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Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

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Friday, August 3, 2018

Ephesians 5:24-25 (Lesson 28)

Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

Established November 2008                                                 Published Weekly on Friday AM

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men (and women) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (1Timothy 2:3-4)

Ephesians (5:24-33)                                                               (Lesson 28)

Welcome to our Home Bible Study.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”  Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.  The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.  So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.  The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:18-24).

In Genesis 1, the LORD God said all that He had made was “good.”  Then we reach Genesis 2 and He said, “It is not good for man to be alone.”  Here the LORD points out a fundamental truth re: human nature and His command to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it… (Genesis 1:28).  Man was created to be a social creature that will thrive in close relationships with others.  So, the LORD resolves to make him a “helper” (Hebrew + Ezer) to be his equal partner.  A “helper” (“help meet" - KJV) in the O.T. is not a subordinate but one who may be equal and in certain respects superior to the one being helped.  God is often referred to as a “helper” to humans in need (Psalm 10:14, 54:4). 

I don’t believe I’m going out onto a short limb in saying the majority of Christian marriages today are not producing spiritual fruit due to ignorance. That is to say, since Christians choose not to study their Bible and certain churches intentionally avoid teaching this section of scripture; people are blind to the truth.  Please understand, your pastor, priest, or minister is not accountable for what you know (or don’t know) about what God has revealed in His Word.  This book says it’s the Believer’s responsibility to study it (2 Timothy 2:15).  Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

This book says people either followed Jesus Christ or they were one of His disciples.   Thousands of people followed Jesus back then.  However, after His ascension, there were only a few disciples.  There's a significant difference between a follower of Jesus Christ and a faithful disciple: 

Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.  And He said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.  Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them.  Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him (Matthew 4:18-22).

Jesus knew these “fishermen” would be faithful disciples; that’s why He called them. 
A follower of Jesus Christ doesn’t necessarily have or desire knowledge about what they are following.  Many will follow for all the wrong reasons.  The majority of those following Jesus Christ wanted something from Him.  He was giving, so they were taking.  According to the context those followers wanted to be healed of an infirmity.  Many others followed Him because He was an attraction, a radical curiosity, and then there’s that opportunity for a “free lunch” on the hillside. 

A disciple of Jesus Christ is altogether different; they are a student of a teacher, and they follow in order to gain knowledge.  So, you know you’re a disciple of Jesus Christ if you’re following Him to gain knowledge about Him and God’s Word. 

There are 217 church denominations and several mega churches in the USA all claiming Christian status; however, many of these are religious cults (counterfeit churches).  The people identifying with them are being deceived because of their lack of biblical knowledge (1Timothy 2:3-4). 

In 2 Corinthians 11 our Apostle Paul confronts all those who were preaching “a different gospel” that contradicts the gospel found in scripture: 

Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith (Romans 2:16, 16:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

I’m asking all the disciples of Jesus Christ to please open your Bible at Ephesians 5:24 and follow along with me during this Bible lesson.

Ephesians 5

24:  But as the church is subject to Christ, also the wives ought to be (subject) to their husbands in everything.  

Our Apostle Paul directed his remarks to the believing wives last week, explaining God’s divine design for the family and the wife’s submissive role in it.  This is where one’s pride frequently disrupts God’s plan.  God said it, but I’m ignoring it, kind of thing.”  However, God uses every part of our life, including marriage, to sanctify us i.e. to help us become like His Son.  The marital relationship can produce spiritual fruit such as: sacrificial love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Unfortunately, people today, just as the Greeks of old, acquaint meekness with weakness.  In our culture, strength of body and mind is emphasized with the use of catchy phrases like, “Stand up for your rights,” and “My body; my choice.”  True humility is rarely recognized in our culture today and I’m including the church.  One isn’t born humble; it’s an acquired trait, a result of the Believer’s Spirit-filled walk (Ephesians 5:18).  

Paul spells this truth out for us in Philippians 2:15:  Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with (what) humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.

