Part II: Walking Worthy Of Our High Calling In Christ, Ephesians 4:1-6:20

E. Walking Worthy Of Our Calling By Relating Properly To The Holy Spirit

1. Walking Worthy Of Our Calling By Relying On The Holy Spirit In Marriage

(Ephesians 5:22-33)


I.               Introduction

A.    Having written extensively in Ephesians 1:1-3:21 about the high calling we believers in Christ have in our Lord, clarifying the great extent to which God's grace in Christ has been administered in our behalf, Paul applied that truth to the Christian walk in Ephesians 4:1-6:20.

B.    In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul addressed a sixth realm of walking worthy of our calling, that of relating well to the Holy Spirit to live righteously in the human institution of marriage.  This subject is very important right now due to extra pressures the pandemic has put on even marital relationships, so we view it for our insight:

II.            Walking Worthy Of Our Calling By Relating Properly To The Holy Spirit In Marriage, Eph. 5:22-33.

A.    When Paul ordered believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 5:18, he followed that command with a series of Greek participles directing how that filling was to be displayed in one's conduct, the last participle of that series in Ephesians 5:21 being that of "submitting" (hupotassomenoi) to one another in reverence to Christ. (U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966, p. 675-676)

B.    Paul then applied this practice of "submitting" to a series of human institutions in Ephesians 5:22-6:9, starting with the institution of marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33.  We apply his directive for that institution (as follows):

1.      By means of the filling or control by the Holy Spirit, what occurs when one relies as an act of faith on the Holy Spirit, wives are to relate righteously to their husbands in the Lord, Ephesians 5:22-24, 33b:

                         a.        Wives are to "submit" themselves, the verb "submit" not appearing in Ephesians 5:22 in the Greek text since it is borrowed from the participle "submitting" (hupotassomenoi) in verse 21, and wives are thus to submit unto their own husbands as their service "to the Lord," Col. 3:18; Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 640.

                         b.        Paul explained that the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the Head of the Church and the Savior of the body of the Church itself, Ephesians 5:23.

                         c.        Accordingly, as the Church is subject to her Head in Christ [in all things], even so are wives to be subject unto their own husbands in all things, Ephesians 5:24.

2.      By means of the filling or control by the Holy Spirit, what occurs when one relies on the indwelling Holy Spirit, husbands are to relate righteously to their wives in the Lord, Ephesians 5:25-33a:

                         a.        Though husbands are not to "submit" to their wives, we still infer from the extended context where Paul is discussing "submitting" in various human institutions that husbands also are to achieve the dictates of God regarding their roles in marital oversight by means of the filling or control of the Holy Spirit!

                         b.        Accordingly, husbands are to love their wives even as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for it that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the water by the Word of God that He might present it to Himself without spot or wrinkle or any such corruptive thing, but that it might be holy (hagia) and without blemish (amomos), Ephesians 5:25-27. (Ibid., p. 641)

                         c.        Men are thus to love their wives as their own bodies (Ephesians 5:28a), a statement that is directly supported by the creation of Eve from Adam's rib as an extension of his own body in Genesis 2:20-23.

                         d.        Building on this theme of a husband's loving his wife as his own body, Paul explained that he who loves his wife loves himself (Ephesians 5:28b), that no man has ever hated his own body, but nourishes and cherishes it even as the Lord nourishes and cherishes the Church, His spiritual Body, Eph. 5:29-30; Ibid.

                         e.         Paul explained that the union between a husband and wife designed by God at creation essentially makes them one flesh, a stronger union than what exists between parent and child, Ephesians 5:31; Ibid.  This union also typifies the incredibly intimate spiritual unity between Christ and His Church, Eph. 5:32.

3.      In summary, Paul called every man to love his wife as himself and the wife to respect her husband, v. 33.


Lesson: By relying on the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, believers who are wives must submit to their own husbands in everything as their responsibility before the Lord and believers who are husbands must love their wives as their own bodies, nurturing and cherishing them as the Lord does His Bride, the Church.


Application: (1) May all of us believers rely on the indwelling Holy Spirit to function well in marriage.  (2) May we wives submit to our husbands as our service to the Lord, and (3) may we husbands love and nurture our wives.