Submission in Marriage

Ephesians 5:22-24 “Submission is faith by another name.” Everyone is under authority and Christians are commanded to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. This passage is speaking specifically about a wife’s submission to her husband. (Next week, we will deal with husbands!) First it must be understood that authority does not mean tyranny. Christ-like authority is servant leadership. It is not self-seeking but selflessly serves the one it loves. It must also be said that submission does not mean inferiority. Women are not less intelligent, less capable or less important to God than men. Christian submission is an expression of our faith in God. It is a humble recognition

Got Spirit?

Ephesians 5:18-21 Christians make the most audacious claims. We say that God is our Friend, that He is our Father, and that He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us forever. Is the Spirit of God dwelling within you? What is the difference between having the Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit? The Book of Acts records the Holy Spirit coming upon the Church at Pentecost (chapter 2), but then records another incident in chapter 4 where they pray in response to a particular situation and they are filled with the Holy Spirit. What is going on? Evidently there can be various degrees of being filled with the Spirit. Once the Holy Spirit comes (in regeneration), He never leaves; bu

The Careful Walk

Ephesians 5:15-17 “This is not a call to duty but to delight!” The context of Paul’s admonition is the grace we have already received. You can’t live the Christian life if you are not in Christ. When he exhorts us to walk carefully, Paul is first of all assuming that we are in Christ, that we have received the grace of God. The Christian’s mindset and direction has changed. We don’t want to live a dead, shameful life. For those who are in Christ, Paul’s exhortation is not primarily to Christian duty; He is telling us the way to joy. Paul tells us to be careful how we live, to live wisely. Wisdom is the ability to discern what is ethically right in a particular situation. It is more tha

Walking As Children of Light

Ephesians 5:7-14 “To be holy, you only need to be yourself in Christ.” The process of sanctification is becoming who you already are in Christ, living out the new identity you have been given. A Christian is radically changed from the inside out. It is impossible to be a Christian without Christ, though many have tried. Grace empowers your sanctification because the spirit of holiness lives within you. In Christ, we have everything we need for life and godliness. Paul says that we are not to partner with the disobedient (those who live immoral lives). This does not mean that we avoid unbelievers. Paul is not advocating a Christian ghetto. We are to walk in their world but not to walk

Lust vs. Love; Greed vs. Gratitude

Ephesians 5:3-5 May 1, 2016 “Christian morality was not designed to steal our pleasure but to preserve it.” God gives good gifts. Satan counterfeits God’s good gifts. He twists and corrupts them, substituting his own poisonous versions. He says his version is better, but ultimately it leaves us empty and broken. Sex is good; God invented it! Temptation tries to lure us away from God’s best for us and cause us to be satisfied with something less. Sexual sin is not the unforgivable sin, nor is it something that only touches unbelievers. As God’s people, we commit to not shun the one who struggles with sexual sin. To be accepted in the church, however, the one in sin must see it as sin a

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