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God Demands and Enables Our Love for Him

Posted on October 21, 2015 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Deuteronomy 6:5

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.


 

1 John 4:7-5:5 (ESV)


 

1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.


 

“If you want to know who I am, I am Love,” is what God is saying. Love is the validation of knowledge and intimacy with God. To know Him is to love Him. God’s love is magnetic, and we are pulled into it. The absence of love is faithlessness, like a black hole that sucks you into nothingness. God’s love and our submission to His love enables us to love Him in return and to love others. It is also the evidence that we know the Lord. If we have truly been born again, it will be observable in our love for God and for others. The converse is true as well: if we do not exhibit love for our Creator and for others, we must not have intimate communion with the Father because He IS love.


 

1 John 4:9-10 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.


The living portrait of God’s love is Jesus on the cross, swallowing up death through His ultimate sacrifice so that we might have abundant, everlasting life. God loved us even BEFORE we submitted to Him. Romans 5:8 states, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We were DEAD in our sin before the Holy Spirit drew us into a relationship with God, but Jesus took our place on the cross because of Love. We did not come to God bringing our phenomenal love. NO! We were actually His enemies until Jesus died to make us His friends. Read the rest of Romans chapter 5.


 

1 John 4:11-12 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.


 

If we love God, we will love each other. The one God, Jehovah, who we worship can never be seen with the human eye in this life except through knowing and seeing another believer and extending love to them. The unbeliever is groping through life looking for love in all the wrong places. Christ’s bride should emanate His light and love as a beacon to lead the unbeliever home. Within the body of Christ (the church) we should be loving each other in practical deeds and not words only. Love is not an ethereal, touchy-feely emotion. Love is choosing to be self-sacrificing to meet the needs of others. Jesus demonstrated the greatest love. John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” We should be able to devote time, talent, and money to benefit others.


 

1 John 4:13-16 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.  So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.


 

How do we know that God dwells with and in us? We know this by the Spirit. We have witnessed and known and declared that God sent Jesus into the world to rescue us from destruction. We have to accept God’s invitation of salvation, profess Jesus as Savior and Lord, to enjoy the benefits of living and growing and being in Him (relationship) (Acts 17:28). Believing is trusting that Jesus is the source of all that I am and all that I ever will be. Jesus is the only way to right relationship with Jehovah God. If you are abiding in anything opposite of love in your speech or actions, you are not dwelling in the Lord. If you are resting in the Lord, love will rest in you. We are to be known for our love which is the result of growing in our understanding of Jesus and His word. John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” We need to be able to make a defense for what we believe, but note how that is to be done: 1 Peter 3:15 “…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…” In other words, the love and light of Jesus should still be shining out from us.


 

1 John 4:17-18 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.


 

We need not fear judgment, because we have been extended grace and abide in his love. The quality of love has no torment or abuse with it. We are the Lord’s sanctuary, the dwelling place of His Spirit. He has made us holy through His righteousness. We still have an intense reverence for God, realizing that He is the righteous Judge as well as our loving Father. However, we no longer live in abject fear of judgement because we are no longer condemned because Jesus died in our place. “Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect. The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death” Romans 8:1-2 (VOICE).


 

1 John 4:19-21 We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.


 

We can only truly love unconditionally because we have been loved by Love Himself. If we are making a confession that we love God and have hatred toward anyone in Christ’s body, we are deceitful and do not have the truth within us. If we cannot love those that we can experience with all five senses, those who are visible, how can we love God who must be experienced through faith and trust? This charge comes from God, it’s not enough to just love God alone, you must also love His children and those who have not yet come to faith, your enemies. Matthew 5:43-48 (VOICE) “You have been taught to love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you this: love your enemies. Pray for those who torment you and persecute you— in so doing, you become children of your Father in heaven. He, after all, loves each of us—good and evil, kind and cruel. He causes the sun to rise and shine on evil and good alike. He causes the rain to water the fields of the righteous and the fields of the sinner...” Jesus commanded that we love even those who persecute us. How much more should we demonstrate love to our brothers and sisters in Christ?!


 

1 John 5:1-5 (ESV) Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.  For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?


Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Anointed One has been born of the Spirit (John 3:5). If we love the Father, we will love His children for whom He died (John 13:35). If you love God’s children, you will be observant of His instruction. God’s life recipe is easy to follow (Matthew 11:28-30). Those in the family of God overcome the world by belief, trust, reliance, and knowledge of the Holy Scripture. Both the begotten one and the adopted ones overcome the world. The adopted children overcome the world by the sacrifice of the Son and their testimony. Our testimony is not just our words. Part of our testimony is living within our divine passion, living out what He created us to be and to do. Whatever we do needs to come out of whose we are and who we are in Him.


Those who have trusted in Jesus are adopted into God’s family and, therefore, will love his brothers and sisters in the family of faith. Love is demonstrated by obedience to the Lord. Keeping God’s commandments is loving God, but this is not a burden to bear because Jesus has brought us the victory over sin. The Lord has given us the faith we need to overcome the temptations of this world. When we as believers, followers of Christ, live in obedience to God’s will and ways, we are loving the Lord and each other by the power given to us through the Holy Spirit.

 

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THE FOLLOWING IS WHAT WE WORKED ON BEFORE THE DIRECTION OF USING I JOHN 4 AND 5. HOWEVER, IT IS ALONG THE LINES OF HOW WE MANIFEST OUR LOVE FOR GOD AND MAY BE HELPFUL ALONG WITH THE CROSS REFERENCES AT THE END.


 

 

(1)When our primary directive above all else is to bring God pleasure above and beyond ourselves, preferring God before ourselves, we are demonstrating our love for Him. Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV) ”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” To abide in Deuteronomy 6:5 is a moment by moment thought, word, and decision.


 

(2) If we love God, we will obey Him. With the Law there were 613 commands, but with grace there are 1050 (result of Google search). However, Grace gives us the capacity to fulfill these requirements. Our desire to obey is there because our hearts are His (Romans 14:4); and He is our treasure, our greatest treasure of immeasurable value. Because of this we are willing to go and be and do whatever is required. The effort comes from within when you are working from the place of grace instead of coming from without when you are working with the Law. The Law demands self-effort, whereas the Holy Spirit empowers us to be obedient through grace.


 

(3)Worship and praise shows our admiration of the Father. Worship and praise are not done only in a corporate assembly, but every believer in Jehovah God is a sanctuary. We love God by finding and living our divine purpose. His gifts and callings are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). However, the gift, by our choice can lay dormant or inactive if we do not utilize it. When we do that we are not pleasing God because it is disobedience. If we profess Christianity, and we do not exercise our gifts in obedience to His kingdom purposes we are being irreverent and not walking in the Spirit and understanding.


 

(4) Prayer, conversing with Him and acknowledging Christ as our husband and best friend is another way we love Him. If we love someone, we want to spend time with them and talk to them on a daily (sometimes hourly, moment by moment) basis. How much more should we want to spend time with Perfect Love! If you sneak away to get on your cell phone to call your love, how much more should you long to speak with the One who loved you so much that He died for you! No cell phone required!!! Not even words are required, only thoughts. Prayer includes listening for God, it’s not very loving to do all the talking. Prayer is not a monologue but a dialogue. God speaks to us through His word, so reading our Bibles is taking time to listen to our Love. If we love the Lord, we will want to know what He has to say to us.


 

(5) Giving back of the resources God has given us is acknowledging that we know that God is our source. Taking care of His house and His ministers shows love for Him. When we give gifts to His bride, the church, we are showing our Lord our devotion. Giving of your time and talents and energy also are expressions of love.


(6) Another way we express our love for God is by loving each other. When we show love to others, we are loving God’s children and thereby loving Him (Matthew 25:31-46)


(7) We are God’s child as well, so we need to love ourselves.


 

(8) If I am in love, I tell everyone how wonderful my love is. How much more should I brag on my First Love?


 

Apply this in your life: How do we show our love to God?

 

1. Wholeheartedly

2. Obedience

3. Worship and Praise

4. Prayer and reading the Bible (listening)

5. Giving

6. Loving Others

7. Loving ourselves and not accepting abuse

8. Bragging on our First Love to others (witnessing)


 

Cross References:


 

Deuteronomy 10:12

And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,


 

Deuteronomy 30:6

The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live


 

Matthew 22:37

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’


 

John 14:15

“If you love me, keep my commands.



