Continues from last message…
Ephesians 5:22-33 (ESVST)
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
The word submit means
g5293. υποτασσω hypotasso; to subordinate; reflexively, to obey:— be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.
AV (40)- put under 6, be subject unto 6, be subject to 5, submit (one’s) self unto 5, submit (one’s) self to 3, be in subjection unto 2, put in subjection under 1, misc 12;
Therefore from the original Greek language it means, to obey, to be obedient, to subject yourself to.
The verse says wives submit to your husbands, as to The Lord. Underline “As to The Lord”.
Ephesians 5:22 (NIV)
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
See, the NIV translation says “as you do to The Lord”
So, submit to your husbands as you do to The Lord. The question is, how do wives submit to The Lord? This is what we need to understand first before we even talk about submitting to your husbands.
Fist of all in verse 21, just above the beginning of this passage
Ephesians 5:21 (ESVST)
submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
The bible says we must submit to one another, this means both man and women must submit to one another and the reason we must submit is, out of reverence or fear of Christ.
5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,
Verse 5 above explains how to obey the earthly masters, the same way as you would Christ. It does not say husbands are wives earthly masters but, I quoted it to show how you would obey and submit yourself to Christ. Verse 5 shows how you should obey earthly master just like you would obey Christ and it says
1. With fear and trembling
2. Sincere Heart
This is how you would submit yourself to Christ
Chapter 5 Verse 21 says that we must submit to one another out of fear of Christ and Chapter 6 verse 5 also says to obey Christ, we must obey with fear and trembling and with a sincere heart.
Now, does this mean that wives must fear their husbands? No, it does not, it simply means that wives must fear disobeying their husbands. In as much as we fear disobeying Christ, the same way, a wife must fear disobeying their husbands. You remember when God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, just before he could kill him, an angel stopped him and said
Genesis 22:12 (ESVST)
He said, “ Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
So, the fact that he obeyed God, showed that he fears God. So fear in the bible context refers to obedience.
So the verse, wives submit to your husbands, simply means that wives must fear disobeying their husbands and must obey their husbands with a sincere heart.
But, why must wives be the ones that must fear disobeying, what about the husbands?
Firstly, as I said, verse 21 says we both must submit to one another. Verse 22-24, explains how the wive must submit and verse 25-27, explains how a husband must submit. So, this is not one sided at all. We both must submit to one another. Secondly, if you go back to Genesis, after Adam and Eve, disobeyed God. You remember that God gave them each a punishment. To Eve, God said,
Genesis 3:16 (ESVST)
To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
As part of the punishment, God made it that a wive shall be ruled by her husband. This is what God decided. Do we think this is fair or this is a unfair judgement? Do we think that God discriminates against women? Certainly not, for if we think that God is unfair or He discriminates, then He cannot be a loving God or a just God and therefore we should not believe in him but, we know that God is loving and just and therefore he cannot discriminate . He has simply made his decision and punished both man and women in a manner that He saw fit and in a manner that indicates his will. This is not for us to question but to accept and glorify God. To question this or to form a women liberation movement against this, is to be against the will of God and therefore of the devil. You simply cannot say God was or is wrong for making a decision like this based on our earthly laws or on the basis that it does not suit you as a person or group. God does not submit to earthly laws but earthly laws must submit to God.
Those are the two reasons why wives must submit or fear disobeying their husbands with a sincere heart as they would fear Christ. But these are not the only reasons, in verse 23-24 below, Paul continues to give extra reasons why
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.
I have already explained that this comes from when God punished Eve for disobedience
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
No need to explain this one I hope.
So, as you can see, this has nothing to do with equality but has everything to do with how God wants a wive to behave towards her husband. Not because a wive is unequal but simply because it is God’s own will.
I will continue with the rest of the passage below in the next message.
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. 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.