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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #14
Posted: December 31, 2007


In our study of Chapter Three we have found that Paul has dealt with the living of the Christian life.  Let us look this week at verses 18-25.  Have your Bible handy as we walk down through our study text.  I have entitled this section “The Participants In This Life”.  There are six participants mentioned in pairs of twos.  They are ‘husband and wife’, Father and children’, and ‘servants and masters’ or ‘employers or employees’.  Let us remember this section is not divorced from our previous study on “The Practice Of Life”.  We cannot be a righteous participant in the Christian life unless the Word of Christ dwells in us richly.  The counter part text can be found in Ephesians 5, which says that we must be filled with the Spirit.

            In verses 18-19 we are confronted with ‘The Wife And The Husband Relationship’.  The wife is told to ‘submit’ to her husband.  The word means to rank under or to be loyal to.  The wife must acknowledge her husband’s God ordained role, but let us remember he is not a dictator nor is she a slave.  Submission is an act of the will.  Paul said it is to be done “…as it is fit in the Lord”.  This phrase means to reach a God given goal of conduct becoming to the Lord.  “If our conduct in the home is not becoming we ought to be coming to the Lord.” (John Phillips) 

            The husband is told to ‘love’ his wife and be not ‘bitter’ toward her. The word for love is agape.  It is love that is only produced by Christ.  Paul said in Ephesians that we are to love our wives even as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it.  Love is an act of the heart shed abroad by the Holy Ghost.  It will be impossible to love like this if the Word does not dwell in us richly and we are filled with the Holy Ghost.  Paul tells the husband not to be ‘bitter’ against her.  The word means an irritating trait that exasperates another.  Do not let her minor traits which are done unconsciously exasperate you.  It is the little foxes that spoil the grapes.  One filled with the Word and the Spirit is dead to self.  Little traits done by another will not bother a dead man!  I am reminded of Moses’ warning to the curse of depravity upon man and woman. In Genesis 3:16 God says to the woman, “…thy desire shall be to thy husband…” The word desire means to have the run over or to manipulate him to do what you want. God said to the husband “…thy husband shall rule over you…” The word means to be a dictator over.  When two people live in the same house with these desires in their fallen nature and not checked by Word and filled with the Spirit, it will be Hell on earth. 

            In verses 20-21 we find ‘The Father And Children Relationship’.  The teaching for the children can be summed up in on simple phrase, ‘Obey your parents in everything’.  Parental authority is the first circle of authority God places around a child.  If a child cannot submit to a parent in the Lord they cannot expect to ever submit to God.  God declares rebellion to be as the sin of witchcraft.  Even at 12 years old our Lord announced that He was about His Father’s business, yet He still was in subjection to His earthly Father and Mother. (Luke 2:49-51)

            The Father is told not to ‘provoke’ his children.  The word means to rouse to anger.  The reason for this Paul says is less they become ‘discouraged’.  The idea here is to have the spirit broken. I fear on many occasions we do not break the will of our children but we break their spirit. A wounded spirit is not easily healed.

            In verses 21-25 we have the admonishment to the ‘Employer And Employee Relationship’.  The employee is told in verse 22 not to work to please the eye of a boss but to please the Lord.  In verses 23-24 we are told to do all heartily unto the Lord and it matters not if the boss if fair or unfair. 

            In verse 24 we are reminded we are working for the Lord not an earthly boss and He will reward us according to how we serve Him.  Let those who are the employers be reminded from verse 25 that God will also reward you for your right or wrong treatment of our employees.  My what it would be like if all were filled with the Word and the Holy Ghost.  Why it would be heaven on earth.  It may be impossible to have a world of people filled like this but it can be so in our own lives and homes.