Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

SPIRIT-FILLED SUBMISSION PART II EPH 6:1-9 REVIEW: LOOK BACK @ EPH 5:17-18 Paul exhorts the Ephesians to be wise and understand what is the will of the Lord. Paul defines wisdom to be UNDERSTANDING THE WILL OF THE LORD. According to the overall theme of Ephesians, the will of the Lord is: 1. to walk worthy of the name Christian 2. to walk in unity with other Christians More specifically, in Eph 5 the will of the Lord is: 1. to be filled with the Spirit 2. to submit to one another Being "filled with the Spirit" is walking worthily because the Spirit produces unity among believers. You can't be "filled with the Spirit" and not be in unity with the brethren. I. THE WILL OF THE LORD FOR PARENTS AND CHILDREN (vs1-4) A. CHILDREN (vs1-3) 1.Obedience a.Just as reverence is evidence of the submission wives owe to their husbands' authority, obedience is evidence of the honor children owe to their parents. (1)human nature fights against subjection, whether in adults or in children (2)You can observe for yourself how rare this is. How many of our own children faithfully obey their parents? b."in the Lord" - This could mean Christian parents (parents in the Lord). But, more likely, it refers to the rule of God. (1)This obedience is decreed by God; therefore, parents (all parents) are to be obeyed as long as obedience to God is not challenged. (2)e.g. worship of Diana by non-Christian Ephesian parents c."for this is right" LOOK BACK @ 5:17 "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is]." (1)LOOK BACK @ 4:17 "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind," (2)Children too are not to walk as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds. THIS IS A BIBLICAL RESPONSE TO "SOCIALIZATION" (peer pressure). (3)Christian children are to walk worthy just as much as Christian adults (4)People ask home school parents "What about socialization?" They don't understand that the Bible commands Christian children to be different from non- Christian children. 2.Honor (vs2-3) a.This is one of the original 10 commandments, and it is different from the rest by having a reward attached ("Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.") b.The promise helps to make obedience more attractive "that it may be well with thee" (1)Consider this alongside drugs, sex, violence, crime etc. (2)Teenage suicide - disobedience can lead this way (3)The promise of a long life also implies how wrong suicide really is. We shouldn't despise our present life. (4)Obedience and honor are like preventive medicine (5)Instead of teaching "safe sin" teach obedience (but of course the world rebels against obeying authority) B. PARENTS (vs4) 1."and ye fathers provoke not" a.Parents can be too harsh and cause children to become discouraged (1)Parents must be kind and gentle (2)Yet, able to discipline their children in the way of the Lord (3)LOOK @ Prov 13:24 "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." b.Why does he address fathers? (1)Father is husband and head/authority of family (2)As the one with authority, he is to rule with love (3)e.g. simple spanking for correction is NOT to be done in anger C. CONTROVERSY (see PARENTS'S RIGHTS, John W. Whitehead) 1."other gentiles" are attempting to change all this. Again LOOK BACK@ 4:17 "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind," 2.Just like the feminists, who would deny a unique male leadership role in both Church and family, there are Children's Rights activists who argue "that the social category 'children' is in itself an oppressive idea and that everything must be done to free the young from its restrictions." (Neil Postman, The Disappearance of Childhood (New York: Delacorte Press, 1982), p.139. 3.Extreme outer limits of this: READ RICHARD FARSON'S RIGHTS FOR CHILDREN (Whitehead, p.24-25) 4.These same advocates "also create with adults the false expectation that they, too can be--or should be--liberated 'from the arduous demands of a parental and community commitment to child rearing.'" (Whitehead p.36 quoting Bruce C. Hafen, "The Constitutional Status of Marriage, Kinship, and Sexual Privacy--Balancing the Individual and Social Interests," 81 Michigan Law Review 463,464(1983).) 5.In Eph 6:4 we find parents are to provide values for THEIR children, in THEIR family. But as John Whitehead points out, "In America, we see the state-financed public schools assuming the role of providing 'values'. The totalitarian state gladly and aggressively assumes this role. It becomes a substitute family." (p.38) 6.Many of the feminists who do not believe in a male leadership role also do not believe in the Biblical role of parents. "For example, a 1982 interview in Working Women magazine of nine top corporate women reveals their belief that the basic method of breaking male dominance in the business world is having more women in the work force. This raised the question of what to do with children of working mothers. The answer was state-financed day-care centers." (Whitehead p.41) 7.Parents have the lead role in education. It's the Biblical role of providing values. LOOK @ PROV 1:7-8 "The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction. 8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:" 8.It would seem then that any institution other than the family has no true Biblical warrant in training children. And any institution, including even the family, must be grounded in the Word of God to train children and as Paul says in Eph 6:4 "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." 9.This also seems to imply that a truly Biblical school must be an extension of the family because a school is standing in the place of the parents. 10.A truly Biblical school then will teach obviously Biblical values and support the Biblical concept of a Christian family. II. THE WILL OF THE LORD FOR MASTERS AND SLAVES (vs 5-9) A. SERVANTS ARE TO OBEY WITH A FEAR AND TREMBLING, NOT JUST AN OUTWARD OBEDIENCE (vs5) 1.Think about how hard it is to submit to anyone's control over you. 2.Paul commands them to submit to their masters as if submitting to Christ 3.Think about how harsh their conditions were as slaves. a.Remember, these were not just paid servants or employees b.These were slaves, whose masters had the power of life and death over them. 4.The gospel did not win a physical freedom, only a spiritual freedom a.Their masters cannot prohibit or restrict the spiritual freedom of the slave b.This is why Paul calls them "masters according to the flesh" B. THERE WAS TO BE A NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHRISTIAN AND NON- CHRISTIAN SLAVES (vs6) 1.The Christian was not to be motivated by fear of punishment, but rather as one serving Christ and doing the will of God. 2.As they obey their masters, they obey God 3.Paul says, "doing the will of God" a.This reminds them that God is the one who put them into slavery b.It was God's sovereign will, not the will of men C. HENCE, THE CHRISTIAN SLAVES MUST NOT RESIST THE AUTHORITY OF THEIR MASTERS, BUT IN GOOD WILL SERVE THEM (vs7) 1.In some small sense this applies to us today. 2.God sovereignly assigns our station in life 3.God ultimately regulates society. 4.Our condition is much better than that of a slave. D. TRUE REWARD FOR GOOD SERVICE WILL COME FROM GOD. (vs8) 1."any man doeth" - God does not make distinctions between slave and free. 2.Every man will be judged by his own heart and attitude, Master and slave alike. E. LIKE HUSBANDS AND FATHERS, MASTERS ARE IN AUTHORITY (vs9) 1.Masters are to have the same heart attitudes as slaves 2.How can masters "do the same things" when the state of masters and slaves is different? a.They do so much like the husband who is in authority over the wife and is told to love his wife as himself b.And like the father who is told not to provoke his children 3. "Forebearing threatening" a.Husbands are not to threaten wives b.Fathers are not to threaten children c.Masters are not to threaten slaves as if they were cattle 4."Your Master in Heaven" a.Masters will also give account for their treatment of slaves b.Ultimately, they have the same Master in Heaven as slaves.


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank