PURPOSE: To show that by the Christian’s yielding control of life to the Holy Spirit that Christian is filled with the Spirit, making life more heavenly on earth.
OUTLINE OF EPHESIANS 5:18 THROUGH CHAPTER 6: 9:
I. BE CONTROLLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD (vv. 18-20).
II. SPIRIT CONTROLLED LIVING IS A LIFE OF SUBMISSION (vv. 21-24).
III. SPIRIT CONTROLLED HUSBANDS LOVE THEIR WIVES SACRIFICIALLY (vv. 25-33).
IV. SPIRIT CONTROLLED CHILDREN OBEY THEIR PARENTS (vv. 6:1-4).
V. SPIRIT CONTROLLED CHRISTIANS PRACTICE THEIR GOD GIVE VOCATION (6:5-9).
BE CONTROLLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD (vv. 18-20). From the beginning we must understand that every born again individual is indwelt by the Spirit of God. He inhabits your body along with your spirit that has been born anew in Christ Jesus.
Most of us have witnessed the activities of a drunk who was mad drunk by drinking by alcoholic beverage or some other drug legal or illegal. The man or woman now drunk has become boisterous, knows no fear, will do things they would not normally do when they were sober. The individual made drunk by this foreign substance, is controlled by another substance which has robbed him of self control.
Paul knew what the excess of wine did to people. I know what the excess of wine does to people, as I am sure you do as well. Most drunks believe they can drive, maybe even fly, or do anything. Paul uses the likeness here in a somewhat analogous way. Drunks (for the most part) become drunk willingly and by drinking what they know will inebriate them. The Holy Spirit filled believer becomes Spirit filled willingly. The drunk knows no fear. The Spirit filled believer is not fearful. The drunk does things he/she would not normally do, if sober. The Spirit filled Christian does things he/she would not normally do, such as one on one witnessing, preaching, serving others, teaching, giving, loving, and living with the fruits of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-23) more practical things.
Now here is wheree this analogy breaks down. The drunk has no self control, while the power of the Holy Spirit, in the Spirit filled Christian, gives each Christian self control.
In verses 19-20 (Colossians 3:15-17) we begin seeing what the life of the Spirit filled person is like. He/She is in an attitude of worship. He is at peace with God in his heart, always praising God. Always a song in the heart and on the lips. The Spirit filled/controlled Christian will have their lives filled with song and singing. Always thankful, for all things, and identified in the Lord Jesus.
SPIRIT CONTROLLED LIVING IS A LIFE OF SUBMISSION (vv. 21-24). Further evidence of Spirit controlled living is submission to one another. Submission in this event is recognizing God ordained positions and being subject to those who are in those positions as God has designed and led. For the man; a woman is far superior to the man at being a woman, and all that God has designed for her to be and do. For the woman; the man is far superior to the woman at being a man, and all that God has designed for him to be and do. Therefore, there is cause for us to submit to one another.
As members of the Body of Christ [the Church] our Lord and Savior, we are to be first submissive to Him, and if we are genuinely submitted to Hom we will also be to one another. We will be accountable to each other in our walk with Christ. When a brother or sister in Christ submits to another Christian it is motivation for Christian living unseen any other way. We submit one to one, all to one, and one to all. Husband to wife, wife to husband, and children to parents and parents to children; of course remembering that God has placed some in positions of authority.
Wives are to submit to their husbands [in the Lord] because God ordained it so in the order of creation (1 Timothy 2:11-13). It was from Adam’s side which God created woman to be his helper. Believe me ladies; we men need a lot of help. 8) She is to submit to her husband as to the Lord and for His sake.
The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church… The head is what keeps the rest functioning properly. Without direction, vision and leadership from the head the collective body will fail.
In every organization, business, military endeavor, church and home there must be a head who will lead the way. If all try to lead you have chaos. Now, we understand as human beings, leadership that is dictatorial is not responsible leadership. The head, in human affairs, will listen to advice and counsel from others, and make decisions accordingly.
Wives and their husbands should be able to sit down together and make plans and talk things through. Generals who listen to good advice from privates would be wise Generals indeed. In many cases it may be that listening to Privates, is part of the reason they made the promotion of General.
