Ladies Bible Study
Being Followers of God as Dear Children
We have covered a lot of ground since we started this study of Ephesians in October. We have talked about who we are in Christ, the spiritual mysteries God has revealed to us through the Word and becoming influential women of God.
Ephesians is a remarkable and interesting Book of the Bible. It has three main themes, and I have tapped into these themes and tried to direct them to our specific topics within this forum of a ladies Bible study.
Ephesians has three main and fairly simple themes.
It is within this context that I have compiled these lessons. We will probably conclude with next monthís lesson.
I was sitting in front of the computer today, trying to think of a title for todayís lesson when The Holy Spirit highlighted Ephesians 5:1:
"Therefore be followers of God as dear children." And this is my title for today.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments."
This is a pretty basic text and it is so important. It shows us the power and love God has for His Son and for us. It also explains to us why we should do and act the way we do;
because we love The Lord and want to obey His commandments and to Glorify the Father in all we do.
This is the beginning of very specific instructions given by the Apostle Paul, to tell us as Believers how to act. Remember, Ephesians is written to believers, not unbelievers.
I want to highlight several things.
"but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head Christ
from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,
having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to licentiousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But you have not so learned Christ,"
Each of us as a specific role in the church that jointly holds the whole thing together, here at our local fellowship and the "universal church". Seek the Lord, abide in Him and let Him direct your paths, to your specific role.
We are to stop walking in the world; in itís knowledge and wisdom. I cannot stress this
enough the worldís ways are not our ways and should not be. The wisdom of God is
foolishness to the world. (1 Corinthians 1:25).
" if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that
you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt
according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you
put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true
holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we
are members of one another. Be angry, and do not sin'': do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you."
Like removing old dirty clothes and putting on new clothes. We are to remove our old ways and take up the ways of God. Amen! Lying is something Paul addresses several times here, it is important that if we canít say the truth, the best action is to say nothing at all. We as women have a tendency to tell each other "little white lies" about the way we look our hair and dress. We all do it, but God expects us to be truthful in love. Donít walk up to someone you are just barely acquainted with and say "I donít like your hair style or color, it makes your face look fat." That accomplishes nothing but hurt feelings. When we talk with each other, choose your words wisely and in love.
Donít stay angry. Paul tells us to be angry and sin not.
Living Bible: Ephesians 4:26-27: "If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge. Don't let the sun go down with you still angry--get over it quickly. for when you are angry you give a mighty foothold to the devil."
Do not let that anger take root and become bitterness, which is a spirit killer.
Do not let yourself become so angry that you act in a way that does not glorify God.
Anger is the door Satan uses to destroy your walk faster that anything.
Paul concludes this part of the letter by telling us to put away evil speaking, anger, etc.
It is something he instructs us to do not ask God to do for us. It is very important for us to realize this distinction. We are to renew our minds, we are to put off the old man, and we are to control our flesh.
Romans 6:6: knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin."
Romans 12:14: "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Romans 12:1: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
Letís move on to Ephesians Chapter 5:
"Therefore be followers of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord."
1. Unrighteous acts and living the worldís way does not glorify God. Do you loose
Your salvation when you do this. I do not believe you do. I believe that those who
do what the Word says for salvation are saved. I donít want to beleaguer the point.
The problem new believers have is, they give their life to the Lord, and many times,
they are left to drift and donít really understand the fullness of their salvation,
because they are not surrounded by strong mature Christians that can mentor them.
We should never, never turn our backs on baby Christians and we should not
leave them alone to develop without mentoring. So many times, we lead someone
to the Lord and then pat them on the back and say well, see you next Sunday, sister.
This should not be, just like you would not turn your back on a newborn baby and
Leave it out on the street, you can not do it to newborn believers, either!
We as mature believers will be held accountable for how we mentored new and
"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God."
2. We are to be wise in Godís ways, we are to know what the will of God is.. and it is
To be filled with the Holy Spirit. We are to live in an attitude of constant praise and
worship, thanking God for all things. The answers to prayers, His provisions for us
and His love for us.
And we are to submit to one another in the fear or reverence of God.
This is the real meat of our lesson today Ė submission.
Submission is a subject I have not wanted to teach. I have not wanted to deal with it because I am not a submissive person. Never have been. As I have said before my philosophy was "I am woman hear me roar." I didnít want to teach submission, in fact I tried to deal with The Holy Spirit and say, "ok, Iíll teach Ephesians, but I am not going to teach submission!"
