s eyes. Paul lived and worked with Aquila and Priscilla. In fact he wrote: “To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house."
In v. 25-28 Paul is writing in the context of a Christian marriage to a Godly husband. If we think about it, the man has the harder responsibility of being the head of the family, willing to sacrifice himself for her as Christ did for the church. Paul commanded husbands to love their wives as their own bodies.
32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
However, Paul speaks of this submission as a profound mystery, this amazing agape love that keeps no record of wrong. A love that nourishes, cherishes. Putting another’s needs above you own.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Marriage is important to God. Once I took a course called, “Marriage- God’s Way.” The Bible was our textbook.
·        God’s Word starts in Genesis 2:22 with the creation of marriage.
22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made8 into a woman and brought her to the man.
24Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
·        All through the Old Testament God cherishes His beloved Israel. However in Hosea Israel is shown as a wayward wife; bought out of prostitution only to keep returning to her old ways. Jeremiah and Ezekiel tell us is very descriptive language that the nation of Israel committed adultery by following other gods.
·        The marriage feast of the lamb is heralded in the book of Revelation 19:6-8
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
    the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
    and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
    and his Bride has made herself ready;

it was granted her to clothe herself
    with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
Ephesians 5:33 in Amplified version33 However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband ]that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].
When the teacher of the Marriage God’s Way read v.33, I was sure he was making that up. I had to find me a comparative study Bible with the Amplified version.
 Women, we are exhorted to respect our husbands and support them, partnering in the ministry of the LORD. I confess I was not obedient to God in this respect. Submission is difficult when we are unequally yoked with a non-believer. We must counsel our daughters and granddaughters to pray and ask God’s guidance before they choose a mate.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
·        Submission in the Family
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Your commentary explains “the Greek word for obey, hupakouo, is a less demanding than the word for submit. It come from the root to hear, but can be translated hear; follow; or obey.” The key phrase is in the Lord.
God commanded it; it is right; and it comes with a promise. What else is there to say!
How many of you are grandmothers? No one could explain the immeasurable pleasure of being grandparents. The grumpiest man can be turned to mush with a baby in his arms. I think grandchildren are our reward for parenting through the teen years. If that projector was working you would see an abundance of photos of my grandsons. They are joy to my heart. Too bad we couldn’t have this experience first. I think I would have been a better parent!
The next verse is aimed at fathers who were the disciplinarian in that day. But the same applies to both parents.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord
It is easy at the end of a long workday to forget the source of your aggravation is a child. Remember age appropriate behavior. A toddler cannot be expected to remember the warning from last week. Conversely a child in middle school should not behave like a toddler. Sure, they need discipline but remember not to cause resentment or destroy your relationship for the future.
Spending time with my son was such a joy. We have a mutual admiration society. He respects me and deferred to my pleasures when we were together. Although teen years were tough, God delivered us both, with our relationship intact.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Submission in our World
We can change this wording in verse 5 to reflect our own situation in 2013 obey your employer, pastor, government leaders with a sincere heart, xas you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as ypeople-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, zknowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord
D.L. Moody said, “Let God have your life; He can do more with it than you can.”
Colossians 3:12-14 ESV  Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
 “There is a sign at the entrance of a large manufacturing plant that reads:
‘If you are like a wheelbarrow—going no farther than you are pushed—you need not apply for work here.’
Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,  since you know that you will receive an inheritance(A) from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Your commentary states that in the last 100 years slavery had been outlawed in the civilized world. Ladies, it may be outlawed but it is not gone.
Force 4 Compassion 300,000 American children are at risk of child sexual exploitation and about 55% of runaway girls living on the streets are engaged in sexual slavery? They can start as a troubled youth or as a valedictorian -- the crime of trafficking is about opportunity, not about the child.” Copyright © 2010-2013

NC may be in the Top Five in human trafficking, but I found some good news. Things are changing for the better.
The Polaris Project, a leading organization in the fight against modern-day slavery, rated all states. There are four tiers, one being the best, based on anti-trafficking measures to stop the crimes. NC is in the first tier for taking concrete steps to address human trafficking along with South Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio. Massachusetts was named among the most improved in the U.S. in 2012 after it passed wide-ranging anti-human trafficking laws. As a teacher that translate into an A for North and South Carolina. Let’s praise the LORD for that.
 Gary Haugen, President and CEO of International Justice Mission, a human rights organization founded in 1997. Gary Haugen has built a global team of hundreds of lawyers, investigators, and social workers. Directed by their faith and commitment to global justice, IJM staff partner with local governments to rescue and provide aftercare for victims and prosecute traffickers. After four years partnership with Philippines, the availability of minors for sex decreased by a stunning 79 percent.
How Can We Ladies in Gastonia Help  
1.     Public Outreach: Focus on raising awareness.  Use FB or other social media.
By increasing understanding of human trafficking, more victims will be rescued and protected and more traffickers will be identified and prosecuted.
2.     Donate to programs that Rescue and Restore victims. Buy products from the organizations. Norma gave us lists; or just Google.
3.     Fair Trade & Supply Chain Transparency: Raise awareness among consumers to select vendors who support fair trade standards. Make informed buying decisions in refusing to purchase items made by slaves. showed my footprint at 36 mostly because of clothing.
Ephesians 6:8b warn the slave owners “He who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
Isaiah 3:11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.
“Are you willing to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ and seek ways help defend the helpless.”

This Sunday our bible study was on the sins of commission (what we do) and the sins of omission (what we fail to do.) We are not perfect. We are merely jars of clay. We are chipped and cracked, but only when we are broken can the light of God shine through us. Think! Is there something you are failing to do for Christ?

Ezekiel 24:14 I am the Lord. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent; according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord God.”

Thank God for Calvary and for Jesus’ precious blood shed for me.
Now I can face eternity for I was bound in sin, but now I am free.