The husband is a wise husband, and wise head who will listen to his wife. The husband as head of the wife and analogous to Christ should also see the picture of sacrifice. Christ gave Himself for the Church. If the husband is willing to sacrifice his life for his wife she will have no problem being submissive to him.
SPIRIT CONTROLLED HUSBANDS LOVE THEIR WIVES SACRIFICIALLY (vv. 25-33). Holy Spirit filled husbands love their wives sacrificially.
As Jesus gave Himself for the Church in order to have a glorious bride the Spirit filled husband voluntarily gives himself to and for his wife. She is a special and precious treasure. He will see her as an extension of himself, a partner, a friend, a helper for life. He cares for her well being; physically, financially and spiritually. He loves her as he loves himself. A man will give up almost anything to do what he wants to do – what he REALLY wants to do. If the husband really loves his wife he will give up anything to show her that love. Jesus gave up the glory of heaven for a time to show He loves His bride.
No longer under the care of his parents he loves his wife and becomes one with her for the rest of their lives. There is no one else by her that he sacrifices for, not even himself. If husbands want reverence from their wives we must first love them sacrificially, and do so at the expense of our own comfort, pride, and well being.
Here is some other sacrifices husbands can make for their wife’s benefit:
- That favorite football team that’s playing the same time your wife wants you to go shopping with her; what will you do?
- Her favorite TV show is on the same time as yours; what will you do?
- Your home from work for the day, there are things you could be doing that you enjoy, the wife is working, and there are dirty clothes to be washed, and dishes in the kitchen sink; do you wait for her to come home and do them? or will you do them? instead of what you want to do?
The above mentioned things are not giving your life, but merely giving up your wants for what would be good for her.
SPIRIT CONTROLLED CHILDREN OBEY THEIR PARENTS (vv. 6:1-4). Obedient children are a blessing to any home. Children who love our Lord, and are Spirit filled are obedient and hold their parents in honor and respect.
The Christian home should reflect the likeness of Jesus. Even though He is the Creator of the world He subjected Himself to Joseph and Mary in honor and obedience. Children who are born again and are controlled by God’s Spirit are an excellent testimony of God’s power to change lives. Children who live solely for self are not subject to anyone, not even God. It is a sure sign, that if a child is disobedient and disrespectful to their parents, they are in the same condition with God.
The same can be said of the father who is abusive to his children, and neglects to hear their cries and hurts. If the father provokes his children, or does not sacrificially love their mother, he is not Spirit filled or controlled. The Spirit filled – controlled – father teaches, encourages, without downgrading his children.
The care and encouragement in the Lord is what our children need.
Living as Spirit filled Christians is about as close to heaven as we will come in this world; at least until Jesus Comes and makes all things right. Our God has equipped us, and given us His Spirit to help us in the endeavor of living holy lives. It is only possible as we yield our selfishness to the control and influence of His Spirit. Yielding will bring harmony to the church, marriages, parents, and children, and in all realms of living.
The only way to Spirit filled/controlled living is through faith in Jesus Christ and His death, burial and resurrection.
SPIRIT CONTROLLED CHRISTIANS PRACTICE THEIR GOD GIVE VOCATION (6:5-9). Remember the Submission part; about submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God… (v. 21). It is for the place where we are employed as well; or the place where we employ employees – as owners or boss. When we see ourselves as the servants of Jesus Christ it will not matter what our job, but in the power of God’s Spirit will do our job “as unto the Lord.“
The word servant used here is a reference to “slaves”. Slavery was a dominant institution during the time of Paul’s writing. According to some the word is used in referring to involuntary or voluntary slavery. If this means “slave”, then how can it apply to Twenty first century America? It applies in the factories, grocery stores, farms, churches, families, government offices, Law offices, Court buildings, Police headquarters, Fire stations, Ambulance services, Hospitals, Highway/Road departments, etc., thus, everyone is an employee somewhere. An employee must appear at work at a set time, leaves at a set time, is paid on a set day, and must work according to the employers policies; or be fired. When you are working for someone other than yourself, you are serving someone. In what is called service oriented businesses; even if you are “working for yourself” you are still serving others. You may not like the term, but you are a servant to that employment – a slave.
You can talk to just about any one who works for someone else and they will often begin telling you all, or at least some of the problems of their employer. There are a lot of people who are dissatisfied with their place of employment. It seems to be human nature to complain, however, it is not God’s nature.