Well, we know that never works with God.
He has dealt with me on so many levels in the past month on submission and how it has affected me personally and my home and work life. Today, I want to share them with you.
Jesus shows us through His life, the ultimate example of submission. He came to Earth in human form, gave Himself for us. Died for us, so that we could become children of God. That is the apex of love. The total fulfillment of love. No one before or after has exhibited this love. God so lovedÖthat he gave His only son. This was the fulfillment of Godís ultimate purpose, redemption, restoration and preparation of the church for the marriage feast.
Because of this love, Jesus did everything the Father instructed Him to do.
John 14:10: "10. "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works."
John 17:6-7: ""I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.
Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You."
Jesus submitted to God, He did not think of Himself, only of God and Godís will. Everything He did glorified God. This is true submission.
Submission is a complex and difficult subject for todayís woman. We are constantly bombarded with the worldís view of self-fulfillment, independence and selfishness.
My wants, my needs and my desires are to be meet first, then I will move on to the needs of others.
This is the exact opposite of Godís plans and purposes.
As Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Filled Life, stresses it is not about you.
You are not the center of the universe. The world does not revolve around you.
You may say, "well, I never thought it did." I think you will be surprised when we go a little further in our discussion.
I knew that I had not been a submissive wife, but I thought I was doing all right in that role, not perfect but all right.
Then one day I was praying and asking God why certain prayers werenít being answered in my life and He very plainly said "you are shutting off your blessings because you are not submissive." Boy, was that a slap in the face!
But you know I sat down and analyzed the last years of my life and found out that, as always God was right!
I had made the choice to be assertive and successful and not loving and kind.
God expects us to be loving and kind, not assertive and successful in the worldís sense.
The first step in truly walking in love is submission. If we do not submit to God and each other we are not walking in love and showing love to each other.
If you want to truly fulfill your role as a women of God, you must come to understand, embrace and practice submission.
The Greek Word for submit means to obey or give in. (it also means to offer an opinion, but that is not the real definition.)
I didnít particularly like that definition so I looked up synonyms for the word.
They included to surrender, succumb, yield, give in, bend, capitulate, to lay down oneís weapons or arms, to retreat or give way.
These are hard words for women of today to accept and embrace. It has always been the enemyís lie, starting with Eve in the Garden, that we can be like God. We have the nature of God in us, but we are His children not His equals. Satan has always tried to fill us with pride and selfishness and make us think we are as important as God is.
We are important to God.
We are to submit to God first and then our husbands.
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."
The marriage relationship is based on Christís relationship with the Church.
Submission and order are characteristics of Godís workmanship. Paul is setting the stage for all marriage relationships. Submission on Christís part was not a derogatory
description of His relationship to God and neither is it derogatory of a womanís relationship to her husband.
Paul is speaking to a saved, spirit filled woman here, not an unbeliever. He is speaking to a woman who should be aware of who she is in Christ and how that affects her relationships, the benefits it brings. Marriage is a Covenant relationship and so is Godís relationship with Jesus and us. Neither can be or should be broken.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself."
Our husbands are told to love us as Christ loved the Church. That is a tall order and many men and women do not begin to grasp how much Christ loved and loves us.
I was reading on the Internet about Mel Gibsonís movie "The Passion of Christ."
One of the editors writing stated that the one part that really stood out for him, was Gibsonís portrayal of Christ when he arrived at Calvary. That the Roman soldiers did not grab Him or push Him down on the cross, but Jesus willing walks over and lays down on it and stretches out His arms for the nails. Ladies that is love.
When our Husbands grow to love us in this way, we want to submit to them.
We want to make them happy, comfortable and look good in everything they do.
It does not mean that you just give in on everything, especially if it is ungodly. Or if your Husband is not saved or walking with God.
1 Peter 3:1-2:
"Likewise you wives, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear (reverence)."
We as wives are to submit to our husbands only out of love. You translate this submission to all areas of your life, to God, you husband, you family, your friends and
Your job. We are to be submissive in all areas of our lives.
My mother used to say two things to me growing up.
Let me close with this, in any given situation, whether it is with your husband, others or work ask yourself two questions.
When you truly answer these questions and donít lie to yourself any longer you will be on the road to walking in submission.