John 8:42

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.


 

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants,[a] for the servant[b] does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

 

Do NOT Think Too Highly of Yourself - LOVE Others

Posted on October 9, 2015 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Romans 12 English Standard Version (ESV)


Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.


When we surrender our lives to the Lord, a living sacrifice is who and what we are. Everything that we do and we are can no longer be of any effect through self effort. Apart from Christ you can do nothing, and when you are saved you come to that stark reality. (John 15:5) What we are able to do and be is induced in us by the Lord’s empowerment. It is all solely dependent on our Lord. Not our accomplishments and awards, but Christ’s accomplishments in the garden, on the cross, and the resurrection reality. But the transforming of our minds is not a magic trick by the master magician. He uses His word, the Bible, to teach us His ways and His Holy Spirit enables us to discern His will as we read and are taught from His word.


Romans 12:3 Amplified Bible (AMP) For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.(read also verses 4-8)


Instead of being self-centered or individually minded, you are to be family minded, serving the body of Christ. As we grow in knowledge and wisdom, we are NOT to become puffed up, thinking of ourselves as “super saints.” We are to use what God has given us to help others. So, therefore, search out your path of blessing for the benefit of His body. If God has given you a gift, it is to be used for His purpose, not to your own advancement. We are to be occupied in His service.


Romans 12:9 (ESV) Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.


This is Jesus’ prescription, through the pen of Paul, as to how we successfully navigate loving our neighbors. Don’t offer platitudes and flattery. The Christian should grow to the end of agape love (a benevolent, unconditional love). It’s better to be hot or cold than a mixture of expression. Despise wickedness; cling to all that is holy. Love one another with familial love. One-up each other when exalting the Lord and His ambassadors. Do not be lazy, but have tenacious perseverance in your devoted service to the Lord. Celebrate the promise we have in Him. Endure gracefully when faced with conflict whether internal or external. Be persistent in intimate communion with our Beloved. Give to those with needs abundantly, liberally. Be eager to share the "familyship" (Susan’s own word for the intimate fellowship we share as the body of Christ) experience with strangers.


Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Bless your accusers and antagonists. Easy to say and hard to do, but when we continue to be kind to those who ridicule or even persecute us, they are sometimes drawn to the Lord. Go to www.persecution.com to read stories of Christians who have gone back to minister grace to the very people who nearly killed them because they proclaimed Christ.


Celebrate with those who have something to celebrate, and cry with those who are suffering. A part of “familyship” is sharing the bad times as well as the good. Don’t antagonize each other. Live in tandem, in synchronization - one active, interdependent unit. Do not be uppity, but associate with the less fortunate. Acknowledge that wisdom in no way is something a person can gain by self-effort. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Knowing that you are a mere grain of sand on life’s beach that the Spirit of God has breathed himself into should help you keep things in perspective. I am reminded of a conversation Corrie ten Boom had with an officer in a Nazi prison camp:


"Your other activities, Miss ten Boom. What would you like to tell me about them?"

"Other activities? Oh, you mean- you want to know about my church for mentally retarded people!" and I plunged into an eager account of my efforts at preaching to the feeble-minded.

The lieutenant's eyebrows rose higher and higher. "What a waste of time and energy!" he exploded at last. "If you want converts, surely one normal person is worth all the half-wits in the world!"

I stared into the man's intelligent blue-gray eyes: true National-Socialist philosophy I thought, tulip bed or no. And then to my astonishment I heard my own voice saying boldy, "May I tell you the truth, Lieutentant Rahms?"

"This hearing, Miss ten Boom, is predicated on the assumpition that you will do me that honor."

"The truth , Sir," I said, swallowing, "is that God's viewpoint is sometimes different from ours- so different that we could not even guess at it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things."

I knew it was madness to talk this way to a Nazi officer. But he said nothing so I plunged ahead. "In the Bible I learn that God values us not for our strength or our brains but simply because He has made us. Who knows, in His eyes a half-wit may be worth more than a watchmaker. Or- a lieutenant."

