Saturday, July 29, 2006

Thoughts on Ephesians 5:22-6:9

This Lord's Day morning, we will briefly backtrack to Ephesians 5:21, as we enter into a new section of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 5:22-6:9). You will, of course, immediately remember and recognize that this passage deals with our household relationships from a Christian perspective.

If we are God’s new community, then what should our family life look like. How are we to be different from the world? Paul tells us here. He deals with husbands and wives, parents and children, and masters and servants – the sphere of the household in biblical and Mediterranean culture.

The timeliness of this for us is obvious. Our culture can’t even seem to define marriage! Much less agree upon the dynamics of husband-wife marital roles and the discipline of children. Ephesians 5:21 provides us with a framework for understanding this whole section, so we are going to spend some time on it Sunday.

British Pastor Stuart Olyott puts the pasaage in perspective and provides a helpful description of the flow of argument in Ephesians 4-6 when he says: "The apostle Paul has made it clear that Christians live differently from other people. When they are together, their behaviour contrasts sharply with the social behaviour of the unconverted (4:1-16). When they are surrounded by the men and women of the world in daily life, their conduct remains distinct (4:17-5:21). Paul is now going to tell us that they also live in a radically different way at home (5:22-6:9).
It is fairly easy to live the Christian life at church. It is much more difficult to do so in the world. But the hardest place of all to live as a Christian is at home. This is why the apostle comes to this subject last of all." (Alive in Christ, 121)

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