Summary: Pastor John Bishop deals head-on with one of the most difficult issues for Christian men and women in love-relationships to deal with--the issue of submission.
Today we’re in a series, and this is going to be hard. This is going to be one of those talks; this is going to be one of those things that agitate you before it makes you comfortable; it’s going to be one of those talks that’s going to irritate you before you get it. We’re going to look at the Book of Ephesians, and we’re going to drill deep on one or two passages over the next couple of weeks. We’re going to look at what God says and let me just tell you; the stuff that God puts on my heart to talk about, generally is not stuff you’re going to go look for in the Book; it’s just not the most popular sermon. I just really believe that sometimes we love to hear a watered down version of what Jesus wants; but when God’s truth intercepts with the broken parts of our life, that we will be set you free.
We found out we had a leak in our closet last week. It started off really small and then started growing, and when I had the guts to actually look at it and realize it was a leak, and that it was bad; we tore everything out. And I was thinking about the irony of that, and the irony of marriages. See, it’s only when you’re willing to peel back the carpet; it’s only when you’re willing to take off the surface sheet rock, to see what’s really happening in your life friends. And you can’t keep somehow thinking, "We’ll just try harder, and the marriage will just get better;" and I’m just telling you God has a plan for you, He loves you, He’s in love with you, and He is for you and not against you.
So this talk, and I just have to tell you that every service, someone has got up and left. I’m just telling you; because it’s one of these talks where you’re going to be, I think, a little bit frustrated. Paul writes this letter to this church at Ephesus, which is now modern day Turkey. You can find ruins of this city, Ephesus, today. Paul writes this letter to this church; there were problems going on; they were drifting in their faith; the church is probably about, at this point, maybe twenty-five, thirty years old; and they just kind of got in this place where Paul starts to do what’s called ’task theology’. He starts addressing things in the church that were happening, to correct relational problems.
So in chapter five, he deals with this whole thing of, "What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?" I want to start there, get to the word, the ’S’ word; that’s what we’re calling this talk is ’The ’S’ Word’; and we’re going to talk about that word this week, and we’re going to drill deeper on it next week.
Paul says to this church at Ephesus, "Be filled with the spirit," in other words, when you come to Christ, you’re reborn in to the Kingdom of God. It’s confessing Jesus Christ, that He really rose from the dead, that He is God in the flesh; it’s when you do that, you are saved; you are born again the Bible says in John. But what happens after that, when we’re filled with the Spirit of God he says, "Here’s some things, "Be filled with the Spirit," being filled with the Spirit, be filled, it’s a command to us, it tells us how to be filled.
He says, "Speak to each other with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs." Now, he said, "Speak to one another in songs," which is really saying to that church, "Speak God’s word to each other." See, we have the whole canon of Scripture; "Speak God’s word to each other, speak psalms..." He says, "Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord;" and I just kind of take that as there should be a song in our hearts because we’re alive. There should be joy in our hearts because Jesus died for us. There should be a sense of joy, and joy is your strength as a Christ follower, so being filled with the Spirit is speaking God’s word, it’s a song in your heart.
And then he says, "Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." [Ephesians 5:18b-20] So, give thanks! Have you ever met someone that was really thankful? And if you’re not a thankful person, they kind of make you mad? You know the type of person I’m talking about; they kind of like, they totally convict you like, "Whatever, what’s wrong with you, what have you been drinking?" "I’m just happy, I’m thankful to God," and you’re like, "No you’re not. I don’t want to be around you." Have you ever noticed that people who are not thankful people, you really don’t want to be around them a lot. Then he goes in to these four things like, how do I know that I’m filled with the Spirit of God? Well, I’m speaking God’s word; there’s a song in my heart, there’s joy; there’s a sense of gratefulness; and here’s the fourth one, this is the word, this is the ’S’ word -- "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." [Ephesians 5:21]