From The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Don’t retaliate or answer nasty with nasty. Do what is righteous at your own temporary expense, being the portrait of a living sacrifice for the advancement of God’s kingdom. To the best of your ability, lift up your gift of self-control, exalting God for the impartation of this demonstration. Allow the Lord to infuse you with the mercy to live unfazed by the actions of the disagreeable. Don’t make your enemy your personal dartboard or target at the firing range. Wait on the Lord to execute judgment. He is the only One worthy and allowed to judge. When you meet the needs of your enemy, in effect, on God’s calendar, though you cannot see it, you are truly executing punishment that someday God will answer in a way that only He can and has a right to. If the extension of love you share to those who hurt and despitefully use you, brings awareness of their iniquity, it could in effect save their lives for eternity. So we have to ask God for the grace to be that messenger.


Other passages on a proper perspective of oneself:


Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.


James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.


Galatians 6:3  For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself


APPLY THIS TO YOUR LIFE:


1. Worship the Lord by sacrificing your self-worth and allowing Him to transform your mind. You have been bought by the blood of the lamb which gives you Christ-worth.


2. Realize anything worthy in you is the result of the Lord’s power, not your own, and is to be used to build up the family of God.


3. Love your brothers and sisters in Christ, not in word only but in deeds.


4. Associate with those that society would deem “beneath you”.


5. “Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    No matter how someone treats you, continue to live as you should.” (poem by Susie)

 

Jesus Enables You to Love and Respect Your Spouse

Posted on October 5, 2015 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

EPHESIANS 5:22-31


We often look up the definitions of key words in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible and/or a good dictionary such as Webster's 1828 dictionary, both of which can be accessed online.


Definitions of key words for this study with Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance numbers:

head (2776) the head, both of men and often of animals. Since the loss of the head destroys life, this word is used in the phrases relating to capital and extreme punishment.

a. metaph. anything supreme, chief, prominent

b. of persons, master lord: of a husband in relation to his wife

c. of Christ: the Lord of the husband and of the Church

    of things: the corner stone

 

submit (Strong’s 5293) This word was a Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden".

 

respects (Strong’s 5399) fear, be afraid of, to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience

 


Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.


The covenant nuclear family begins with God, the husband, and the wife. The siblings and the parents of the couple become each other’s family. Children are not the beginning of the family. They are an addition to what God has joined together as divine representation of Christ to his bride, the church. The husband is to provide, protect, to nurture and to cause the wife to flourish in her identity and giftings, abilities and divine purposes God has placed within her.


In some translations instead of "head" it reads: “The husband is the beginning of the wife, or the source from which she came.” Perhaps this fits with the “cornerstone” definition of “head”. In the underscoring and bolding, we are noting that the wives are told twice to submit/respect their husbands, while the husbands are told 4 times to love their wives and once to hold fast to their wives.


If both husband and wife are submitted to the Lord and seeking to grow in His grace, the relationship will be strong. I like the ladder illustration. If a husband is on one side of a ladder, and his wife is on the other; they will be getting closer together as long as they are both climbing. If one stands still and the other continues to climb, they become farther apart. If both people are “climbing” toward the Lord, they will grow ever closer; but if one stops, they grow farther apart.


If the husband is loving the wife in the self-sacrificing, edifying manner exemplified by Jesus, she will have no problem submitting to him and respecting him. Since the husband is the leader in this process, much of the responsibility rests upon him – a heavy load if he is trying to maintain this kind of love in his own strength. If the husband is loving, nurturing, and exhorting the wife, she will have no problem willingly submitting to his leadership. If he is lording it over her as other cultures do, it will cause her to head toward a rebellious end.

 


Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.


The husband should be leading out in seeking to grow in the knowledge of the word. He should be encouraging his wife in her walk with the Lord, and they should be praying together. He should edify, exhort, and console his wife. He should be her biggest cheering section, like a life coach in her ear. The husband must have holy esteem for his own person in order to love the wife as himself. The husband should not let his eyes wildly gaze to another, but fix his eyes on his own wife. This is the covenant the man made to his wife and to God. There is a difference between being “in love” with yourself and loving yourself. The ideal bird is not the peacock (one who struts his stuff and brings attention to himself) but the eagle who brings the wife into soaring heights. The goal for both parties in the marriage is to lift up the other. Eagles mate for life. The marriage covenant is designed to be “until death separates us”. The respect or reverence the wife has for the husband is like our “fear” of the Lord. We can give this reverence because he is loving us without condition, a love like we have never experienced before. Love to the point of overwhelming the wife and catching her by surprise. In the culture at the time the book of Ephesians was written, it was expected that the woman would reverence her husband. The new teaching here is that the husband is to love his wife sacrificially. The wife is then the willing, obedient, devotee. This is a prescription for a contented marriage.

