I want to return to yesterday’s passage once more, Ephesians Chapter 5 verses 22 to 33, because it is often misunderstood and because I felt I only scraped the surface of what could be said yesterday.
I mentioned yesterday that some have felt that the apostle Paul’s words ‘submission’ and ‘headship’ could give an excuse for male domination or abuse. However, I hope that from looking at the fuller context of this passage about the love that a husband should have for his wife, then there is no excuse whatsoever in Paul’s mind for such horrendous behaviour to occur.Also if we look at Paul’s general teaching elsewhere in this letter or in other places (which applies to ALL people), again there is no wiggle room at all to accuse Paul of being anti-women or allowing for abuse – see for example Ephesians Chapter 4 verses 1 to 3, Philippians Chapter 2 verse 3 or Romans Chapter 12 verses 9-10. – do look these up.
But back to the passage today, Paul writes that the role of husbands in a Christian marriage is to build up their wives so that they grow in faith, and to love them as they love their own bodies, because spiritually speaking they are one, quoting the origin of the marriage relationship in Genesis 2, as Jesus does in His teaching in Matthew Ch.19. Why?Because a human marriage, as I said yesterday but is worth repeating, is a picture of a greater marriage relationship between Christ (the bridegroom) and his church (the bride). And the role of Jesus as the bridegroom is to build up the church in holiness and purity, and to love the church as His own body, which spiritually speaking it is. Paul says this is a profound mystery (v.32), because we need spiritual insight to see it and appreciate it, but here are reasons why we as a church should uphold marriage in its traditional and God-given form against modern (and ancient) attempts to redefine it.
We’ll move on to the next section next time…
In our cycle of prayer, let us pray for 2 more of our overseas contacts, praying for their ministries and their personal lives,- Frank and Val in Nazareth- Fekede Senbeto from Ethiopia, who is our new Crosslinks student who we are supporting financially and praying for. Fekede has been a pastor and evangelist in his church for the last 10 years on a voluntary basis, but is now undergoing further study to help him be more equipped in his ministry.
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