Summary: I need to submit to "that person?" Seriously? Why?
A man once said: “I am not the boss of my house. I don’t know HOW I lost it. I don’t know WHEN I lost it. I don’t even think I ever had it. But I’ve seen the boss’s job, and I don’t want it.”
The text we’re looking at today has been debated for centuries. It seems that the only part anybody is interested in talking about is - should a wife submit to her husband? There have been men who’ve used this passage to dominate their wives by demanding that they submit to them. There have been theologians who’ve tried to rewrite the passage so that women don’t have to be submit to their husbands. And there are preachers who won’t even touch this passage because they’d rather not mess with it.
Now, here’s the deal - they’ve all missed the point! They’ve misunderstood the focus of the passage, and the main focus of this passage is NOT about whether women should submit to their husbands. And it is NOT about husbands being able to dominate their wives! The focus of this passage is all about how a Christian should live. And EVERY CHRISTIAN should live a life of submission to those around them. That command to submit is everywhere in this passage, and this type of lifestyle just happens to INCLUDE how husbands and wives should submit to each other.
Last week we talked about the fact that Paul told us that we needed to be “…be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). And I explained that the idea was that we should be so controlled (and so filled) by God’s Spirit that it becomes obvious to others by the way we walk, talk, think and act.
Then Paul told us of 3 ways we could fill our lives with God’s Spirit (make it so He’d control us):
1. Ephesians 5:19 teaches us that we can be filled with God’s Spirit when we are “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart”
2. Ephesians 5:20 teaches us that we can be filled with God’s Spirit when we are “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
So, SING praises to God and GIVE THANKS to Him for all the things He’s given you.
Then, I explained that when we do those things (when we sing, and when we give thanks) we create an atmosphere in our lives where the Spirit can be comfortable inside us, and be able to fully work His power in our lives.
Then, at the end of last week’s sermon I told you that there was a 3rd thing we could do that would it easier for God’s Spirit to fill us with His power… and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Ephesians 5:21 says we should be “SUBMITTING to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (PAUSE)
And then for the next few verses Paul gives us examples of how we can do that: Wives submit to your husbands - encouraging them to be the leaders in the home. Husbands submit to your wives by loving them like Christ loved the church. Children submit to parents by obeying them. Fathers submit to your children by not being harsh and unreasonable to them. Employees, submit to your bosses as if you were working for Christ. And Bosses, submit to your employees by treating them fairly
SUBMIT, SUBMIT, SUBMIT! It’s a Christian thing.
Now, the world doesn’t understand it; the world doesn’t like it; and the world won’t do it, because the world isn’t into submission. The world is all about rights and position and power.
And Jesus taught us that we must not be like the world in this way of thinking! In Matthew 20:25-28 Jesus said: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you MUST BE YOUR SERVANT, and whoever would be first among you MUST BE YOUR SLAVE, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Submit! Why??? Because that’s what Jesus did.
In Philippians we read this: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility COUNT OTHERS MORE SIGNIFICANT (more important) than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by TAKING THE FORM OF A SERVANT, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:3-8