 


APPLY THIS IN YOUR OWN LIFE:

 

1. Reflect Christ in all relationships and dealings with people. When we make the proclamation that we are Christians, people are always watching for the good or the bad. As Christians we are always on the stage of life. If our ultimate and overarching goal is to please, bring pleasure to, the audience of One (God), then we will be fully contented in our everyday lives.


2. Being the head of the home does not mean being the dictator. The husband should be the facilitator of his wife’s wellbeing. He should nurture, nourish, exhort, and encourage her by being the chief cheerleader, life coach, and her soft place to fall.


3. The husband has to have a proper view of himself as a sinner saved by grace. He cannot be a peacock that has to see himself from every angle to admire himself. He needs to be a male eagle who commits to his wife for life. He loves himself because he knows he is loved by his heavenly Father. He is NOT in love WITH himself.


4. As a wife in covenant, first with the Lord and second with her husband that she has chosen to become one with, she needs to respond in such a way that she builds her husband’s esteem by offering (with her words as his devotee) honor and dignity to build his character. She strengthens her relationship to Christ and the promises made to Jesus as His willing subject and thus, her relationship to her husband. In this way, she maintains the strength of the three-fold cord (God, husband, wife).

 

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Reformation Study Bible Notes (found on www.biblegateway.com

5:21 This transitional verse is last in a series of expressions explaining the effects of being filled with the Spirit (vv. 19–21note). Regardless of their social rank, all Christians should pattern their social behavior on the humility and kindness of Christ (4:32–5:2; cf. Luke 22:24–27; John 13:14–16). This submission “to one another” is the basis for the forms of authority in specific relationships discussed in 5:22–6:9.

5:22–6:9 At least as far back as Aristotle (fourth century B.C.), Greek ethics had addressed relationships within the household in a familiar pattern: husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and slaves. Consistently, the interest was to help the male head of household learn to govern his family and slaves. In their treatment of such rules, Paul and Peter transform the question from how husbands, fathers, and masters dominate to how they can imitate the love of Christ they know in their own lives by nurturing those in their care. Simultaneously, as wives, children, and slaves define their roles in terms of service to Christ, they turn from being passive objects in a social world that devalues them, and become instead active partners with God in His plan to bring unity to a race divided by gender, age, and economics.

5:22–32 Jesus gives life to a new community of love—the church, His own body. His love also defines the marriage relationship for His people. Paul teaches that the genders are complementary, and a man and a woman are equal before God. Yet in marriage the husband has leadership. This leadership is not absolute but gives the husband the initiative in marriage, to which the wife responds. Paul’s understanding is grounded in the creation order (1 Cor. 11:8, 9; 1 Tim. 2:13), and he takes account of the lingering effects, even among Christians, of the Fall (1 Tim. 2:14). Redemption in Christ restores the intimacy men and women were created to enjoy in marriage.

5:22 submit. A Christian wife is called to grateful acceptance of her husband’s care and leadership. See theological note “The Christian Family” on the next page.

as to the Lord. See v. 24.

5:23 head of the wife . . . head of the church. In other passages on Christ’s headship in this letter, Paul speaks of the way Christ governs the universe and the church (1:22), and serves as the source of the body’s health and growth to maturity (4:14–16).

his body. That is, the church as His body—Christ Himself indwells the church (vv. 28–30).

Savior. It is especially in His role as Savior that Christ serves as the husband’s model (vv. 25–27 and notes

5:24 as the church . . . so also wives. The church’s subjection to Christ is a revealed and heavenly order, not a natural order. Christ’s disciples were His friends, not just His servants, and He died for them (John 15:12–15; cf. Luke 22:25–27).

5:25 Husbands, love. The emphasis in the passage is not the husband’s authority to govern, but his responsibility to love.

as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Nowhere in the New Testament is Christ’s self-sacrificing love applied more directly to a specific relationship as a pattern to be emulated (cf. v. 2).

