Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sermon Aug. 25-26, 2012

Title: Christ submitted so that you might be united in love to him!

Text: Eph. 5:25-27

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a message" "Alter your course 10 degrees south." Promptly a return message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north."

The captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a second message: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am the captain!" Soon another message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am seaman third class Jones." Immediately the captain sent a third message, knowing the fear it would evoke: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am a battleship." Then the reply came "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am a lighthouse."

In the midst of our dark and foggy times, all sorts of voices are shouting orders into the night, telling us what to do, how to adjust our lives. Out of the darkness, one voice signals something quite opposite to the rest--something almost absurd; but the voice happens to be the Light of the World, and we ignore it at our peril.

Paul Aiello, Jr.

Christ submitted so that you might be united in love to him!

Dear friends,

The word submission has different meanings to different people. To some it means to give in and for others it means to give up. The apostle Paul, writing to the Ephesian church, brings this relationship into perspective.

The apostle Paul writes: 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. So you might be thinking, “Here goes Chauvinistic Paul – placing a wedge between husband and wife calling the wives to be submissive and give in to their husbands!” But it is to their own husbands, to the men with whom they have entered into marriage and the united relationship of Holy wedlock that Christian wives submit … and it is for their own benefit and the benefit of the marriage.

This is not done unwillingly, as in forced submission as in the relationship of owner to slave or boss to worker but by virtue of their willing consent at the time of the marriage; for they are not subject to the husband as their lord and master, but “as to the Lord,” that is, as to Christ.

24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Vs 24

When we think of headship and order we need to think in terms of the Godhead. Father, Son and Holy Spirit being united as one God in Trinity and yet there also is a unity in God that is clear in scripture and yet hard to understand and comprehend. The terms co-equal and co-eternal describe the relationship inside the Godhead as well as give an order and function to God’s work as well. The truth is that Christ will always be the second person in the Trinity, though co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and His work being the work of redemption that he accomplished in His incarnation by the power of the Holy Spirit, being born of the Virgin Mary and becoming man where He lived, suffered, died and rose again for your Justification (your freedom) – Christ paying the price for your sin and you receiving the verdict of Not Guilty and being set free on account of His submission and death.

In subjection, Christ, submits to the Father’s will when He says, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

But we again read in our text today, 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her … 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, (Eph 5:25, 2

The command to the wife is submission as unto the Lord and the command to the husband is Love as Christ loved the church. But not just the love of joy, or attraction, as males and females do in the act of seeking out a mate who they hope to spend the rest of their lives with, but for us men we are called to a sacrificial type of love that does and will do everything for our wives - a task we willfully and often fail at. We are told that husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies –think about it - a very personal connection for us men; 5 …‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? (Matt 19:5) … the two shall become one – submitting to oneself and loving oneself -and also just as Christ does the church, a humbling and eternal perspective for you and me that reveals the complete sacrificial nature of the love of husbands and wives to each other.

Christ submitted so that you might be united in love to him!

While driving down a country road, a man came to a very narrow bridge. In front of the bridge, a sign was posted: "YIELD." Seeing no oncoming cars, he continued across the bridge and to his destination. On his way back, he came to the same one-lane bridge, now from the other direction. To his surprise, he saw another YIELD sign posted. Curious, he thought, "I'm sure there was a Yield sign posted on the other side." When he reached the other side of the bridge he looked back. Sure enough, yield signs had been placed at both ends of the bridge. Drivers from both directions were requested to give right of way. It was a reasonable and gracious way of preventing a head-on collision. When the Bible commands Christians to "be subject to one another" (Ephesians 5:21) it is simply a reasonable and gracious command to let the other have the right of way and avoid interpersonal head-on collisions.

Stephen P. Beck

The ESV reads in verse 21: submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

When I was preparing to get married my father had one of those father and son talks with me. He said, “Russ, marriage is a complete and total compromise! When it feels like you’re giving 80% and Monica is giving 20% in return … it’s probably 50/50.”

Subjection and compromise always feel uneven and at times it is just that - complete giving for the good of the other … as Christ did for you.

There is a great example of compromise and love on the part of a husband as he discussed to his friend how he and his wife settled on their vacation destination plans. He said, “I wanted to go to New York and my wife wanted to go to Florida, so we compromised…we went to Florida!”

…Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church. Submission, love and compromise reveal the picture of a healthy marriage. It is the picture of Christ who gave himself unto death for the salvation on the world.

Christ submitted to the will of the father as He stood in the waters of the Jordan River marked as a sinner in need of repentance … for you. He willingly fixed His eyes on Jerusalem and steadfastly walked to His certain trial, conviction and death for his bride and the love of His life … the church. In love He gave Himself for her and the church which is His wife submits to His will knowing how much He loves her and gave Himself for her.

In our Old Testament lesson for today we read from the prophet Isaiah who reminds us”

18 In that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a book,
and out of their gloom and darkness
the eyes of the blind shall see.
19 The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,
and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

The deaf, whose ears by their own sinfulness had been closed to the voice of the Lord, will hear from the words of a Book, containing the divine written revelation of God, and the eyes of the blind, who suffer spiritual blindness, shall see out of darkness, for the Lord Himself will enlighten the eyes of their understanding.

The Epistle reading today dealing with submitting is a hard reading for many, but it is the word of God. Monica asked the Priest at our wedding to not read it … but he did anyway … “Woops!” he said after reading the passage she asked him to omit. Next month we will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary together and I thank the Lord for the blessings of our marriage and family life together, mutually submitting and loving one another out of reverence for Christ.


Christ submitted and loved the Church which is you and me. We see this pictured best in the relationship of husband and wife submitted, loved and committed to each other but the reality of sin in the world corrupts these relationships all the time. The brokenness of the body of Christ cries out daily in anguish. We see it and hear of it with our friends, our neighbors and our church family as well. Sin can break the bonds of our love for one another and even husbands and wives deal with broken families and marriages all the time but nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38-39)

Christ submitted so that you might be united in love to him!

Christ loved the church (which is you) and gave himself up for (you), 26 that he might sanctify (you which is to make you holy), having cleansed (you, in your baptism) by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that (Jesus Christ) might present (you) to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that (you) might be holy (set apart) and without blemish.

God in Christ has loved you set you apart as His beloved child having won the battle of sin, death and the Devil - for you. By the power of the Holy Spirit in you He points you to Christ and His finished work and that in Christ you are loved and forgiven! God comfort you with this blessing now and forever.

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit!


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