Ephesians 5:21-33, October 20, 2019
Revolution in the Home and Marriage
Review – Frenchie, 2 weeks ago – made sure we knew v22 was a voluntary action and that we are all equal before Christ or none of us are more worthy than any other especially in a marriage. Each of us will all stand before God as individuals. Women are always to submit to their husbands even if he is not a Christian. At the same time husbands, we are to protect our wives from anything in the world that would defile them. God chose to create woman from man (Adam) rather than new dust. The mystery of v32 is revealed where the church, Jew and Gentile alike, will be with Jesus for eternity. Finally respect is earned.
Review – Dana, 1 week ago – always struggled with these verses. These verses caused a great deal of self revelation for him and he gave numerous examples of how not to put these verses into action. He also provided a history of Ephesus and Paul spent three years there longer than any other location in his travels. In these verses Paul provides a roadmap of what a marriage should look like. However putting these verses into effect is a long term process. From his background wives should not always submit to their husbands and further nothing in these verses says a woman is to subject herself to physical or emotional abuse.
Ephesus was under Roman rule and when Augustus was the emperor of Rome (27 BC-14 AD) he made Ephesus the capital of proconsul Asia covering western Asia Minor. Ephesus became both the seat of the governor and a major centre of commerce; second in importance and size only to Rome. This is important because under Roman law a woman had virtually no rights at all.
Thus my title for today’s message REVOLUTION IN THE HOME AND MARRIAGE. Ephesus is thought by many to be the city from which the Gospel spread to the other six churches of revelation.
Also it helps to remember just how caught up in sin the city of Ephesus was. 5th century BC Greek philosopher said of Ephesus and his fellow citizens
]“The culture is dark and vile. The morals were lower than animals and the inhabitants of Ephesus were fit only to be drowned.” And further, “The Ephesians deserve to be hanged, every last one of them.”
v8-10 Paul had a different idea. As Christians Ephesians and we are no longer darkness, but light in the Lord and we are to live as children of light.
v18b-20 When Paul finishes his list of activities we are no longer to be engaged in having moved from darkness to light he begins to tell us how we are to live as Christians, as children of light.
This is where the revolution really begins. If we are to have a Christian marriage it begins here, with these verses as the foundation. The rest of the chapter is dependent upon that knowledge. We cannot implement the rest of the chapter without starting here.
v21 Submission. The revolution begins here.
This is the mark of a spirit filled believer because none of us like to submit to another.
v25, 28, 33 Love. Paul’s revolution in boldface.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Each and every use of the verb love is the verb agapao.
Look at the definitions for agapao – to describe the attitude of God toward His Son; the human race, generally; and to such as believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, particularly.
This is how men are to love their wives in a Christian home!
One more definition – It is an unselfish “love,” ready to serve
Men, we lead by serving in the home.
We may not live in a home with a Christian husband and a Christian wife, but if we do we have our instructions on how we are to live and treat one. If we do not live in such a home or live in a home where a spouse has died or has left the family we still have our instructions. We know what we are too look for in a husband or a wife if we wish to have a revolutionary home where a man loves/agapaos his wife and the wife submits to the leadership of a man who loves her in this way – loving her every single day, making it known she is precious to him and to his life. In this way he earns her respect.