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Summary: Paul teaches some basics about the Christian family and the importance of living OUT our faith in everything we do.

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Colossians 3:18-25 [NLT]

February 06, 2013

Oak Park Baptist Church – Wed Bible Study Series

Colossians Bible Study

Paul’s teaches on the Christian Household:

In ch1-2 Paul was all about exalting Christ and the sufficiency of Christ for salvation and for walking and living out our faith!

We learned last week that chapter 3 is not Paul’s support of HIS list of things over the false teacher’s list of things…

What Paul is teaching here is NOT a list of MUST do’s for the believer! What it is… is a list of MUST SEEs for the believer! In other words, Paul is saying that SINCE you are IN CHRIST…

SINCE you have Christ, then this I what your life should look like… this is what the world should SEE when they SEE you living for Christ!

What Paul teaches in the 1st part of Ch3 is a list, but it is a list of the result of our salvation and a result of our relationship with Christ!

This list does not lead one TO salvation or a right standing with God… this list reflects the life style of those who are living out their faith in Christ in this world!

Up thru v17 of ch3 we find Paul speaking about the Christian as a general whole… but in v18 he becomes a bit more specific as he addresses the family unit in particular.

So as he closes out his teaching in ch3 we find Paul again returning to a general view of the overall Christian life in v22-25

Let’s begin with vv.18-21 and what Paul is saying about the family… as it pertains to the Christian family… those who profess Christ as Savior…this is how they are expected to act and live their lives as believers!

[read ALL verses here 18-25 – NLT]

So tonight I want us to focus on each verse and break down just exactly what Paul was saying in these verses to the church… and to the Christian family! So let’s go back to v.18 and start there:

18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Now v18 is a point of contention for many women today because of that ONE word listed here… [show highlighted version here] It is the word SUBMIT, and I believe that has happened for MANY reasons…

However, the thing that has probably been the cause of this sort of reaction is how MEN have treated women over the centuries… so this word ‘submit’ can be quite uncomfortable to many, if not most women!

But what we need to understand is that this is NOT what Paul was alluding to in this verse…

Was Paul saying that women should only be silent, pliable and dominated by the men in their lives? Absolutely NOT!

Was he telling them to surrender ALL of who they were and sacrifice their identity to their father or a husband? Certainly NOT!

The key to understanding Paul’s words here is the word for ‘submit’ that Paul uses. Here in the Greek word Paul uses hoop-ah-tasso which in a non-military setting (which this is) means: “a voluntary attitude of cooperation, assuming responsibility and carrying a burden”

I believe this to be a great picture of a wife and mother! Paul is describing here as one who is THERE for her husband and children; one in total cooperation with her husband and in the organizing & management of the family unit.

Finally Paul says she is one who assumes responsibility for her duties and is willing to carry a heavy burden FOR the family!

What a beautiful picture Paul paints here for the woman! And that is just in that word hoop-ah-tasso but Paul does not stop there, he finishes his statement by saying, “…as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord…”

This statement by Paul is a reflection of how we are called to walk in faith and in submission to our Savior! A wife is called to walk in a similar way in her relationship with her husband!

Paul is NOT denigrating the wife or mother, but rather he is INCLUDING her and elevating the wife to an important role in the family!

Before this time the woman and wife of the family was merely a possession and servant for the man… Jesus came to change that mindset and he passed on his teaching to His disciples… WOMEN are elevated within the church!

Another aspect I don’t want to overlook here is the fact that Paul leads off with the wife… with the mom! He addresses her first… now I have always heard that “if momma is not happy… the family is not happy”

I believe that Paul is addressing women first here because of the vital importance of the woman in God’s plan for the family unit!

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