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We’re Either in Submission or Rebellion, Never Both

If you ever had children, have you ever been asked “Why can’t I have/do this thing you told me not to?” Even if you don’t have kids, you’ve probably heard one say it. The rebellious streak begins almost at birth, as we, broken from the beginning by sin, seek to gain for ourselves. I look around and what I see is that this isn’t just a childish trait: people are harming themselves and others to take what they want, destroying one another, openly rebelling against God and twisting His word to try and justify their rebellion. They are usurping roles in the church or trying to shut it down simply because “I should be able to have this, and the church is denying it to me).” The fact remains that God designated roles, first in Genesis with male and female, then within the family, then within the Church.

As a Father, my role is to love my wife, as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:26). As a parent, my first priority is raising godly children (it’s a mandate by God in Genesis 1:28). We were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and mandated by God to fill the earth with that image! As we further read God’s word, we see that we’re constantly going against God’s design (both by the stories, and God’s standards which He sets down). If we’re to get anywhere close to reconciling that rebellion (which from the above illustration, you can see begins at birth), we must recognize that rebellion is something God cannot and will not tolerate. We’re either in to Submission to God (and the Word tells us how to be), or rebellion against Him. We can’t have it both ways. This is why we must be in His Word daily, and submit ourselves completely to His will in Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. We’re lost otherwise.

Ephesians 5:1-6:9

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let 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 become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 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. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

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