Summary: This is the 19th sermon in the "Accounting" series from the Book of Ephesians.

Series: Accounting [#19]


Ephesians 5:22-24


There are some subjects that preachers really enjoy preaching about, and then there are other subjects that are not so popular. Today is 1 of those not so popular subjects- Submission. I do want to preface this sermon with a Scripture.

Ephesians 5:32 (NIV)

32 This is a profound mystery- but I am talking about Christ and the church.

I included this verse because submission applies to each and every one of us. I know that this section speaks of wives submitting to their husbands; but I do not want anyone thinking that if they are not a wife, that they can tune this sermon out. There is 3 questions that I want to ask and answer this morning.

Ephesians 5:22 (NIV)

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

1. What is the motivation of submission?

Submit carries the idea of voluntarily and willingly giving up rights. As we study this principle, we need to study it from a biblical perspective and not a worldly perspective. A Christian’s concept of submission must come from the understanding of the relationship between Christ and the Church. Christ loves the Church and the Church submits to Him. Wives submit, husbands love, and children obey. Our motive for all of this is Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:23 (NIV)

23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

2. What is the method of submission?

The meaning of the word head is leader, ruler, or authority. I know many people who hate the idea of someone being over them. Paul lays out God’s method.

1 Corinthians 11:3 (NIV)

3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

God is described as the head of Christ; Christ is the head of man; and man is the head of woman. Remember that Jesus as the head of the Church is also the Savior of the Church. A wise and Christ-honoring husband will not take advantage of his leadership role; and a wise and Christ-honoring wife will not try to undermine her husband’s leadership.

Verse 23 provides an explanation for God’s order. The explanation is rooted in 2 concepts.

? Creation.

We find in Genesis 2 that woman was made after man. We also are told in Scripture that man is born from woman. This is important because it shows their mutual dependency.

? Redemption.

Jesus is known as the 2nd Adam. The 1st Adam brought sin to the world; and the 2nd Adam lived a perfect life, died on a cross, and arose from the dead on the 3rd day so that mankind could be redeemed.

Ephesians 5:24 (NIV)

24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

3. Who is the model for submission?

The Church is subject to Christ. For the Christian woman, submission is not an unthinking obedience to Christ’s rule; but a grateful acceptance of His care. The relationship should be filled with joy, gratitude, and humility. Just a reminder, this applies to each of us. We should not look at submission to Jesus Christ as something that is forced upon us; but as a blessing.

Husbands are to look to Jesus as the model for leadership. Wives are to look to Jesus as the model of submission. What does the submission of Jesus look like? He looked to His Father for guidance and strength to do the Father’s will. The perfect, sinless Savior gave His life for the sins of the world. Jesus gives us a model of godliness- Spirit directed living, joy, peace, sacrifice, and service.


Before we conclude this sermon, I need to put a warning out there for each of you. Husbands, parents, masters, rulers, governors, etc…; do not have absolute authority. When people misuse or abuse their God given authority, we must resist; and there are times when we must disobey them in order to obey God.

Can God abuse His authority? No. Can Jesus abuse His authority? No. Can the Church abuse its authority? Yes. Can a husband abuse his authority? Yes. Can parents abuse their authority? Yes. Can governments abuse their authority? Yes.

Because each of us can abuse authority, there are times that we are not to be followed. Here is how each of us should decide- We know that God never abuses His authority and His leadership is found in the Word. If the person that we are submitting to, asks us to do something that contradicts God’s Word; then we are to follow God and not that person. The bottom line is that our submission must be to God 1st. If you can submit to God’s will, then submitting to other’s authority will not be that difficult.

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