5:26, 27 Paul outlines in these verses the entire process to which Christ has committed Himself in His relationship with the church: He has washed her from sin and is preparing her for a glorious destiny with Himself (see text note, v. 27). Husbands are called in like manner to adapt their lives to their wives’ needs, and to provide for their growth and development.

5:28–32 A person’s union with his or her own body is intimate and permanent, and marriage creates a similar union (Gen. 2:24). Christ has joined the church to Himself through the bonds of the covenant He fulfilled, and this intimate union forms an analogy for Christian marriage (see 2:6 and note).

 

Jesus Enables Us to Walk in Love

Posted on October 1, 2015 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Ephesians 5:1-21 (ESV)

 

5 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.


Imitators – be a mini me – or walk in the shadow of Christ’s walk. Conduct yourself in the same manner as He does. His love is a sacrificial and intimate affection. A child mirroring their parent is a copy-cat. You want to be a carbon copy of Jesus. Essentially, we are CARBON copies of Jesus. We talk about leaving a small carbon footprint on the earth, but in this case we want our footprint to be large, large enough to love sacrificially. We want an enormous, gigantic, impossible to miss witness for our Lord.


Ephesians 5 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving… 8Walk as children of light9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.


Do not engage in conversation with those who participate or engage in perverse activities. Don’t even make jokes about those things... Don’t even speak of their exploits in jest.


Ephesians 5 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. See also Psalm 37:4-6


Even when we are not talking about the Lord, we are still His ambassadors, His witnesses. We must live in the light of this truth. Because of grace, Christ loves us unconditionally, but we still should desire to walk in grace, love, and excellence. We do not want to cause someone to stumble because we said or did something stupid. Words have power for good or evil. God used the vehicle of words to create the expanse of the world. Words must be a powerful tool, if not the most powerful tool we have at our disposal as the image of God.


Redeeming the time: Make each moment of each day of each week of each month of each year count. We have that power, but we do not always think about it intentionally. God wants us to think about it so that with our intention, the will of God is brought from eternity to temporality. We must be aware, conscientious, and intentional with the moments God gives us on this earth. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) Make sure our actions produce that reality.


Ephesians 5: 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.


Instead of seeking a substance to desensitize us and enable us to forget, and anesthetize us, we are to face the challenge and find solutions through the power of the Holy Spirit. When you are drunk with wine, your faculties are impaired. The substance is clouding and taking over your faculties, your thoughts are not your own. When you are guided by the Holy Spirit, there is edification, exhortation, and consolation. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you have a joy that cannot be taken away. The Holy Spirit is a joy that is implanted by God in every one of His children. It can lay dormant if we don’t engage in intimate interaction with Lord, but it is there.


“Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…” may sound a little hokey to us. However, I think of our choir singing “I Love You with the Love of the Lord” to encourage people who are sick are struggling in some way. I also make a point to sing hymns for and with the people I visit in nursing homes or hospitals. So many hymns and choruses contain word for word scripture as well as scriptural principles which makes them an excellent ministry tool.


Giving thanks to God always and for everything. We are able to thank the Lord for the difficulties in life because He is using them to mold us into the image of Christ. (Susan – this is hard because sometimes I feel I have suffered more than a lifetime worth of difficulties.)


Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ: Reverence is a holy awe for Jesus. We submit to one another to honor the Lord. Because of our devotion to Jesus, we can submit to each other, place ourselves in a position of following even when we are qualified to lead.


Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”


Apply this to your daily life:

1. Imitate Christ – in order to do this, you will need to find out how He lived by reading the gospels and ask Him to empower you to emulate His ways

2. Discern what is pleasing to the Lord and DO IT – Ask the Lord to guard your mouth from even talking in a flippant manner about things that are displeasing

3. Be conscientious about your witness for the Lord in your actions as well as your speech

4. Deliberately choose to make the most of the moments the Lord gives you, using your time wisely to His glory

5. Be physically sober but spiritually “high”

6. Encourage each other (even if you can’t sing, you can quote lyrics)

7. The corny “Have an attitude of gratitude” really is good advice

8. If you are submitted to Jesus, He will enable you to submit to each other