Thursday, April 26, 2007

CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT!

Ephesians 5:22 "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord."

Remember the key to interpreting a passage of the Bible: context, context, context. An examination of the context will make the meaning of this passage clearer. Paul is in a lengthy discourse in which he is challenging the young Ephesian Christians to think about the way they live their lives. They are no longer to continue living the way they used to live before they were Christians. They are to live differently from the Gentiles who live around them. (Ephesians 4:17) Now they are to live like Christians. Their marriages are supposed to be different. Their marriages are to be a testimony to their Christian faith.

Paul mentions many ways in which their lives must change. There are so many things to be considered that it seems impossible! They must be wondering how in the world they are going to make so many and such significant changes in their lives. Paul explains that as well. He knows these young Christians will not be able to change their lives so drastically in their own strength. So Paul tells them that their only hope is to depend on the strength of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) They need to be filled with the Spirit and the Holy Spirit will give them the strength and guidance to live like Christians.

One of the big changes that must take place is in their relationships. Before they became Christians they just looked out for themselves. They were willing to do whatever it took to advance themselves, enrich themselves, and improve their own standing in the community. But Paul tells them that they have to change all that. Now that they are Christians they need to learn to submit to one another. (Ephesians 5:21) They need to willingly surrender their own rights and will for the benefit of the body of Christ. The nature of Christian relationships is to give preference to one another. Christians want to put others before themselves.

This is the context of the verse we are studying, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” When he speaks to Christian wives he is telling them they are to no longer live like Gentile wives. Their old perspectives on marriage have to be taken off and they have to put on Christian perspectives. They should no longer do whatever they want within their marriage; they should be filled with the Holy Spirit and live like women who are following the Spirit. In their marriage relationships they should willingly seek to promote their partners by serving them.

2 Comments:

At 4:52 AM, Blogger Bluecollar said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:54 AM, Blogger Bluecollar said...

Dave, please take all the time you need at bluecollar. Cover as much ground as you like, please.

 

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