Summary: Paul has been fervently writing down God’s Words for the church as the Holy Spirit has guided his pen across the page. He has been working on communicating to us how it is we can stand out as light in a darkened world. How we can be imitators of God. He s
Title: Imitating God Requires Mutual Submission
Bible Text: Eph. 5:21 –33
Intro: ILL. One evening a preschooler, Kristel, and her parents were sitting on the couch chatting. Kristel asked, "Daddy, you’re the boss of the house, right?" Her father proudly replied, "Yes, I am the boss of the house." But Kristel added, "’Cause Mommy put you in charge, right, Daddy?"
We have been learning from the Scriptures how we are to be imitators of God. Last week we saw that we imitate God as we love others, as we control our words, as we worship together, and as we expose the deeds done in darkness.
We have observed over the last few Sundays that God’s Word here in Ephesians has been directing us to live out our faith so others can see. We saw that we are not to blend in as Christians, but rather, we are to let our light shine forth for the darkened world around us to see.
Paul has been fervently writing down God’s Words for the church as the Holy Spirit has guided his pen across the page. He has been working on communicating to us how it is we can stand out as light in a darkened world. How we can be imitators of God. He sums it up with a sentence – “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
We next see that the primary place we can put this into practice is in our most intimate relationships. Our marriage partner and our children.
Let’s look at this together and see what we can apply to our lives.
In Paul’s day marriage had fallen short of the ideal. To the Jews who had a very low view of women, a man could divorce his wife for spoiling his dinner, walking in public with her head uncovered, or speaking disrespectfully about his parents. A man could even di¬vorce his wife if he found another woman who looked more attrac¬tive. Greek wives were to run the home and care for their husband’s legitimate children, but the husband found his pleasure and com-panionship elsewhere. In Roman culture, the marriage bond was on the way to a complete breakdown. It was not unheard of for a man to be marrying his 23rd wife, and she might be her 21st husband. Against this background, Paul calls us to a new purity and a new fellowship in the marriage relationship.
I. We Show Those Far From God How Awesome God Is As We Submit To One Another In Our Homes.(vss. 21-23; Philippians 2:3-8)
A. Submitting to one another shows God is in us. (v. 21;)
1. Submission to authority is distasteful to many people.
a) To submit implies for them a master who demands subservience.
b) Submission is something we expect of a dog but not another human being!
ILL. A survey was taken and the percentage of American adults who disagree with the statement: "A wife should submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband": 69 Disagreement declines slightly (to six in 10) when survey respondents are reminded that the statement is taken from the Bible.
2. This attitude has permeated our culture and even the church.
a) But we must fight the selfish and prideful tendency of our sinful nature.
b) We are always pushing and striving to be number one.
3. The word used here in the Greek is hupotasso and was originally a military term meaning to arrange or rank under.
a) The main idea is one of relinquishing one’s rights to another person.
b) In other words, “it may be our “right” to say whatever we want to someone, but following this Scripture, as a believer, we can choose to not speak.
c) It might be perfectly in our right to put someone in their place and tell them they are wrong. But as Christians we can choose to hold out tongues.
ILL. I remember not long after Pat and I had started our family and our kids were young that we had some friends who were married but not yet with children. The wife would talk openly about what she would or wouldn’t do when she had kids. Referring to something we were or were not doing. Pat and I used to hold our tongues because we didn’t want to offend her even though we had every right to set her straight. We laughed because we knew that God would set her straight in due time when she had kids of her own.
4. We will stand out as Christians who are imitating Christ as we choose to relinquish our rights to one another.
5. This submission to one another is motivated by our love for Jesus Christ.
a) Our “getting along” with one another is a sign to those watching that we are different.