Today Paul tells the Ephesians to submit to one another. However, being submissive can be really hard for us to do in our human, fleshly nature. But if our eyes are on Jesus and we trust the Lord, that He is good and for our good, then submitting becomes life giving and freeing. Remember, that’s the reason why Jesus submitted to His father and died on that cross for us…to give us new and eternal life!
Therefore, Paul instructs the church body to submit “to one another in the fear of God.” He calls wives to submit to their husbands, “as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of wife, as also Christ is head of the church, and He is the Savior of the body.” Then Paul tells the husbands “to love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies.” And children are to “obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
Paul goes on to instruct bondservants to be obedient to their masters “as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart…knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.” And masters are to “do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.”
So we see that everyone is called to submit. And submitting is much easier when everyone is being obedient (i.e. easier for a wife to submit to a husband who is submitted to Christ or an employee to submit to a boss who is submitted to Christ) BUT we know that this is not always the case. However, we as Christ followers are called to submit to each other out of our love for Jesus and trust the Lord with the hearts of the ones to whom we are submitting. You never know the impact your life as a Christian can have on those around you, especially when you are submitting through the difficult.
Paul ends his letter to the Ephesians by telling them that in order to walk in this present, dark world where Satan is the ruler, they must put on the whole armor of God at all times. “…And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
Next we begin the letter to the Colossians that Paul writes while imprisoned in Rome after news that false teaching was impacting the church at Colosse. Therefore, in the beginning of the letter, Paul elevates Jesus Christ. “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him…And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence…And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard…” And this hope is the reality that one day we will stand face to face with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
More to the Colossians tomorrow. Keep reading.
(Ephesians 5:15-6:24, Colossians 1:1-23)