by Philip Layton
A short guide for holy living and a call for mutual respect within marriage
- Paul continues to describe requirements for living in holiness (vv 1-7).
- Can we use this teaching to help clean up our own behaviour? Or does it describe things that we try to justify?
- Some people use this passage (vv 21-33) to claim that Paul’s teaching on marriage is sexist. Do you agree or is this an abuse of the text?
- Does the text command mutual love and respect within marriage?
Share your thoughts below, or tweet about it with the #boundlessbible hashtag. Don't forget this week's Children's Challenge!
Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
In order to have unity in the Body of Christ, having received spiritual blessings, we need to be sealed by God’s Spirit.
Therefore, we need to live lives of love; to walk in love. Why? Because God first loved us, to the point of sacrificing his life for us. We are to give ourselves for one another, willing to sacrifice our own comforts – in order to help others in any way possible. To follow Christ’s lead in all our actions and endeavours.
Therefore, we are to be imitators of God in all ways. The word translated as ‘imitators’ is the Greek term from which we derive the word ‘mime’. A mime artist is a person who, without words, portrays a character – and even a storyline – through gestures, facial expressions and actions in such a vivid way that the message can be clearly understood.
Therefore, when Paul says we are to imitate God he means we’re to live Christlike lives. Then, even when we say nothing, people will know of his love through our behaviour and compassion. We are to live this Christlike life without even a hint of impurity:
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people (v 3).
Therefore, we are to live lives ‘as children of light’ (v 8). Light makes everything visible. Nothing hidden. Our lives are to be trustworthy, truthful, transparent. We’re to make the most of every opportunity; acting wisely as we daily strive to live for Christ.
Therefore, let’s ‘sing and make music in your heart to the Lord’ (v 19), thanking him for the privilege and honour of being his child. For he is our life, our very breath.
Beverly IvanyTags: Ephesians