Be obedient… unto Christ (v. 5), could form the entire sentence. Even when the boss seems to be messing up, if we are to be faithful, Spirit filled Christians we comply with his directions – as long as his directions are not immoral, or physically harmful, and/or violate your conscience.
Spirit filled Christians are different in their labor than are the rest of the laborers. Where others complain and slack off in their work the Spirit controlled believer is thankful, and works his/her best. Her single purpose being to glorify Jesus Christ.
The very fact that more is said in these verse cold show who the majority of Christians were in this church. These words to encourage them in their labor. It is Jesus for whom we labor. The Scriptures say nothing of a division of secular and sacred. For the Spirit filled Christian all things are done, as unto Christ.
The Spirit filled Christian employee will not serve with eyeservice; seeking the approval of the boss only when he is watching. This term eyeservice implies only doing the work; and maybe even with a little more effort; when being watched. Many people who are of the world work one way when no one is watching and a completely other way when they know they are being watched. To please the boss (while he is watching) could mean a promotion, they think.
It is the will of God that Christians do their work heartily as the servants of Christ . The work of the Christian is not to please men, but to glorify their Lord. Those Christians who do their work unto the Lord will recrive eternal rewards from Christ (Colossians 3:24). This is not unto salvation but rewards which glorify our Lord.
Doing a job cheerfully can be contagious. Others see you working, and enjoying the work of your Lord, and it begins to rub off on others. What kind of witness is it to be sour and complaining about low pay, no benefits, poor work environment, and whatever other complaints there are? I heard Elisabeth Elliot say, “If you aren’t doing the work you like, then, like the work you do.” We can only learn to like it by seeing that our true Master is our lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Verse 8 is the link to what has just been said. If there is anyone who has doubt that this idea of servanthood is not relevant for our day, Paul includes, “Whether he be bond or free”. In other wards the principles given are for all Christians, and for all ages.
When we go to a place for employment we are subjecting ourselves to their rule of practice and operation. We voluntarily become a bond-slave to our employer with the understanding we are being paid for what we do, and at an agreed upon wage. However, if we expect to be paid, the employer expects good work.
The good work that Christian employee does, along with a joyful and giving attitude, is a witness to everyone around, including the boss. God promises reward to those who serve the Lord in this way.
When it is said and done we are all bond-slaves to someone or something. There are some who are slaves to sin and obey its every craving and desire. The Christian, however, is free from sin, and is a bond-slave to Christ, because he was redeemed with the purchase price of the shed blood of Jesus (Romans 6:14-18).
The Christianity part does not lay on the employee alone; that is the responsibility of every Christian employee and employer. We look now at the duties of the Christian employer, Business owner, Supervisor, Boss; let’s also keep in mind 5:21, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” We are all subjects of Christ.
The “master” is to do service to the servant, “as unto the Lord”. Paying a wage that enables the servant to have a life supporting his family and providing for their health needs. This is speaking of the Christian employer.
For the “master” he is to do it as a servant of Christ. Not beating, nor threatening, but encouraging. The “master” realizing that he too has a Master “in heaven”.
The Master in heaven has no “respect of persons”, but every one of His children are equal in His sight; receiving from Him according to their need. The master/employer should treat his employees equally according to their needs and abilities.
When Christians are filled with the Spirit they will be the best employees an employer can find, for they see that they are servants. Servants not of their employer, but of Christ, who is Master over all.
The Christian [Spirit controlled] employer will give the best of care to his employees, because he realizes he has a Master, and when the employees are respected and blessed by their employer they will give more of themselves without complaining.
Wouldn’t it be great if employers were always on the look out for Christian employees because every Christian who cam to work for them was a hard and joyous worker?
Wouldn’t it be great if the Christian employer was gracious and took care of his employees, and his employees loved him and because of his generosity worked their best for him?
We give evidences of the filling of the Spirit of God by these things which the apostle has written. Husbands and wives submitting to one another, respecting one another’s place filled by God; Children loving and respecting their parents, obeying them and parents filled with the Spirit correcting their children with love; Servants/Employees be submitted to their bosses; Christian employers/bosses/business owners submitted to the servant. As Christians we must remember we are to be submitted one to another. See the other as better than ourselves and seek others well being. This is a practicing, active, living Christianity.
-Tim A. Blankenship