Humility is not recognized as a godly virtue today and that won’t change until people’s thinking about God and His Word change.   Those women, walking with the Lord daily understand God’s blessing are on the hand of women:

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Motherhood isn’t to be avoided it is to be praised.  Unfortunately the world views those women without a regular job or career as unfulfilled.  God begs the difference!  There’s nothing more precious than a godly woman tending to the needs of her family in the home or refuge.  My mother was a godly housewife.  She literally “burned the mid-night oil” praying for her children and her husband, my father.  Late to bed, early to rise, and the last one fed at mealtime describes my God fearing mother.  I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it were not for her loving faithfulness to the Lord and her fixed devotion on her God-given responsibilities: 

Who can find a virtuous woman?  For her price is far above rubies.  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, So that he shall have no need of spoil.  She will do him good and not evil All the days of her life.  She seeketh wool, and flax, And worketh willingly with her hands.  She is like the merchants’ ships; She bringeth her food from afar.  She riseth also while it is yet night, And giveth meat to her household, And a portion to her maidens.  She considereth a field, and buyeth it: With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.  She girdeth her loins with strength, And strengtheneth her arms.  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good:  Her candle goeth not out by night.  She layeth her hands to the spindle, And her hands hold the distaff.  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.  She is not afraid of the snow for her household:  For all her household are clothed with scarlet.  She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; Her clothing is silk and purple.  Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land.  She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; And delivereth girdles unto the merchant.  Strength and honour are her clothing; And she shall rejoice in time to come.  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And in her tongue is the law of kindness.  She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness.  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her.  Many daughters have done virtuously, But thou excellest them all.  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain:  But a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.  Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her own works praise her in the gates (Proverbs 31:10-31).

A godly woman is to be praised!

Ephesians 5
24: But as the church is subject to Christ, also the wives ought to be (subject - Hupotasso) to (obey) their husbands in everything. 

If you’re wondering how are wives to be subject to their husbands, ask yourself is there any area of the church not subject to Christ?  That would be “No.”  Paul said be subject in everything except those things which God frowns upon.  I’ve never heard a Believer question whether or not the church is to be subject to Christ, that’s a given.  However, even though this verse is clearly stated, many people stumble over it.  Emotions run high and instead of obedience, people obstinately question its meaning or intentionally ignore it saying it’s not applicable to the 21st century.  To this I say rejecting God’s will for your life is never a good idea.  Living your life without Christ’s guidance is both foolish and reckless (Psalm 14:1).  The fact that greater than 50% of Christian marriages end in divorce court testifies to this truth. 

Wives don’t need me to tell them their husbands have faults.  But those faults are not to be used as weapons against Him:  Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails; (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

So instead of attacking your husbands, ladies, remember a godly woman subject to God’s will and to her husband’s headship has the opportunity to change the way he thinks by displaying their chaste and respectful behavior:

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.  Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.  For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear (1Peter 3:1-6).

Now it’s the husbands turn to learn about their God-given role in marriage.  This book says God has given the saved husbandheadship” (authority) in the home.  But this does not mean men are to reign as tyrants, treating their wife and children as subordinates.  The Lord didn’t treat His Church like an underling.  He gave His life for her; men are to follow His lead (5:25).

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands love your wives (how), just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

I wonder how many of you are aware of what this verse is actually saying.  Paul, speaking for the risen Lord, commands husbands to love your wives.  But did you notice nowhere in this section does he command the wives to love their husbands?  But here’s the thing, even though the wife is not commanded to love her husband, it stands to reason if he demonstrates sacrificial love toward his wife, in all things, she naturally will return that love.  If not, then there is something seriously wrong with her. 

Question:   How are husbands to love their wives?  As Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her?  Men, there’s your mark!  However, as Paul has already pointed out, neither the husband nor the wife is capable of fulfilling these commands unless they walk in marriage filled with the Spirit, i.e. under the Spirit’s control.  This is in keeping with Paul’s previous commands to walk circumspectly, walking as wise; not unwise (5:15-18).

Paul’s not finished with the husband’s tutoring re:  the marriage relationship.  But we’ll place a bookmark here and pick up Paul’s message starting here next week.

(To be continued)

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