SPIRIT-FILLED SUBMISSION PART II
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
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)
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
(4)People ask home school parents "What about
socialization?" They don't understand that the Bible
commands Christian children to be different from non-
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
(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
(1)Parents must be kind and gentle
(2)Yet, able to discipline their children in the way of the
(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
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
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."
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
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
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
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
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
2.Every man will be judged by his own heart and attitude, Master and
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.